How to Get Lipstick Out of Clothes

How to Get Lipstick Out of Clothes featured photo

I live for lipstick. But like everyone else, there’s nothing more I hate than when it stains my clothes after getting all dressed up for the day. Lipstick and other makeup stains ruin just about anything.

Lipsticks are usually formulated with a combination of waxes, oils, and pigments that can cause stains on clothes. Addressing these ingredients will be the key to removal. 

Of course, lipsticks have different formulations and clothes are made with different fabrics. All these varieties call for different cleaning methods and approaches.

In this post, I cover several ways to deal with lipsticks stains on clothes. You will also learn how to prep before trying to remove the lipstick and additional tips to keep in mind when you’re dealing with lipstick stains.

What is it in Lipsticks that Causes Stain on Clothes?

Lipsticks are usually made from three main ingredients: waxes, oils, and pigments.

The mixture of these ingredients help you achieve your favorite lip color all the while gliding and sliding across your lips with no problems. The problem is when the lipstick gets in contact with clothes as any of these ingredients can stain.

While lipstick stains can be removed from clothes, you need to specifically address them first before tossing them in the washer.

Before Anything Else…

If you have a huge chunk of lipstick on your clothes due to sitting on one or for some other reason, the first thing you want to do is remove the excess lipstick with a butter knife. Simply scrape away that excess amount of lipstick.

Failing to do this can cause the stain to spread even more.

No matter which method you choose to get rid of the lipstick stain, it’s always best to check first the fabric care label. Clothes are made with different fabrics so they’re cared for differently.

Some chemicals or ingredients might not be safe for some types of fabrics and using it on them when you’re not supposed to can potentially ruin the fabric. Always check the label first before using anything on them.

How to Get Lipstick Out of Clothes

We’ve all been there, you finish putting on your lipstick but accidentally touch your lips with your sleeves.

Some instances cannot be avoided but it doesn’t mean you only have to live with the stains. And before you head over to your trusted dry cleaner, we detail below some easy methods and remedies to get lipstick out of clothes:

  1. Get lipstick stain out of clothes with liquid detergent or stain remover

Before washing the stained clothes in the washer, pre-treat it first with liquid laundry detergent or stain remover.

Pour or spray a small amount of liquid detergent or stain remover on the stain. Do it on both sides. Let this soak for some time. Check and see if the stain is fading.

Then, take the stained fabric under warm, running water and let the stain wash off. Remember, don’t rub the stain as this can be damaging or spread the stain more. Simply dab or blot on the stained area. Wash the clothes as usual.

It goes without saying you should only use detergent and stain remover that’s safe for the fabric you’re handling.

  1. Get lipstick stain out of clothes with rubbing alcohol

Regular rubbing alcohol (or vodka if you prefer it) is an effective lipstick stain remover.

Get a cotton round or clean cloth and wet it with a generous amount of alcohol. Blot and dab the alcohol on the area of the stain. Keep going until the stain is completely gone.

Once the stain is gone, rinse the garment with cold water. Wash the now stain-free fabric as you usually would.

  1. Get lipstick stain out of clothes with hairspray

Remove lipstick from clothing with hairspray containing alcohol.

Spray an amount of hairspray on the stained area. Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes. Then, get a clean cloth and wet it with warm water. Simply wipe away the hairspray with it. And along the hairspray comes off the lipstick stain.

Wash the fabric as you normally would.

  1. Get lipstick stain out of clothes with lemon juice and baking soda

Mix equal parts of lemon juice and baking soda to form a thick paste. You can adjust the amount according to how big the stain is. Apply this mixture on the stained area. Let it sit and soak for about 15-30 minutes.

After the time has passed, remove the mixture. Toss the fabric in the washer to wash as you would.

  1. Get lipstick stain out of clothes with dish soap

Dish soap is great at removing oils and stains (just look at your plates!) and they’re gentle enough for fabrics.

To remove lipstick stain with dish soap, grab a dry, clean towel and lay it flat on a surface. Then take the stained fabric and lay it on top of the towel with the stain facing down.

Dampen the affected clothing and squirt some dish soap on the side that’s facing up. Work the soap in with your fingers. Let it sit and soak for about 10-15 minutes.

Then turn the fabric over so the stained side is now facing up. Blot over the stained area with a clean paper towel. Get a new paper towel if it gets dirty as it absorbs the stain. Blot until the stain is gone then wash normally.

  1. Get lipstick stain out of clothes with shaving cream

For this method, you’d want to use a foaming shaving cream as a pre-wash treatment.

Apply a generous amount of shaving cream on the stained area. Dabit into the fabric, making sure it absorbs well. Leave and let soak for about 15 minutes then wash in the washer as usual.

Before hanging it to dry, make sure the stain is completely gone. If not, repeat the process and do so until it’s completely gone.

  1. Get lipstick stain out of clothes with vinegar

Soak a cotton ball or pad with a generous amount of vinegar. With the soaked cotton, gently dab the affected area. After the stain has lifted, wash as you normally would.

If you’re double guessing how the vinegar will affect the clothes’ colors, use white vinegar instead.

  1. Get lipstick stain out of clothes with hand sanitizer

You’ll need a hand sanitizer with alcohol for this to work. Squirt an amount of hand sanitizer on the stained area. With a damp, clean cloth, blot the area until the stain lifts.

After it lifts, run under cold water and then wash as usual.

Getting Lipstick Out of Wool

Wool is a fabric that needs special care. First, determine if you can machine wash it or only hand wash.

Get a mild and gentle shampoo or laundry detergent without enzymes. Apply it on the stain and let sit for about ten minutes. Let it dry and see if the stain lifts.

If it does, wash according to its special care instructions. If the stain remains, repeat the process until it’s gone.

Remove Lipstick Stains Out of Clothes: Additional Tips and Tricks

Here are few more tips and tricks you might want to keep in removing lipstick stains out of your clothes:

  • Don’t wait. Lipstick stains are easier to deal with when they’re not yet dry on the fabric.
  • Whichever cleaning method and hack you choose, make sure to only dab and blot – never rub the clothes! This can damage the fabric and can spread the stain further.
  • Always test any product or cleaning agent on a small patch on not-so-visible parts of your clothes before applying it on the stained area.


Lipsticks give your lips that pop of color your outfit might just need. Though a beauty staple for many, it can cause a lot of trouble when it stains your clothes.

Some of the easier ways to get rid of lipstick stains is with the good ol’ liquid detergent and stain remover. If this doesn’t work out for you, we’ve listed some more stain removal alternatives to try above, most of which are basic household items for convenience.

Whichever cleaning method you choose, only remember to be gentle with the fabric and never rub! For any more questions regarding today’s topic, reach out to us below!

Michelle Jackson
Michelle Jackson