This article was published on June 22nd, 2017
Lubricant: You can’t live with it; you can’t live without it. Everyone’s favourite sex aid definitely serves a purpose, but can be so damn messy to clean up. The last thing you want is permanently stained sheets and clothing as badges of previous night’s conquests. Here is your guide to remove lube stains from your clothes and bed sheets.
The two most common lubricant types are water and silicone-based and each need to be handled like two different ex-boyfriends—with TLC, care, and different methods of solving the problem.
Water-based lubricant is preferred for those with latex and silicone allergies and can be used with any and all toys and condoms. Adding a bit of water adds to its life and spread. It’s cheap, simple to wash off, and easy to find at most drugstores and supermarkets.
Silicone lubricant doesn’t break down in water, is thicker in density than water-based lubes. Therefore, a little goes a long way. Silicone-based lubricants, though, are not to be used with silicone based toys as the lube will erode the surface of your toy. Each lube type needs a different approach with regards to removing a stain item of fabric.
Water-based lubes, as you might have surmised, are best to be treated with water and other cleaning agents. Basic de-greasing dish soap like Dawn or Sunlight is a great, immediately accessible option for cleaning up water-based lubricant stains. The most effective tool, however, is a combination of rock salt and white vinegar. The combination of both with some hot water will erode the stain before your very eyes. Hydrogen peroxide is another great alternative and actually disinfects as it cleans. Sex means germs everywhere, and hydrogen peroxide is a great option for spot treating as well as killing those pesky germs.
Silicone-based lubricants require more huffin’ to get rid of the lovin’ marks. If silicone is your preferred lube, you might want to keep an adult toy cleaning solution on hand in case of messes. WET lubricants offer a solution called Keep It Clean: a spray stain treater specifically designed for removing silicone stains from fabrics. Household sprays like De-Solve-It can be used for spot treating silicone stains but still require a full wash after. Regular over-the-counter laundry stain remover is your best bet if you do not have adult toy cleaner or other solutions. Treat the stain with stain remover and let sit for an hour before washing.
Preventative attacks may be your best bet for dealing with stains before they ever even occur. Purchasing ‘play towels’ for use in the bedroom and placing them on top of sheets, couches, tablecloths or whatever surfaces you might be getting freaky on can help avoid the stainage issue before it has even occurred. Rubber sheets and extra blankets can also ward off the problems of stains, as does having sex standing up or in a place you aren’t likely to come in contact with fabric.
Meanwhile, if a stain has occurred from either silicone-based or water-based lubricant, don’t panic, but don’t be lazy about it, either. Avoid letting the stain set in for days or there will be no turning back in regards to removing it. Never put stained items in the dryer before they have been treated because it will permanently set the stain. Never spray any type of cleaner directly onto your skin; the last thing you need is a hospital visit on top of ruined sheets or clothes. Treat the stain as soon as it happens to give you a better chance at winning the battle against lubricant stains.