Remove Makeup Stains from Clothes

First thing in the morning, you may be in a hurry to get your clothes and makeup on so that you can get out the door on time. Sometimes, we’re in such a hurry that we spill things – like makeup. If you wear makeup at all, a home remedy to remove makeup stains from clothes can be very handy to know.

Remove Makeup Stains from Clothes

How does Makeup Work?

If you look at the chemical makeup of any type of makeup, whether it’s lipstick, foundation, or any other type of cosmetic, there are a lot of similar things that you will find between each of them. Let’s take a look at some of the things you will find in makeup – which, consequently, are the same things that may end up staining your clothes if you accidentally spill it.


  • Coal tar
  • Chromium oxide
  • Aluminum powder
  • Manganese
  • Iron oxide
  • Mica flakes
  • Beet powder
  • Carmine

These materials can all be used to color your makeup. As you can see, most of these involve oxides or similar compounds. Also, because many of the colors are in the red range, they have even more of a chance of staining your clothing.

On top of that, every makeup has an oil or wax compound in them. Why? Because the makeup needs some sort of base in order to be able to stay on your face. The oils and waxes in these compounds are what make the makeup stay on you, and those same compounds make it hard to get makeup off of your clothing. Because of the oils and waxes, you usually have to treat makeup stains as you would a grease or oil stain.

How to Remove Makeup Stains from Clothing

Removing makeup stains from clothing can take a bit of time and elbow grease but it’s totally worth getting rid of it. The oil and grease that makeup frequently has can really tear apart your clothing after awhile, so you want to make sure that you get rid of it as soon as you can. Here’s a quick home remedy you can try to get rid of makeup stains.

  • Plastic spoon
  • Rubbing alcohol or witch hazel
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Water
  • White paper towels
  1. Take the plastic spoon and scrape at any of the makeup that is still caked onto the article of clothing. Do not rub, scrub, or grind, just gently scrape or you could make the stain worse.
  2. For stains that are fresh, wet a paper towel and blot at the affected area. Once again, do not rub, scrub, or grind. If you’ve gotten to the potential stain quickly enough, this may be all you have to do. If the stain has started to set in, move on to step three.
  3. Take the rubbing alcohol or witch hazel (whichever you have on hand) and pour it over the stain. This will help to eat away at the stain and it will also loosen up anything that is deep-set into the clothing. Allow it to sit for about 5 minutes; don’t let it sit much longer than that or it may bleach the area.
  4. Dry the area, and then rinse it with water. If the stain is gone, then launder as usual (but air dry instead of using the dryer). If not, continue to step 5.
  5. Take a mix of dishwater soap and water, and put it on the area. Allow it to sit for 15 to 30 minutes. Rinse with water, and check to see if the stain is gone.
  6. If the stain is gone, launder as usual (but air dry instead of using the dryer). If it is not, allow the clothing to dry overnight and then start at step 1.