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6 Remedies to Remove Lipstick Stains from Clothes

An enthusiastic fan of lipstick, actress Audrey Hepburn said, “I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick." Lipstick is beautiful worn on the lips and not on your clothing. These remedies will help ensure you can do just that.

a woman in a white bathrobe and turban applying her lipstick in the bathroom

Lipstick is often the finishing touch to make any look pop, and it is proven to boost your mood.

One thing lipstick does not do well is come out of clothing. Few things are more unforgiving than a lipstick stain, as the pigment tends to get trapped in the fibers of your clothing.

Fortunately, there are a few tricks that help remove lipstick from clothing and return your favorite items to like-new condition.

Why Does Lipstick Stain Clothing?

Lipsticks are essentially sticks of colored oil or wax. While these ingredients ensure that the lipstick glides on easily and looks flawless, it also means that your clothes get easily stained. The wax and pigment stick to your clothing, and you won’t be able to remove the stain without addressing both the dye and wax at the same time.

What To Do When Lipstick Stains Your Clothes

Before you begin to remove the stain, there are a few things that should be done:

Act Quickly

When you notice a lipstick stain on a piece of clothing, act quickly. Old stains are much harder to deal with than new stains. If you are out running errands or packing a garment bag for traveling, this means improvising with one of the remedies below.

Scrape Away Excess Lipstick

Use the edge of a credit card to scrape away the solid pieces of lipstick without smearing the lipstick any more. Doing this before you proceed further will make removing the stain much easier.

little girls playing with lipstick, one girl is covered in lipstick all over her mouth

Check The Fabric Care Label

There are few pieces of clothing in the world that do not have a care label. Look at the instructions for guidance on how to proceed. The most important part of that label is what your clothing is made from. Some materials react poorly to certain chemicals, and some should be taken to the dry cleaner for stain removal.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Do not use acetone or rubbing alcohol on fabrics that contain acetate, such as satin or rayon.
  • Avoid chlorine bleach on polyester.
  • Do not expose acrylic to hot water .
  • Never use bleach or alcohol on wool.
  • Silk, velvet, wool, taffeta, chiffon, leather, suede, and acetate are best taken to the dry cleaner.

6 Remedies for Removing Lipstick from Clothes

When you find a lipstick stain on a piece of clothing, keep general washing and care tips in mind, and choose the method below that works best for the garment.

1. How to Get Lipstick Out of Clothes with Shaving Cream

Pre-treating stains is an excellent way to remove them, especially when they are as stubborn as lipstick, and shaving cream is an excellent stain remover. Prior to washing, do the following:

  • Lay the garment out flat, so you can see the stain.
  • Apply a liberal amount of shaving cream to the garment.
  • Gently blot the shaving cream into the stain, ensuring the shaving cream has soaked into the fibers.
  • Leave the shaving cream on the garment.
  • Wash the item as usual.
  • Check the garment before putting it in the dryer. If you notice that there is some residual lipstick, repeat the process until the stain disappears.
a bowl of shaving cream with a razor and bristle brush

2. How to Remove Lipstick with Alcohol

Isopropyl alcohol, also known as rubbing alcohol, works wonders on stains. But, only use alcohol on non-delicate items. You can also use vodka if the smell of rubbing alcohol is too strong.

  • Wet a cotton ball, cloth, or paper towel with alcohol.
  • Gently dab at the lipstick stain.
  • The stain will begin to vanish; keep going until it is gone.
  • Once the stain has vanished, rinse the garment with cold water.
  • Wash your clothing as usual.

3. Removing Lipstick with Hand Sanitizer or Hairspray

If you don’t have a bottle of vodka or rubbing alcohol on hand, try hairspray or hand sanitizer. For this to work, the sanitizer or hairspray must contain alcohol.

  • Spray a little hairspray or apply sanitizer onto the stain.
  • Blot with a damp cloth or paper towel until the stain is gone.
  • Rinse with cold water then wash as you normally would.

