Recently, skincare has been a hot topic. If you recently started paying more attention to your skin, you probably got yourself a bunch of creams, lotions, serums, and other products. While those make your face and body look amazing, they can actually stain your carpets and clothing and leave unsightly marks.
Most lotions and creams contain at least one oily component and cleaning the stains they leave may require extra attention depending on the type of fabric that you have. The good news is, most lotions and creams can be removed with common household ingredients and laundry detergents.
The first thing to do whenever a bit of lotion or body butter lands on your carpet, for example, is to grab a spoon, a dull knife, or an old credit card and scrape off the excess product. Remove as much of the lotion as possible and never scrub the stain. This may push the product deeper into the fibres and make the stain hard to remove.
If you spilled some lotion on a carpet from a specific garment or fabric, do the same. Remove as much of the product as possible, then grab a paper towel and press it down on the stained area. The longer the stain sits, the harder it will be to get rid of so head out to a professional carpet cleaning service immediately.
How to remove lotion or cream stains from clothing
- Pre-treat the stain – With an enzyme-based stain remover, attack the stain’s oily/waxy component. Use your fingers or a soft-bristled brush to work the cleaner into the stain. If you don’t have a stain remover, use a paste of powdered detergent and water (Tide and Persil contain stain-lifting enzymes to break apart the oily molecules). Allow at least 15 minutes for the cleaning solution to sit on the fabric.
- Scrub, then rinse – Scrub the stained area using a soft-bristled brush. Start at the outer edge and work toward the centre of the stain to prevent it from spreading and becoming larger. Rinse the area with hot water until no more soapy residue can be found on the fabric.
- Wash the fabric – Launder the garment in the hottest suitable water (it will be mentioned on the care label). If the fabric is made of synthetic fibres or you don’t want to risk using hot water, a cold or warm one will suffice. Make sure you check the fabric for any stain residue before throwing it in the dryer. The cycle’s heat can set the stain and make it hard to remove or even permanent.
- For stubborn stains – Make a solution of water and oxygen-based bleach. The water should be cool and you must always follow the packaging instructions on how much product to add to your solution. Submerge the fabric completely and let it soak in the cleaning mixture for about 8 hours. If the stain remains after 8 hours, pour out the solution and mix a new batch. Soak the fabric for another 8 hours and keep repeating this step until the stain is completely gone.
To get rid of lotion and cream stains from carpets or upholstery
You can either use a commercial carpet cleaner or mix your own cleaning solution by mixing 1 tablespoon of dishwashing detergent and 2 cups of water.
- Dip a cloth or a sponge in the cleaning solution and wring it until it is not dripping but just damp.
- Sponge the stain with the mixture. Always start at the outer edge and move toward the centre to avoid spreading.
- Continue blotting until the stain on the carpet or upholstery stops being noticeable.
- Rinse the fabric. Dip another cloth in plain water, wring it out and begin blotting at the stained area (that is now cleaned). Make sure you do that until all soapy residue is gone. Make sure you remove it completely since it may attract more grime in the future.
- Blot and dry – Blot the wet area with a dry clean cloth, then allow it to completely dry. Vacuum the surface to lift the fibres and restore the original finish of the fabric.
Additional tips on how to handle lotion or cream stains from different fabrics, clothing, or upholstery:
- Don’t give up on a difficult stain too soon. Additional rounds of stain remover or dishwashing liquid, as well as patient soaking, will most likely break down and lift away oils or pigments. The only action that will permanently set the stain is heated drying, so avoid using the dryer until the stain has been completely removed.
- When the fabric is still wet from the washer, it can be difficult to see a faint stain. And, because drying in the dryer can permanently set a stain, you’re better off air-drying the item until you’re certain the stain is gone. When there are no more traces of pigment or oil, wash and dry as usual.