Are you tired of dealing with stubborn makeup stains on your favorite clothes? From foundation mishaps to lipstick blunders, we’ll guide you through step-by-step methods, alternative solutions, and essential do’s and don’ts to effectively eliminate makeup stains from your clothes. 

Read on to say goodbye to those pesky blemishes and uncover the secrets to conquering makeup stains with ease!

Why Are Makeup Stains Difficult to Remove?

Makeup stains can be challenging to get out of clothing. The very nature of makeup products contributes to their stubbornness on fabrics. Products like foundation, concealer, and lipstick are specifically formulated to adhere to the skin, which also makes them stick to the fibers of your clothing. While this is great for putting makeup on your face, it can spell disaster if you accidentally get some on your favorite shirt.

The pigments and dyes in makeup products are notorious for their staining abilities. Makeup ingredients are often oil-based, water-resistant, or designed to be long-lasting, meaning these pigments have a knack for latching onto fabric and leaving behind unsightly marks. As a result, even seemingly minor contact with clothing can lead to noticeable and persistent stains.

To make matters worse, certain makeup products, namely those labeled as waterproof, are intentionally designed to resist water. When waterproof makeup comes into contact with fabric, it creates a barrier that repels water and puts a damper on traditional stain removal methods.

So, just how do you prevent and remove those annoying makeup stains?

How to Prevent Makeup Stains

The best way to get rid of makeup stains is to prevent them from happening in the first place. By following a few simple precautions, you can reduce the risk of a mascara-related disaster.

For starters, we suggest applying makeup before getting dressed. This minimizes the risk of accidentally transferring makeup onto your outfit. You can also use a towel or protective clothing, such as a robe or an old button-down shirt, to form a barrier between your clothing and the products.

When applying makeup in the morning or before an event, take your time to avoid smudges, spills, or brushes accidentally touching your clothing. Avoid touching your face or rubbing your eyes while wearing makeup, as this also makes it easier to transfer the products onto your hands and then your clothing.

Finally, try using a setting spray or powder to set your makeup. Setting your makeup helps by creating a protective layer that reduces the chances of it getting anywhere that’s not your face.

How to Remove Makeup Stains (Step-by-Step)

A laundry basket full of dirty clothes with a lipstick-stained shirt on top of the pile.

Ready to tackle those pesky makeup stains? With the right approach, you can bid farewell to those colorful blemishes on your favorite clothes in no time. From foundation fiascos to lipstick mishaps, these steps hold the secrets to banishing makeup stains.

Supplies You’ll Need

Before you get started, you’ll need the following supplies:

  • Credit card (to scrape away excess)
  • Lint roller
  • Water
  • Gentle detergent
  • White cloth or sponge
  • Soft-bristled brush

Step 1: Scrape the Excess Makeup Away

First, you will need to find a credit card or butter knife (or a similar object) to scrape away the excess makeup from the garment. For dry powders, you might need to grab a lint roller to completely remove the powder from the fabric.

Remember not to rub or wipe the stain, as this can push the makeup deeper into the fibers of your clothing and make it even harder to remove.

Step 2: Prepare a Stain Removal Solution

Next, you’ll want to prepare a mighty stain removal solution to take the makeup stains head-on. To create a stain removal solution, mix one tablespoon of your favorite laundry detergent with 2 cups of hot water.

Mixing laundry detergent and hot water creates a stain-removal solution with enhanced cleaning properties. Hot water helps dissolve and break down the stain, while laundry detergent contains surfactants, which help lift and remove stains from the fabric. These surfactants work by surrounding the stain molecules and loosening their grip on the fabric fibers.

The combination of detergent and hot water helps to break down oils, greases, and other substances commonly found in makeup stains, making the stain more soluble and easier to remove.

Step 3: Apply the Solution

Once you have mixed your solution, dip a sponge or a clean white cloth into the mixture. Next, gently blot the stain, working from the outside edge toward the center, until no more color from the makeup is visible on the cloth.

However, this method can damage delicate fabrics like silk, so always follow the care instructions when cleaning those garments.

Step 4: Let the Clothes Sit

After gently blotting the stain, let the solution sit on the fabric for at least 15 minutes. Allowing the solution to sit gives it more time to penetrate and break down the stain.

The cleaning solution loosens the bonds between the stain molecules and the fabric fibers. Over time, the solution can effectively dissolve and dislodge the makeup residue from the fabric.

Lightly tamping the stain with a soft-bristled brush can help agitate the fabric fibers and further loosen the stain. When tamping the stain, use a soft-bristled brush to avoid causing any abrasion or pilling on delicate fabrics. Brushes with gentle bristles are ideal for loosening makeup stains without harming the fabric.

Avoid excessive tamping, as it can spread the stain or damage the fabric. Afterward, rinse with hot water to flush out the loosened makeup residue.

Step 5: Wash the Clothes

Finally, wash the clothes according to the instructions on the care tag. If possible, avoid using heat or throwing your clothes in the dryer, as excessive heat can cause the stains to set in. If the stain still isn’t completely gone after washing, repeat the previous steps as necessary.

Can You Remove Makeup Stains Without Washing?

If time is of the essence or you’re unable to wash your clothes immediately, there are alternative solutions that can help tackle those stubborn makeup stains without needing a full-blown wash. One such method is the trusty ice cube technique, which can work wonders in a pinch.

Grab a spoon or a plastic knife and gently scrape off the top layer of the makeup stain. This step helps remove any excess product, allowing the subsequent treatment to work more effectively. Once you’ve cleared the surface, reach for an ice cube and press it onto the stain. The ice’s chilling effect will help solidify the makeup residue, making it easier to lift off.

Now, it’s time to put a little elbow grease into action. Rub the ice cube in a circular motion over the stain, applying gentle pressure. As you continue this motion, you’ll notice the makeup gradually loosening and detaching from the fabric. To expedite the process, periodically blot the wet area with a paper towel to absorb the melted makeup and help lift it away.

After completing the ice cube treatment, allow the fabric to air dry. Once dry, inspect the stain. If it’s still visible, you can repeat the process to remove any stubborn makeup remnants.

Let ZIPS Take Care of It

A customer and her child checking out at ZIPS.

Makeup stains don’t have to be forever. With the right knowledge and techniques, you can confidently say goodbye to those stubborn marks and preserve the beauty of your favorite clothing. Whether you opt for the tried-and-true washing methods or quick fixes like the ice cube method, remember to approach the process with patience and care. 

And if you ever need professional assistance, ZIPS is here to help.

At ZIPS, we have what it takes to ward off unwanted marks from makeup and keep you looking your best every day of the week. Find a location near you, and let us take care of it today!