Here’s how to remove it

A lipstick stain is the classic telltale sign of an illicit tryst. But in real life, it’s often less romantic than that — it’s all too easy to get lipstick not only on someone else’s collar but also on your own clothes.

But fear not — lipstick stains are easy to remove when you know how. The best strategy is simply to rinse the stain with warm water, according to the German consumer advice organisation Verbraucher Initiative.

Timing is crucial — the sooner you get to work on the stain, the better your chances of removing it. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to remove it completely straight away — and even if you can’t, you’ll at least have diluted it a bit.

Warm water is also recommended as the best way to deal with stains caused by other oil-based substances such as cooking oil or meat fat. However, for protein-based substances such as milk, chocolate or blood, cold water is better.

If warm water doesn’t completely remove a lipstick stain, you should treat it with gall soap or another surfactant-based stain remover before washing. These stain removers enhance the effect of the detergent in the machine. – dpa