How to get chapstick stains out of clothes

If you’ve ever spilled a drink or had some sauce fall on your clothing, you know how irritating it is to have to scrub and dry those spots repeatedly. Now imagine how much more frustrating it would be if those stains were permanent! Chapstick can be the culprit of fabric damage when it’s applied unchecked, but there are ways to remove those pesky stains without ruining your clothes. What are chapstick stain removal tips?

Chapstick is a wax-based lip balm that is typically used as a moisturizer. When chapstick is spilled on clothing and subsequently rubbed into the fabric, it creates a film that blocks the absorption of moisture and causes fabric damage. The best way to remove these stains is by using a brush and hot water. If this doesn’t work, then you may need to go through the process of washing the garment in hot water and detergent. Remember to read the ingredients labels before applying chapstick so that you don’t end up with nasty chemicals on your clothes.

get chapstick stains out of clothes

Chapstick stains can be frustrating, as they tend to leave oily residue on fabrics, making them difficult to remove. However, with the right techniques and a little patience, you can effectively eliminate these stains and restore your clothing to its original condition.

Scrape off Excess Lip Balm

To begin the stain removal process, it’s essential to remove any excess lip balm from the clothing. You can use a spoon, butter knife, or any other suitable tool to gently scrape off the chapstick without pushing it further into the fabric. Be careful not to spread the stain further during this step.

Sprinkle with Baking Soda, Baby Powder, or Chalk

After removing the excess lip balm, the next step is to tackle the oily residue. Sprinkling baking soda, baby powder, or chalk directly onto the stain can help absorb the oils in the chapstick. These powders work by drawing out the grease and making it easier to remove during the washing process. Allow the powder to sit on the stain for some time to maximize its effectiveness.

Pre-treat with Dishwashing Detergent or Use an Enzyme-based Stain Remover

For tougher chapstick stains, pre-treating with dishwashing detergent or using an enzyme-based stain remover can provide excellent results. Apply a small amount of dishwashing detergent directly to the stain and gently rub it in using your fingers or a soft brush. Let it sit for approximately five minutes to allow the detergent to penetrate the fabric fibers and break down the oily residue. Afterward, rinse the detergent away with warm water.

Alternatively, you can use an enzyme-based stain remover specifically designed to tackle oily stains like chapstick. These products contain enzymes that target and break down the oils, making it easier to remove the stain during the washing process. If you prefer, you can also opt for strong detergents like Persil or Tide, known for their effective stain-fighting properties.

Try Vinegar

Vinegar is a versatile household ingredient known for its stain-removing properties. To remove chapstick stains, combine hot water and vinegar in a container, and shake the mixture thoroughly. Next, soak the stained clothing in the vinegar solution for approximately 30 minutes. The vinegar will help break down the oils in the stain. After soaking, wash the clothing as usual using a suitable detergent.

Washing and Repeating the Process

After following the above steps, it’s essential to wash the clothing as you typically would. Use the appropriate washing machine settings and detergent for the fabric type. Once the wash cycle is complete, examine the stained area. If any traces of the chapstick stain remain, repeat the above steps until the stain is fully removed.


Chapstick stains on clothes can be a nuisance, but with the right approach, you can successfully eliminate them. Remember to scrape off excess lip balm, use baking soda or other absorbent powders, pre-treat with dishwashing detergent or an enzyme-based stain remover, try vinegar, and wash the clothing as usual. By following these steps and being persistent, you can restore your clothes to their pristine condition.


Q1: Can I use any type of dishwashing detergent for pre-treating chapstick stains?

It is best to use a mild dishwashing detergent without any bleach or harsh chemicals. Avoid using dishwashing detergents that may cause color fading or damage to the fabric.

Q2: How long should I let the baking soda sit on the stain?

Allow the baking soda to sit on the stain for at least 30 minutes or longer. The longer it sits, the better it can absorb the oils from the chapstick.

Q3: Will vinegar damage my clothes?

No, vinegar is generally safe to use on most fabrics. However, it’s always a good idea to do a patch test on a small, inconspicuous area of the garment before applying it to the stained area.

Q4: Can I use a stain remover spray instead of an enzyme-based stain remover?

Yes, stain remover sprays can be effective in removing chapstick stains. Look for a stain remover specifically designed for oily stains and follow the instructions on the product for the best results.

Q5: What if the chapstick stain doesn’t come out after multiple attempts?

If the stain persists after several attempts, it may be best to consult a professional cleaner who specializes in stain removal. They have the expertise and tools to tackle stubborn stains without causing damage to the fabric.

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Camilo Kawas is a seasoned entrepreneur and expert in the field of commercial cleaning, with a specific focus on clothes, carpet cleaning and floor care. With a profound understanding of the importance of selecting the right products for effective stain removal from clothes, Camilo has established himself as a trusted authority in the industry.