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6 Easy Hacks to Remove Makeup Stains

catherinemurphy profile picture
Kate MurphyGuest Blogger
July 11, 2016 · 3k Views

If you wear makeup, you know all too well the feeling of doing a “last look” before heading out the door only to see a smudge of foundation on your collar. It’s incredibly annoying, but doesn’t mean the end for the stained blouse. Here’s how to remove any makeup from your clothes using common household items.

Because of the possibility of stains, you might have a love-hate relationship with makeup. When you're feeling the hate, you probably don't want to spend much on makeup. But it's okay. We have coupons to Sephora, ULTA, and Drugstore.com, so keep shopping if you want. You're welcome.


Scenario 1: Liquid foundation gets on your favorite white t-shirt.

Source: eHow

The problem with liquid foundation is that it sets in quickly. We tend to find the stain well after the makeup made contact with the fabric. The sooner you can get to work, the better. For liquid foundation, first remove any hardened foundation with a plastic knife or similar object. Next, use a damp paper towel to blot the stain. Then dab rubbing alcohol using a cotton ball and your fingertip. Next, rub a toothbrush in a circular motion on the spot. Lastly, launder the clothing and lay it flat to dry.

Scenario 2: Powdered bronzer spills on the front of your dress.

Source: I'm a Beauty Geek

Keep in mind that anytime you are treating a powered makeup stain, you want to be as gentle as possible. Rubbing or brushing will grind the powder into the article of clothing making it even harder to get out.

The first thing you want to do is blow away the powder so it lifts off fabric. You can blow on it with your mouth or use a hair dryer. For a light spill, this might do the trick. If makeup still remains, take a damp washcloth and a small amount of liquid soap and gently massage the spot until it is gone. Be sure to really wring out the washcloth before applying. Excess water will spread and make the stain worse. This method can also be used to remove powdered blush and eyeshadow.

Scenario 3: Lipstick smears on the cuff of your blouse.

Source: Style Caster

Because lipstick is oil-based, it can be tricky to remove. There’s a couple of ways to tackle a lipstick stain. The first method uses rubbing alcohol and a cotton ball. Wet the cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and dab the lipstick until it is gone. Repeat if necessary. The second method uses grease fighting dish soap and a washcloth. First, spray the stain with water, but don’t completely soak the fabric. With you fingers, rub a drop of liquid soap on the area and leave for 10-15 minutes. Then use the dry washcloth to rub the soap in a circular motion. Repeat if necessary.

>> SEE MORE: 15 Makeup Charts That'll Turn You Into A Makeup Pro

Scenario 4: You drop the mascara wand on your trousers.

Source: The Sweet Home

When a swipe of mascara or eyeliner ends up on a garment, approach the matter like you would a grease stain. Pine Sol works well in this situation. Blot a bit of Pine Sol on the stain and wash as usual. Important: before throwing the garment in the dryer, be sure to check that the stain came out completely. The heat of the dryer can set the stain even more.

Scenario 5: Your cat jumps up to say hi and knocks over a bottle of nail polish.

Source: Into the Gloss

That feeling when you realize that you, or your pet just knocked over a bottle of nail polish is awful. It’s even more awful when it spills on your clothes. If the polish is still wet, absorb as much of the liquid as possible using a paper towel. If it’s a shirt or trousers, be sure to put you hand or paper towel inside so the polish doesn’t seep through the fabric onto the backside of the garment. Moisten a rag with nail polish remover (Use one with acetone, if possible) and carefully dab the stain. Work from the outside in using clean areas of the rag as needed. Note: Check the label. If it contains acetate, triaecete, or modacrylic, do not use a remover with acetone. If the garment is “dry clean only,” take it to the dry cleaners to remove.

Scenario 6: You get deodorant on your black shirt.

Source: My Image Expert

Technically, deodorant is not makeup, but it does pose a similar threat of staining your clothes. To remove an unwanted white streak from an article of clothing, grab nylon stockings. Rub the stocking onto the stain until is completely disappears.

Makeup looks best on your face. But a smudge will make its way to your clothes from time to time. Don’t panic. Follow these makeup removal tips and you’ll get even the deepest shade of bronzer out of your blouse.

catherinemurphy profile picture
Kate Murphy is a native of Pennsylvania. After receiving a degree in art history, she moved to New York City to test the waters. She enjoys writing about art, culture, fashion, design, and travel. In addition to writing, Kate works with artists, leads, street art tours, and moonlights as an illustrator.

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