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How to Remove Lipstick Stains from Clothes

Smudging your lipstick is frustrating, especially when it marks clothes! But don't worry – find out how to remove lipstick stains with these useful tips.


Reading Time: 5 minutes

Written by Eunice Samson

A selection of lipsticks, read on to learn how to get lipstick out of clothes

Whether you’ve accidentally smudged it on your dress in a rush, or your partner’s left a mark on your shirt, we all know the hassle a lipstick stain can bring. So, how do you get lipstick off clothes? Luckily, it can be dealt with using a variety of products and methods, all from the comfort of your own home.

Before following the methods below, it is always advised to check the care label and to test products and liquids on an inconspicuous area of the fabric in case the chemicals do not work well with the item at hand. It is also strongly recommended that the stain be treated as soon as possible to avoid the lipstick sinking further into the clothing.

To help lift lipstick from fabric, apply a piece of tape to the material, and then carefully remove it (along with some of that excess lipstick, too!). Just be careful when treating a lipstick stain on delicate fabric, as methods or products could damage the material. Always test any method or product in a small, inconspicuous area first.

How To Get Lipstick Out of Clothes Using a Stain Remover or Liquid Detergent

  • Begin by carefully scraping off any excess lipstick with a blunt knife or dull edge. When using the knife, ensure that you direct it away from your body, taking care to avoid injuring yourself.

  • Apply a pre-wash stain remover or small amount of liquid detergent directly to the stain. Before applying the remover, ensure that the product can be used on the material at hand. Spray the remover on both sides of the lipstick stain. Always follow the guidelines on the product and check it is suitable by referencing the garment label.

  • Rinse the stain in warm water, making sure not to rub, as this can cause further damage. Blot or dab the stain instead when removing lipstick from clothes.

  • Wash the fabric as usual once all the stains have been removed.

Liquids and Washing Machine

How to Remove Lipstick Stain Using Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol may work at removing lipstick stains from your clothing (if appropriate for the fabric).

  • Take a cotton ball or clean white cloth and dampen it with rubbing alcohol.

  • Blot the stain with the alcohol to remove the lipstick stains from clothing. Do not rub the stain.

  • Once you have blotted the stain, rinse out the alcohol with cool water.

  • Wash the fabric as usual.

Lipstick on clothes
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How to Remove Lipstick From Clothing Using Hairspray

Similarly, you could use hairspray to treat lipstick stains – just follow these instructions after you’ve tested it on a small area of your garment first.

  • Spray the hairspray onto the lipstick stain.

  • Allow the hairspray to sit for up to 15 minutes.

  • Take a clean cloth and dip in warm water.

  • Wipe the hairspray off the stain with the cloth.

  • Wash the fabric as usual.

using hair products

As much of a nuisance as lipstick-stained clothes may be, removing lipstick from clothing is in fact a rather straightforward process. If the above methods have not proven successful in getting lipstick out of clothes, then it is strongly recommended that you take the garment to a dry cleaner.

  • Use a detergent like Breeze to pre-treat stains.

  • Dab the stain – do not rub!

  • Use rubbing alcohol or hairspray as an alternative – but always test on a hidden part of the garment first!

Lipstick stain removal from different fabric types

Lipstick stains can be particularly stubborn, but with the right approach, you can successfully remove them from different fabric types. When dealing with cotton or polyester fabrics, pre-treating the stain with a mixture of dishwashing liquid and water can be effective. For delicate fabrics like silk or wool, it's important to use gentle methods such as blotting the stain with a clean cloth soaked in rubbing alcohol or applying a paste of talcum powder and water. Additionally, for tougher stains on denim or sturdy fabrics, using a stain remover specifically designed for clothes can help break down the lipstick residue. Always remember to check the care label of the fabric and perform a spot test before proceeding with any stain removal method.

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Frequently asked questions on remvoing lipstick and lipgloss from clothes

How do you clean lipstick stains from clothes made of silk?

You may use rubbing alcohol in the way described above to clean lipstick stains from silk garments, but you must check the label first to see if it is colorfast. If it isn't, use a detergent such as Breeze and wash the affected area by hand.

How do you remove lipstick from jeans?

Luckily, you can use any of the methods above to remove lipstick. Since denim is a sturdy fabric, you can aggravate stains a little more vigorously than with more delicate garments. This friction will help to disloge the stain but take care not to be too enthusiastic and risk damage.

Can vinegar remove lipstick stains?

You can remove lipstick stains on clothes, with white vinegar. Apply the vinegar directly to the affected area with a cotton ball and dab gently.

How do you get lipgloss out of clothes?

You can use the same methods above to remove lipgloss from clothes or try petroleum jelly: simply coat the stain in a fine layer of petroleum jelly, let it rest for about 5 minutes, then dab it with a warm, moist towel to remove the stain. This can be an effective method as lipgloss is generally thicker and more pigmented than lipstick.

Originally published