Learn how to remove mascara stains from clothes, carpets, and upholstery

Learn how to remove mascara stains from clothes, carpets, and upholstery. Photo: Pexels
Learn how to remove mascara stains from clothes, carpets, and upholstery. Photo: Pexels

Mascara makes lashes look magnificent, but mascara stains on clothes, towels, pillowcases, and carpets can be terrifying. Learn the proper removal techniques! Oh, and don’t skip any steps, otherwise, you’ll be left with those dreadful stains!

Remove mascara stains from clothes and sheets

All mascaras are formulated from oils, waxes, and dyes. When stains appear on washable fabrics, begin cleaning by treating the oily component of the stain with a stain remover, available in various brands like: Omo, Ypê, Vanish, and others.

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Apply the product to the stained fabric with a soft-bristled brush or with your finger. Let the stain remover sit for at least fifteen minutes before washing the clothing or bedding, as advised on the product label. Use the hottest water temperature recommended for the fabric.

If you don’t have a stain remover, use a bit of liquid detergent with enough enzymes to dissolve and remove the stain. After the remover or detergent has done its job, lightly scrub the stain with the brush and rinse with hot water. Then, wash the item normally in the hottest water suitable for the fabric (refer to the clothing care label for this information).

After washing, check if any stains remain. Never dry a fabric stained with mascara at high temperatures in a clothes dryer. The machine’s high heat can set the stain permanently.

If traces of mascara persist after washing, mix a solution of oxygen-based bleach, like Vanish, and cold water. Follow the package instructions regarding the amount of product to add per gallon of water. Fully immerse the stained clothing or fabric and let it soak for at least eight hours or overnight. Check the stain and repeat if necessary, then wash as usual.

For clothes labeled as dry-clean only, the best action is to go to a dry cleaner as soon as possible. But if you prefer to treat the mascara stain at home, try dabbing the area with a sponge dampened with a bit of dry cleaning solvent on a white cloth.

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Start at the outer edge of the stain and work towards the center to prevent spreading. Keep moving to a clean area of the cloth as the stain transfers. Let it air dry.

How to remove mascara stains from carpet

If the mascara wand hits the carpet, carefully lift it off. Don’t scrub the stain without treating it, as this can push the stain deeper into the fibers or spread it further.

The best stain remover for carpets is a dry-cleaning product that dissolves the oily component. Use a clean white cloth and dab the stain until no more color transfers to the cloth. Blot with a clean cloth dampened with water to “rinse” and let it air dry – vacuum to lift the fibers.

If you don’t have a dry-cleaning solvent, mix one tablespoon of dishwashing liquid and one tablespoon of household ammonia, such as Lysoform, with two cups of warm water.

Dampen a clean white cloth or sponge with the solution and apply to the stain. Work from the outer edges inward to prevent the stain from spreading. Continue moving to a clean area of the cloth as the stain is lifted.

It’s important to rinse with a cloth dampened in cold water because any soap residue left on the carpet can attract dirt. Let it air dry, away from direct heat.

How to remove mascara stains from upholstery

The same stain removal steps used for carpets can be applied to upholstery. Take extra care to avoid over-saturating the fabric and the cushion underneath. Excessive moisture can lead to mold and mildew issues. If the upholstery is silk or vintage, it’s best to consult with a professional cleaning company.

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