How To Remove Lipstick Stains From Clothes

How to remove lipstick stain from clothes
How to remove lipstick stain from clothes

Table of Contents

Whether your toddler has used lipstick as a crayon or you accidentally rubbed it on your outfit, it is going to be a real struggle if you don’t know how to remove lipstick from your clothes. But, don’t worry, we are here to help.

The first thing you need to do is to curb the obvious and instant urge to rub and rinse the stain. Be it creamy, matte or glossy, every type of lipstick leaves an oily stain. If you rub & rinse without using a stain remover, lipstick will get settled even more strongly because oil repels water.

Instead of rinsing, you should scrape off the excess lipstick first. Take a blunt knife and scrape off any excess lipstick on the garment immediately after you see the stain. It will not let the stain transfer to other areas of the garment.

Scrape off excess lipstick before removing stain
Scrape off excess lipstick before removing stain

Now, let’s see some common stain removers that you can use to remove lipstick stain completely.

Common Stain Removers To Remove Lipstick From Clothes

T-shirt with a lipstick stain
Lipstick stains on a garment

From home ingredients to chemical-based solvents, here are some common yet effective things that can remove lipstick stains from clothes:

Distilled white vinegar

Distilled white vinegar is a stain remover that is easily found in a lot of households. It contains mild acetic acid which is enough to remove stains without ruining the fibres of clothing.

Baking soda & Lemon juice

Baking soda and lemon are common household items. You can easily purchase baking soda from your nearest retail stores if it is not available at home. These two ingredients can remove long-settled lipstick stains easily.

Hair spray

If you have a hair spray then you can simply use it to remove lipstick stains. Otherwise, you can purchase any ordinary bottle of hairspray from brands like Loreal, Tresemme, Garnier etc. online or in your nearest stores.

Stain remover pen

Use stain remover pens for removing lipstick stain
Use stain remover pens to remove lipstick stain

Imagine getting a stain on a normal day at work, a casual outing or a special occasion. It will ruin the whole vibe, right? A stain remover pen or stick is best suited for such situations.

The stain remover chemical is packed in a lightweight easy-to-carry tube or pen-shaped thing which can be used easily. You can find stain remover pens like “Tide to Go Pen” on e-commerce sites like Amazon, Flipkart and in retail stores as well.


Ammonium hydroxide or household ammonia is used in a lot of household cleaning agents like dish washing liquid. It can be used as a stain remover for both oily and non-oily stains as well. You can purchase it from your nearest pharmacy stores.


There are two types of bleach: Chlorine bleach and Oxy bleach.

Clorox is a chlorine bleach commonly found in pharmacy stores. It acts as a good deodorizer. However, we do not recommend frequent use of chlorine bleach as it is harsh in nature. Hence, it prolonged usage weakens the fabric.

Oxy bleach is available in abundance in the market. Some popular ones are Ariel Oxybleach, OXO Brite, OxiClean, etc. Unlike chlorine bleach, it does not harm the fibres of a garment.

Home dry cleaning kit

Home dry cleaning kit
Home dry cleaning kit

A dry-cleaning kit is used to remove stains from “dry-clean only” clothes. Some kits like Dryel are easily available at retail stores and online. A home dry cleaning kit contains the following things:

  • Stain removal solution
  • Pads for stain removal (absorbs the element causing stain)
  • Heat-activated moist sheets
  • Reusable cleaning bag

These were some common products that you can use to remove lipstick stain depending on the garment. We have explained how to select and use the right stain remover below. So, keep reading.

Steps To Remove Lipstick Stain From Clothes

Steps to remove lipstick stains (mobile version)
Steps to remove lipstick stains (mobile version)

Step 1: Collect everything that you need to remove lipstick

Here are the things that you will need to treat the lipstick stain. Keep them handy to avoid hassle:

  • Old toothbrush
  • White Microfiber cloths
  • White Paper Towels
  • Lemon
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Dry-clean home kit
  • Petroleum Jelly
  • Hair Spray
  • Stain Remover Stick or Pen
  • Ammonia
  • Chlorine bleach
  • Oxy bleach
  • Baking Soda
  • Lemon Juice
  • Distilled White Vinegar

You have to use any one of all the stain removers mentioned above depending on the garment care label, fabric and colour of the garment.

Just in case you don’t have time to remove lipstick stains, you can try Tumbledry

Step 2: Choose a suitable stain remover for lipstick

As stated above, there are three things to keep in mind while choosing a lipstick stain remover:

  • Colour
  • Fabric
  • Garment care label

Here is all that you should keep in mind while:

(I) Choosing a stain remover on the basis of the garment colour

You should avoid using harsh chlorine bleach on coloured clothes as it can fade out the colour. Other stain removers mentioned above in the list are safe to use on coloured clothes (unless specifically mentioned on the label of stain removers or garment).

(II) Choosing a stain remover on the basis of the garment fabric

  • Cotton: You can use almost all the stain removers on cotton clothes. From home ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, & lemon juice to chemical-based stain removers like bleach, and ammonia, anything can be tried on cotton clothes.
  • Wool: You should not use bleach and ammonia to remove lipstick from woollens. They can damage the wool fibers. Other stain removers are safe to use. Don’t be too harsh on the fabric while stain removal. If you think the wool is extremely delicate, send the garment to a drycleaner.
  • Silk: We do not recommend using bleach on silk. You can use other stain removers including hairspray, stain remover pen, vinegar & cornstrach, baking soda on silk clothes. Ammonia can also be used, however, it is better to avoid as sometimes extremely delicate silk fibres may get damged due to ammonia.
  • Synthetic Fibres: Nylon, Acrylic, Polyester, etc. are some synthetic fibres which can tolerate all the stain removers we mentioned earlier except chlorine bleach. It can be extremely harsh on synthetic fibres.

