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How To Get Makeup Out Of Clothes: What You Need To Know

By ShirtSpace | Nov 18, 2022 |  Updated May 25, 2023

We've all been there – you're getting ready for a big night out, and suddenly your shirt is covered in foundation, lipstick, or worse — and you’re left in a panic, wondering how to get make up out of clothes. Thankfully, you don't have to get rid of your favorite shirt just yet. In this blog post, we'll show you how to remove makeup stains from clothes without ruining them, by diving a little deeper into each different type of makeup stain.

Woman's clothes on hangers, displayed on a clothing rack.
Image source: Priscilla Du Preez

How To Get Foundation Out Of Clothes

Foundation is one of the easiest makeup stains to remove from clothing. First, you'll want to determine if you have an oil-based foundation or an oil-free foundation stain, since each type of stain will need to be treated differently.

Here's how to get foundation out of clothes if you have an oil-based foundation:

  • Take off your clothing and scratch off as much of the foundation as you can

  • Dilute the stain by allowing cold water to run over your clothing

  • Treat the stain by applying a few drops of dish soap and applying it directly to the area and brushing it into the fabric

  • Allow the clothing to sit for 15 minutes, and put the clothes into the washer

Woman with laundry detergent and wicker basket, wearing a white t-shirt.
Image source: Vladdeep

Here's how to get foundation out of clothes if you have an oil-free foundation stain:

  • Grab shaving cream and rubbing alcohol to begin

  • Apply the shaving cream to the stained area and let it soak in for 3-5 minutes

  • Rub in the stain and follow by rinsing it under cold water

  • If you still have the stain on your clothing, using rubbing alcohol with shaving cream can help remove any leftover foundation

 Peach-colored makeup.
Image Source: Joanna Kosinka

How To Get Lipstick Out Of Clothes

Wondering how to get lipstick out of clothes? Lipstick stains can be one of the trickiest stains to remove because most lipsticks contain oil and bright colors.

Light pink lipstick
Image source: Evangeline Sarney

Follow these steps if you want to learn how to get lipstick out of clothes:

  • Start by blotting up as much of the excess lipstick as possible with a clean cloth

  • Then, pre-treat the area with dish soap for five minutes before rinsing off with water

  • If the stain persists, try spot-cleaning it with rubbing alcohol or hairspray

How To Remove Powder Makeup Stains

When it comes to how to get makeup out of clothes, powder makeup stains are some of the easiest to remove. Thankfully, powder makeup doesn't usually penetrate deep into the fabric due to its dry nature.

Here's a step-by-step on how to remove powder makeup stains from clothes:

  • Start by gently tapping the stained area with a clean cloth to absorb any excess powder

  • Use a damp cloth to blot at the stain, and then rinse the clothing under cold water.

  • If the stain persists, you can use a little bit of baby powder to absorb the rest of the makeup before laundering it as usual.

How To Get Mascara Out Of Clothes

Mascara stains are slightly different from other makeup stains because they typically contain a waterproof formula. Waterproof mascara is designed to resist water, so it can be tough to remove if you need to learn how. If you're wondering how to get makeup out of clothes, especially tricky stains like mascara, follow these steps.

Makeup tools, including: cosmetic scissors, tweezers, an eyelash wand and loose powder.
Image source: Edz Norton

Here's how to remove a mascara stain:

  • When it comes to how to get makeup out of shirts, you'll want first to turn your garment inside out and wipe makeup remover over the stain

  • Then, apply a small amount of dish soap to the stain and let it soak in completely

  • Finally, run it through the washer on the delicate cycle

If that doesn’t work, try any of these handy methods to get mascara off clothing. 

Now That You’re A Makeup Removal Pro

Woman holding a bundle of laundry
Image source: Volha Flaxeco

No one likes dealing with makeup stains on their favorite white t-shirt or blouse. But with these simple tips, you'll know how to remove makeup from clothes quickly and easily — no dry cleaning or deciphering laundry care symbols is necessary! So, next time you're getting ready for a big night out and accidentally get foundation or lipstick on your shirt, don't sweat it! Just follow these steps on how to get makeup out of shirts, and you'll be good as new in no time.

Another great tip to keep your clothes stain-free is to invest in white or black clothing. Black is clearly a great choice, because stains are easily hidden due to the dark color, but white is less obvious. White clothing definitely shows stains more initially, but you can also bleach white clothing to get pesky stains out. At ShirtSpace we have thousands of white and black wholesale apparel options to shop — both safe choices for cosmetic enthusiasts wanting to avoid common makeup stain mishaps. Or, you can even try a stain-resistant t-shirt, work shirt or polo for a shirt that will block out makeup from deeply staining. Some styles also mention "stain release" fabric, a material is designed to repel substances from deeply staining the fibers. Do you have any tricks to getting makeup out of clothing? Please share your knowledge in the comments!

how to get makeup out of clothes

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