How to Get Stubborn Makeup Stains Out of Clothes and Bed Sheets

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How to Get Stubborn Makeup Stains Out of Clothes and Bed Sheets
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Makeup stains are the bane of our existence. Not only do they seem to pop up at the most inopportune times; they also require a ridiculous amount of energy to remove.  Whether you’re pulling a shirt over your face and a deodorant streak magically appears or someone moves in for a hug and transfers foundation to your collar, they’re simply not fun to deal with. Luckily, there are a few ways to deal with them instead of sacrificing another piece of clothing or bedroom sheets.

Ahead, we’ve pulled together a guide for dealing with the most common mess-ups.

MORE: What to Do When Your Makeup Melts in Your Bag

Lipstick: Because most lipsticks are oil-based, using an oil based cleaner will likely remove the stain. Get yourself a grease fighting liquid soap like Dawn Dish Soap and begin by blotting the stain with a clean tissue to remove any excess color. Next, spritz the stain with clean water, but don’t soak the fabric. Gently rub a drop of the soap onto the stain and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Then, use a clean terry cloth towel to rub the soap into the stain in a circular motion from the outer edges towards the middle. Finish by dabbing the section of fabric clean with a dry towel, and if the stain isn’t completely removed, repeat the process as necessary.

Alternatively, you can also use good old fashioned rubbing alcohol to remove the stain. Simply soak a cloth or cotton ball and dab it directly onto the stain until it’s gone. This one may take a little longer, but it’s just as effective. Just be sure to treat the stain as soon as it happens.

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Foundation and Self Tanner: If you’re using a liquid foundation, it’ll soak into fabric very quickly, so the sooner you can get to the stain, the better. Start by scraping off any excess foundation with a plastic knife, then blot the stain with a damp paper towel to remove more of the product. Next, pour a few drops of hydrogen peroxide onto the stain and work it into the fabric with your fingers. Next, work it into the stain in a circular motion with a toothbrush. Then, launder the fabric and lay it flat to dry.

For a powder foundation stain, mix a few drops of liquid detergent and water and apply that to the stain, rubbing into the fabric first with your fingers, then with a toothbrush. Finish by laundering the clothing item and laying it flat to dry. For both powder and liquid formulas, baby wipes are also effective on fresh stains, not ones that have been sitting for hours or days.

Since most of us don’t notice tanning stains until hours after an appointment, stain removal takes a little more time. Your best bet is to soak the clothing or sheet in a water solution made with oxygenated bleach, such as OxiClean.

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Mascara: Get yourself a pre-wash stain fighter like Shout and apply to the stain using the brush that comes with the pre-wash. Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes, then rinse with hot water. Launder the garment immediately either by hand or in the machine (whichever is most convenient for you). Let the garment dry flat instead of putting it in the dryer, especially if the stain isn’t completely out. The heat of the dryer can set the stain further rather than working to remove it.

Deodorant: While deodorant may not be makeup, it still gets on our clothing all the time. Using a pair of nylon stockings or a dryer sheet, rub the fabric against the deodorant mark and it’ll almost immediately come out off of the clothing. If you treat the stain immediately after it appears with damp washcloth, that usually does the trick, too.

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