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Effective Way to Remove Lipstick Stain from Clothes

Effective Way to Remove Lipstick Stain from Clothes
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Lipstick stains on clothing are a severe problem, primarily when they adversely affect the appearance of your favourite attire. The removal of such stains creates a significant challenge due to most lipsticks’ waxy and oily nature. These lipsticks are specifically formulated to have a lasting and vivid appearance on the lips but encounter difficulties when applied to clothes. This guide aims to teach you how to remove Lipstick stains from different garments.

It’s crucial to know the proper techniques for removing lipstick stains quickly and efficiently. Getting this knowledge helps maintain the quality and visual appeal of your garments. It fosters self-assurance in effectively handling these frequent accidents. This guide provides a complete overview of the essential actions, ranging from initial preparations to prevent the stain from setting to extensive cleaning approaches targeting the stain at the molecular level.

Understanding Lipstick Stains

Lipstick stains on fabric are challenging due to the unique makeup of lipstick itself. To effectively tackle these stains, it’s essential to understand what makes them so durable.

Composition: Lipstick mainly consists of wax, oils, and pigments. Lipstick’s easy application and persistence on the lips are due to the waxes and oils. This allows it to adhere firmly not only to skin but also to other surfaces it comes into touch with, including cloth. The pigments provide a colour ranging from light pastels to deep reds. The area is intended to be long-lasting, adding to the durability of the stains they can produce.

Behaviour: When it comes into contact with clothing, the lipstick’s oils help the pigments enter the fabric’s fibres. This penetration occurs quickly, especially among natural textiles like cotton or silk, because they are more absorbent than synthetic fibres. Once these pigments start to set in, removing them requires breaking the bonds without destroying the fabric itself.

Challenges: Because lipstick stains are both oily and pigmented, removing them is difficult. Traditional laundry detergents may only be partially successful as they struggle to break down greasy residues. They leave pigments behind even after the wash. As a result, removing a lipstick stain from clothing sometimes requires a more specialized approach involving specific techniques and materials designed to handle both components of the stain.

Immediate Actions

When you discover a lipstick stain on your clothing, immediately act as early as possible to avoid the stain from settling in. Here are the quick steps you should follow:

  1. Do Not Rub the Stain:Don’t rub the lipstick stain Because doing so worsens the situation. Rubbing can drive the lipstick further into the cloth fibres, making removing it more difficult.
  2. Scrape Off:Gently remove any extra lipstick from the fabric. To carefully remove the lipstick from the cloth, use a blunt knife and ensure you are not pushing the lipstick deeper into the clothing.
  3. Wipe the Stain:After removing the excess, use a clean and dry paper towel or white cloth to wipe the affected area gently. The idea is to absorb as much lipstick as possible without spreading it.
  4. Apply a Pre-Treatment Solution:If you have a pre-treatment solution or stain remover, apply a tiny amount directly to the spot. This will begin to break down the oils and pigments in the lipstick, making it easier to remove when washing. If you don’t have a stain remover, a little rubbing alcohol or even hand sanitizer will be sufficient
  5. Avoid Heat: Do not apply heat to the stain since it will solidify it and make it nearly impossible to remove.

Pre-Treatment Techniques for Lipstick Stains

Before washing the item, use an effective pre-treatment to loosen and break down lipstick stains. These procedures target both the oily and pigmented components of the lipstick, increasing the likelihood of eliminating the stain. Depending on the products available and the type of fabric affected, you can use one of the following pre-treatment methods:

Dish Soap: 

The grease-cutting capabilities of dish soap make it an effective first line of defence against oily stains.

  • Place a tiny amount of dish soap immediately on the lipstick stain.
  • Gently rub soap into the stain with your fingers or a soft brush, careful not to spread it further.
  • Allow 10-15 minutes for the soap to permeate and break down the oils.
  • Rinse with cold water to check if the stain lightens.

Makeup Removal Method:

  • Oil-based makeup removers are highly effective.
  • Use an oil-based makeup remover to dissolve the lipstick components.
  • Delicately dab the remover onto the spot using a cotton ball or pad.
  • Leave the makeup remover on the fabric for a few minutes to break down the stains.

Rubbing Alcohol: 

Rubbing alcohol can help break down the colours and is especially helpful for spots that won’t come out.

  • Use rubbing alcohol to wet a cotton swab or pad.
  • Use a soft cloth to wipe the spot. Do not rub the stain because it can get deeper into the cloth.
  • Give the spot some time to soak up the alcohol. It breaks down the colours and oils very fast.
  • Use cold water to clean the area.

