Do you ever wish that you had been given a guide to getting makeup stains out of clothes when you first started wearing makeup? We certainly do! We have lost many tops, pillowcases and bed sheets to make-up stains.

All it takes is the slightest brush of your face against your top when getting changed and that's it - ruined.

Or, if you have a wild side, you may know the frustration of waking up after a night out to find you forgot to take your makeup off and your pillowcase has taken on an orange glow.

Fortunately, we're here to help. In this guide, we'll look at how you can remove even the most stubborn stains from your fabric.

Best of all, most of these techniques use items you'll already have around your home!

How To Remove Makeup Stains From Clothes

How to Remove Lipstick Stains From Clothes

Made with heavy pigments and from a waxy substance, lipstick stains can be hard to remove.

What you'll need:

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton balls

You can buy rubbing alcohol from a pharmacy. However, if you don't have any to hand, you can substitute it for an alcohol-based hand gel. The alcohol is the essential ingredient here, so don't try and substitute it for one that is alcohol-free.

A cotton ball or cotton pad is the best option for removing a lipstick stain. You can also use a cloth or rag but don't use toilet paper or kitchen towel. The paper can break down and get trapped in the fibres of your clothing.

How to remove the lipstick stain:

  1. If there are big clumps of lipstick on your clothing, try to remove them. Be gentle and don't rub them in as this will make the stain worse.

  2. Apply a good amount of the rubbing alcohol to your cotton ball.

  3. Dab at the stain gently.

  4. Replace your cotton ball frequently to prevent spreading the stain.

  5. Continue to apply rubbing alcohol and dab at the stain until it is removed.

  6. Wash as normal with a suitable laundry detergent.

Here is a good video for removing a lipstick stain with rubbing alcohol.


How To Remove Mascara & Eyeliner Stains

We demand a lot from our mascara and eyeliner. We want long-lasting wear that stays put all day.

For this to happen, makeup manufacturers formulate mascara and eyeliner to be super adhesive. This greasy, sticky, formulation can be a nightmare to remove from clothes.

What you'll need:

  • Washing-up liquid
  • Cotton balls

How to remove mascara or eyeliner:

  1. Slightly dampen the stain with a small amount of water.
  2. Apply some washing-up liquid (designed to break down grease) and leave to sit for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Dab at the stain with a cotton ball - do not spread.
  4. Rinse under water.
  5. Repeat steps if required to remove the stain.
  6. Wash as usual using a good laundry detergent.

How To Remove Nail Polish From Clothes

As nail varnish stays wet for a while, there are many opportunities for it to end up transferring onto your clothes. Fortunately, if you wear nail polish, you're likely to have the perfect stain remover on hand!

What you'll need:

  • Ice pack
  • Acetone-based nail polish remover
  • Cotton balls
  • Paper towel

If you don't have any paper towels available, you can use an old towel or rag that you don't mind getting stained.

If you don't have an ice pack, you can always use something else that is frozen, such as a bag of peas. Alternatively just use your freezer.

How to remove nail varnish

  1. Using an ice-pack, or by placing the clothing in the freezer, harden the stain.
  2. If possible, pull off flakes of varnish. Be gentle, if you tug too hard you will damage the item of clothing.
  3. Lay down a couple of paper towels and place the stain face-down onto the towels.
  4. Soak the cotton ball in the nail polish remover and dab at the back of the stain. Don't rub as this will spread the stain.
  5. The stain should loosen and absorb into the paper towel.
  6. Repeat these steps until the stain is gone.
  7. Rinse the stain under cold water.
  8. Wash as usual with a good laundry detergent.

As well as freezing the stain, you can also use hairspray as this video shows!

How to Remove Blush, Bronzer, and Eye-shadow

Makeup that comes as a lightweight powder can easily scatter and settle on all surfaces, including your clothes.

Resist your instinct to brush it off, as this will make it worse. Instead, follow our easy instructions to rescue your clothes.

What you'll need:

  • A hairdryer
  • Makeup remover
  • Cotton balls

How to remove the stain:

  1. On the cold setting, use your hairdryer lightly blow away any excess powder.
  2. Apply some makeup remover to a cotton ball - do not oversaturate, you want it damp but not soaked.
  3. Gently dab at the powder stain.
  4. Rinse under cold water.
  5. Wash a usual with a good laundry detergent.

How To Remove Liquid Foundation & Fake-tan 

Liquid foundation and fake-tanner are potentially the worst offenders when it comes to staining fabrics. As you put them on a larger area, like your whole face, there is more to be spread everywhere.

This is especially true if you forget to take your makeup off at night and end up with an orange pillowcase.

The secret technique for removing liquid stains may surprise you, but we promise you'll be happy with the results!

What you'll need:

  • Can of shaving foam

If you don't have shaving foam, try an alcohol-based hand gel.

How to remove the foundation or fake-tan stain:

  1. Apply a good amount of shaving foam to the stain.
  2. Rub vigorously so the shaving foam can penetrate the fabric and stain.
  3. Rinse under cold water.
  4. Repeat steps until the stain has gone.
  5. Wash as usual with a good laundry detergent.

As you can see from the following video, this does take a bit of time and effort but it really works!


We hope you enjoyed this guide - make sure you bookmark it for any future makeup mishaps!

Remember to share this article with your fellow makeup addicts to save their favourite fabrics, too.