Removing lanolin stains from your clothes doesn’t take rocket science. There are a few important things you need to know about how to get rid of this somewhat annoying stain.
What is lanolin made of
Lanolin oil is the secretion from the skin of sheep. This is just like human sebum, the oil that comes from the sebaceous glands particularly noticeable on your nose.
Lanolin doesn’t contain triglycerides unlike sebum. This is sometimes called wool fat although this is a misleading term since it lacks triglycerides required for it to be considered as a form of fat.
Conditioning and protecting sheep’s wool is the main purpose of lanolin. The conditioning property of lanolin is the main reason why the substance is often used in hair, skin care, and cosmetics products.
The wool of the sheep is put through the centrifuge machine to extract lanolin oil to separate it from debris and other chemicals. This process is done after shearing the sheep so that lanolin extraction won’t be harmful for the sheep.
You might be using products containing lanolin oil at the moment and you might not even realize it. Most staples in medicine cabinets including nipple creams, lotions, and lip balms contain this amber-colored substance acclaimed for its ability to moisturize.
Does lanolin stain clothes
Yes. Unfortunately, lanolin stains clothes. Breastfeeding moms already know that the oil can soothe sore and dry nipples. But, this also has this very bad habit of leaving stains on nursing bras and clothes.
Does lanolin come out of clothes
Yes, lanolin comes out of clothes. However, out of the different ways of removing lanolin from clothing, there are only a few methods that work best.
What can remove lanolin from clothes
There are several products that you can use to remove lanolin from clothes and these include the following:
- Baby Powder, Cornstarch, and Chalk
- Clothes Iron
- Dawn Dishwashing Liquid
- Dishwashing Liquid
- Goop Hand Cleaner
- Green Fairy Liquid
- Green Gobbler Orange D-Limonene Cleaner
- Orvus Paste
- Seventh Generation Liquid
- Steam Machine
How to get lanolin out of clothes
Here are some of the things you can do to get lanolin out of clothes:
- Try using chalk, baby powder and cornstarch. All of these are dry alternatives that may get into the fabric, acting as self-absorbing methods for removing stains. While these might not necessarily remove the stains, these are a great first step to help break down any wax found on the surface of the fabric.
- You can also apply a generous amount of Dawn Dishwashing Liquid on the area with lanolin stains. Allow it to soak to the fabric then add more to make sure that it will completely go through the material. Rub the stained spot gently using your fingers on the two sides, pinching the fabric as you do so. There is no need to scrub anything to prevent damaging the material. Let the liquid sit for 24 hours then rinse it the next day.
- Using dishwashing liquid is definitely one of the age-old tricks that you can use in the comforts of your home. Dishwashing liquid has been designed in such a way that it breaks down the grease then washes away any greasy residue left behind.
- Similar to how you are using an iron to free your clothes from wrinkles, you can also use it on low heat to get rid of lanolin from clothes. Get some paper towels and put these on both sides of the stained garment. Set the iron on low heat before placing it over the towels. It will result to a capillary action that will be enough to suck the lanolin to the towels. The process may take a bit longer yet there is no need to wash the clothes afterwards.
- Goop hand cleaner is often used to clean burnt and dark motor oils and you can also use this for removing lanolin stains. Just squeeze a generous amount of this hand cleaner over the fabric then massage it properly. Let this sit for one hour. You can then rinse it afterwards so you can check if it was able to remove the stains. The best thing about Goop is that it doesn’t leave behind any residues and doesn’t pose harm to fabrics as well.
- Green Fairy Liquid is another famous strong dishwashing liquid brand. You can use this similar to Dawn. It only needs 24 hours for breaking down waxy oils present in the fabric. Follow the same steps for applying Dawn dishwashing liquid and before you know it, the lanolin stains will already be gone for good. If the stain remains, you can just repeat the method using dish soap.
- The all-natural product known as D-Limonene is the active ingredient that can be found in many hand cleaners today. This is made from the skin of different citrus fruits including limes, lemons, and oranges. These are turpentines that can help in breaking down tough oils on contact. Green Gobbler Orange D-Limonene cleaner is a citrus cleaner combining these additives that can be washed away easily. You can combine this product with ordinary water and put the solution in a spray bottle. You can spray it on the stained areas without causing any harm on the fabric.
- Orvus paste is a completely natural cleaning product used by people working with wool. This paste can remove any excess lanolin with no traces of it left behind on wood materials. Orvus paste is used to wash farm animals and horses but it can also be used for different fabric materials. You can apply this on the stained areas to help remove lanolin through simple hand washing. This can also be put in the washing machine to act as potent lanolin stain remover to save yourself from the need to wash your clothes by hand.
- Seventh Generation Liquid might be a bit more expensive but it is a completely effective and natural product that can break down even the toughest of oils. This is a combination of ginger and citrus essential oils together with other types of natural ingredients that can help get rid of lanolin stains. Just apply it on the stained garment and let this soak for one hour before washing it out.
- The last but not the least, using a hand steamer can give off steam that can warm up the lanolin oil. You can also try adding lemon juice to steam machine so that the citrus oil can penetrate into the fabric and drive out lanolin oil in the process.
With these products, lanolin oil will be removed from your clothes in no time.
Lanolin stains FAQs
Here are other things you need to know about lanolin stains:
Is lanolin carcinogenic?
No, lanolin in and by itself is not carcinogenic.
Will lanolin ruin clothes?
No, lanolin will not necessarily ruin your clothes, especially if you deal with the stains right away.
Does lanolin contain pesticides?
Yes, there might be toxins such as pesticides found in lanolin. However, these are in very miniscule amounts or they should at least be if you have a completely purified lanolin treatment.
“Your home is a representation of yourself, and it should only be filled with clean items that you enjoy and use”
Professional cleaning expert