How to get lipstick out of clothes

Effective Methods for Removing Lipstick Stains from Fabric
  Reading time 6 minutes

Stains can be particularly challenging to remove, and lipstick is no exception. Fortunately, with the right techniques, you can effectively remove lipstick from your clothes, leaving them as good as new. In this article, you will learn step-by-step methods to tackle those pesky lipstick stains promptly and efficiently.

Immediate Action: The First Steps

When you first notice a lipstick stain, quick action can make a significant difference. Here’s what you should do immediately:

  • Act quickly before the lipstick stain sets into the fabric fibers.
  • Instead of rubbing the stain, gently blot it with a paper towel or a clean cloth to remove excess lipstick.
  • Apply some cold water to the stained area; avoid using hot water as it can cause the stain to set.

These initial steps will help mitigate the severity of the stain, making it easier to remove in the subsequent cleaning processes.

Pre-Treatment Solutions

Before washing the stained garment, it’s essential to pre-treat the affected area. Here are some effective solutions for pre-treatment:

  1. Liquid Dish Soap: Apply a small amount of liquid dish soap directly onto the stain. Gently work it into the fabric using your fingers or a soft brush, then rinse with cold water.
  2. Rubbing Alcohol: Dab a small amount of rubbing alcohol onto the stain using a cotton ball. Let it sit for a few minutes before blotting with a clean cloth. Follow up by washing the garment as usual.
  3. Stain Remover Spray: Commercial stain removers designed for tough stains can also be effective. Spray the stain remover onto the lipstick stain and let it sit for the recommended time before laundering.

Always test these solutions on a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric first to ensure they do not cause any damage or discoloration.

Washing the Garment

Once you’ve pre-treated the stain, the next step is to wash the garment properly:

  • Check the care label on your clothing for washing instructions and water temperature recommendations.
  • Add a high-quality laundry detergent to your washing machine, and choose a suitable wash cycle based on the fabric type.
  • If possible, wash the garment separately or with similarly colored clothes to prevent any potential damage or color transfer.

For stubborn stains, you may need to repeat the pre-treatment steps and wash the garment again.

Tips to Eliminate Lipstick Marks from Clothing

Alternative Home Remedies

If you prefer natural solutions or do not have commercial products available, there are several home remedies you can try:

  • Baking Soda Paste: Mix baking soda with water to form a paste. Apply this paste to the stain, let it sit for a few minutes, and then gently scrub with a soft brush before washing.
  • Lemon Juice: Lemon juice can act as a natural bleaching agent. Apply lemon juice to the stain and let it sit for at least 30 minutes before rinsing and washing.
  • Milk: Soak the stained area in milk for about 30 minutes, then blot with a clean cloth and wash the garment accordingly.

Always rinse and wash the garment thoroughly after using these remedies to ensure that no residues are left behind.

Final Checks and Drying

After washing, inspect the garment closely to ensure the stain is completely gone:

  1. Examine the stained area under good lighting to see if there are any remaining traces of lipstick.
  2. If the stain persists, repeat the pre-treatment and washing steps as needed.
  3. Once the stain is fully removed, dry the garment according to the care label instructions, either by air drying or using a dryer.

Avoid putting the garment in the dryer if the stain is still visible, as the heat could set the stain permanently.


Getting lipstick out of clothes may seem daunting, but with the right methods, it’s entirely achievable. Immediate action, proper pre-treatment, and effective washing techniques are critical to removing these stubborn stains. Whether you use commercial products or home remedies, always test on a small area first and follow the care label instructions. With a bit of patience and effort, you can save your clothes from unsightly lipstick stains and keep them looking fresh and new.


Can I use vinegar to remove lipstick stains?

Yes, vinegar can be effective for removing lipstick stains. Mix equal parts vinegar and water, apply to the stain, and blot with a clean cloth before washing. However, always test on an inconspicuous area first.

What if the lipstick stain has already set?

If the stain has already set, you may need to repeat the pre-treatment and washing steps several times. Consider using a stronger stain remover or professional cleaning services for stubborn, set-in stains.

Can I use bleach to remove lipstick stains?

Bleach can be used on white, bleach-safe fabrics but should be avoided on colored garments as it can cause discoloration. Always follow the care label and manufacturer’s instructions when using bleach.

Is it safe to use nail polish remover on lipstick stains?

Nail polish remover containing acetone can be effective but is risky as it can damage some fabrics. It’s best used as a last resort, and always test it on a small, hidden area first.

Why should I avoid rubbing the stain?

Rubbing a lipstick stain can cause the pigment to spread and embed deeper into the fabric fibers, making it more challenging to remove. It’s better to blot gently to lift the stain without spreading it.