How To Remove Lipstick From Clothes In 3 Easy Ways

That dark red lipstick is the quickest way to make an outfit pop — and also the fastest way to secure a stain in your favorite white shirt.

Lipstick stains are especially brutal. The oily, pigmented, and sometimes waxy product gets caught in the fibers of your clothes, and that combination of ingredients makes it harder to get out than other makeup stains.

But good news: There are several fast and easy ways to remove lipstick from clothes without shelling out cash at the dry cleaner. Better yet, you probably already have most of these stain-fighting solutions stashed under your kitchen sink or even in your purse.

If you’re out on a dinner date and get a lipstick stain on your shirt, you might be able to save your ensemble in the restaurant bathroom using one of these easy lipstick removal methods. And if your 3-year-old daughter decides she wants to dress-up like Spider-Man using red lipstick, you won’t have to throw away her favorite superhero T-shirt.

Read on to find out what you can do.

How To Get Lipstick Out Of Clothes

First up: You always want to treat lipstick stains as soon as you can. The longer you let lipstick sit, the more the stain will set, making it harder to completely remove it.

You’ll also want to double check the cleaning instructions on the clothing. If it says dry clean only, it’s better to leave stain removal to the professionals. If you’re safe to wash at home, there are a few household options you can use to remove lipstick from clothes.

1. How To Remove Lipstick With Dish Soap

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It’s gentle enough to use on clothes without messing with the color of the fabric. Harsh products like bleach are effective for stain removal, but also affect the fabric and color of the clothes.

Get a soap that fights grease — the fatty oils in most lipsticks are what makes it hard to get out. A dish soap should counteract that. You can use it on anything machine washable, from cotton to cashmere.

  1. Place the piece of clothing on a paper towel (stain side down) to absorb water as you dissipate the lipstick stain.
  2. Dab the flip side of the stain with soap (no water), and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Use a moist paper towel or dishcloth at room temperature to dab or lightly rub the area. The towel underneath should absorb the water and soap as you go — but swap it out as it absorbs the lipstick stain. You don’t want the paper to transfer the lipstick stain to new areas of your clothes.
  4. Wash the garment, and check to see if the stain is gone. You can repeat the soap process again.

2. How To Remove Lipstick With Hairspray

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A lipstick stain can also be reversed with another beauty staple: hairspray. An old-school hairspray works best here, like TIGI’s Bed Head Hard Head Spray. The more modern versions have less alcohol, which is really what breaks down the lipstick stain. Another stain-removal item you may have at the bottom of your purse are baby wipes, though they won’t be as effective at removing the stain from clothing as hairspray.

  1. Spray hairspray directly onto the lipstick stain (one to three sprays is ideal) and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Dab the stain with a wet cloth.

3. How To Remove Lipstick With Rubbing Alcohol

Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Or skip the alcohol-heavy hairspray and go straight to the source. Rubbing alcohol will definitely dissipate the lipstick stain; it’s just a bit harsher on your clothes than the other options are.

  1. Apply a bit to a cotton ball and press it into the stain.
  2. Keep dabbing until the lipstick is removed.

Lipstick Stain Removal Pro Tips

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1. After removing the lipstick stain, wash your clothes in cold water. Cold lifts stains out, while warm sets them in.

2. Double check the stain has been completely removed before drying. The dryer sets the lipstick stain in place, making it much harder to get out on your own afterward.

If you plan to put these simple everyday solutions to work immediately, make sure to SHARE for everyone who could use a few of these tips.