The Bathroom Staple That'll Make Removing Makeup Stains A Breeze

Makeup stains can be some of the most challenging stains to remove in contemporary households. Cosmetic products often feature an oil base that makes them work their magic and adhere properly to the skin, which means simple soap and water will most often not work to fully remove them from fabrics and other surfaces. Whether it's foundation residue or lipstick stains left along shirt collars, towels, or bedding, they can often survive wash cycles, meaning you may be thinking replacement is your only option. However, a common everyday bathroom item in most homes may be the solution to removing makeup stains — shaving cream!

By applying this versatile substance as a treatment before your regular wash cycle, you can often save fabrics from even the most tenacious makeup stains. Because it breaks up the oil, it's much easier for other kinds of detergent to do their job in fully removing the stain.

How it works

The best approach is to pre-treat your stain with shaving cream before throwing it in the wash. Squirt 1-2 pumps of any brand of shaving cream on your surface, allowing it to sit for at least 10 minutes, during which it will work to break up the oil in the fabric. After time has elapsed, blot the fabric with a sponge or cloth to remove the shaving cream, then rinse the surface of the stain with cool water before running the piece through the laundry machine.

Experts advise avoiding rubbing any stain further into the fabric's threads, instead allowing the treatment to break up the oil so it can be rinsed away. If the makeup spot is thick, try removing any excess material with a small scraper or spatula before treating your fabric. Alternatives to shaving cream for treating makeup stains are dishwashing liquid or designated stain-removing products, which may be used similarly as a step before tossing it into the washing machine, depending on the directions on the bottle. Before washing, you may also want to use a soft-bristled brush after the shaving cream, soap, or other treatment to further loosen the stain.

Other tips for removing makeup stains

For fabric surfaces that are not machine-washable, such as carpet or upholstery, remove any excess, taking care to not further drive the makeup into the fibers. Use a carpet cleaning solution or a mix of dish soap and cold water over the stain and allow it to sit for several minutes to work. Use a white cloth to begin blotting the stain from the exterior toward the middle. Keep going until your cloth is no longer picking up the pigment.

Water-based cosmetics, like some mascaras and eyeliners, can be much more easily removed by simply using a water-based makeup remover you'd typically use on your skin. For tricky liquids like nail polish on leather upholstery, try removing the stain by blotting with rubbing alcohol and cotton balls until gone. For suede fabrics, use baking soda to soak up the excess polish before treating. Some experts say that everyday hairspray can also work wonders on nail polish stains in place of alcohol on both upholstery and clothing.