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11 Ways to Get Mascara Out of Clothes (Step By Step Guide)

Picture this. You are standing in your room, trying to pretend that didn’t just happen. Holding your breath, you pretend the loaded mascara wand you just dropped on your favorite piece of clothing wasn’t there.

No less than right before you were set to leave the house! I assure you that we have all experienced this at least once.

You may have pondered what to do in that situation and how to restore your cherished piece of clothing to its former grandeur. Look no further!

We’re here to help by sharing 11 effective ways to get mascara stains out from clothing, pillowcases, towels, and anywhere else they decide to leave their imprint.

11 Ways to Get Mascara Out of Clothes

Fun Facts About Mascara and Its Stains

There’s a good reason why mascara is one of the first cosmetics for makeup newbies. You might feel the tiniest bit of makeup magic with only one brush of its wand.

Millions of women use mascara to give their lashes a thick look. Those tubes and wands have been used since the 19th century to make eyes more beguiling.

Mascara usually has a pigment to darken the lashes, like carbon black or iron oxide, a polymer to coat the lashes with a protective film, a preservative, and thickening oils or waxes.

It’s important to remember that water-based mascaras are easier to remove from fabric than oil-based ones because they contain no added oils or chemicals.

How can you determine whether your mascara is oil- or water-based? This information is generally included on the packaging. But if you use mascaras with oil bases, don’t worry! Our recommendations apply to both instances.

It is proven that cosmetic accidents and smudges are likely, no matter how much of an expert you are at applying makeup. When they do, you are faced with the challenge of figuring out how to take makeup off clothes—preferably without making the stain worse.

11 Effective Ways to Get Mascara Stain Out of Clothes

Getting mascara stains on clothes is almost as easy as taking makeup off after a long day. However, getting rid of the stain may require a bit of work.

Using a mixture of grease-fighting dish detergent and a tiny bit of water, mascara can be removed from garments. Baking soda and vinegar might help you eliminate more difficult mascara spots.

With a little perseverance and elbow grease, even the toughest mascara stains can usually be removed from clothing. While it might not work the first time, don’t give up.

You can remove mascara from your clothes using any of the step-by-step methods listed below.

1. Baking Soda & Vinegar

You might try a few things if you’d prefer to use a natural remedy over a bleach solution. Since baking soda is exceedingly absorbent, it’s a useful product to keep on hand for tough stains like oil, grease, and other stuck-on stains.

Baking Soda & Vinegar

Baking soda reacts with vinegar’s acetic acid to remove stains while also serving as a disinfectant. Whites can be brightened by using this combo as well.

  • Use baking soda and vinegar first. Pour vinegar over the mascara stain after scattering some baking soda over it.
  • Start cleaning the area with a small scrub brush after the fizzing has stopped.
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Be aware that these materials lack the strength or power of bleach or dishwasher detergent, but with the right application, they ought to perform just fine.

2. Baking Soda & Lemon Juice

The following are the steps in using baking soda and lemon juice to get mascara out of clothes:

  • If the first method fails, you could try the baking soda and a tiny bit of lemon juice, substituting vinegar for baking soda but otherwise doing the same. It won’t foam or bubble, so you can start cleaning the spot immediately.
  • Spend time cleaning it, then wash it in your regular liquid detergent.

Baking Soda & Lemon Juice

Both of these methods will take a lot of time and require several applications to remove the mascara stain completely.

3. Makeup Wipes/Makeup Remover

Makeup removers or wipes can help you remove makeup from your face and clothes and help with makeup stains. This one might work best if the cloth was stained just recently.

Makeup WipesMakeup Remover

  • To remove the stain, soak some cotton balls in your makeup remover. You can also use a makeup wipe directly. Dab the affected area gently. Never rub! Continue doing this until no more mascara comes off.
  • You may also wish to turn the damaged item of clothing inside out to clean out any stain that may have reached the other side,  though it is unlikely that the mascara made it there.
  • From the back, pour some makeup remover, then gently dab at the front once more. When pouring the makeup, it is advisable to use a spare piece of cloth, extra makeup wipes, or rag to “collect” the stain and not allow it to spread on the cloth.

One thing to keep in mind is that you should spot-test anything that you are unsure of whether it is colorfast or that might be water-spot, such as silk, on an area that won’t be seen before applying heavy pressure to it. This will prevent you from ruining anything delicate.

4. Dish Soap

Dish soap and water are other methods you can use to get mascara off of clothes. Since most dish soaps have chemicals that combat grease and your mascara may be an oil-based product, using soaps like Dawn and Palmolive is probably a safe bet.

Dish Soap

  • First, gently use a soft cloth to dab the affected area to remove the mascara. Then, using hot water and your preferred dish soap, scrub the area with a soft-bristled brush (like an old toothbrush) until the stain has been eliminated.
  • If you couldn’t get the stain out entirely, that’s okay. If you notice the stain deteriorating, toss it into a load of laundry with the hottest water you can find.
  • If you find that this doesn’t work the first time, it is advised to try it three or four more times (if needed) to get all of the mascara off. Until the stain is removed, keep at it. If the stain remains, you can also add a tiny bit of household ammonia solution to the mixture.
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5. Alcohol Pad

This functions exactly the same as makeup removers and wipes.

