If you carry ChapStick or wax lip balm with you on a regular basis, it's not difficult to leave a tube of it in a pocket on laundry day. If the balm makes its way through the wash or dryer, a melted mess may ensue. Removing melted ChapStick sometimes requires washing the clothing again after scraping away any remaining residue. Check the washer and dryer for loose bits of lip balm and clean away any you find to help prevent a messy problem with the next load of laundry.
Things You'll Need
- Plastic knife or spoon
- Paper towels
- Unwaxed brown paper bags or sheets of thick plain paper
- Ironing board
- Liquid laundry detergent
Inspect the clothing for other ChapStick spots after you've found one; there may be more than one problem area. Check the reverse side of the fabric as bits of wax may have gathered in an inconspicuous area.
Scrape away as much of the waxy residue as possible using a plastic knife or the bowl of a plastic spoon. Wipe the gathered wax off onto a paper towel with each pass of the plastic to avoid depositing it elsewhere on the clothing.
Tear a plain brown bag to open it up into a sheet of paper, then tear it in two. Thick plain paper may be used in place of a bag. Place one piece of bag or sheet of paper on the ironing board, then place the waxy area of the clothing atop the paper with the waxy spot facing up. Place another sheet of paper over the waxy spot.
Plug in an iron and set it to medium heat, no steam. Once it is warm, iron the paper, moving the iron frequently to avoid burning the paper. Lift the paper often to see if the wax has transferred onto the paper; it should look like a wet or oily spot on the paper. Place fresh pieces of paper over and under the spot and continue ironing the paper until no more wax comes up. Unplug the iron.
Pour a small amount of liquid laundry detergent over the waxy spot on the affected clothing, then fold and rub the fabric to work the detergent into the fibers. Allow the item to sit for several minutes, then wash it in the washing machine at the hottest setting recommended on the clothing's care tag. Air dry the clothing once the final spin cycle completes.
Tips & Warnings
- Always check clothing pockets before placing items in the wash, as small forgotten objects such as tissues, gum and candy may result in a huge mess once the wash load completes.
- Carefully inspect everything that was in the laundry along with the ChapStick, as it may have made a mess on other items as well. Check the insides of pockets that may have held the lip balm as it went into the laundry; there may be another waxy mess to handle.
- Photo Credit Ljupco/iStock/Getty Images
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