(III) Choosing a stain remover on the basis of the garment care label

Things to remove lipstick stain as per the garment label care (mobile version)
Things to remove lipstick stain as per the garment label care (mobile version)

Read the garment care label as manufacturers clearly mention what cleaning agents should be avoided. For example, it is advised not to use bleach on certain garments. Next, you will know whether the fabric is washable or not. If the label contains terms like “hand wash”, “machine wash”, or “dry clean”, then you can choose any of the stain removers mentioned below:

  • Vinegar
  • Baking Soda & Lemon
  • Hairspray
  • Stain Remover Stick or Pen
  • Ammonia
  • Chlorine bleach
  • Oxy bleach

In case the label says “dry-clean only” this means that the garment is not washable. You can either send such garments to the drycleaners or use one of the following:

  • Stain remover pen
  • Home dry cleaning kit

Step 3: Use the stain removers on lipstick stain

Using stain remover on the lipstick stain


Take one tablespoon of dishwashing liquid or your regular laundry detergent. Mix it with one tablespoon of white distilled vinegar and two cups of warm water. Dip a clean microfiber cloth in the mixture and blot the stained area until it’s damp. Then, leave it for 10 minutes. Take another cloth, dip it in cold water and blot the stained area with a paper towel.

Do you know we promise 99% stain removal?  

Baking Soda & Lemon Juice

Mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda with the juice of a half lemon or 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to make a paste. Apply it directly to the stain and leave for around 30 minutes. Later on, launder without removing the paste.

Petroleum Jelly

Apply the petroleum jelly to the stain using your fingers. The quantity should be just enough to cover the stain. Blot the stain with your fingers for 4-5 minutes. The stain will go away.

Hair Spray

Damp the lipstick stain with hairspray and blot to remove it
Removing lipstick stain by using hairspray

Hair sprays work best if you spray them immediately after a stain occurs. Start by spraying it directly on the lipstick stain. Keep spraying until the stained area is damp. Let the spray set in the fabric for 10-15 minutes. Place the stained area on a microfiber cloth or paper towel and dab it. Keep dabbing until all the excess moisture along with the lipstick stain is soaked in the paper towel or microfiber cloth.

Stain remover pen

Open the cap and start pressing the pen/stick on the stain to extract the stain remover. Keep extracting until the stained area is slightly damp. Generally, a couple of quick presses are enough. Rub gently with the tip of pen/ stick until the stain goes away. Repeat the process if the stain still persists. Then, blot the stain using a clean microfiber cloth.  You can click here to see how to use a Tide to Go pen in detail.


Mix one tablespoon of hand dishwashing liquid in two cups of hot water. Add 1 tablespoon of ammonia. Place the garment on a dry paper towel or microfiber cloth. Dip a brush in the cleaning mixture and spray it onto the stain until the stained area is damp. Blot with another dry paper towel or microfiber until the stain goes away.


Take a gallon (3.8 litres approx.) full of cool water. Add 60 ml bleach and soak the stained area for 6-8 hours. Bleach will push out the lipstick stain out of the garment.


Things to keep in mind while using ammonia or bleach

Ammonia and bleach are chemical-based solvent, so you have to be extremely cautious while using it. Here are the things you should take care of:

  • Always use ammonia or bleach in a well-ventilated area as it has a pungent smell which might affect you adversely.
  • Wear rubber or non-porous gloves while using ammonia or bleach.
  • Ammonia can damage no-wax tiles or floors so avoid using it on such surfaces.
  • Never use ammonia along with bleach. If you are using ammonia to remove lipstick stains then do not use bleach while laundering the garment later on.
  • While doing spot/patch test. Leave ammonia or bleach on the fabric for at least 20 minutes to see how they reacts.

Home dry cleaning kit

Generally, you have to put the stained garment in a laundry bag with one of the moist stain removal sheets that come inside the kit. Then, place this bag in the dryer. Set it on medium heat (you can choose high heat if the garment care label allows) and run the dryer for around 30 minutes. Every home dry-cleaning kit comes with an instruction booklet. You should read it carefully as the usage may differ from kit to kit.

Step 4: Launder and air-dry the garment as usual

Air dry the garment after removing lipstick stain
Air dry the garment after removing lipstick stain

After using the stain remover, wash your garment (if it is washable) as usual with your regular laundry detergent on a the maximum temperature your garment can tolerate. Air-dry the garment after washing. That is all you have to do.

Key Takeaway:

Removing a lipstick stain is easy. Scrape off the excess lipstick using a knife. Pick a suitable stain remover depending on the garment care label, colour and fabric. Use the stain remover properly to remove lipstick. Then, launder and air-dry the garment as usual.

Hey! don’t like washing clothes every weekend? Don’t worry, we will do it. 

Frequently asked questions on removing lipstick stains

You can use the following to remove lipstick without washing:

  • Home dry-cleaning kit
  • Stain remover pen/kit
  • Hairspray

Denim is a sturdy fabric, hence, it can tolerate household stain removers and chemical-based stain removers as well. So, you can use any of the stain removers mentioned above to remove lipstick.

The internet is full of such recommendations. However, we do not recommend using toothpaste to remove a lipstick stain as it is not effective to a great extent. The 

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. They do not necessarily purport to reflect the values or views of Tumbledry.

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