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Sooo...How Do I Get Lube Stains Out of Sheets, Anyway?

Illustration for article titled Sooo...How Do I Get Lube Stains Out of Sheets, Anyway?
Photo: Claudia van Zyl (Unsplash)
SqualorJolie Kerr is a cleaning expert and advice columnist. She’ll be here every week helping to answer your filthiest questions. Are you dirty? Email her.

“So...there are some silicone lube stains on my bedding. Do you have suggestions for getting this sort of stain out?”

I…do. Of course I do! And of course I saved this question to use for the last bed-themed “Squalor” to round out the Let’s All Make Our Beds month!

Before we talk specifically about silicone lube stain treatment options, a quick detour is needed: The type of lube you use is obviously a totally personal choice, and you should for sure use the brand or formula type that best fits your needs. HOWEVER. Water-based lubes, like KY, Lube Life or Lulu Lube, offer a huge advantage over silicone-based lubes, like Astroglide, Sliquid or Uberlube [nods solemnly], when it comes to stain removal — water-based lube stains are pretty easy to get out of sheets and other fabrics, whereas silicone lubes are…not.


Another kind of tricky thing about lube stains, regardless of the type of lube in question, is that when the stained fabric is wet, i.e. just out of the wash, the dampness can obscure a stain that didn’t come out entirely. That makes it easy to toss a still-stained set of sheets into the dryer, where the heat will cause those stains to set. Sigh. I have no great solution to this problem — air drying sheets is an option but honestly not a great one unless you have a clothes line set-up; a lower heat drying situation can also help.

One other thing to mention about silicone lubes that doesn’t have to do with cleaning, really, but we’re here and it’s something I know, so: Never use a silicone-based lube with a silicone sex toy, as the silicone-on-silicone action will cause the toy to degrade. Okay! With all that said, let’s get to the question at hand, which is what products will work to remove silicone lube stains from sheets.


When I go to visit my best friend in L.A., we hit the grocery store together because we know how to live, and every time we do, I detour to the cleaning product aisle where I point at the bottles of Soilove and bray, “MATT THAT’S THE STUFF FOR SILICONE LUBE STAINS.”

I’m a lot of fun, is the thing.

Anyway! I say that because now you’ll always remember that Soilove is the stuff for silicone lube stains.


Toy Cleaners

Sex toy cleaners, like Shibari Toy Cleaner, are formulated to remove not only sexual fluids from toys, but also to remove lubricant, which means it can pull double duty as a stain removal agent. Apply a small amount of toy cleaner directly to a lube stain prior to laundering. While most toy cleaners will work, it’s best to use a liquid formula as opposed to a foaming formula like Wicked Sensual Care Foam N Fresh Foaming Toy Cleaner.



Degreasers like De-Solv-It can also be used as laundry pretreatment products, which is good to keep in mind if you end up with lube stains or salad oil stains on sheets or clothes. I actually just had a conversation yesterday about using salad oil as lube so maybe those things are one and the same for you!


Before we wrap this up, it’s worth reminding you that sexual fluids fall into the protein stain category, and that to treat those, you’ll want to use an enzymatic stain remover like Zout.

Jolie Kerr is a cleaning expert, advice columnist and the host of the podcast Ask a Clean Person

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