How to get chapstick stains out of clothes

Chapstick is a useful tool for keeping our lips soft and moisturized, but it can be a real pain when it ends up on our clothes. Chapstick stains can be tricky to remove, as the wax and oil-based formula can stubbornly cling to fabric. However, with the right techniques, you can get those pesky chapstick stains out of your clothes and prevent them from becoming a permanent fixture.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the various methods for removing chapstick stains, offer tips for preventing stains in the first place, and share some advice on how to deal with stubborn or set-in stains. Whether you’ve got a fresh chapstick mark on your favorite shirt or a lingering stain that’s been there for ages, we’ve got you covered. Let’s dive in!

get chapstick stains out of clothes

Before we get into the stain removal process, it’s helpful to understand what makes chapstick stains so difficult to tackle. Chapstick is typically made up of a blend of waxes, oils, and other emollients that provide moisture and protection for your lips. When chapstick ends up on fabric, these ingredients can seep into the fibers and create a stubborn, greasy stain.

The wax component of chapstick in particular can be challenging to remove, as it can adhere to the fabric and leave behind a discolored or stiff area. Additionally, the oils in chapstick can attract dirt and other grime, compounding the stain and making it even harder to lift.

Factors that can influence the difficulty of removing a chapstick stain include:

Fabric TypeDelicate fabrics like silk or satin may be more prone to damage from stain removal methods, while sturdy cotton or polyester blends can typically withstand more aggressive techniques.
Stain AgeFresh chapstick stains are generally easier to treat than set-in, older stains that have had time to really soak into the fabric.
Stain SizeA small, localized stain will be simpler to address than a large, widespread smear of chapstick.
Chapstick ColorTinted or pigmented chapsticks may leave behind more noticeable discoloration than clear or uncolored varieties.

Now that we understand the nature of chapstick stains, let’s explore the various methods for getting them out of your clothes.

Removing Fresh Chapstick Stains

The key to successfully removing a fresh chapstick stain is to act quickly, before the wax and oils have a chance to fully set into the fabric. Here are some effective strategies for tackling fresh chapstick stains:

  1. Blot and Scrape: As soon as you notice the stain, use a clean, absorbent cloth or paper towel to gently blot at the affected area. This will help lift and remove any excess chapstick that’s sitting on the surface of the fabric. You can also try carefully scraping the stain with a dull knife or the edge of a credit card to lift off as much of the chapstick as possible.
  2. Use a Stain Remover: Apply a targeted stain remover designed for grease and oil-based stains directly to the affected area. Look for products that contain enzymes or solvents that can break down the waxy and oily components of the chapstick. Let the stain remover sit for the recommended time before washing.
  3. Treat with Dish Soap: Create a solution of warm water and a few drops of plain, unscented dish soap. Use a clean cloth or sponge to gently work the soapy solution into the stain, using circular motions. The dish soap can help cut through the grease and emulsify the chapstick.
  4. Apply Cornstarch or Baby Powder: Sprinkle a generous amount of cornstarch or baby powder over the stain and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. The absorbent powders will draw out the oil and wax from the fabric. Brush or vacuum the powder away before washing.
  5. Use an Ice Cube: Holding an ice cube directly on the stain can help harden the waxy chapstick, making it easier to scrape off with a dull knife or the edge of a credit card. Be sure to blot the area with a clean cloth as you work to lift the stain.
  6. Wash in Cold Water: When it’s time to launder the item, be sure to use cold water. Hot water can actually set the stain, so cooler temperatures are key. Avoid putting the item in the dryer until the stain has been fully removed, as the heat can also cause the stain to become more stubborn.

Dealing with Stubborn, Set-In Chapstick Stains

If the chapstick stain has had time to really soak into the fabric, you’ll need to employ some more heavy-duty stain removal techniques. Here’s how to tackle those stubborn, set-in chapstick marks:

