How to Get Mascara Out of Clothes

How to Get Mascara Out of Clothes

How to get mascara out of clothes? Stains on clothes are inevitable, especially when it comes to makeup mishaps. One of the trickiest stains to deal with is mascara, known for its stubborn nature and potential to ruin a perfectly good outfit. This comprehensive guide will explore effective ways to tackle mascara stains on various fabrics. From immediate actions to preventive measures, this article covers it all.


We all know the frustration of discovering an unexpected stain on our favorite clothes. Mascara stains can be particularly challenging due to the oily and pigmented nature of the makeup. The key to successful removal lies in understanding the type of mascara, and fabric, and taking immediate action.

Understanding Mascara Stains

Different mascara formulations exist in the market, ranging from water-based to oil-based. Water-based mascaras are generally easier to remove, while oil-based ones pose a greater challenge. Understanding the type of mascara affecting your garment will guide your stain-removal strategy.

Additionally, mascara stains may vary based on fabric composition. Natural fabrics like cotton and silk may absorb the oils differently than synthetic fabrics such as polyester. Being aware of these variables is crucial for effective stain removal.

Immediate Steps to Take

How to get mascara out of clothes: Acting promptly is essential when dealing with mascara stains. Begin by gently blotting the stain with a clean cloth or tissue. Avoid rubbing, as this can spread the stain further. If you’re out and about, consider using a stain-removing pen for quick on-the-go treatment.

Pre-Treatment Options

For a successful pre-treatment, start by scraping off any excess mascara using a dull knife or spoon. Then, apply a small amount of mild dish soap or laundry detergent directly to the stain. Gently rub the fabric together to work in the soap. Allow it to sit for a few minutes before rinsing with cold water.

It’s crucial to test the chosen pre-treatment on a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric first. This ensures compatibility and avoids any unintended damage.

Special Considerations for Fabric Types

Different fabrics demand tailored approaches. For cotton, a mixture of lemon juice and salt can be effective, while silk may benefit from a gentle application of hydrogen peroxide. Understanding the unique requirements of each fabric ensures a targeted and safe stain-removal process.

Homemade Remedies

How to get mascara out of clothes: Explore the power of natural remedies for mascara stain removal. Create a paste using baking soda and water, applying it to the stain, and let it sit for at least 15 minutes before washing. Alternatively, a mixture of equal parts vinegar and lemon juice can break down oils and pigments effectively.

These homemade remedies offer an eco-friendly and cost-effective solution while being gentle on your clothes.

Commercial Stain Removers

Commercial stain removers come in various formulations. Look for products containing enzymes or oxygen bleach, specifically designed to break down tough stains like mascara. Follow the instructions on the product label, and always test on a small area before applying to the entire stain.

Machine Washing vs. Handwashing

When it comes to washing mascara-stained clothes, consider the fabric and the stain severity. For delicate fabrics, such as silk, handwashing is often the safer option. Use a gentle detergent, and avoid wringing out the fabric, which can distort its shape.

For machine washable fabrics, use cold water and a stain-fighting detergent. Check the stain before transferring the garment to the dryer, as heat can set the stain if not completely removed.

Drying Techniques

After washing, carefully inspect the stained area before drying. If the stain persists, repeat the stain removal process before drying. Air drying is preferable for delicate fabrics, while machine drying is suitable for more robust materials. Ensure the stain is entirely gone before storing the garment.

Professional Help – How to Get Mascara Out of Clothes

In some cases, seeking professional help may be necessary. Delicate fabrics or persistent stains may require the expertise of a dry cleaner. When discussing the stain with professionals, provide details about the mascara type, fabric, and any attempted stain removal methods.

Preventing Mascara Stains

Prevention is the first line of defense against mascara stains. Be mindful during makeup application, using a tissue to shield your clothes. Consider using a makeup cape or an old shirt to protect your outfit from accidental smudges.

Myth Busters

How to get mascara out of clothes: There are several myths surrounding mascara stain removal. Contrary to popular belief, hot water can set oil-based stains, making them more challenging to remove. Avoiding these common misconceptions ensures a more successful stain removal process.

Stain Removal Do’s and Don’ts

Summarizing the key points, the dos include acting promptly, tailoring the approach to the fabric, and using tested stain removal methods. Don’ts involve avoiding hot water, vigorous rubbing, and using untested remedies that may damage your clothes.

Celebrating Success Stories

Real-life success stories can inspire confidence in tackling mascara stains. Hearing how others overcame similar challenges reinforces the effectiveness of the outlined strategies. Share in the triumphs of those who successfully rescued their favorite garments from mascara mishaps.


