Close-up of pink and red lipstick stains on a black surface, illustrating the topic of removing makeup stains from clothes.

As a business co-founder and entrepreneur, one of the toughest parts of the job has always been meeting with new potential business clients. Since there is so much competition between cleaning companies in London, you have to always put your best foot forward. And having a makeup stains on your clothes as a representative of a cleaning company can really ruin first impressions.

I wish I could tell you walking into a meeting with foundation on my shirt has never happened to me. I wish I could tell you I’ve never put on make-up in my car right after dropping my daughter at school and rushing to beat traffic. I wish I could tell you, but I’d be lying. This is why I’ve become something of an expert in dealing with makeup stains on clothes.

Makeup stains on clothes can be a nightmare to deal with. But deal with them we must. Whether you’re in a rush to get ready or you accidentally brush your sleeve against your face, makeup stains can happen to anyone.

These stains are particularly annoying because they can be stubborn and difficult to remove. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. This guide will help you avoid annoying and embarassing situations. Let’s dive in and learn how to save your favourite clothes from makeup mishaps!

Key Takeaways:

Immediate Actions to Take

  • Blot gently to absorb excess makeup without spreading it further.
  • Use a blunt edge to scrape off as much excess as possible.
  • Pre-treat with dish soap or stain remover, working it into the fabric and letting it sit.

Removing Makeup from Clothes Using Household Items

  • Mix baking soda with water to make a paste, apply, let it sit, rinse, and blot with vinegar.
  • Apply dish soap, scrub gently, rinse, and repeat if needed.
  • Test hydrogen peroxide first, then apply, let sit, blot, rinse, and launder.

Commercial Stain Removers

  • Apply stain remover directly, work into fabric, let sit, and wash as directed. Always test on a small area first.

Removing Specific Makeup Products

  • For coverup, blot excess, apply dish soap, rinse, use commercial remover if needed, and wash.
  • For lipstick, blot excess, dab with rubbing alcohol, rinse, apply dish soap, rinse again, and launder.
  • For liquid foundation, apply shaving cream, let sit, rinse, repeat if necessary, and wash. For powder foundation, brush off excess, apply dish soap, rinse, and launder.

Tips for Different Fabrics

  • Use a mild detergent on delicate fabrics, blot gently, and avoid rubbing.
  • Pre-treat sturdy fabrics with commercial removers, use soft brushes, wash in warm water, and soak for tough stains.

In this article:

  • Key Takeaways:
  • Understanding Different Types of Makeup Stains
    • Foundation
    • Lipstick
    • Mascara and Eyeliner
    • Blush and Eyeshadow
    • Concealer (Coverup)
  • Immediate Actions to Take
  • How to Remove Makeup from Clothes
    • Method 1: Using Household Items
    • Dish Soap and Water
    • Hydrogen Peroxide
    • Method 2: Commercial Stain Removers
  • Removing Specific Makeup Products
    • How to Get Coverup Out of Clothes
    • How to Remove Lipstick Stains
    • How to Remove Foundation Stains
  • Tips for Different Fabrics
    • Removing Makeup from Delicate Fabrics
    • Handling Makeup Stains on Sturdy Fabrics
  • Frequently Asked Questions
    • How to Take Out Makeup from Clothes?
    • How Can I Remove Makeup from Clothing?
    • How to Get Out Makeup Stains from Clothes?
    • How to Take Makeup Off Clothes?
    • How to Remove Makeup on Clothes?
    • How to Get Coverup Out of Clothes?
  • Conclusion

Understanding Different Types of Makeup Stains

Before jumping into removal techniques, we should first understand the different types of makeup stains you might have to deal with.

Foundation

This comes in liquid, cream, and powder forms. Liquid and cream foundations often contain oils, making them harder to clean. Powder foundation is typically easier to remove.

Lipstick

Lipstick also has an oily composition. Lipstick can create greasy, stubborn stains that are very difficult to remove. The difficulty of removing lipstick stains will also depend on the colour of the fabric and the colour of the lipstick.

Mascara and Eyeliner

Continuing the trend, mascara and eyeliners are often oil-based, too. They’re sometimes waterproof, too. They’re designed to stay put which makes them particularly tough to remove.

Blush and Eyeshadow

Blush is usually powder-based, but cream versions are also available. Powder is, obviously, easier to tackle than cream.

Concealer (Coverup)

Thick and often oil-based, concealer can cling to fabrics tightly. It’s a nightmare to clean.