4. How to Get Lipstick Out of Clothes with Dish Soap

Laundry detergent, dish soap, and shampoo all contain relatively the same ingredients, all of which remove grease and oil. Better yet, all of these products are gentle enough for machine-washable items and will not damage the color of the clothing. To use either laundry detergent, dish soap, or shampoo to remove a lipstick stain:

liquid laundry detergent being poured into a basin
  • Lay out your garment on a towel, stain side down.
  • Dampen the clothing.
  • Squirt the product onto the backside of the fabric, right where the stain is located.
  • Let the solution soak into the dampened fabric for about 10-20 minutes. The longer it sits, the better this method works.
  • Using a damp paper towel, start blotting at the stain. Do not rub the stain. The lipstick will begin to transfer to the paper towel. Throw out the towel, get a clean one, and keep blotting until all the lipstick has been removed.
  • Once the stain is no longer visible, wash your clothing as you would normally. Skip using the dryer until you are certain that the stain is gone.

5. Using Lemon Juice and Baking Soda to Remove Lipstick

  • If you find a lipstick stain on an item after washing it, try this remedy of lemon juice and baking soda to remove the stain with ease.
  • Use equal parts lemon juice and baking soda to make a paste.
  • With a dampened cloth, gently rub the paste into the stain.
  • Once the stain has been thoroughly covered, let the paste stand for about 30 minutes.
  • Remove the paste to see if the stain has lightened.
  • If the stain remains visible, scrub the stain a second time. Only do this if the fabric is cotton or denim and not considered delicate.
  • Once the stain is gone, wash the garment.
a jar of baking soda and a bottle of vinegar

Vinegar works the same way as baking soda and lemon juice. However, this solution requires making a paste with vinegar and salt. The combination will gently lift the stain out of the fabric. Here’s how:

  • Mix one part vinegar with one part salt to make a paste.
  • Rub the mixture gently into the stain.
  • Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes .
  • Wipe the vinegar and salt paste away from the stain to see if it has lightened.
  • Repeat until the stain is gone then wash your garment normally.

How to Get Lipstick Out of Wool

Since wool is made of natural fibers that require special care, be careful about which method you choose. Check first to make sure that the wool item is not dry-clean only. If it is safe to machine- or hand-wash, do the following:

  • Choose a shampoo or laundry detergent that contains zero enzymes.
  • Apply the shampoo or detergent to the wool, and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
  • Put the garment in the washing machine or hand wash.
  • Let the wool air dry to see if the stain is gone.
  • If the stain remains, take the item to the dry cleaner to avoid damaging the fibers.


1. What removes lipstick from clothes?

Many products can remove lipstick from clothes, including dish soap, shampoo, laundry detergent, hairspray, hand sanitizer, shaving cream, rubbing alcohol, vodka, or a mix of lemon juice and baking soda. Each of these remedies require steps before applying, such as soaking the stain and scraping away any excess lipstick.

2. Does lipstick wash out of clothes?

Yes, you can wash lipstick out of clothes. That said, removing brightly pigmented lipstick from clothes without first treating the stain with a stain remover will be difficult.

3. How do you get lipstick out of clothes that have been washed and dried?

Getting lipstick stains out of clothes that have already been washed, dried or even stored in clothes storage bags may be difficult, but it is not impossible. Dab some nail polish remover or white vinegar onto the stain then lightly brush with a toothbrush. Rinse the area out with rubbing alcohol, and then wash the garment.

Our tips on how to wash new clothes >>

Another alternative is to make a paste with vinegar and baking soda, and apply it to the stain. Let the garment soak overnight in a mixture of detergent and water, and then rinse in the morning.

4. What removes makeup from clothes?

You can remove makeup from clothing by dampening the stain with water and then applying one of the following products: rubbing alcohol, shaving cream, makeup wipes, detergent wipes or pens, soap, or hairspray. A mixture of lemon or vinegar and baking soda can also work.

close up of a caramel colored lipstick

An enthusiastic fan of lipstick, actress Audrey Hepburn said, “I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick." Lipstick is beautiful worn on the lips and not on your clothing. These remedies will help ensure you can do just that.

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