How to Get Foundation Stains Out of Carpet

How to Get Foundation Stains Out of Carpet

If you have managed to drop foundation (or any other makeup for that matter!) on your treasured carpet or rug, have no fear.
When you think about it, even a long-wear foundation is designed to be removable, so it can be successfully removed from carpets; it just needs a little care, elbow grease, and patience.

1. Makeup Remover

You might usually reach for a makeup remover to take off your waterproof mascara, but it can also be helpful if you’ve dropped makeup on your carpet.

You will need:

To begin, apply the makeup remover directly to a clean microfibre cloth. This is crucial as you don’t want the liquid to soak all the way through to the backing of the carpet.

Carefully blot at the stain until all the makeup has been lifted away. As you go, you may need to apply more makeup remover to a fresh cloth, depending on how big the stain is.

Once the stain has been lifted, dampen a clean microfibre cloth with cold water and use this to lift away any remnants of both the makeup and the makeup remover. Blot dry with a clean, dry cloth, and you’re good to go!


Cleaning with Washing Up Liquid

2. Washing Up Liquid

One of the easiest ways to get foundation (or any other makeup) stains out of the carpet is to use a simple solution of washing up liquid and water.

To be successful with this method, however, you do need to attack the stain as quickly as possible.

For this method, you will need:

  • A clean knife or spoon
  • Washing up liquid
  • Cold water
  • Clean microfibre cloths or paper towels
  • Hoover

First, scrape up the excess makeup from the carpet using the edge of a clean butter knife or spoon. It is important to take this step as soon as possible to prevent the makeup from seeping into the carpet.

Next, mix a few drops of washing up liquid with cold water. Dampen a cloth or paper towel and use this to gently blot at the stained area.

Work from the outside in and take care not to scrub at the area to stop the stain from pushing into the deeper fibres.

Dab at the stain until there is no more foundation left. You may need to rinse or change the cloths and towels a couple of times if there is a lot of foundation.

Dampen a fresh cloth in clean water and use this to remove all traces of the soap. Blot the area dry with a clean cloth and hoover the area to pick up any debris left behind.


3. White Vinegar

If the makeup or foundation is quite greasy or just stubborn, you can attack the problem with the cleaning favourite that is white vinegar.
As well as dealing with foundation spills, this method can be particularly helpful for liquid eyeliner and some mascaras.

You will need:

Mix a teaspoon of white vinegar with around half a cup of clean, warm water.

Dampen a clean cloth in the solution, and blot at the stain. Repeat until the stain has been lifted from the carpet.

Using a clean cloth and fresh water, blot at the area to remove any traces of the vinegar solution. Pat the area dry with a fresh microfibre cloth.

The smell of vinegar can sometimes linger, so try to open a window in the area to let fresh air circulate, or if that isn’t possible, whizz around the room with air freshener.


4. Hydrogen Peroxide

Makeup that is oil-based or has been allowed to dry into the carpet can be difficult to clean, and so needs a tough cleaning solution. That’s where hydrogen peroxide comes in.

Before tackling any cleaning task with hydrogen peroxide, you should always make sure that the fabric is bleach stable and is best suited to lighter coloured carpets.

If you aren’t sure, conduct a patch test in an out-of-sight area of the carpet.

Mix the solution as intended and leave it to sit for a few minutes. If any change in colour is noted, do not proceed with the full clean.

You will need:

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Water
  • Microfibre cloths

First, apply a couple of drops of hydrogen peroxide directly to the stain. Dab the area to distribute the bleach evenly, but do not rub or scrub the stain as it can just push the makeup deeper into the carpet.

Let the bleach sit for a minute and blot the area with a dry microfibre cloth to lift the bleach away. Dampen a fresh cloth with clean water and use this to remove all traces of the hydrogen peroxide, again, without scrubbing the area.

Lastly, pat the area dry with a clean cloth.


Foundation Stained Carpet

If All Else Fails

If you’ve tried all the above tips and the stain persists, it’s time to bring out the big guns.

The market today is awash with readily available stain removal chemicals that have been specifically designed for carpets, such as those by Vanish.

Make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines carefully on how to use these chemicals for the best results.

If the makeup has ended up in the depths of the carpet, consider using (or borrowing) a steam carpet cleaner to deep clean the area. Steam cleaners will clean out the deepest fibres of the carpet and are a great way to push out all the old dirt that has built up.

Alternatively, consider contacting a professional to get the stain out. If the carpet or rug is especially delicate or if the stain is really stubborn, this might be the best way to achieve great results without accidental damage.


Top Tips

Regardless of the method that you use to lift a makeup stain from your carpet, you should always start from the outside of the stain and work inwards.

This will prevent the stain from being pushed or smudged outwards and becoming bigger.

Like with most stains, your results will be better if you deal with the problem as soon as it occurs. If makeup dries in the fibres of your carpet, it can become difficult to get out without professional help or the use of a steam cleaner.

Preventatives are better than a cure, so if you knock over makeup regularly or your little one likes to “help” you apply it, consider laying something protective underneath your makeup mirror, such as paper towels or a clean cloth to catch any spills.