Each type of makeup has unique properties that influence how difficult it is to remove from fabric. Knowing what you’re dealing with will help you choose the most effective makeup-cleaning method.

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Immediate Actions to Take

The quicker you act on a makeup stain, the better your chances of removing it completely and saving your favourite clothes. Here’s what you should do immediately after discovering a stain:

  • Blot, don’t rub. When you rub a stain, you push the makeup deeper into the fabric fibers. This makes it harder to remove. Instead, blot gently with a clean cloth or paper towel to absorb excess makeup.
  • Scrape off the excess. If the stain is thick, like lipstick or foundation, use a blunt edge (like a butter knife) to scrape off as much excess makeup as you can. Obviously try not to spread it.
  • Pre-treat the stain. Apply a small amount of dish soap or a stain remover to the stain. Gently work it into the fabric with your fingers or a soft brush and let it sit for a few minutes. This pre-treatment helps break down the makeup before washing.

How to Remove Makeup from Clothes

Now that we’ve handled the immediate actions, what’s next? Let’s get into the detailed methods for removing makeup stains.

Natural cleaning supplies including lemons, essential oils, and baking soda arranged with towels, illustrating detailed methods for removing makeup stains from clothes.

Method 1: Using Household Items

Like with most other types of cleaning, cleaning up makeup stains can be done with household cleaning products. Let’s go through the step-by-step processes.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

  • Step 1: Make a paste by mixing baking soda with a little water. The paste should be thick enough to stay on the stain without dripping.
  • Step 2: Apply the baking soda paste directly to the stain. Baking soda is a mild abrasive and works to lift the stain without damaging the fabric.
  • Step 3: Let the paste sit on the stain for about 10-15 minutes. This gives it time to break down the makeup.
  • Step 4: Rinse the stained area with cold water to remove the baking soda.
  • Step 5: Pour white vinegar over the remaining stain. You’ll notice it fizzes – that’s the vinegar reacting with the baking soda to further lift the stain.
  • Step 6: Blot the area with a clean cloth to absorb the vinegar and dissolved makeup. Repeat the process if necessary.
  • Step 7: Finally, launder the garment according to its care label instructions.

Note: Before you do anything, test it on a small, inconspicuous area to make sure you’re not ruining the fabric. This method should work on most fabrics, but not all of them. White vinegar can take its toll on delicate fabrics.

Dish Soap and Water

  • Step 1: Apply a few drops of dish soap directly onto the stain. Dish soap is excellent at breaking down oils and grease, which makes it effective for makeup stains.
  • Step 2: Using your fingers or a soft-bristled brush, gently scrub the dish soap into the stain. Avoid harsh scrubbing, which can damage the fabric.
  • Step 3: Rinse the area with cold water. Check if the stain is still visible. If it is, repeat the process.
  • Step 4: Once the stain is lifted, wash the garment as you usually would.
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Close-up of hands adjusting a white collared shirt on a hanger among a colorful array of clothes, highlighting the importance of treating and removing oil stains to maintain a clean and presentable wardrobe.
Getting Rid of Oil Stains on Clothing

Hydrogen Peroxide

  • Step 1: Before using hydrogen peroxide, test it on a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric to ensure it doesn’t bleach or damage the material.
  • Step 2: If safe, apply hydrogen peroxide directly to the stain. Hydrogen peroxide is a mild bleaching agent that can break down organic stains.
  • Step 3: Allow the peroxide to sit for 5-10 minutes. You should see the stain start to fade.
  • Step 4: Blot the area with a clean cloth to lift the makeup and peroxide mixture.
  • Step 5: Rinse thoroughly with cold water and launder the garment as usual.

Note: Hydrogen peroxide has bleaching properties so obviously you should only use it on light-coloured clothes.

Method 2: Commercial Stain Removers

When household items can’t get the job done (it happens), commercial stain removers can be a powerful alternative. Here are some effective options and how to use them:

Stain Removal Gel

Apply the gel directly to the stain. Use the built-in brush or a soft cloth to gently work the gel into the fabric. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes to penetrate the stain, then wash as usual.

Stain Removal Spray

Spray the stain removal product onto the stain, ensuring it is thoroughly soaked. Let it sit for a few minutes, then launder as directed on the garment’s care label.

Always follow the instructions on the product label and perform a patch test if you’re unsure about the fabric’s reaction to the product.

Removing Specific Makeup Products

Let’s get into more specific types of makeup. Depending on the type of makeup products, you’ll have to use different methods to clean them up. Time to dive into the specifics.

