How to Remove Lipstick From a Silk Dress

by Melissa King

Lipstick color tends to fade from your lips after a few hours of wear. Unfortunately, getting it off your clothes isn't nearly as easy. That's especially true when the lipstick mars delicate fabrics, such as silk. Silk is easily damaged, so it's out of the question to clean a silk dress with harsh stain removers. The upside is a basic household product will do the trick.

Cut a piece of transparent packing tape or masking tape large enough to cover the stain.

Dab the lipstick stain with the tape to lift it off the fabric. Use a new piece of tape after every few dabs to avoid transferring lipstick back onto the dress.

Sprinkle a bit of talcum powder or chalk dust over the stain if any lipstick remains. Dab the stain with a clean piece of tape until you've removed as much lipstick as possible.

Fill a large bowl or sink with cold water. Add a 1/2 capful of mild laundry detergent, then mix well until suds develop.

Soak the stained part of the garment in the sudsy water for 30 minutes. If necessary, use a heavy object or a white towel to keep the dress submerged.

Rinse the dress under cold running water, then press it between two towels to remove excess moisture.

Hang the dress to dry. Do not put the garment in the dryer.

Items you will need

  • Adhesive tape
  • Talcum powder or chalk dust
  • Bowl
  • Mild laundry detergent
  • Towels


  • If you don't have tape, use a wadded-up piece of white bread instead.
  • Take the garment to a dry cleaner if you can't remove the stain yourself.


  • Avoid using hot water to remove the lipstick. Heat can set a stain, making it permanent.

About the Author

Melissa King began writing in 2001. She spent three years writing for her local newspaper, "The Colt," writing editorials, news stories, product reviews and entertainment pieces. She is also the owner and operator of Howbert Freelance Writing. King holds an Associate of Arts in communications from Tarrant County College.

Photo Credits

  • Digital Vision/Digital Vision/Getty Images