Removing makeup stains from clothing

There are many different ways to remove stains from cosmetics. Many of the processes used work as well on carpet and furniture as well as clothing. Determine if your makeup stain is oil based or non-oily, and proceed from there. Always follow care label instructions and laundering information. Doing so can save that favorite blouse or sweater when cosmetics stain them.

Lipstick

Rubbing alcohol will remove lipstick stains. Dab the stain with a small amount of isopropyl alcohol, then add a small amount of household detergent, and wash the garment per label care instructions.

Household ammonia is another good resource for removing lipstick. First blot the stain with a bit of water to remove as much of the lipstick as possible, then treat with a little ammonia, and rinse and wash per care label instructions. Do not use ammonia on silk or wool!

Spray a little hairspray on the stain, let stand a few minutes, and then wipe off the hairspray with your white cloth. Rinse, and launder per label care instructions.

If a garment is one of your most favorites, you may wish to have a professional remove the stain. If the garment is a high ticket item, this is probably your best choice.

Finger Nail Polish

Removing finger nail polish is also fairly easy. Simply use an acetone based fingernail polish remover to remove the stain. You can also place the stain over a small bowl and attach with a rubber band to secure the stain over the bowl. Using a stainless steel spoon, gently drip small amounts of fingernail polish remover over the stain and let the residue drip into the bowl, working it in with your finger. Rinse and add to wash.

Mascara

Brush or blot off any excess, and use a dry cleaning fluid such as K2r Spot Cleaning fluid, or Aftar Cleaning Fluid to flush the stain. (Be careful not to use on acetates!) Repeat as necessary until the stain is gone.

Liquid Makeup

Liquid makeup stains are tough to remove. Try using Dawn dish soap as a removal agent. As liquid makeup is oil based, Dawn works the best for cutting the stain. Dawn was, after all, used to clean up birds and sea otters during crude oil spills. As liquid makeup is oil based, the same method is used as in cleaning mascara stains. Brush or blot off any excess, and use a dry cleaning fluid such as K2r Spot Cleaning fluid, or Aftar Cleaning Fluid to flush the stain. (Be careful not to use on acetates!) Repeat as necessary until the stain is gone.

Hair Dye

Removing hair dye stains by blotting the stain with isopropyl alcohol until the stain is removed. You can also use turpentine, lighter fluid, and mineral spirits on certain fabrics. Launder or dry clean per care label instructions. Be warned, though – hair dye is one of the toughest stains to remove.

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