How to Get Makeup Stains Out

When it comes to my clothing, I’m very careful about NOT getting makeup stains on them; however, I recently received some lipstick samples and in a fit of excitement opened the cap and this fuchsia shade flung out of it’s packaging and ricocheted all over my white, antique fainting couch (I know, how does that even happen?). Only me… So when I received an email regarding an article from the May 2012 issue of ShopSmart magazine (the same publishers as the Consumer Reports), I wanted to share their advice to help you prevent and remove makeup stains and deodorant marks from your clothes, for all of you out there who have felt my pain at one point or another.

ShopSmart Tips for How to Get Makeup Stains Out:

  • Prevent a stain. It might look silly, but putting a polyester scarf over your head before pulling on a dress or top can prevent makeup and hairspray stains in the first place. It won’t muss your hair and it helps tight stuff slide on easily. Or spring for a reusable nylon makeup mask, which costs about $4 at most drugstores.
  • Nix deodorant marks. To remove those unsightly white streaks from your little black dress or other clothing before they set in, you can buy special texturized sponges made just for the job. Or grab that pair of ripped panty hose you were going to toss and use it to rub away the marks. No panty hose? Try a nylon sock or a used dryer sheet.
  • Sponge it up. The foam that often comes on hangers from the dry cleaner can also lift deodorant marks and foundation. Wrap the foam around a finger, then press and gently brush on the stain to lift it without smearing. Still there? Hit it with diluted Dawn blue dishwashing detergent. Simply work it in with a toothbrush and rinse.
  • Dab it away. To remove foundation from garments, blot up any excess, then dip a cotton swab in alcohol and gently dab the stain from the inside. Repeat until the stain is gone or there’s just a tiny trace, then launder or dry-clean the garment. If the fabric is washable, cover the stain with a laundry pretreatment product. Resolve Laundry Liquid aced our recent tests.
  •  Blow it off. If a dusting of face powder, eye shadow, or even the powdery sugar from a doughnut ends up on your outfit, try blowing it off with a hair dryer. Don’t wet it; that could drive the powder deeper in. If the blow-dryer doesn’t get it all out, toss the garment in the wash or take it to a dry cleaner.
  • Take a powder. To remove lipstick from a white collar, sprinkle baby powder on it to absorb the oils, then cover it with a clean cloth and run a warm, dry iron over it. It will come right up like the melted wax off a tablecloth. A dusting of baby powder helps lift oily gunk from faux fur, too. Sprinkle the area, put the garment in a cool dryer, and the stain will fluff off.

And above all (and this is my advice), don’t open bright colored makeup around your white vintage furniture! And find yourself a good dry cleaner. That’s always benefited me. I’m also not above having my clothes dyed if all else fails.