Home Remedies for Cleaning Lipstick Stains

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From the collar of a man’s shirt to rubbing your lips against a blouse as you disrobe – lipstick has a funny way of leaving behind a greasy trail on clothing. The composition of lipstick heightens the level of difficulty for removal, but it is not entirely impossible to achieve. With the help of home remedies for lipstick stains, you might just save yourself a professional or dry cleaning bill.

About Lipstick Stains

Removing lipstick can become a tricky process because not all lipsticks are made with the same ingredients. When using a method to getting rid of a lipstick stain, it is important to blot instead of rub out the discoloration. Blotting helps remove the stain and oils found in the lipstick. Rubbing will only push the stain further into the fabric, as well as can cause smearing that makes the stain more difficult to remove.

Lipstick Stain Home Remedies

It’s easy to drop your cosmetics on your lap or accidently pucker up to the wrong material. There’s nothing worse than eye-attracting discoloration taking away from the beauty of your favorite garments. To eliminate a make-up blunder, you may want to consider the following home remedies for lipstick stains:

a) Liquid Detergent:

Some lipstick stains are easily removed when you rub liquid detergent into affected fabrics.

b) Nail Polish Remover [1]:

A nail polish remover with acetone can help remove a lipstick spot from your clothing. Keep in mind that acetone can damage colored garments, so proceed with caution.

c) Bread:

Use the doughy center of a slice of white bread to help lift lipstick stains from fabric. Knead the bread into a ball, and then use to repeatedly blot the smeared color. Follow up by washing the garment. This remedy is also safe to use on lipstick marks left behind on dry-clean only wool clothing.

d) Eye Dropper:

To treat a small lipstick stain with precision, use an eye dropper to apply your stain remover [2].

e) Tape:

To remove lipstick from silk scarf or dress, place a piece of transparent (or masking) tape over the spot and rip it off. If you see any lingering lipstick, sprinkle a bit of talcum powder or chalk dust to absorb the remaining stain.

f) Velvet:

To treat a lipstick stain, an old costume stage designer trick is to wipe with a piece of velvet.

g) Rubbing Alcohol:

Apply rubbing alcohol to a terry cloth, and then dab on a lipstick stain to remove. The terry cloth will blot the stain up as the alcohol works on lifting the discoloration from the fibers of your fabric.

h) Ammonia:

Moisten a terry cloth with ammonia and use to blot up the lipstick stain while the ammonia treats the components. Before using this remedy check the fabric to make sure this treatment will not harm the fabric.

i) Hair Spray:

To remove lipstick stains from a shirt, apply hair spray and let it sit for a few minutes. Wipe off the hair spray and the stain should disappear as well. Follow up by washing your shirts as usual.

j) Petroleum Jelly:

When you’ve smeared lipstick on your cloth napkins, try blotting the stains with petroleum jelly [3]. Wash the napkins afterwards. Some people have reported clean, stain-free napkins when using this home remedy.

k) Salt:

Treat lipstick marks on your glassware by rubbing the edges with salt. This will help break down the emollients that have stayed behind on a glass.

l) Toothpaste:

Remove lipstick stains from fabric by applying a non-gel toothpaste to affected materials, and rub the fabric vigorously together. Rinse the stain with water, and repeat the process for any remaining lipstick.


[1] Five Minute Fixes by Reader’s Digest; pg. 264.
[2] Stain Rescue by Good Housekeeping Research Institute; pg. 39.
[3] Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things by Reader’s Digest’ pg. 255.