concealer stain on clothes

How to Get Concealer Out of Clothes

Accidentally dropped an open pot of concealer or the wand itself onto your clothing whilst getting ready?

Whether a small smudge or a sizeable stain, removing it can seem daunting – especially if it has started to set in.

The goods new is that despite being stubborn, concealer stains aren’t usually permanent. In fact, with the right products and techniques, you should be able to remove them entirely and restore your garment to mint condition.

Want to learn how? Keep reading to discover how to get concealer out of clothes in multiple different ways.


Does Concealer Come Out of Clothes in the Wash?

concealer stain on white clothes

While it may be tempting to toss the stained clothing straight into the washing machine, we wouldn’t recommend it.

There are several reasons for this, the first being that the wash cycle could cause the stain to spread.

Secondly, using cycle that is too hot risks setting the mark into the fabric permanently. And finally, pre-treating stains typically offers much better results.

In fact, you should aim to fade the stain by around 80% before laundering your garment. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the best methods you can try to get concealer out of clothes.


How Do You Remove Concealer from Clothes?

stain on white shirt

Whichever method you choose, the first step is to remove as much of the excess concealer as you can. And as fast as you can, so that it doesn’t have time to set in.

To do this, simply blot it up with some dry paper towel, being careful not to smear it or push it further into the fibres.

Otherwise, you can gently scrape (or scoop) it off the surface with a blunt knife or a spoon, depending how much was spilt.

You can also use this approach if the stain has dried. Just make sure you hold the fabric taut and scrape lightly the debris off to prevent stretching.

Next, run cold water through the back of the stain to help flush out any remaining loose product.

When you’re done, the stain should have faded slightly and is ready to be treated.

Method 1: Oil-free makeup remover

remove makeup with Oil-Free Makeup Remover

The first method you can try is water-based makeup remover, designed to clean concealer and other products off the skin.

This gentle option is safe for most fabrics and can prove effective on lightly stained garments, provided the stain is fresh.

The key thing is to make sure that the product you use is oil free. This is to ensure that you don’t worsen the already greasy mark left behind by the makeup, especially if you use cream or stick concealer.

A micellar water cleanser like Bielenda Clean Skin Expert is a good option. Or even a few drops of Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover if you have it at home.

Apply enough makeup remover to fully cover the stain, then gently rub it in with your finger. Leave it to soak into the fibres for 15 minutes, then use a soft bristle brush to loosen any trapped pigment.

Next, blot the stain with a clean damp cloth until no more pigment comes up, using a clean patch each time.

If after several attempts the stain isn’t lifting as much as you’d like, try one of the following methods instead. Otherwise, wash on a warm (40°C) cycle.


Method 2: Liquid detergent or washing up liquid

stain treatment

Don’t have any suitable makeup remover on hand or need something stronger to tackle your concealer stain? Then liquid laundry detergent – ideally a stain-busting biological formula – may be helpful.

Alternatively, washing up liquid is also perfect for treating oil-based makeup marks. However, we’d advise opting for a mild, colourless product like Ecover if at all possible. 

Whichever you choose, apply a small amount of the product and add a few drops of water.

Massage the detergent into the stain using a circular motion to create a good lather.

Then leave the sudsy mixture to soak for around 20 minutes.

When time’s up, scrub gently with a soft bristle brush or clean sponge. Then blot with a clean cloth dipped in cold water to rinse and check to see if the stain has gone.

Repeat the process again if needed before laundering.


Method 3: Bleach-free stain remover

remove makeup with bleach-free stain remover

Had no luck with the two previous methods? Then it might be time to break out the Vanish!

Effective on numerous kinds of stains, Vanish Oxi Action Pre-Treat For Tough Stains is extremely easy to use.

Better still, it’s bleach-free, so safe to use on coloured clothing. All you need to do is spray the product directly onto both sides of the stain as soon as you can.

Once applied, leave it to sit for 5 minutes, then wash straight away on a warm laundry cycle.

If the stain has dried on, you’ll likely need to agitate it by hand to help work the debris out of the fibres.

In that case, Vanish’s Fabric Stain Remover Prewash Power Gel be a better option. Just squeeze a small amount onto the stain, then scrub with the bottle’s built-in rubbing head.

Leave to soak in for the recommend time, then launder the garment as normal.


A note on drying stained clothing…

At this point, it’s worth pointing out the importance of air-drying clothing that you’ve treated for stains.

The reason for this is that while wet, you may not be able to tell whether the mark has completely gone. And if you then use the tumble dryer, you could set the stain, making it much harder to remove.

Instead, hang it on an indoor airer until fully dry, then double check that the stain is no longer visible.

If it’s gone, feel free to place it in the dryer next time. Otherwise, repeat the stain removal process. You should also avoid hot wash cycles for the same reason.


How to Get Concealer Out of Clothes Once It’s Set

remove stain with liquid detergent and washing up liquid

If you failed to notice a concealer stain before washing your clothing and it’s been through the wash already, don’t panic. Simply spot treat it with detergent or washing up liquid, then soak the garment for several hours (or overnight).

For best results, mix a soapy solution using your preferred cleanser in a bucket of cold water and submerge the item. Then before washing, re-scrub the stain with a soft bristle brush and rinse the garment under the cold tap.

Alternatively, if you’re short on time, the Vanish products we mentioned can help to dislodge dried on stains.

With that said, if you inadvertently ran a stained item through the tumble dryer, you may struggle to remove the set-in mark.

In this case, the best way to get concealer out of your clothes is to apply a stronger stain remover such as ammonia or rubbing alcohol.

The latter is highly effective on cotton clothing, but shouldn’t be used on synthetics as it can weaken the fibres.

It may also strip dye from certain fabrics, so your clothing will need to be colour fast. Because of this, you should always check the care label and test it in a discreet area first.

Meanwhile, ammonia is usually safe to use on most fabrics, but it must be diluted before use. Find out exactly how to use it for stain removal in our ammonia for laundry guide.