Remove Lipstick Stains

by Amy Gordon
(last updated October 31, 2016)

Lipstick is supposed to stay on lips, isn't it? So why does it seem to like to wander onto collars (yours and your partner's), the inside of your sweater, or other odd and unlikely places? Lipstick stains happen quickly and easily, and unfortunately it's not nearly as quick or as easy to get them out.

If you're out and about when you notice the stain, there isn't much you can do about it. You need to deal with the mark as soon as you get home—lipstick marks and stains from other cosmetics rarely ruin clothes, but the sooner you deal with them, the easier they are to get rid of. Without going home, the only thing you can do to help is to lightly dab at the mark with some water and a paper towel. This should remove some of the lipstick. Be careful not to smear the makeup even more by rubbing. (In other words, don't rub the stain).

Once you are at home, if your shirt is machine washable, an easy solution is to pre-treat the stain with a stain remover stick or spray, following the directions for the spray or stick, and rinse, continuing to dab at the shirt with the stain remover. Add more stain remover and wash your shirt in the washing machine. Do not dry the garment until you've checked that all the lipstick is gone, and there is no oily residue.

If the shirt is colorfast, you might also try blotting at the stain first with a bit of rubbing alcohol, and next with some dish detergent. The dish detergent should break down the oils in the lipstick, and you should be able to rinse most of the lipstick away. Rinse the stained area well, and repeat if necessary. Once you've removed as much lipstick as you possibly can, apply a stain remover or a paste of dry laundry detergent and water, and let your shirt sit for 5—10 minutes. Then, if the shirt is machine washable, put into the wash. Again, do not put the shirt in the dryer if the stain is still there.

Another solution, which also works for ink and wine stains, is to spray the lipstick mark with hairspray. A quick saturation of the stain, followed by running water through the stain, will usually cause the stain to disappear. This even works when you are out, if you or a friend happen to have hairspray with you.

If the shirt is not machine washable, you probably regularly dry clean it. Just take the shirt to your drycleaner, show them the stain, and let them deal with getting rid of it.

Author Bio

Amy Gordon

Amy Gordon loves keeping things simple, natural, and safe so she can spend more time having fun. Every day she learns new things about making life at home easier and she loves to share it with you! ...

MORE FROM AMY

Removing Stains from Walls

Stains on walls are easiest to remove by cleaning them as soon as they happen. Different stains need different cleaning ...

Discover More

Installing New Sod

Sod is a great alternative to growing grass from seeds. When laying sod, be sure the area is prepared before hand. It is also ...

Discover More

Creating a Beginner's Flower Garden

Starting a flower garden is easy. Make sure you have the right spot chosen out to grow your flowers. Choose the flowers that ...

Discover More

Keep Your Hardwood Floors Like New Bona's hardwood floor cleaner is the #1 choice of professionals. The no-residue formula is specially designed to be safe for floors, families, and the environment. Check out Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner Refill today!

More Cleaning Tips

Removing Soft Drink Stains

You can remove soft drinks stains on the carpet by blotting them with a white cloth and a couple drops of liquid detergent. ...

Discover More

Removing Coffee and Tea Stains from Cups

Tea and coffee often stain the cups and mugs you drink them in. To remove the stains, use some of the tips below. You can use ...

Discover More

Preventing Mold from Growing on Siding

Mold and mildew are some fairly nasty things that can grow just about anywhere if the proper steps aren't taken. One of the ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is five less than 5?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Videos

Subscribe to the Tips.Net channel:

Visit the Tips.Net channel on YouTube

Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.