Friday, November 23, 2012

How to Remove Chapstick from Clothing that has Already Gone Through the Dryer

I woke up the other morning feeling so relieved and downright giddy about the lack of cleaning that needed to be done around my house.  This excitement came at the price of the entire day before, since it was spent wiping, and scrubbing, and spraying, and scraping, and organizing, and folding.  Imagine my frustration as I opened the dryer only to discover that a bright candy-apple red lip gloss had found its way into my load of whites.  (Of course it was all my white clothing...and of course the chap-stick was the same color as my mom's homemade red velvet cake.  And OF COURSE  I didn't think to check the clothing before hoisting it into the dryer, where the stains happily burrowed into the fibers and set up permanent residence.

My first instinct was to toss the clothes.  All of them.  After all- before my unfortunate discovery, the only thing standing between me and a refreshingly clean house was this one measly load of laundry to fold.  But the frugal old miser living inside of me spoke up and advised that I find a better solution.

I knew this was a problem that bleach alone could not tackle, so I let my fingers do the asking on the world wide web.  There are about a million pieces of advice for removing stains that haven't already set in the dryer, but only a few suggestions for people like me...the completely oblivious people who don't notice bright red splotches all over their white clothes as they are transferring them from the washer to the dryer...but I digress.  The advice left me with feelings ranging from, "I guess that makes sense..." to the, "Whaaaa?  I don't think so."  One site actually suggested spraying your own urine on the stains...something about the uric acid's grease-dissolving agents.  Tempting...but no.

So I decided to use a combination of some suggestions I found on the internet, and my own common sense.  It worked.

It worked so well that I want to share it.  I want to shout it from the rooftops.  If I can save one person from spraying their clothes with urine, I will die happy.

What I used...
  • A box
  • White paper
  • A textured rag
  • Dish soap
  • An iron
  • Carpet stain remover

I draped the clothing over a a cardboard box that was topped with white paper.  The box and paper are used to absorb the oil from the chap-stick as you heat the stains with the iron. 

DO NOT use newspaper or ads, because the ink will bleed into the fabric.
Have everything near you as you get started, because once you heat the stain, you're going to want to get to work on it right away.

Steam it up, baby.

Once you've heated the fabric, immediately douse the stains with dish soap and start scrubbing.  I tried using a toothbrush, a scrub brush, and a sponge...but nothing worked as well as a washcloth with a little texture to it.

Here's the kicker...I used carpet stain remover.  For whatever reason, my laundry stain remover didn't work as well.  I'm pretty sure the carpet stain remover has magical properties, because I've used it on a variety of household spills and stains and it has set the bar for other cleaning products time and time again.  You do have to scrub quite a bit to get rid of the color.

Rinse all the soap in the sink before tossing it back into the washing machine.  I washed the clothing with laundry detergent, 1/4 cup of carpet stain remover, 2 tbsp of dish soap, and the hottest water my pipes could tolerate.

Ta-da!  The entire load of whites is as good as new.  This is directly out of the dryer with zero editing.  And not an ounce of urine was used.

And now you know!


1 comment:

  1. Ha.....who would have ever thought that urine would be a suggested stain remover. Blech!!! Awesome discovery though! I am actually really shocked that this worked. Now, I know. :)