How To Remove Lipstick Stains

Written by , MA (Mass Communication & Media Studies) Esha Saxena MA (Mass Communication & Media Studies) Experience: 3 years

Accidents happen. Either you end up staining that white top you love with fuchsia pink lipstick or drop a lipstick tube on your beige carpet (and then step on it). Major oops! Lipstick stains are the worst because they contain highly colored pigments, waxes, and grease. If you’re in a stainy situation like this, don’t panic – because everything fades. Here’s how to remove lipstick stains from your dress, carpet, or any other fabric. Read on to find answers, ladies.

How To Get Lipstick Out Of Clothes, Carpets, and Upholstery

How To Get Lipstick Out Of Clothes

  • Using Liquid Detergent
  • Using Alcohol
  • Using Hairspray

How To Get Lipstick Out Of A Carpet

  • Using Liquid Detergent
  • Using Dry Cleaning Solvent, Liquid Detergent And Vinegar

How To Remove Lipstick Stains From Clothes After Drying
How To Get Lipstick Stains Out Of Upholstery

  • Using Toothpaste
  • Using Lighter Fluid

Tips: Effectively Getting Rid Of Lipstick Stains From Anything

How To Get Lipstick Stains Out Of Clothes

If you happen to smear lipstick on your dress or your partner’s shirt, you can make use of a few things like hairspray, alcohol, and liquid detergent to bid farewell to the stain. Here’s how:

  • Using Liquid Detergent

Step 1: Start by scraping off the excess lipstick from the fabric with a blunt knife.
Step 2: Dab a little bit of liquid detergent directly on the stain and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
Step 3: Rinse the area with warm water without rubbing (rubbing can cause further damage).
Step 4: Once the stain fades, wash the garment following the care instructions on its tag, using the warmest water permissible.

  • Using Alcohol
How To Remove Lipstick Stains - Using Alcohol
Image: Shutterstock

Step 1: Take a clean light-colored cloth and dampen it with alcohol (preferably vodka).
Step 2: Carefully blot the stain with this damp cloth. Remember, no rubbing.
Step 3: Once the stain fades, rinse the area with cold water.
Step 4: Wash the garment like you usually would.

  • Using Hairspray

Step 1: Spray some hairspray right onto the stain.
Step 2: Let it sit for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Step 3: Use a warm damp cloth to wipe away the stain.

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How To Get A Lipstick Stain Out Of A Carpet

The chances of getting a lipstick stain on your carpet are slim. But hey, it could happen! Work on removing the stain as soon as you notice it because the longer you let it sit, the higher the chances of it setting into the carpet. Remember – the older the stain, the more difficult it will be to remove.

  • Using Liquid Detergent

Step 1: Scrape off any excess lipstick with a blunt knife or a spoon.
Step 2: Dab a few drops of liquid detergent onto the stain.
Step 3: Using a damp cloth, blot the lipstick stain until it disappears.

You will have to repeat the same step several times to remove the stain completely.

  • Using Dry Cleaning Solvent, Liquid Detergent, And Vinegar

Step 1: If there’s excess lipstick on the carpet, scrape it off using a spoon.
Step 2: Dip a clean white cloth in dry cleaning solvent and blot this on the stain until it soaks in.
Step 3: If the stain remains, you can mix liquid detergent (1 tablespoon) with white vinegar (1 tablespoon) and warm water (2 cups).
Step 4: Sponge the stain with this solution.
Step 5: Finally, use cold water to remove the solution and blot the area dry.

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How To Remove Lipstick Stains From Clothes After Drying

Getting rid of lipstick stains from a shirt that’s already been washed and dried is tougher – much tougher. However, you can give these home remedies a shot before giving up:

  • Treat the stain with diluted ammonia, vinegar or oxygen bleach with the help of an eye dropper.
  • Try applying acetone (nail polish remover) with a cotton swab and then scrub with a toothbrush.
  • Pour some alcohol on a clean cloth and dab it on the stain (no rubbing!).

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How To Get Lipstick Stains Out Of Upholstery

Say you stain your new couch with that ruby red lipstick. Seems like a total nightmare, right? Stay Zen and use these techniques to fix your mistake:

  • Using Toothpaste
How To Remove Lipstick Stains - Using Toothpaste
Image: Shutterstock

Step 1: Remove any excess product using a spoon or a blunt knife.
Step 2: Dab some plain white toothpaste on the stained area and use a clean cloth to scrub and remove the stain.
Step 3: Repeat if necessary. Once the stain is removed, rinse the area with some cold water and blot it dry.

  • Using Lighter Fluid

Step 1: Make sure the lipstick is not caked on to the area by removing all you can with a blunt knife or spoon.
Step 2: Put a few drops of lighter fluid on a clean cloth and gently scrub away the stain with it.

You can also use hairspray, ammonia, and alcohol to remove lipstick stains from upholstery following the same techniques.

Now that you have a fair idea of how you can remove lipstick stains using things you can easily find in your kitchen cabinet, here are a bunch of tips and hacks that will make this horrifying task significantly more manageable.

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Tips: Effectively Getting Rid Of Lipstick Stains From Anything

  • Lipstick stains are oily. So, use cleansers that will fight grease or buy a special stain remover from your local supermarket.
  • Rubbing petroleum jelly on the stain can make it easier to remove it. Use either a cloth or an old toothbrush to work the petroleum jelly into the stain.
  • Shaving cream is also another excellent solvent for removing lipstick stains.
  • If the care instructions on your garment specifically mention ‘dry clean only,’ do not attempt to remove the stain at home. Chances are, you will ruin it for good.
  • A sure-fire way to get rid of a fresh lipstick stain is to use a cotton swab dipped in ammonia – use the swab to blot off the stain.

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Ladies, lipstick stains are stubborn as hell and challenging to remove, so it’s best to try and prevent the mishap in the first place. If all else fails, there’s no shame in heading to the dry cleaner for help. Do you have any go-to techniques to get rid of such aggressive stains? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Esha Saxena

Esha SaxenaBeauty & Lifestyle Writer

Esha Saxena is a writer and journalist with over 3 years of experience. She holds a master’s degree in media and mass communication from St. Francis College for Women, Hyderabad, and firmly believes that makeup is nothing less than art. Combining her love for writing with her passion for makeup, she brings to you reviews, techniques, and her ever-growing full bio

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