Mascara Stain Removal – How to Remove Mascara Stains


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It happens: You’re applying your makeup for the day and suddenly, the mascara wand slips out of your hand, bounces off the wall, rolls down your shirt, and spills all over the carpet. OK, maybe the scene isn’t that dramatic. But, we’ll often find ourselves with a mascara stain that just won’t budge, even after passing over the stain with soap and water again and again.

Luckily, Director of the Cleaning Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute, Carolyn Forte, has some tricks to get the stubborn stains out of upholstery, carpet, and clothes — without having to throw them in the wash. Some of these tips even remove waterproof mascara. All you need is some basic cleaning supplies that you probably already have stocked up at home.

How to remove mascara from clothes

  1. Use a makeup removal wipe that claims to dissolve waterproof mascara.
  2. Place the stain face down on a paper towel.
  3. Use the makeup wipe on the back to push the stain out and into the paper towel.
  4. When no more comes off, rub in some prewash spray or liquid laundry detergent.
  5. Finally, wash as usual with a fabric-safe bleach.
    1. How to get mascara stains out of upholstery

      Note: Only use this method for upholstery fabrics that can be safely cleaned with water. Otherwise, call in a professional for help.

          1. Mix ¼ teaspoon dish liquid with 1 cup of water.
          2. Using a clean white cloth, sponge the stain with the detergent solution.
          3. Blot until the liquid is absorbed.
          4. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 until the stain disappears.
          5. Sponge with cold water and blot dry.
            1. How to remove mascara stains from the carpet

              1. Mix ¼ teaspoon dish soap per 1 cup of warm water.
              2. Sponge the stain with the detergent solution. Rinse with a cloth dipped in clear water and blot until the liquid is absorbed. Note: Work slowly and try to avoid over-wetting the carpet. Mold can form on carpets that stay wet for too long.
              3. If the stain remains, mix 1 tablespoon ammonia with ½ cup water – skip this step for wool or silk carpets.
              4. Sponge the stain with the ammonia solution. Rinse with a cloth dipped in clear water and blot until the liquid is absorbed.
              5. If the stain remains, mix one teaspoon of white vinegar with one cup of warm water. Sponge the stain with this solution. Blot until the liquid is absorbed.
              6. Sponge with cold water and blot dry.
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