Alcohol Pad

  • Use an alcohol pad or soak a piece of cloth or cotton ball in rubbing alcohol.
  • Then, rub the makeup stain with the alcohol pad or cotton ball until the stain comes out.
  • Since rubbing alcohol removes greasy and waxy stains, it is very effective at removing lipstick and mascara stains.

6. Shaving Cream

Does this sound odd? It probably does, but who knew shaving cream could remove stains so effectively?

Shaving Cream

  • Any kind of colorless shaving cream should be applied immediately to the stain and left to sit for five to ten minutes. The stain will disappear with the cream.
  • After that, apply shaving cream to the stain with your fingers. Finally, just give the area a quick rinse with cool water.

7. Hairspray

This is probably the most unexpected method on this list, as hairspray is a girl’s best friend and a great secret to a good hair day. However, you can also successfully remove a tough mascara smear with hairspray.

  • Drizzle hairspray on the stain then waits for it to dry.
  • After the hairspray has dried, use a damp wipe to clean the area. Note that only alcohol-containing hairspray will make this work. Hairsprays without alcohol have no effect on makeup stains.

8. Stain Remover

Try using a stain remover if the stain is really challenging.

  • Gently apply any stain remover of your choice to the stain (read the package for instructions on how much to apply and for how long), and wait a few minutes (unless otherwise stated on the package).
  • Gently dab to clean the stain out.

Stain Remover

9. Laundry Detergent 

Laundry Detergent 

  • You may also try removing mascara with the laundry detergent you have in your cabinet. Put the affected item in water that is as hot as the washing directions permit.
  • After that, you can scrub the area with any available detergent.

10. Bleach

If none of the previous solutions have worked and the stain is particularly difficult to remove, you might want to use bleach if you want to salvage that clothing.


The more you can avoid this one, though, the better. The environment and your clothes may be ruined by bleach. Consider it to be a last-ditch kind of answer. Bleach is mostly used on white clothes that have been stained.

  • Prepare a weak bleach solution, soak a piece of white cloth in it, and then use it to dab the stained spot with it gently.
  • You can also use a bleach pen to target the stain. Alternately, soak the entire cloth in a mild bleach solution (only if the cloth is white)
  • Afterward, wash the piece of clothing with detergent to get the smell of bleach out.

11. Professional Dry Cleaning

  • Bring your ruined clothing to a dry cleaner as soon as possible if you have tried all these solutions without success.
  • Make sure to identify the location of the trouble spot when you take it in so that they can see it and understand to pay special attention to it.
  • You can rest assured that your clothes will be returned clean and in good condition, as most professional dry-cleaning techniques are considered safe and very effective.

Always Remember

  • Test your cleaning agents: Patch testing before using any chemical products is always advised. Some products work well, not only on the stain but also on the entire cloth. They might perhaps get rid of the stain, but they could also change the color!
  • Identify the Fabric Type:In addition to testing the product on a concealed area, it would be a good idea to know what type of material you’re working with. You can use this to gauge how much work you can put in. For instance, cotton might be able to withstand a little bit more power than silk.
  • Having information about the fabric type allows you to make informed decisions about the type of cleaning products to use. Some products are designed specifically for certain types of fabrics, while others explicitly state on the packaging that they should not be used on a wide range of fabrics. This helps you ensure you are not doing anything to ruin the condition of your clothes.
  • Scrape Off as Much as You Can:Don’t forget to scrape as much of the stain as possible before applying any solutions, especially if it is from mascara. For removing mascara, use a toothpick or your fingernail, as these stains are typically small. To remove larger spots, use a blunt knife.
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It may seem like an extra job to scrape the stain off, but it is really helpful. Not only are you removing a portion of the stain, but it also prevents the mascara from getting on other surfaces.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Fastest Way to Get Rid of Mascara Stains from Clothing?

The quickest and most easily accessible way to eliminate mascara stains is to use makeup wipes or alcohol pads.

Does Mascara Come Out of White Clothes? 

While it may take a lot more energy and time than colored clothes, getting mascara stains out of white clothes is not impossible. The most effective way to do so is to use detergent and a mild bleaching cleaning product to remove mascara stains from white cloth.

Do I Need to Use a Glove While Using these Cleaning Agents?

Many of these cleaning products contain substances that can be caustic and toxic when in direct contact with your hands. To safeguard against toxicity, it is advisable to use these compounds while wearing protective gloves.

Final Words

Getting makeup stains out of clothes (especially mascara) is not a one-person dilemma. It’s a situation that all of us have experienced: you do your makeup flawlessly. The fabric is then destroyed by the falling mascara wand, leaving you to wonder how to get mascara out of clothes.

Because mascara accidents can occur at any time (and have happened to many of us! ), understanding how to remove the stain is crucial.

This mistake can be embarrassing if you wear waterproof mascara. You can remove mascara from clothes with stain remover, dish soap, and warm water. For stubborn stains, try bleach or alcohol (with a pad or cotton ball).

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