Removing Cosmetic and Nail Polish Stains
How to Remove Cosmetic and Nail Polish Stains
If you’re like most girls, you like doing your nails and playing around with makeup. I remember when my girls and I would sit on the bed with curlers in our hair doing our nails and toes and doing each other’s makeup. It was so much fun!
Foundation creams, concealers, blush, bronzers, mascara, eye shadow, the endless colors of nail polish – they all enhance our looks and we love to use them.
But if they’re spilled or dropped your darn sure to have a stain somewhere on your clothes, furniture, floors, somewhere. It’s bound to happen, I do it more than I care to admit – still to this day.
Let’s see what we can do!
How to Remove Nail Polish
I don’t think there is one of us girls out there that hasn’t spilled nail polish on our clothes or the floor or a piece of furniture. And for that reason, there are probably quite a few of you that already know how to remove nail polish.
But for those that don’t, here are some methods to try:
Removing Nail Polish from Cotton Clothing
Note: If you’ve spilled polish on natural fibers, wool, silk or other fine fabrics, it’s might be best to bring these in to the dry cleaner professionals to remove the stain. Do not use acetone nail polish on acetate fabric as it will damage and melt the fabric.
- Take a piece of paper towel and fold it twice and place this behind the nail polish stain. When cleaning the stain, this will keep the polish from transferring to a clean piece of fabric.
- If you have a fresh stain, gently blot/dab/tamp it using paper towels. Don’t rub or you will only succeed in spreading the nail polish around.
- Using nail polish remover, again blot/dab the stained area. Replenish the nail polish remover as necessary and move to a clean piece of paper towel often.
- Repeat until the stain is gone then rinse with cool water.
- Wash as usual but don’t put the item in the dryer until you know the stain is gone.
Removing Fresh Nail Polish from Carpet
If there is a little pool of fingernail polish, use a spoon or butter knife to carefully lift up the excess then use a piece of paper towel or cotton balls to blot up the any remaining liquid. Don’t rub, just blot.
- Use nail polish remover and dampen a clean piece of paper towel (fold it a couple of times to prevent from ripping). Prior to using the nail polish remover, do a test in an inconspicuous spot for colorfastness.
- Start blotting the stained area. Do not rub as this will only make the stained area larger.
- Repeat the above steps until the stain is gone. Move to a clean piece of paper towel as needed.
- Pour a small amount of warm water over the area to remove any nail polish remover residue and blot up as much liquid as you can.
- Place a towel over the area until dry.
After it’s dry, if you still see a bit some color from the nail polish, wet the area then try spraying with hairspray. Blot, rinse, let dry.
Removing Dried Nail Polish from Carpet
If you have a dry nail polish stain on carpet, you’re going to need to soften it a bit so the carpet fibers are not damaged then move on to cleaning the stain.
- Pour a little warm water over the dried nail polish stain.
- Use a clean toothbrush to gently work the water into the dry nail polish to try and loosen it. Gently remove any bits of dried polish as needed.
- Follow steps 1 through 5 above.
When the carpet is dry and if you notice a slight discoloration from the nail polish, pour a small amount of hydrogen peroxide onto the stain. Cover and let sit for about 30 minutes. Once again, test the hydrogen peroxide in an inconspicuous place prior to use.
You can also try carpet shampoo. Wet the area (no need to overdo it), apply a small amount of the shampoo, gently rub using a clean white cloth, rinse with warm water to remove all shampoo, blot to remove any excess moisture and cover until dry.
Prior to removing the nail polish stain, test the nail polish remover and the hydrogen peroxide in an inconspicuous spot such as an inside seam, corner of the carpet, etc. for colorfastness.
It’s also important to thoroughly rinse and remove all residue of one cleaning method before moving on to the next method. Also, don’t use a nail polish remover that has extra stuff in it like conditioners.
How to Remove Cosmetic Stains
The methods below can help remove most cosmetic stains. Remember fresh stains are always the easiest to get the stain completely out.
Using Makeup Wipes for Removing Foundation Spills
If you use foundation makeup chances are you’ve spilled some on your clothes. Just like the nail polish – it’s bound to happen, no one is perfect after all.
So, if you’ve freshly spilled or smudged a washable piece of clothing with makeup, here’s how to remove the stain.
First, if necessary, remove any excess foundation using the dull edge of a knife or something similar.
Take the item and rinse the stained area with cool water. Chances are many of you have some kind of makeup remover wipes. Get one out and gently blot the stain until its gone. Use a new one when and if it’s necessary. Thoroughly rinse when done.
Wash as usual but make sure the stain is gone before putting it in the dryer.
Removing Cosmetic Stains Using Bar Soap
Bar soap is a great way to rid clothing of stains from foundation, blush, eye shadow, eyeliner, and mascara.
Wet the stain with water and then work the soap into the stain. Work the stain for several minutes until the stain disappears.
Flush with warm water and wash as usual. This method will work on most cosmetic stains.
Liquid Dish Detergent or Shampoo
Using dish detergent or shampoo on cosmetic stains is also an easy way to remove oily foundation, powder, or other cosmetic stains.
Work the product you’re using into the stain and then rinse and launder as usual.
How to Remove Lipstick Stains
If there are clumps of lipstick, gently scrap off any excess before starting.
- Mix together 2 Tablespoons water and 2 Tablespoons degreaser (like Dawn dishwashing liquid) and gently blot, tamp the stained area.
- Rinse. If there is still some color from the lipstick visible, make the same mixture and add in about 1 Tablespoon nail polish remover. Let sit a bit for tough stains.
- Rinse again. When stain is gone, wash as usual.
Do not use acetone polish remover on acetate fabric as it will melt the fabric.
Another option is to place the front side of the stain down on a piece of white paper towel. Wet the stained area with water then apply Dawn dish detergent. Use a clean toothbrush to work the stain out on the paper towel.
Rinse and repeat as necessary. Wash as usual but again, don’t put the item in the dryer until you know the stain is gone.
Remember, the best thing to do when treating cosmetic or nail polish stains is to clean them as soon as possible. When trying some cleaning techniques, you should always test in an inconspicuous place prior to the actual cleaning. Lastly, don’t give up.