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The Easiest Ways to Get Makeup Out of Clothes, No Matter What You Spill

Photo by Halyna Romaniv/Getty Images

Nothing is more frustrating than being ready to head out the door, doing your final looks, and noticing that you smeared mascara all over your brand-new white shirt. But you don’t need to throw in the towel on the day or even change outfits—you just need to know our tips for getting rid of stubborn makeup stains out of clothes, no matter how disastrous the smudge is. 

So if you’re sitting there with an unwanted spot on your outfit and are wondering how to get makeup stains out of clothes, we have good news for you: It’s easier than you think, and there are multiple ways you can successfully tackle the problem.

6 Tips to Get Makeup Out of Clothes

1. Be Gentle 

I’m adding this tip first, because this is the step I definitely need to remember the most. Your first inclination might be to intensely scrub the affected area, but it’s important to remember before you even begin that being gentle is key. 

2. Spot Test the Fabric 

Water will leave a mark on some fabrics, including certain cottons that have been color treated (this is usually not a problem if you’re gentle, but it’s still a good idea to be aware!). Make sure to Google the fabric you’ll be working on to see what products/chemicals it won’t interact well with. And it’s always a good idea to do a spot test on a hidden piece of fabric to see how it will react. Remember, if you’re working on an item that is particularly pricey or delicate, it might be a good idea to take the stain to a professional. 

3. Dust off Excess Product

If you spilled a clump of eyeshadow, gently shake your garment over the sink or trash can to remove and shake loose any of the excess powder. This will ensure you only have to work at removing the stain that has penetrated into the fabric. Of course, this will only apply to loose powder. 

4. Try a Makeup Wipe

In most cases, a makeup wipe can actually help remove whatever you spilled. We love REFRESHMENTS’ Cleansing Face Wipes for this. Wrap the wipe around your pointer finger to help target the stain, then gently scrub at the stain in circular motions. This will work best on fresh stains that haven’t set in yet. 

5. Dilute the Stain

For stains that have been there longer, you can prepare a soak that will help penetrate set-in stains. You can make a small solution by mixing a bit of laundry detergent with warm water and letting the article of clothing soak in the solution for 15 minutes. This should help loosen the stain, and then you can throw it into the wash to get it out for good. 

6. Try Rubbing Alcohol for Lipstick

We love that deep rouge color you have going on, but it can be a shock when it spreads to clothing. Apparently, this is an old trick that works pretty well: Just soak a towel with alcohol and dab at the stained area. The stain should start to lift within a few minutes. 

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About the author
Brittany Leitner
Brittany is an award winning beauty, health, and lifestyle writer and author of the poetry book "23 Emotions." She has eight years of experience writing for brands like Elite Daily, The. Dr. Oz Show, Shape, Stylecaster, Bustle, and more.
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Article Last Updated April 23, 2024 12:00 AM