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How to Remove Lipstick Stains

Always remember the golden rule of getting ready: Clothes first, then lipstick. If a painted pout ends up on your collar, remove the stain with this method from "Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook."


Use a dull-edged knife to remove excess lipstick. Using an eyedropper, apply a dry solvent (such as mineral spirits or acetone) to the stain in a well-ventilated area; tamp with a soft-bristled brush. Apply isopropyl alcohol to flush the area and tamp. Repeat until all color is removed, and let dry. Spray on diluted dishwashing-soap solution. Treat wih an enzyme detergent before laundering.


This method is for washable items only. The diluted dishwashing solution called for is made with 1 tablespoon of fragrance- and dye-free liquid soap (containing sodium laurel sulfate, or sodium laureth sulfate) and 10 ounces of water. Pour it into a small spray bottle. Do not use the enzyme detergent mentioned on protein fibers, such as silk, wool, cashmere, or angora. Always launder garments after using a dry solvent (such as mineral spirits or acetone), and do not use acetone on acetate.