How to Get Lipstick Out of Clothes That Went Through the Washer

Don't dry lipstick-stained clothes in the machine until you're sure the stain is gone.
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Lipstick is a quick fix for a pale pucker, but when it gets on your clothes, it's more of a problem than a solution. With oils, waxes and pigments packed into that small tube of lipstick, getting the stain out isn't as simple as tossing the garment in the washer. It's always best to treat the stain before laundering in any way, but even if the clothing went through a wash cycle, you can still get the lipstick out. It might take several steps to actually get all of the color out of the garment, but if you put in the time, you can salvage your lipstick-stained clothing.

Dampen a clean rag with denatured alcohol. Dab the alcohol onto the lipstick stain.

Cover the spot with liquid laundry detergent after letting the alcohol dry onto the clothing. Work the detergent into the stain with your fingers. Let the clothing sit for a few hours.

Wash the clothing with laundry detergent and the hottest water recommended on the care label. Add chlorine bleach to the washer for white clothing if chlorine bleach is safe for the fabric, or color-safe bleach if the clothing is colored. Refer to the label on the bleach for the specific amount to use according to the load size. Let the clothing air-dry after washing, and inspect for any traces of lipstick.

Sponge dry-cleaning solvent onto the garment with a clean rag if the lipstick stain is still there after washing and air-drying. Blot with a dry rag to absorb the liquid.

Work liquid laundry detergent into the stain again. Let it sit for a few more hours, then wash the garment again as directed earlier.

Spray household lubricating spray onto the stain if the lipstick is still there. Work the lubricating spray into the spot with your fingers, then apply dishwashing detergent to the spot. Wash the garment as directed earlier.

  • Denatured alcohol is flammable. Use it in a well-ventilated area, and keep it away from open flames or extreme heat.
  • Dry-cleaning solvent is sold at hardware or drug stores. Denatured alcohol is commonly sold near the paint section in home improvement and hardware stores.

Kimbry Parker has been writing since 1998 and has published content on various websites. Parker has experience writing on a variety of topics such as health, parenting, home improvement and decorating. She is a graduate of Purdue University with a Bachelor of Arts in organizational communication.