Sunday, December 09, 2007

Kiss Off: Lipstick & Laundry

Beauty addicts tend to also be fashion addicts. And so it becomes one of the saddest possible moments ever when you discover that you left a lipstick in your pants pocket - and it went through the washer and the dryer, coating its perfect shimmery coral-red all over your load of khakis, jeans and towels.

If it had been a load of whites I would have doomed it all to the fashion graveyard. But since it was darks, I was determined to do my best to remove the offending spots which somehow evenly speckled my entire load like some bad case of Chicken Pox.

Researching the issue online, several sites suggested using the grease-fighting power of dishwashing liquid to get the oily waxy reside out of the fabric fibers. Others suggested specialized cleaning products which I sought in vain at my local K-Mart. As I wandered the cleaning aisles, I stumbled upon the carpet cleaning area and found something called SPOT SHOT which indicated it could be used to get lipstick out of carpet. This seemed to be the magic bullet, and I even endured missing my train to wait in line at K-Mart and buy it.

Round 1: First, I sprayed each spot with the Spot Shot. Then, I filled the washer with a mixture of dishwashing liquid (Dawn, I think) and laundry detergent (standard Tide). Then I let everything soak for almost an hour in warm water (hoping to melt away the waxes). Then I ran the wash. Once it was done, I was very happy to see that a majority of the stains came out of the jeans and corduroys, but the white tee-shirt was still in bad shape. Of course I didn't dry it, that would set the stains further.

Round 2: I pulled the wash out and looked it over. Every stain got a new spritz of Spot Shot, a drizzle of Spray N Wash, and a brisk rubbing. Probably should have rubbed or used a brush to attack the stains in Round 1. Finished the round with a soaking/washing in warm water. Results? Almost perfect stain removal on the darker, cotton-based items. But the polyester running pants and white tee-shirt were gonners. Put the well-cleaned things in the dryer and proceeded with the next and final round.

Round 3: This was just for my own satisfaction; I didn't really expect too much. I used a solid stain stick to really rub at the stubborn spots that remained. Washed again, and finally put in the dryer. Some of the clothes will be wearable: a few faint spots on running pants are no biggie, but the "I might be a murderer" red stains on a white tee-shirt relegated that one to the cleaning rags bin.
Lesson learned? Always check your pockets when getting undressed AND when doing the laundry. And have some good stain removers on hand. I'm going to buy some KISS OFF Stain Remover. Why? It lists lipstick first on the list of stains it removes - and secondly, who can beat the clever name?