  1. Pre-Treat with Rubbing Alcohol: Dab a small amount of rubbing alcohol directly onto the stain using a clean cloth or cotton ball. The alcohol can help break down the waxy and oily components of the chapstick. Let it sit for several minutes before washing.
  2. Use a Degreasing Agent: Look for a heavy-duty degreasing agent or solvent-based stain remover that’s specifically formulated to tackle grease and oil-based stains. Apply it directly to the affected area and let it sit for the recommended time before laundering.
  3. Try Glycerin or Mineral Spirits: These types of solvents can also be effective in dissolving the waxy elements of a set-in chapstick stain. Apply a small amount to the stain, let it sit, then launder as usual.
  4. Soak in Oxygenated Bleach: For white or colorfast fabrics, you can try soaking the item in a solution of warm water and an oxygenated bleach product. The bleach can help lift and break down the stain over time. Just be sure to check the care label and spot test first to ensure the fabric can handle the bleach.
  5. Use an Enzyme Cleaner: Enzyme-based stain removers are excellent for breaking down tough, set-in stains like chapstick. Look for a product that contains protease enzymes, which can effectively dissolve the wax and oil components.
  6. Try Baking Soda and Vinegar: Create a paste with baking soda and white vinegar and apply it directly to the stain. Let it sit for several hours before laundering. The chemical reaction between the baking soda and vinegar can help lift the stubborn stain.
  7. Employ Mechanical Agitation: For really stubborn stains, you may need to rely on some good old-fashioned elbow grease. Use a soft-bristled brush or your fingernails to gently scrub the stain while it’s still damp from a pre-treatment. The mechanical action can help dislodge the wax and oil from the fabric fibers.

No matter which method you choose, be sure to thoroughly rinse the area and launder the item according to the care instructions. Avoid putting it in the dryer until the stain has been fully removed, as the heat can set the stain.

Preventing Chapstick Stains

Of course, the best way to deal with chapstick stains is to avoid them altogether. Here are some tips for preventing those pesky lip balm marks from appearing on your clothes in the first place:

  1. Apply Chapstick Carefully: When applying chapstick, be mindful of where the product is going and try to keep it confined to your lips. Avoid touching the applicator to your clothing or wiping excess chapstick on your clothes.
  2. Use a Lip Liner: Applying a lip liner around the edges of your lips can help create a barrier and prevent chapstick from migrating outside the lip line and onto your skin or clothing.
  3. Blot Excess Chapstick: After applying, gently blot your lips with a tissue or clean cloth to remove any excess product that could potentially transfer to your clothes.
  4. Wear a Bib or Napkin: When eating or drinking while wearing chapstick, consider covering your chest or lap with a bib, napkin, or small towel to catch any drips or smears.
  5. Check for Chapstick Before Changing: Before removing a shirt or sweater, do a quick visual check for any chapstick marks that may have transferred from your lips. Catching a fresh stain early makes it much easier to treat.
  6. Store Chapstick Securely: Keep your chapstick tucked away in a pocket, purse, or bag when not in use to prevent accidental contact with your clothing.
  7. Choose Chapstick Wisely: Opt for chapstick formulas that are less likely to leave stains, such as those that are tinted, flavored, or contain fewer waxy and oily ingredients.

By incorporating these preventative measures into your daily routine, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of dealing with those pesky chapstick stains down the line.

Commercial Product Recommendation: The Stain Slayer Chapstick Stain Remover

For a reliable and effective solution to stubborn chapstick stains, we recommend the Stain Slayer Chapstick Stain Remover. This targeted stain remover is specifically designed to tackle the waxy, oily formula of chapstick, making it a must-have for anyone who loves using lip balm.

Key Features of the Stain Slayer Chapstick Stain Remover:

  • Powerful, enzyme-based formula that penetrates deep into fabric to break down chapstick stains
  • Safe for use on a wide range of fabrics, including delicate materials like silk and satin
  • Gentle enough for regular use, without damaging or discoloring the fabric
  • Comes in a convenient spray bottle for easy application
  • Includes detailed instructions and tips for getting the best results
  • Backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee

With the Stain Slayer Chapstick Stain Remover in your laundry arsenal, you can say goodbye to those pesky lip balm marks and keep your clothes looking fresh and clean. Click here to buy the Stain Slayer Chapstick Stain Remover on Amazon.


Chapstick stains can be a real nuisance, but with the right techniques and a little elbow grease, you can get those stubborn marks out of your clothes. Remember to act quickly on fresh stains, employ a variety of stain-lifting methods for set-in marks, and take proactive steps to prevent chapstick mishaps in the first place.

With this comprehensive guide and the Stain Slayer Chapstick Stain Remover in your arsenal, you’ll be equipped to tackle even the toughest chapstick stains and keep your wardrobe looking its best. Happy stain removal!

Sharing Is Caring:

As the founder of Clean It Spotless, I am Melissa Walker, a leading expert in removing tough stains from fabrics, carpets, and upholstery. With over 10 years of experience in the cleaning industry, I have developed my own natural, non-toxic stain-fighting formulas that lift stains while preserving the integrity of the underlying material. My stain removal tutorials are widely read online, and I have appeared on local TV segments demonstrating my techniques. I also present popular stain removal workshops at community centers and schools.