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How to remove makeup stains

Make-up stains can be such a pain! Find out how to get rid of even the most stubborn cosmetic stains with this helpful guide - there'll be gone in a flash!


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Any woman will know it’s easy to accidentally spill a bit of makeup on your clothes, but not so easy to clean it. This article provides helpful tips on how to remove makeup stains from clothes.

Removing makeup from clothes can be tough but it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Every woman has been there: you’re getting ready and drop your blusher all over your favourite skirt – disaster! If you act fast, before the stain can set, your clothing can be saved. Removing makeup from clothes can be easy if you follow this simple guide.

Remember, to achieve the best results, use the correct cleaning solution for the type of stain you have! For example, a mascara stain is an oil-based stain, so it needs to be treated with a product that has grease-removing properties, such as OMO Ultra capsules.

Types of Makeup Stains

In order to know how to remove makeup from clothes, you need to understand the type of stain you are dealing with. There are two basic types of makeup – oily and non-oily. Eyeshadows, blushers, and other powders are non-oily, whereas products like lipstick or mascara are oily. Each product will have its own method for treating any stains.

How to Remove Makeup Stains from Clothes

For the best results you should attempt to remove makeup from clothes as quickly as possible. Makeup is generally applied at home so you can usually act instantly.

Before you try to remove makeup from clothes always check the care label on the garment to determine any specific washing instructions for your fabric. Also test a small spot of the stain before cleaning the whole area – you don’t want to make the stain worse or damage your clothing.

Remember that, if your clothes are machine-washable (just check the label first to be sure), you can always pre-treat makeup stains with OMO Auto Liquid – just follow the directions on the label.

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What You’ll Need

  • Plastic spoon

  • A Clean toothbrush

  • Paper towels

  • Cleaning solution:

    • For lipstick: hairspray

    • For mascara or eye-liner: dishwashing liquid, like one from the SUNLIGHT dishwashing range.

    • For liquid foundation: 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. When using the hydrogen peroxide, make sure the room is well-ventilated, avoid contact with skin and check the care label of your garment.

    • For blusher, eyeshadow or powder: Mild liquid laundry detergent without bleach (we recommend OMO Auto Liquid).

Process for How to Get Makeup Out of Clothes

  • Carefully remove any caked-on makeup with the plastic spoon or brush away any excess powder. Be careful not to rub the stain into the fabric further.

  • If the stain is fresh, blot with a clean paper towel until no more makeup can be lifted.

  • Pour a few drops of the cleaning solution stated for the type of makeup directly onto the spot. If you are using dishwashing liquid or detergent, add a couple of drops of water too.

  • Work the solution into the stain using your thumb and forefinger.

  • Then use the toothbrush to rub the stain in a circular motion, but be careful to not damage your clothes.

  • Follow the wash care instructions for the item and wash as normal.

  • When washed, do not place the clothing in the dryer. Allow the garment to dry naturally on a clothesline. If any of the stain remains, heat from the dryer can cause the stain to set making it harder to remove from your clothes on a second attempt.

  • If the stain has vanished and you’re running short on time you can dry your garment with a quick blast of the hair dryer.

Removing makeup stains from clothes is a repetitive process. So if the makeup hasn’t vanished on the first go, then try again. Your favourite skirt doesn’t need to be put in the bin; persistence, a bit of elbow grease and guidance on how to get makeup off clothes will save your skirt and any other items you accidentally spill makeup on.

Originally published