How to Remove Make Up Stains from Clothing


Cosmetic make up is meant to complement your beauty but make up stains on clothes do not look attractive at all. Some make up stains can be quite challenging to remove without damaging fabrics. The cleaning methods we introduce here will ensure that you do not need to panic if you accidentally get make up stains on your lovely white clothing item.

(As always, be careful with delicate fabrics like silk and wool. When in doubt, bring it to a professional dry cleaners and ask for their expert opinion.)

Removing Non-oil based make up

Non-oil based make up includes eye shadows, blushes, and powders, etc. which are easier to clean off.

  1. Brush off the excess powder.
  2. Gently blot the stained area with a clean paper towel using a lifting motion.
  3. Take a mild cleaning solvent such as dish detergent, shampoo, or laundry detergent without bleach and apply it directly onto the spot with a drop of water.
  4. Use a plastic spoon or your thumb and forefinger and work the solution into the stain without rubbing it too hard. Do not rub the stain because it may cause the stain to set in on fabric or cause delicate fabrics to pill.
  5. Blot the stain with a clean paper towel.
  6. Run the fabric in warm water or launder as instructed as per the care instructions found on the label.
  7. If the stain is particularly stubborn, fill a tub with a mixture of water and detergent. Soak the entire item in this solution overnight and rinse it out in the morning. You should see a marked improvement.
  8. Hang dry your item. Do not place your item in a dryer until the stain is completely removed as heat from the dryer will accelerate the stain and set it deeper into the fabric.

Removing Oil based make up

Oil based make up includes rouge, mascara, eye liner, and foundation, etc. which require more steps to clean off.

  1. Blot the stained area with a clean white cloth with a lifting motion to remove any excess product.
  2. Take a dish detergent or shampoo and apply it directly onto the spot with a drop of water.
  3. Lightly blot out the stain until it is removed and launder as instructed following care instructions found on the label.
  4. If the stain is still present, try dabbing the stained area with makeup remover on a clean cloth. Do not rub the fabric to avoid further setting the stain and spreading it to other areas.
  5. Treat the stubborn stain with a bit of isopropyl alcohol or household ammonia. Rinse and launder as per label care instructions, and then air dry.


  1. Perchloroethylene, this so called dry cleaning solvent works the best to attack mascara stains. Leave the solvent on the stained area until it is dry.
  2. Brush off the residue and launder as per label care instructions.

Nail Polish

  1. Spread out the fabric over a bowl and secure with an elastic band around the edge.
  2. Apply a few drops of nail polish remover over the stained area.
  3. Wash out the solution and launder as per label care instructions.

Please test the above cleaning tips on a small, imperceptible area of your clothing first to make sure no damage or discoloration will occur. Do not try treating silk or wool unless you are certain it won’t damage it. These types of fabrics are delicate and often require professional cleaning. Also, do not heat dry your clothing until the stains are removed, otherwise, the heat will set the stain permanently.

Try cleaning your items with the above household products first and hopefully, it will save you a trip to the professional cleaners.


  1. Great tips which really work! Removing stains from clothing can be difficult and these are fool proof ways of getting your clothes back to the original colour stain free!

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