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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Treating lipstick marks

By Dr. Laundry December 28, 2012

Whether under the mistletoe, at midnight or just after a big kiss from Grandma, lipstick marks are a frequent holiday stain! Lipstick is a combination stain of a greasy/oil part and dye, and you have to treat the oil portion of the stain first. To start, pre-treat the stain with liquid dish washing detergent on a damp cloth. From the back of the item, push the liquid through the stain to help separate it from the fabric. Remember to dab, not rub, as rubbing can force the stain into the fibers. While pushing the stain from the back of the fabric, put a dry cloth under the front of the item and continue to blot the lipstick away from the fabric. Keep changing to a clean part of dry towel to prevent re-staining the item

From here, if your stained item is WHITE:


  • Wash immediately after in the hottest water recommended on the care label using detergent and ¾ cup Clorox® Regular Bleach (or ½ cup Concentrated Clorox® Regular Bleach)


If your stained item has COLOR/PATTERN:

  • Apply Clorox 2® Stain Fighter & Color Booster and rub into stain. Wash immediately in the warmest water recommended on the care label using detergent and Clorox 2®.


Finally, inspect the item. If any stain remains, repeat the steps above prior to drying the item