Clothing in the middle of a wash cycle

HOW TO GET LIPSTICK OUT OF CLOTHES IN 7 STEPS

Lipstick is notoriously difficult to remove from clothes for the same reason it stays put on lips. The same oil, wax, pigment and chemicals that help lipstick last throughout the day also make it especially tough to remove from fabric. Give clothes a serious stain-fighting treatment by following these lipstick stain removal steps.

WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO REMOVE LIPSTICK FROM CLOTHING?

The best way to remove red lipstick stains from your white shirts or other clothing is to spot treat the stain with dish soap, then rinse thoroughly before you place the garment in the washing machine.

HOW TO REMOVE LIPSTICK FROM CLOTHES

To remove lipstick stains from fabrics, carefully scrape off excess lipstick and spot treat the stain with dish soap before soaking the item in a dish soap solution. Then, gently scrub the stain with a soft brush, place it in the washing machine and set it to the highest temperature allowed by the care label.

Explore the step-by-step instructions below to help you remove lipstick stains from t-shirts, dress shirts, dresses and jackets

SUPPLIES
  • Dish soap

  • Stain-fighting detergent

  • Baking soda (optional)

  • Oxygen bleach (optional)

TOOLS
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STEP 1: CHECK YOUR CLOTHING’S CARE TAG

Always check your clothing’s care label for any specific requirements like dry cleaning—as the following method is recommended for machine-washable clothes only. Before treating the stain, check the garment's care label for hot, warm or cold water temperature recommendations.

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ACT QUICKLY

Begin the removal process as soon as possible after the lipstick stain occurs. Waiting longer gives the oils in the lipstick more time to absorb into the fabric, making it harder to remove.

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STEP 2: GENTLY SCRAPE OFF EXCESS LIPSTICK

Use a dull knife or credit card to lift off any excess lipstick. Gently scrape the surface of the fabric, making sure not to rub or push the lipstick deeper into the fabric.

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STEP 3: APPLY A TEASPOON OF DISH SOAP DIRECTLY TO THE STAIN

If both sides of the fabric are accessible, apply the dish soap to the front and back of the stain without water. Do not rub or scrub the stain. Let the dish soap sit for about 30 minutes.

 

Laundry detergent or pre-wash stain remover can be used in place of dish soap, but they may not have the same grease-fighting capabilities, which helps give dish soap a leg up on fighting the oils in lipstick.

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STEP 4: SOAK IN A DISH SOAP SOLUTION

Mix a drop of liquid dish soap and a few cups of the warmest water recommended on the garment's care tag in a glass or plastic bowl or bucket. Soak the item for at least an hour. The longer the soak, the better your chances of success. If you can, an overnight soak is ideal for lipstick stain removal.

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STEP 5: REMOVE THE STAIN WITH A SOFT BRUSH

When the stain is done soaking, gently scrub it with a soft-bristle toothbrush, working from the outside in to prevent spreading. Remove as much of the stain as possible and be sure to fully remove the soap by rinsing thoroughly before putting the item in the washing machine. Dish soap in the washing machine creates excess suds and can cause an overflow.

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STEP 6: MACHINE WASH ON YOUR REGULAR WASH CYCLE

Machine wash the item using the warmest water recommended on the care tag. Use any products in your stain-fighting arsenal, like oxygen bleach or laundry detergent containing stain removers. If you don’t have either of these, add ½ cup of baking soda to the load.

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STEP 7: REPEAT STEPS AS NEEDED

Line dry the item, as heat from a dryer will set any stain left behind that you can’t see while the fabric is wet. Inspect the item after it dries. If the lipstick stain persists, repeat steps 1–7 as many times as needed until the stain is completely gone. If you can't get the stain out, take it to a dry cleaner.

SHOP MAYTAG® WASHERS FOR REMOVING TOUGH STAINS

Maytag® washing machines are built for power and are designed to make laundry day less of a chore. Browse top and front load options to find the right fit for you.

LIPSTICK STAIN REMOVAL HACKS

Depending on the type of fabric and the formula of your lipstick, there are other cleaning methods you can use to help remove lipstick stains. Always test products in a discreet location on your garment before using them to treat stains and check your care label.

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1. MAKEUP REMOVER

When you have a lipstick stain on your clothes, especially if it is new and has not soaked into the fabric, using an oil-free, non-flammable makeup remover can help remove it. Simply dab the stain with makeup remover wipes before you place it in the washing machine.

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2. RUBBING ALCOHOL

If you’re hand washing your garment, you can use isopropyl alcohol to spot treat a lipstick stain. Flush the stain with rubbing alcohol and gently dab the stain with a clean cloth. Repeat until the color is removed, then rinse thoroughly and let it air dry.

 

You should never apply rubbing alcohol to clothing that you plan to place in the washer or dryer, as this product is flammable.

 

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3. BAKING SODA AND VINEGAR

You may be able to use common household items like distilled white vinegar and baking soda to help remove lipstick stains from your clothing. Apply the baking soda onto the stain and gently rub it in using a toothbrush, then add a few drops of vinegar to the spot and dab gently with a cotton ball.

Rinse thoroughly, then hand or machine wash your garment.

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4. TOOTHPASTE

Toothpaste may also help remove red lipstick stains from your fabrics. Apply the toothpaste to the stained area, then rinse the area with cool water. Repeat as needed.

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5. BLEACH

If recommended by your item’s laundry care label, you can use color-safe bleach to help remove lipstick stains from your clothes. Add the bleach to your washing machine following the package’s instructions.

HOW DO YOU GET DRIED LIPSTICK OUT OF CLOTHES?

Dried lipstick is more difficult to remove from clothing as the oils have had time to set into the fabric. First, check your garment’s care label. You may be able to remove most of the dried stain by applying dish soap directly to the stain. 

Soak the item in a dish soap solution and machine wash using the warmest water your care tag will allow. Hang the garment or lay it flat to air dry.

Person standing in front of a white Maytag® top load washer and dryer set Person standing in front of a white Maytag® top load washer and dryer set

HOW DO YOU REMOVE LIP GLOSS AND LIQUID LIPSTICK FROM CLOTHES?

Long-lasting liquid lipsticks and lip glosses are formulated differently from standard lipstick and may require another cleaning method. After checking your garement’s care label, try soaking the stained item in a solution of warm water and baking soda for at least an hour, then rinse the solution away and machine wash as normal.

EXPLORE MAYTAG® WASHING MACHINES

Maytag® washers are built to tackle your extra dirty laundry. Explore the entire line of front and top loading washers with features on select models like the stain-fighting Extra Power button or the Power™ Impeller to find the right fit for your laundry room.

MORE STEP-BY-STEP STAIN REMOVAL

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