How to Remove Every Type of Makeup Stain

October 02, 2020
Deven Hopp
By: Deven Hopp | Makeup.com by L'Oréal
Your Guide to Removing Every Type of Makeup Stain

From getting red lipstick on a white shirt to spilling a fresh bottle of liquid foundation across the carpet, we’ve had our fair share of run-ins with makeup stains on fabric. Through these clumsy moments, we’ve learned which techniques and household products work best to do damage control. From how to fix nail polish spills to how to erase mascara marks, we’re sharing all of our best makeup stain-removing tips below. 

How to Remove Nail Polish Stains

Nail polish is tricky because the obvious solution is to use nail polish remover, but these formulas can be damaging to some fabrics and dyes. Be sure to use a non-acetone remover and to spot test it before attacking the stain. Another option is to use rubbing alcohol and a paper towel to blot away the stain. Keep adding alcohol until the stain is gone.

How to Remove Waterproof Mascara Stains 

Try using an oil-free makeup remover like the Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water. For a more heavy-duty stain, turn to your dry cleaner, who can use a professional oil solvent to remove the mark. 

How to Remove Lipstick Stains 

The best fix for a lipstick stain is likely already in your bathroom: hairspray. Spritz the stain, let it sit for a few minutes and dab it with a clean cloth. In a pinch, a piece of tape can be used to transfer the stain off of delicate fabrics. Finally, rinse and wash for best results.

How to Remove Foundation Stains 

Treat liquid and cream face makeup stains with a clarifying product like shaving cream, liquid soap or dish detergent, which can cut through the oils in these products. Use a clean cloth to lift the pigment as you blot. For stubborn stains, it may be helpful to add a small amount of alcohol to the spot. 

How to Remove Powder Stains 

First, dust off as much of the excess powder as possible. Then, use a mixture of white vinegar and water to blot (don’t rub!) away the stain. Finally, wash the garment with high-quality, color-safe bleach.  


Photo: Chaunte Vaughn

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