Ammonia Solution: 

Ammonia can be used to get rid of stains on fabrics that aren’t too fragile:

  • Add half a cup of warm water to one tablespoon of ammonia.
  • Apply this solution straight to the stain with a sponge or cloth and dab it in gently.
  • Leave it alone for five to ten minutes.
  • Use cold water to rinse well.

Note of Caution: Always test these solutions on a small, hidden part of the fabric first to ensure they don’t damage or change the fabric’s colour. This is especially important for delicate or brightly coloured fabrics.

Washing Techniques Post-Pre-Treatment

After pre-treating the lipstick stain, the next step is to wash the item of clothing to remove any leftover paint. To clean your item after pre-treatment, follow these steps and things to think about:

  1. Read the Care Label: Carefully read the care label on the item of clothing before moving on. This label tells you important things like the type of cloth, the best temperature for washing, and whether you should wash the item by hand or in a machine.
  2. Choose the Right soap: Wash your clothes with the suitable soap for the type of fabric. If you have delicate garments, use a mild detergent that won’t damage them as much. If the cloth is tough, you might need a stronger detergent to remove the lipstick stain.
  3. Change the settings for washing:

Temperature: The care label will tell you the warmest water temperature that is safe for the cloth. Warm water can help eliminate any oils still there, but you should stay away from boiling water because it could set the colour.

Cycle: If the cloth is delicate, choose a gentle cycle so the agitation doesn’t damage it. A regular cycle can work for fabrics that last longer.

  1. Look at the Stain Before Drying: After cleaning, look at the stain before drying the item. You should take care of the stain while the fabric is still wet if any traces are left. If you dry a stained item of clothing, especially on high heat, in a dryer, the spot may not come out.

Handling Tough Stains

Conventional washing methods are not always able to get rid of lipstick stains. Here are some practical ways to get rid of them entirely and protect the originality of your clothes:

  1. Professional Dry CleaningProfessional dry cleaning is the most effective way to remove stains or fabrics prone to damage. Professional dry cleaners know the stains and the nature of your clothes than any other. They have special chemicals and tools that can remove the toughest stains from your clothes.
  2. Bleach: A standard bleach solution can eliminate lipstick stains on white clothes, which has been tested and proven safe for bleaching.
  • Get a 1:4 mix of bleach and water ready.
  • Put on gloves to protect your hands, and then apply a sponge or cloth straight to the stain.
  • Allow it to sit briefly before washing it well with cold water.
  • Then, a standard wash cycle is needed to get rid of any bleach residue, which can weaken fabric fibres if it stays on them.
  1. Enzyme-Based Stain Removers: Enzyme-based stain removers break down proteins and oils, making washing out organic marks like lipstick easier. Follow the product’s directions (usually 10 to 15 minutes of pre-treatment) and apply the remover straight to the needed area.  Follow the care note on the item to wash it.
  2. Glycerin: Glycerin is a gentle yet effective way to eliminate tough spots.  As a solvent, it breaks up and removes colour and oil residues.  Use your fingers or a soft brush to gently work the glycerin into the stain after applying it straight.  Give it 30 minutes to work on the spot.  Before you start a normal wash cycle, rinse the area well with cold water.


Lipstick stains on clothing require an immediate response for successful removal.  Understanding the stain composition and garment fabric allows for selecting the most appropriate cleaning technique to ensure stain elimination without fabric damage. Effective stain removal can be achieved through various methods, from readily available household items like dish soap or makeup remover to professional cleaning solutions.  Crucially, the success hinges on the promptness of action and selecting the correct method based on fabric characteristics and stain severity.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I use hot water to remove lipstick stains from clothes?

A: Using cold water when treating lipstick stains is generally recommended. Hot water can set the stain into the fabric, making removing it more difficult.

Q: Will bleach help remove lipstick stains from coloured clothing?

A: Bleach is not recommended for coloured clothing, as it can cause discolouration or damage the fabric.

Q: How soon should I treat a lipstick stain after it occurs?

A: It’s best to treat a lipstick stain as soon as possible after it occurs.

Q: Can I use vinegar to remove lipstick stains?

A: While vinegar is often used as a natural cleaning agent, it may not be effective for removing lipstick stains. It’s best to use pre-treatment solutions specifically designed for removing oily and pigmented stains.

Q: Will rubbing alcohol damage delicate fabrics?

A: Rubbing alcohol can be harsh on delicate fabrics, so use milder stain removal methods or seek professional dry cleaning.

Q: How can I prevent lipstick stains from transferring to my clothing?

A: To prevent lipstick stains, consider using transfer-resistant lipsticks, applying makeup carefully, and using protective barriers such as scarves or higher collars. Additionally, blotting excess lipstick and carrying stain removal wipes can help minimize the risk of staining.


Jahid Hasan

Jahid Hasan

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