How to easily get liquid makeup stains out of your clothes
See no stain, hear no stain, there is no stain
Hey—it happens to the best of us. One moment you've got beautiful, defined brows and the next they are all over your husband’s white work shirt. Or, perhaps, you haphazardly whip off your jumper to cool down, streaking the full coverage foundation that was on your face all over your collar. Not to worry, though—today, we’re tackling the bane of every makeup lover’s existence: Makeup stains.
Your first instinct may be to chuck the soiled garment straight in the wash—however, we strongly advise against this. We admit your logic is foolproof; however, the reality is that stains that have been through a washer/dryer cycle are a lot more stubborn to get out.
Rather, you’ll want to begin by spot treating the stain with a few methods. There are a few simple rules for treating makeup stains, and they all come down to basic chemistry. If your product is waterproof, you’ll need an oil-based remover. If it isn’t waterproof, then an alcohol-based remover is a better option. It’s all about solubility.
That said, you should definitely treat the stain as soon as possible. In fact, the sooner you act, the better. Think of it this way: A bit of concealer sat on the surface of a fabric may be a breeze. However, once the concealer has had some time to sink into the fibres, you’ve got your work cut out for you.
Before you get going on your stain-busting adventures, make sure you spot-test your soiled fabrics in inconspicuous areas to avoid ruining them. Oh, and while we’re on the topic of fabrics—keep your grubby paws off of your precious dry-clean-only silks! Anything fine and delicate needs to be sent straight to the cleaners.
Anyway, at this point you may be wondering: What are these tried-and-tested methods we speak of? Find them as follows:
Secret weapon #1: Makeup remover
It’s almost poetic, if not downright sensible, that the same stuff that removes the slap on your mug would work a charm on your ‘garms. Believe us when we say that makeup remover is hands-down our new favourite method of removing makeup stains. It’s easy to use, you’ve probably already got some in your vanity, and it really works!
We’ve tried it on both light- and dark-coloured clothing, and both times it has rendered foundation stains undetectable. Stains on white clothing may take a little more T.L.C., but we’d say that it’s definitely worth a shot.
PSST: Makeup remover wipes will work fine in lieu of the bottled stuff!
Oil-free makeup removers are the ideal here as oil-based removers can potentially make the stain even worse. We can’t stress this enough—your best bet when it comes to choosing an adequate remover is to do a small patch test somewhere no one will look.
Wash your hands
You’re looking to solve problems, not create them
Scrape any solid residue off the stain
Tip: If you’re dealing with a powder, vacuum as much of it off as you can
Deposit some remover onto a cotton pad
You want your pad damp, not dripping
- Begin by blotting the affected area
- When it looks like no more product is lifting, take a fresh cotton pad with more remover
Rub gently at the stain to agitate the product until it disappears
Note: Being too rough may damage the texture of your clothes
If you have compromised the texture of your clothes, use a lint roller to remove excess lint
This step will make all the difference!
Dry the area with a blow dryer on a ‘cool’ setting
Not only will drying the fabric ASAP prevent water stains, using the 'cool' setting will prevent any remaining product from bonding to the clothing fibres
- Repeat as necessary
Hopefully, you’ll watch the stain disappear before your very eyes. If not, you’ll probably need to employ more heavy-duty solutions.
Secret weapon #2: Dishwashing liquid
If your oil-free makeup remover isn’t cutting it on your crisp whites, it’s time to get serious. We’re doubling down on those pesky stains with some heavy-duty detergents. This method is best reserved for your more hard-wearing fabrics such as denim and cotton, as it can be too harsh on softer, more delicate fabrics.
- Scrape off any excess solids on the stain
- Blot the stain with a clean tissue to remove liquid product from clothing
- Pour some dishwashing liquid over the area of the stain, and work it in with your fingers
- Add water as needed to lather
- Let sit for five minutes
- Launder as usual
If, at this point, you’re still struggling with your stains, it may be high time to head to a professional.
Find more nifty beauty tips here.