Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Chapstick In the Laundry: The Worst Day of Your Life

Forgetting to check pockets for chapstick before laundry day never turns out well. In fact, it's a bit of a double tragedy- Shakespearean, almost. As you pull out your melted chapstick-spotted favorite jeans or t-shirt, it's hard not to also grieve over the loss of your favorite tube. You can never get back the latter, unfortunately, but there are ways to restore your clothes to their former pre-petroleum glory.

Common sense might lead you to believe that if you simply wash the clothes again you'll get rid of the stains. But think about what you're contending with: chapstick is nothing more than a tube of pure oil. Even the ones without petroleum are made with sunflower seed oil, jojoba oil, shea bitter and various other emollients, to say nothing of the added artificial colors and waxes. This ain't your fried chicken grease on your blouse stain, and most commercial detergents aren't strong enough to get them all out. Plus, it's really the dryer that melted the chapstick and caused the mess to set in the first place, and once stains have been set by heat there's usually no going back. So if you notice there are stains after the wash cycle- don't put them in the dryer!

But where there's a will there's a way. Only really strong de-greasers can do the job, and if you want to avoid a hundred cycles of washing, you'll go for the good stuff.

1. Dry Cleaning: I don't know what they use, but that crazy no water voodoo usually works. It also costs dinero, so you may choose to live with chapstick-stained socks. You can also buy a dry cleaning fluid or kit and try it yourself.

2. Dishwashing Liquid: Not too far-fetched. If Dawn can get the baked in oil off of my five year old brownie baking tray, I have faith.

3. A hard core de-greaser like DeSolveIt solvent. I haven't used it myself, but it's citrus-based and apparently it's "the safer way to remove adhesives, tar, asphalt, road and roofing tar, oil-based paint and more from nearly any surface, including skin and hair". I'm guessing it can get out chapstick.

3.5 If the color doesn't come off, bleach it out.

4. I found a strange suggestion here about using hairspray. The poster says, "put a dry cloth underneath the stain; spray hairspray directly on the stain (liberally); and take another dry cloth (white) and dab on the stain. Have to do it over and over, but it works if you have the patience." I have no patience, and adding another sticky, oily substance doesn't sound like the way to go. But if you're pressed for time, whip out the Aquanet.

5. If the splotches are the right consistency, you can try to remove them as you would a wax stain: freeze with an ice cube and chip off.

6. Accept your loss like this guy did.

21 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dawn dishwashing liquid works! You can either spot treat with it or put a few squirts in the washer and run through a wash cycle. I tried Dawn after rewashing and drying three times - it works!

7:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooh, yay! I ruined my two favorite shirts and new pair of pants my fiance bought me. I'll have to try Dawn. I've already rewashed and redried once... On the upside, that entire load smells like vanilla. :p

Here's hoping!

8:24 PM  
Anonymous Aimee said...

last time i forgot to check my pocket and it turned out that my born lippy (the body shop) lip balm was there. i didn't notice until after i put my jeans in the dryer.

well, amazingly, all of the balm was there when i found it (it's probably because it was the pot kind), but it was like slanted due to the swirling and throwing moves that happpened in the washing machine and dryer.

HOWEVER... all of a sudden my miraculous born lippy doesn't work wonders anymore! it used to be smooth and heals the chapped lips. now it's not-so-smooth and makes my lips chapped instead. i don't understand why; is it because it was probably mixed with the detergents and everything?

11:43 AM  
Blogger JavaJive said...

Hey Aimee! I'd say it's probably because it got heated up to much. If you over-heat lip balm or generally put it to either temperature extreme (hot/cold) it changes consistency and may not be as easy to apply or as effective as before.

10:05 AM  
Blogger DJsnana777 said...

I've had success with Dawn also but if you're still having trouble removing the stain, try Lestoil. It works great at cutting grease!

9:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dawn forever. Two slacks and three blouses saved by Dawn. It was amazing.

3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How much dawn do i add? lord knows i dont need a laundry room overflowing with bubbles!

1:34 AM  
Anonymous Eva said...

THANK YOU for this article. My husband's brand new shirt from my mom for Christmas was washed with my daughter's lip balm. Man, bummed me out...dishsoap here I come. Thank you, thank you...

4:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last night I forgot to pull out my Nivea Milk and Honey balm out of my pocket before laundering my clothes. it was a new tube too! it got laundered....and then dried...all the balm was gone...and all over 3 tops and 2 pairs of pants. I checked out this blog and it said to try dawn. I got the 3 tops. rubbed each spot with dawn and then rewashed them. This WORKS!!! all the spots i hit with dawn are gone. there a few spots I missed...but this is a totally solid solution to a terrible tragedy!

Mara

2:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Goo Gone Gel spray works wonders. You just spray some on a moistened shirt and then let sit for a few seconds. Then take a nail brush or toothbrush and lightly work it out.

11:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Omg thank you sooooo much I do this it seems like every other week I will be buying some dawn very soon

11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi I am trying the goo gone now for 4 pairs of pants and 3 shirts. If that doesn't work I am going for the Dawn, thank you!

10:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will any kind of dish soap work?

1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dish soap works on grease, but probably won't get the wax out. For that, you can put a dry paper towel over the wax and iron it so it melts into the paper towel.

If all else fails, I guess you could soak the entire article of clothing in the chapstick grease.

1:19 PM  
Blogger Anjalique Jessup said...

I barely have any clothes as it is and I just washed EVERYTHING, meaning if these stains don't come out with Dawn then I'll have to turn nudist. PRAY IT WORKS

3:50 AM  
Blogger Andrew Kalis said...

There are various online sources to provide you informative details on this topic, but this is one is very helpful
Ozone laundry washing

1:56 PM  
Blogger Kira H said...

Why does Chapstick always come out of the tube and goes into the cap when I carry it in my pocket?! Does this happen to everyone?

1:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DAWN DOES NOT WORK!!!! I washed and dried my work scrubs with a tube of chapstick. I tried washing several times with DAWN and even did spot scrub treatments. It stinks but the clothes are ruined.

8:49 AM  
Blogger John Dudley said...

Looking for a good resource of information regarding permanent lip augmentation gurgaon?

9:01 AM  
Blogger lou said...

Its the scrubs not the dawn, my sister had the same problem.

10:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the burts bees website says to pour boiling water on the stains.. i haven't tried it yet... i'm going to buy some dawn today. it happens too often. :P

1:03 PM  

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