A makeup palette with various shades and colors, illustrating the need for different methods to remove specific makeup products from clothes.

How to Get Coverup Out of Clothes

  • Step 1: Blot the excess coverup with a clean cloth, being careful not to spread it further.
  • Step 2: Apply a small amount of dish soap directly onto the stain and gently rub it in with your fingers or a soft brush.
  • Step 3: Rinse the area with cold water to remove the soap and some of the stains.
  • Step 4: If the stain persists, apply a commercial stain remover and follow the instructions on the product.
  • Step 5: Wash the garment according to its care label instructions. Repeat the process if necessary until the stain is fully removed.

How to Remove Lipstick Stains

  • Step 1: Use a paper towel or clean cloth to blot the excess lipstick. Avoid rubbing, as this can push the stain deeper into the fabric.
  • Step 2: Dampen a cotton ball or cloth with rubbing alcohol or makeup remover and gently dab the stain. Alcohol breaks down the oils and waxes in the lipstick.
  • Step 3: Rinse the area with cold water to remove the alcohol and any loosened lipstick.
  • Step 4: Apply a few drops of dish soap and gently rub it into the stain. Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing again.
  • Step 5: Launder the garment as usual, checking to ensure the stain is gone before drying. Heat can set any remaining stain, making it harder to remove.

How to Remove Foundation Stains

  • Liquid foundation. Blot the excess with a clean cloth. Apply shaving cream directly onto the stain, as it works well for oily substances. Gently rub the cream into the fabric, let it sit for 10 minutes, then rinse with cold water. Repeat if necessary, then wash as usual.
  • Powder foundation. Brush off any loose powder. Apply a few drops of dish soap to the stain, gently rub it in, and rinse with cold water. If needed, treat with a commercial stain remover before laundering.

Tips for Different Fabrics

Different fabrics would also require different approaches to clean up makeup stains. Since some fabrics are more delicate than others, you’ll have to take this into consideration. Always follow the instructions on the label.

A variety of colorful fabric swatches arranged in rows, illustrating the need for different approaches to clean up makeup stains based on fabric type.

Removing Makeup from Delicate Fabrics

  • Silk and wool. Mix a small amount of mild detergent with cold water. Dip a clean cloth into the solution and blot the stain gently. Avoid rubbing to prevent damage. Rinse with cold water and blot dry with a clean towel. For stubborn stains, consider professional cleaning.
  • Other delicate materials. Create a mild detergent solution and use a soft cloth to blot the stain. Rinse with cold water and let the fabric air dry.

Handling Makeup Stains on Sturdy Fabrics

  • Cotton and denim. Pre-treat the stain with a commercial stain remover. Use a soft brush to work the solution into the fabric, then wash in warm water according to the care label. For tough stains, repeat the process or soak the garment in a solution of water and stain remover before washing.
  • Other durable materials. Use stronger solutions like hydrogen peroxide or dish soap for tougher stains. Follow the same pre-treatment and washing steps as with cotton and denim.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How to Take Out Makeup from Clothes?

    Blot the stain immediately, apply dish soap or a stain remover, gently rub, rinse, and launder.

  2. How Can I Remove Makeup from Clothing?

    Quick action and effective cleaning agents, such as dish soap, hydrogen peroxide, or commercial stain removers, are key.

  3. How to Get Out Makeup Stains from Clothes?

    Blot, pre-treat with appropriate cleaners, and wash as per fabric care instructions for best results.

  4. How to Take Makeup Off Clothes?

    Pre-treat the stain with household items or commercial products, ensuring to follow up with a thorough rinse and wash.

  5. How to Remove Makeup on Clothes?

    Avoid rubbing, use effective cleaners, and repeat the process as needed for persistent stains.

  6. How to Get Coverup Out of Clothes?

    Specific steps involving dish soap and commercial stain removers tailored for oily, thick makeup products.

Conclusion

Removing makeup stains from clothes doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With the right techniques and a bit of patience, you can keep your wardrobe looking spotless.

Remember to act quickly, use appropriate cleaning methods for the type of stain and fabric, and always follow care label instructions.

Author: Svetlana Georgieva (Clara)

Hi, I’m Svetlana Georgieva, but you can call me Clara. As the co-founder and heart behind Samyx Cleaning, I’m devoted to sharing the art of a clean space. Let’s journey into a cleaner, more joyful life together with tips from London's cleaning experts.

Samyx Cleaning - Co-Founder, Customer Service Manager, Author - Svetleto