How To Get Makeup Out of Clothes

How To Get Makeup Out of Clothes

How To Get Makeup Out of Clothes

When life gets busy, a smudge of mascara or lipstick can quickly find its way onto your favorite white shirt. As beauty enthusiasts, we've all been there… but just because we’ve been there doesn’t mean it’s not super annoying, especially when it seems like that stain isn’t going away.

But what if we told you that, with a little knowledge and some everyday household items, you can take those pesky makeup stains in stride? To help you balance your love of a full face of flawless makeup with your love of, um, not looking like a slob, we’re here to transform what was once a cause for concern into an opportunity to dive into some creative DIY solutions. 

Let's first explore the different types of makeup stains that can occur. Understanding the enemy, so to speak, is half the battle.

What Are Some Makeup Stain Removal Hacks?

There are so many tried and true ways to clean your clothes, and you probably have a routine for doing your laundry under normal circumstances. And if you’re anything like us, maybe you just throw everything in the washing machine and hope for the best.

But it’s important to have a plan in the event of stains, which can be more difficult to deal with than general wear-and-tear. 

Let’s talk about some common makeup stains and what you can do about them so you never have to sacrifice your favorite white t-shirt for an incredible makeup look again.

Lipstick Stains

Your favorite shade of lipstick may look fabulous on you… but not so much on your clothes. Next time you find your own smile grinning back at you from the neckline or shoulder of your favorite piece of clothing, don’t panic. 

Start by gently dabbing the stained area with a clean cloth to remove excess lipstick. Avoid the urge to rub or scrub, as it can set the stain further into the fabric. Apply a small amount of dish soap to the stain. It will act as a grease-fighting agent to break down the oils in the lipstick. 

Then, with a toothbrush or washcloth, work the soap into the stain using small, circular motions. Rinse thoroughly with warm water, and voila — you're done! For really stubborn stains, rubbing alcohol or a pre-treat with a makeup remover can also be quite helpful.

Foundation Stains

Whether it's a liquid foundation designed to last ages, like Revlon’s Colorstay, or powdered makeup, getting foundation on your clothes is all but inevitable, which doesn’t make it any less frustrating. But we've got you covered, and not just in terms of your face.

For liquid foundation, start by scraping off any excess product with a paper towel or spoon. Then, apply a little shaving cream to the stained area — yes, you read that right! Shaving cream has properties that can break down oil-based stains. Gently rub it in, then rinse with warm water. 

If you're dealing with powdered foundation, start by using a piece of tape to lift off any remaining powder. Apply a small amount of liquid laundry detergent directly to the stain, let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse thoroughly with warm water. 

Mascara and Eyeliner Stains

Mascara and eyeliner, products designed to make our eyes pop, can also make our hearts drop when they find their way onto our clothes. 

For these types of stains, dab a small amount of makeup remover onto a cotton ball and apply it to the stain. After letting it sit for a couple of minutes, rinse it with cold water. If the stain is stubborn, a little rubbing alcohol may come in handy.

Eyeshadow Stains

You know those eyeshadow palettes with beautifully pigmented colors? Yes, they're lovely until they smear on your clothes. To deal with eyeshadow stains, start by brushing off any excess product. Then, treat the stained area with a mix of dish soap and warm water. Rinse thoroughly and repeat if necessary.

Nail Polish Stains

While Sally Hansen’s Xtreme Wear nail polish is great for your manicure, it’s less than ideal when you’re worried about its longevity on your favorite top. While these stains can be particularly stubborn, they're not invincible. 

Don't let the stain dry! Blot it with a clean cloth to remove as much of the wet nail polish as possible. 

After using a cotton ball, apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol to the stain — but be sure to test on an inconspicuous area first, as alcohol can sometimes cause discoloration. Rinse with cold water and then launder as usual.

What Are Some Tips for Stains on Specific Fabrics?

While the hacks we touched on above will help with most materials, there are certain items and fabrics you might be extra concerned about. So let’s talk about some of the usual suspects and how you can keep those clean and looking fresh, too.

White Clothes

When it comes to white clothes, bleach is often the first thing that comes to mind for stain removal. However, remember, bleach is a pretty harsh solution and can sometimes do more harm than good. So before you reach for that bleach bottle, consider trying a mixture of baking soda and hot water. 

Just make a paste, apply it to the stain, let it sit for about 15 minutes, and then rinse with warm water. Repeat if needed, and your white shirt should be looking as good as new.

Suede and Leather

When dealing with suede or leather, it's important to be extra gentle. The dry cleaner is your friend here. But if you're in a pinch, try gently rubbing the stained area with a dry cloth or paper towel to remove as much of the makeup as possible.

Dab the area with a washcloth soaked in warm water and a little bit of dish soap. Rinse gently and let it air dry. Remember, these materials require special care, so proceed with caution and always check the label for specific warnings and instructions!

Silk and Wool

For delicate fabrics like silk and wool, blot the stained area with a clean, damp cloth. Apply a small amount of dish soap to the stain and gently work it in with your fingers. Rinse thoroughly with cold water. It's important to treat these fabrics as quickly as possible for the best results.

What Are Some Preventative Measures for Makeup Stains?

While being confident in your ability to get rid of stains swiftly and effectively is important, it’s even better if you can just avoid stains in the first place. 

One trick is to drape a towel around your shoulders while applying your makeup. This acts as a barrier between your makeup and your clothes. If you're wearing a top or dress that's difficult to remove, consider covering it with a large scarf or a piece of cloth while you get ready.

Also, be mindful of where you're applying your makeup. If you're prone to spills, consider creating a makeup station where it's easy to clean up any messes. You can also wait to get dressed until the last minute and stay in clothes you don’t mind messing up, or a robe — in fact, you can put your favorite robe over your clothes while you apply your makeup and get both a bit of an at-home spa vibe and safety from stains.

You can also make small adjustments to your routine to help keep your clothes clean. While you may love your mascara, if you find you’re constantly ending up with it all over your things, false lashes or even a clear mascara from Great Lash can do the trick without the risk.

If you have a tendency to touch your face throughout the day, remember the oils and makeup on your skin can transfer to your clothes. It might be worth carrying around some makeup wipes or blotting papers to keep your hands and face clean.

It All Comes Out in the Wash

Makeup stains happen to the best of us, but they shouldn't put a damper on your day or your style. With these easy DIYstain removalhacks, we hope you feel better equipped to deal with any makeup mishaps that come your way.

Beauty is about more than just looking good — it's about feeling confident and prepared, whether that means knowing the perfect lipstick shade for your skin tone or knowing how to get that same lipstick out of your white shirt. So don't let a little makeup stain get you down. You've got this, and we're here to help!


Stain Removal Guide | Cleaning Institute

Spot and Stain Removers | Oregon Metro

Tips for Cleaning with Baking Soda | Tompkins County Health Department

Your Complete Guide to Understanding Care Labels | PlanetCare


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published