In conclusion, mastering the art of removing mascara stains is a valuable skill for any fashion enthusiast. You can rescue your clothes from mascara mishaps by taking immediate action, understanding fabric types, and exploring various removal methods. Remember, prevention is key, but armed with the right knowledge, you can confidently face any mascara stain challenge.

Tips and Tricks for Effective Mascara Stain Removal

Mascara stains can be pesky, but with the right tips and tricks, you can effectively remove them and salvage your favorite clothes. Here’s a compilation of expert advice to make your mascara stain removal process a breeze.

  • Act Swiftly: Time is of the essence. The quicker you address a mascara stain, the better the chances of successful removal.
  • Gentle Blotting: Avoid rubbing the stain vigorously. Gently blot the area with a clean cloth or tissue to prevent spreading the mascara.
  • Prevent Settling: Carry a stain-removing pen for on-the-go treatment to prevent the mascara from setting into the fabric.
  • Scrape Excess Mascara: Before pre-treatment, use a dull knife or spoon to scrape off any excess mascara from the fabric.
  • Test Pre-Treatment: Always test the chosen pre-treatment on a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric to ensure compatibility and avoid unintended damage.
  • Tailor Treatment to Fabric: Different fabrics demand different approaches. Tailor your stain removal strategy based on the fabric type for optimal results.
  • Natural Remedies: Explore the power of natural remedies like baking soda and water paste or a mixture of vinegar and lemon juice for eco-friendly and effective solutions.

Pros and Cons of Different Stain Removal Methods

Understanding the pros and cons of various stain removal methods is crucial for successful outcomes. Each approach has its merits and limitations, so let’s dive into the specifics.

Dish Soap or Laundry Detergent:


  • Readily available in most households.
  • Effective in breaking down oil-based mascara stains.


  • May cause color fading in some fabrics.
  • Overuse can lead to soap residue buildup.

Homemade Remedies (Baking Soda and Water, Vinegar, and Lemon Juice):


  • Environmentally friendly and cost-effective.
  • Generally safe for most fabrics.


  • Require careful application and testing.
  • Some fabrics may react negatively to the acidity.

Commercial Stain Removers:


  • Specifically formulated to target tough stains.
  • Convenient and easy to use.


  • Some formulations may contain harsh chemicals.
  • Can be expensive compared to homemade solutions.

Machine Washing:


  • Efficient for large loads of laundry.
  • Provides a thorough and consistent wash.


  • May not be suitable for delicate fabrics.
  • Heat from drying can set stains if not completely removed.



  • Safer for delicate fabrics.
  • Allows for more controlled and gentle washing.


  • Time-consuming for larger loads.
  • Requires more effort compared to machine washing.

Professional Assistance:


  • Expertise in dealing with delicate fabrics.
  • Increased chances of successful stain removal.


  • May be costly.
  • Not always necessary for less severe stains.

Preventing Mascara Stains: Proactive Measures for Wardrobe Care

Prevention is the first line of defense against mascara stains. By incorporating these proactive measures into your routine, you can keep your clothes stain-free and maintain their pristine condition.

  • Use a Makeup Cape or Old Shirt: When applying mascara, consider wearing a designated makeup cape or an old shirt to shield your outfit from accidental smudges.
  • Be Mindful During Application: Take your time when applying mascara. Use a mirror to avoid accidental contact with your clothes.
  • Tissue Shield: Place a tissue under your lashes when applying mascara to catch any potential smudges before they reach your clothes.
  • Pre-Apply Stain Repellent: Consider using fabric stain repellent on your clothes before wearing them. This adds an extra layer of protection against mascara stains.
  • Regular Clothing Checks: After applying makeup, perform a quick check on your clothes for any smudges. Addressing stains immediately reduces the likelihood of them setting.
  • Opt for Waterproof Mascara: Consider using waterproof mascara, as it tends to be less prone to smudging and transfer onto clothing.
  • Remove Excess Mascara: Before leaving the house, ensure there is no excess mascara on your lashes that could transfer to your clothes throughout the day.
  • Wash Hands Thoroughly: After applying mascara, wash your hands thoroughly to minimize the risk of transferring mascara to your clothes through contact.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I use regular soap to remove mascara stains?

A: While regular soap may help, it’s advisable to use a mild dish soap or laundry detergent for better results.

Q: How do I prevent mascara stains during application?

A: Be cautious, use a mirror, and consider using a tissue to shield your clothes during application.

Q: Can I use commercial stain removers on all fabrics?

A: It’s essential to check the product label and follow the instructions, as some fabrics may be sensitive to certain chemicals.

Q: Are homemade remedies safe for all fabrics?

A: Always perform a patch test to ensure that homemade remedies won’t cause damage to your clothes.

Q: When should I seek professional help for mascara stains?

A: If your efforts don’t yield results or if the fabric is delicate, seeking professional assistance is advisable.

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