how to remove makeup stains on clothes

How to Remove Makeup Stains on Clothes

A woman should be two things said Coco Chanel – ‘Classy and Fabulous’.

how to remove mascara stains from clothes
A mascara tube and a wand applicator by Jorge Barrios Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Yes, we’re ALL beautiful at heart and require no other individual to make us realize this, but isn’t it a bonus when we look pretty on the exterior too? We’re always up for getting dolled up but isn’t it irritating when your favorite dress gets stained? That fabulous black sequin – ALL painted in make up. Oh! the pain. Well, here is your ultimate guide on how to remove makeup stains on clothes.

Mascara Stains

If you rummage a woman’s purse or look around her dressing area, you would without doubt come across Mascara. It makes the eyelashes look heavy and beautiful but your clothes – it would leave an oily and challenging stain behind. To get rid of a mascara stains from your clothes, treat the stain with a stain remover and further rub it either with liquid detergent or a blend of powdered detergent and water. Rinse and scrub the stain in warm water and then wash it in the hottest water possible for the fabric using detergent and an all fabric bleach.

Wait up! Do not use this technique for woolen, silk or leather clothes.

Eye Liner, Eye Pencil or Eye Shadow Stains

how to remove eye liner stains on clothes
Image credits Courtney Rhodes via

An eye liner or eye shadow would help you glamorizing your eyes in a multitude of colors and styles of application. It can also stain your choicest Saree so here’s how you can get rid of such stains.

For washable fibers such as cotton, linen, nylon etc, blot away excess liner, pencil or shadow and make sure you don’t spread the stain while you are doing so. Next, flush the stain with dry cleaning solvent and then apply a dry spotter to it. Next, cover the stain with a cloth dampened with spotter. Keep a check on the stain and keep soaking and changing the piece of cloth until the stain has disappeared. Finally, flush the stain with dry cleaning solvent and allow it to dry.Finally, flush it with water to remove ammonia traces.

In case of non-washable fibers such as silk, wool, leather and so on, utilize the same process and if the stain persists, flush it with dry cleaning solvent, allow it to dry, flush it with water and apply a few drops of ammonia. (Do not do this for silk or woolen clothes). Cover it with a cloth dampened with wet spotter. As the piece of cloth picks up the stain, change it and repeat the process until you get rid of the stain.

Foundation Stains

When faced with foundation stain, most people reach out for make-up remover. STOP! You’re doing it wrong. Here’s the right way to get rid of this type of stain.

how to remove make up foundation stains on clothes
Image credits Maria Morri via

Powder Foundation

Make sure you DO NOT rub in the foundation as it would be very challenging to get rid of a stain that has seeped into the fabric. Mix water with white vinegar and apply the solution to the stain and you should see it disappear.

Liquid Foundation

Turns out that for a liquid foundation stain, shaving cream is your best friend. Apply shaving cream to the stain and if that does not help, dab the stain in some rubbing alcohol. Wash the cloth like you would do normally and you should see the stain disappear.

Nail paint Stains

how to remove nail paint stains from clothes
Fingernails before and after application of red nail polish by Zitona Licensed under CC via Wikimedia Commons

Red, blue and yellow, they come in ALL colors and yes, nail paint stains are the trickiest to get rid of. You should hurry up and treat those stains as soon as possible. Place a folded paper towel beneath the stained part of the cloth to absorb excess nail paint. Next, use a non-oil based nail paint remover over the stain. As you do so, keep a check on the paper towel and keep changing it as it absorbs the color bleeding out of the fabric. As you see the stain vanishing, stick the fabric under running cold water to get rid of the remover and put it in for regular washing.

Lipstick Stains

A lipstick could either be wax, oil or pigment based. The problem with lipstick stains is that they get time to settle on fabrics as they might not be noticed right away. An oil stain would come off by using de-greasers; a wax stain requires solvents whereas a pigment stain needs to be treated with oxidizers.

how to remove lipstick stains on clothesTo get rid of lipstick stains, you could use either alcohol or ammonia. All you need to do is take a piece of cloth, moisten it with the chemical of choice and lightly dab the stain. Stop once you see the stain disappear. You can also use hair spray on the stain, let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes before washing the fabric.

Another method is to pre treat the stain using a pre-treater. Place the fabric on a paper towel stain side down and dab the pre-treater on the back of the stained area. Use a paper towel to exert pressure from top and force the cleaning solution into the paper towel placed beneath. Replace the paper towel placed at the bottom of the fabric so that it keeps absorbing new traces. Later, rinse the garment and launder as usual. You can also try these lipstick stain removal tricks from our previous blog post.

Lotion Stains

If you use an oil-based lotion, don’t forget to pre-treat the stain using a solvent-based chemical. If you don’t have a solvent-based pre-treater, apply liquid detergent to the stain and continue rubbing-gently. Post pre-treatment, wash the garment as usual in the hottest water appropriate for the fabric.

General cleaning tips

  • Before attempting ANY of our cleaning hacks, make sure you’ve read the wash care instructions on the label label.
  • Whenever faced with a make-up stain, treat it at the earliest.
  • A baby wipe may do wonders in removing any sort of stain as long as the stain has not set
  • Remember that stain removal is a repetitive process. If you fail once my friend, try and try until you succeed.

Hope this article is useful and you learnt how to remove makeup stains on clothes. Comment and let us know!

About Namya Mehra

Namya Mehra is a student of Journalism and Mass Communication. Her areas of interest are photography and performing arts. She has a great flair for writing and loves working in areas of content and public relations.


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    If everyone wrote such as this, the net will be amazing.

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