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How to Remove Makeup Stains

Removing cosmetics from clothing, furniture and carpet can be tough to do.  Any woman who has polished her nails can testify to the fact that sooner or later, nail polish is going to get spilled on the carpet or clothing at some time, and necessitates removal. 

There are two types of makeup - oily and non oily.  Non oily makeup is such things as eye shadow, blushes, and powdered makeup.  Oily types are lipsticks, rouge, mascara, and liquid makeup. Each type requires a specific method of removal.

Removing these stains is easy if common sense is used, and care taken to test the fabric or carpet in an inconspicuous place before proceeding.  It is recommended that an area of clothing, such as a seam allowance, be tested before removal attempts to insure that the fabric is not going to be damaged. If the stains get on carpeting, test your cleaning method on an area of rug that is unseen by you or your guests.

In your war on cosmetic stain removal, have these cleaners or ingredients on hand:

  1. Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol)
  2. Hydrogen peroxide
  3. Cleaning solvents, such as lighter fluid, turpentine or mineral spirits.
  4. Any good all-fabric bleach
  5. Chlorine bleach
  6. Household ammonia
  7. Clean white cloth

Obviously, it is best to attempt to remove the stain as quickly as possible. Fresh stains come out much easier. The good thing about cosmetic stains is that makeup is generally applied at home before leaving for work or an evening out, and you can get to the stain quicker. Let's begin with lipstick.

Be sure to read the care label on any garment before attempting to remove the stain.  You may find your garment to be "dry clean only."  Lipstick, because it is an oil based form of makeup, can best be treated with a prewash stain remover before attempting to wash the shirt or blouse. Don't rub the stain - it may only drive it in deeper. Blot the stain with your clean white cloth, and rinse in warm water. If the stain is persistent, try applying a good liquid household detergent to the stain, again not rubbing the material. 

Often, rubbing alcohol will remove lipstick stains. Dab the stain with a small amount of isopropyl alcohol, then add a small amount of household detergent, and wash the garment per label care instructions.

Household ammonia is another good resource for removing lipstick.  First blot the stain with a bit of water to remove as much of the lipstick as possible, then treat with a little ammonia, and rinse and wash per care label instructions.  Do not use ammonia on silk or wool!

Some authorities claim that hairspray works well on removing lipstick stains. Spray a little hairspray on the stain, let stand a few minutes, and then wipe off the hairspray with your white cloth. Rinse, and launder per label care instructions.

If a garment is one of your most favorites, you may wish to have a professional remove the stain.  If the garment is a high ticket item, this is probably your best choice.

Removing finger nail polish is also fairly easy.  Simply use an acetone based fingernail polish remover to remove the stain.  You can also place the stain over a small bowl and attach with a rubber band to secure the stain over the bowl.  Using a stainless steel spoon, gently drip small amounts of fingernail polish remover over the stain and let the residue drip into the bowl, working it in with your finger.  Launder per label care instructions.

Removing mascara requires different intervention.  Because it is oil based, an oil solvent from a dry cleaning establishment works the best.  The enzymes in the dry cleaning solvent breaks down the protein glue, which is the substances that attaches the stain to the fabric, and also attacks the stain itself. Let dry, brush off the residue, and launder per care label instructions.

Liquid makeup stains are tough to remove.  Probably one of the most interesting things the author read in research for this article is a trick from WWII when soap was hard to come by.  The suggestion was to take the stained garment outdoors, and lay it in the grass, stain side down, and leave it overnight.  The next morning, the stain will be gone!  You can also try using Dawn dish soap as a removal agent.  As liquid makeup is oil based, Dawn works the best for cutting the stain.  Dawn was, after all, used to clean up birds and sea otters during crude oil spills.  As liquid makeup is oil based, the same method is used as in cleaning mascara stains. Brush or blot off any excess, and use a dry cleaning fluid such as K2r Spot Cleaning fluid, or Afta Cleaning Fluid to flush the stain.  (Be careful not to use on acetates!) Repeat as necessary until the stain is gone.

Removing hair dye stains by blotting the stain with isopropyl alcohol until the stain is removed.  You can also use turpentine, lighter fluid, and mineral spirits on certain fabrics. Launder or dry clean per care label instructions.  Be warned, though - hair dye is one of the toughest stains to remove.

There are many different ways to remove stains from cosmetics.  Many of the processes used work as well on carpet and furniture as well as clothing.  Determine if your makeup stain is oil based or non-oily, and proceed from there.  Always carefully follow any care label instructions and laundering information.  Doing so can save that favorite blouse or sweater when cosmetics stain them. 


Commercial Cleaning London

We specialise in the cleaning of pubs, hotels, restaurants, offices, schools, clubs and shops.We also offer a wide range of services on the commercial sector.

We clean any type of carpet and upholstery and always strive to meet the customer's requirements.

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some of our existing contracts include:

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Whatever your business requires, we are confident we can provide a service tailored to suit your individual needs. We can provide fully trained experienced staffs that only use high quality cleaning materials and equipment.

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CleanStation London Carpet Cleaners and Services Commercial Services understands this connection and provides quality, reliable commercial carpet cleaning, drapery, and upholstery cleaning services to businesses throughout London area.

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Recent Projects:

CleanStation Carpet works not only on many large scales, high end residential jobs but also on many large commercial jobs, such as ;

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We are so confident that our customers will be happy with the quality of our workmanship we offer a satisfaction guarantee on all our services. For more information about cleaning services, please feel free to call us or submit a free estimate form.

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