Holiday Kisses and Champagne Wishes

During the holidays we get lots of kisses and hugs and not just the delightful foil-wrapped chocolates! With kisses and hugs, often come lipstick and makeup on our clothes. Funny thing about lipstick and makeup, they come off our face and cheeks much easier than they come off our clothing.

I’ve talked about water-based stains versus oil-based stains many times, and makeup stains offer a great example. Lipstick, foundation and mascara easily come off our face with soapy water and face-cleansing creams – which makes them technically water-based stains. However, when these stain makers get on our clothing or furniture covers, they are considered oily and require a different tactic for removal.

If you find the traces of kisses and hugs on your dry clean only clothes or home furnishings – especially silk, wool and polished cotton – never use soap or water, even in a pinch, to treat the stain. Blot the stain with a dry, white napkin and stop! These oily stains almost always contain dye as well and need pre-treatment with a solvent to fully come out. By putting water on the stains, you are helping to “set” them and working against your cleaner. Get the clothing to a dry cleaner as soon as you can and point out the stained areas to the person at the counter.

For lipstick and makeup stains on washable clothing, you can try lubricating them out with a mix of one part clear liquid dishwashing soap and six parts water. Mix the two in a spray bottle and spritz a little on the stain. Allow the mixture to sink into the stain for a couple of minutes and re-apply. You can probably watch the stains start to dissolve. Wash as usual following care label directions. Check the treated areas after washing to be sure the stains are completely gone. If not, air dry the clothing and repeat the whole process. Never put a stained piece of clothing in the dryer because the heat will set the stain and make it nearly impossible to remove.

Champagne Spills

If your champagne – or beer or wine – wishes cause a spill during the holidays, be very careful about dousing the stain on dry clean only clothes with water or club soda. The excess liquid will spread the alcohol causing a huge ring around the perimeter which can ruin a great outfit in a snap! Blot the stain with a dry white napkin or wet cloth, if you must, but never rub the fabric. You don’t want to spoil a Happy New Year!

Need more help? Email me at with all of your stain emergencies, storage issues and laundry questions.