Lipstick and Chapstick may look and feel great on your lips, but the same substances on the wall aren't so wonderful. Scrubbing the spot may make it worse, so focus your cleaning efforts on lifting the stain rather than abrading it away. Use one of several mild cleaning agents -- even toothpaste -- to render those walls lipstick-free once again.
Pat With Paper
Some lipstick and Chapstick marks -- especially if fresh -- can be removed at least in part by dabbing them with a paper towel. Scrape up as much residue as possible first with the bowl of a plastic spoon, scraping from the outside edges of the mark toward the center. Once you've scooped up any excess, fold a paper towel and dab the stain gently. Lift the paper to see if it absorbed any of the stain; if so, blot the spot again with a fresh area of the paper towel, continuing until the towel no longer absorbs the substance. Avoid the temptation to rub the wall with the paper towel, unless the spot is on glazed tile or a nonporous surface, because rubbing may smear the stain and make it even larger on painted, papered or paneled walls.
A white non-gel toothpaste contains just enough abrasive material to rub away lipstick without damaging washable paints, paneling and many wallpapers. Dab a small amount of toothpaste directly over the lipstick or Chapstick marks; apply the paste to a cotton swab or your finger first for better control. Wrap a damp white cloth around your finger, and then gently wipe the toothpaste up by rubbing from the outside edges of the stain toward the center to avoid spreading the mark. Rotate the cloth frequently to avoid spreading the stain. For a tiled nonporous wall, feel free to scrub a little harder to remove the stain. Test the toothpaste in an inconspicuous area before applying it to the stain to make sure it does not affect the wall covering. Some flat paints may lose a little color when wiped with water.
Rubbing alcohol helps lift lipstick or Chapstick off walls as well. Test the alcohol in an inconspicuous area first, and then apply alcohol to a soft white cloth, pressing the cloth onto the stain. Lift the cloth and dab the spot with a fresh section once the cloth absorbs some of the stain.
A citrus-based cleaner designed to remove gooey, sticky residues also lifts lip coatings off of walls. As with other cleaning methods, test the solvent on an inconspicuous area first to ensure it does not stain the wall. Apply a minimal amount of the citrus liquid to a soft white cloth, and then dab the wall with it. Dab the spot with a damp white cloth afterward, followed by a dry cloth.
Kathy Adams is an award-winning writer. She is an avid DIYer that is equally at home repurposing random objects into new, useful creations as she is at supporting community gardening efforts and writing about healthy alternatives to household chemicals. She's written numerous DIY articles for paint and decor companies, as well as for Black + Decker, Hunker, SFGate, Landlordology and others.