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Chapstick Stains

By Dr. Laundry December 2, 2008

Q. I’ve washed and dried my Chapstick inside my pants. Other clothes were also affected. What should I do to remove the oily spots?

A. Not so good news for you here. That solid Chapstick that melted in the dryer is now a “permanent” part of the pants and other items in the same load. The heat liquefies the lip balm and then transfers it to the fabric. While it is liquid it flows into the fibers and then, as the dryer temperatures drops, it solidifies on and in the fiber making total removal extremely unlikely.
A couple of things to try:
• Scrape any surface material away.
• Find a good solvent to apply to the individual spots like Goo Gone, which is usually available in most home or hardware stores.
• Apply and rub the product into the spots, then wash the item in the hottest water recommended on the care label.
• Check for success after washing, but before drying, as you may need to retreat the items.