Secret Cleaning Techniques from a Retired Detailer; Lipstick, Ink and Shoe Polish Stain Removal


So you have found this page searching on the Internet and wish to figure out a way to remove Lipstick Stains from car seats. I bet a certain former president wishes he could go back in time and remove all traces of any lipstick stains from anywhere? Why are lipstick stains so hard to get off. Not that you are trying to get rid of candy cane strips on anything that personal. But when it comes to fabric, it can be a real challenge as you well know. What does lipstick contain? Well the basics are simple enough;

“Dyes and oil-like substances”

is the easy answer. The more involved answer can be better said by the experts in the Cosmetic Industry. Here is what they told us, don’t quote me on it and you may want to think twice next time you are kissing someone or something that is wearing Tangerine Lipstick or lipgloss: Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Octydodecanol, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Tocopheryl Acetate, Quaternium-18 Hectorite, Propylene Carbonate, Silica, Isopropylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Butylparaben. May Contain: Mica Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Blue 1 Lake, Red 6 Lake, Red 7 Lake, Red 27 Lake, Yellow 5. Yuk !!!! And you can see why the chemists in the auto detailing, on-site detailing industry have tough time with it. Any dermatologist will tell you this is bad news;


Now then you have this on the car seat of a customers car. Why? Well they did not kiss the seat, their purse fell over and spilled out and the cap popped off and it was a hot day and the lipstick melted onto and into the fabric on the seat. Now it is your problem as a member of the Car Washing and Professional Detailing Industry. So what do you do?

First we recommend using a plastic razor blade and scrapping as much as you can first. Then you need a quick dry solvent, we choose lighter fluid, it evaporates fast and dissolves quickly with little odor. If you have no plastic razor blades use a business card to scrape it. If you fold the business card in half it works best. This way you get a double edge close shave and can scrape most of the lipstick off first. Many high-end car manufacturers like Audi, Porsche, BMW, Cadillac, Volvo, Mercedes recommend their own brands of cleaners for interiors, which are generally made up of Powder to Suds cleaners. Well let us warn you that your wonderful intentions will not work on Lipstick. So you can kiss that idea good bye. If you find a fabric is somewhat faded you may wish to dab the solvent or put it on the corner of a towel first, not paper towel, use terry cloth. Then pat the stain gently and see if it is removing the stain without taking away the coloring.

By the way this will also work on Afghanistan Shoe Polish Sandwich stains on the seats of their cars. Shoe polish sandwich is a way that the locals can get an alcoholic buzz, by putting BLACK (only) shoe polish on a piece of bread letting it soak through filtering out the alcohol to get high. The bread is then discarded into a local Humvee owned by the US Forces. The black shoe polish when it gets hot melts into the vehicle, Great!!! But remember back shoe polish can leak when taken to altitude on a salesman’s road trip on the back seats or in the trunk. We once cleaned it from a golf bag when the operator of the car forgot to take it to his locker at the Local Country Club, it leaked all over his favorite golf bad, Loud golfing shirt, wild socks and interior truck area. We were able to get it out of the trunk and off the golf bag for a handsome tip.

Felt markers also can leave stains and these procedures will work well on them too. Best of luck, you are starting to become a great Professional Detailer.


Source by Lance Winslow

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