How to Get Foundation Out of Clothes

Few things are more nerve-racking than completing a full face of makeup, only to then have to go and change your clothes.

The lengths some people go to to avoid getting foundation marks on their clothes are insane, but when the alternative is a ruined outfit, can you blame them?

Thankfully, the days of permanently marking your clothing with foundation are over! With a bit of patience and the correct cleaning process, your clothes will be back to normal in no time.

Read on to learn our tips on how to get foundation out of clothes the right way.


How Do You Get Foundation Stains Out of Clothes?

Everyone who regularly wears makeup has had to deal with a foundation stain at some point. Whether it be on your carpet or your clothes, most people either chuck the item in the wash or scrub it really hard and hope for the best.

According to Good Housekeeping, putting your stained item of clothing straight in the wash is actually the best thing you can do! In most cases, this will get the foundation stain out, especially if you use a good stain remover with your regular laundry detergent.

putting stained shirt in the wash

If your foundation is oil-based, you can try using fresh lemon instead. According to The Express, fresh lemon juice works wonders on oil stains!

Unfortunately, some stains are particularly stubborn and will still be visible after the clothes have been run through the wash. If this is the case, try one of our tried and tested methods below to eliminate that stain once and for all!

The products needed to remove foundation from clothes change depending on what the foundation is made of, so make sure you use an appropriate method for the type of foundation you use.

How to remove oil-based liquid foundation

For oil-based foundations, you need to use a cleaner that can break down oils. One such product you will find in nearly every house is washing-up liquid.

Here is how to remove foundation from your garments using this everyday household item:

  1. Start by removing any excess foundation by blotting the stain with a paper towel, then rinse the item of clothing in warm water.
  2. Add some washing-up liquid to the stain and lightly rub it into the fabric using your fingers. Let the soap sit for at least 20 minutes to work its magic. Because washing-up liquid is designed to cut through grease, it will easily remove the oil-based stain from your clothing.
  3. After the 20 minutes are up, leave the washing-up liquid on the stain and wash the item at the warmest temperature possible. Always check the label on your clothes to ensure you don’t damage them on too high a heat.

You can repeat this process if the stain is still there after washing. After two rounds of washing, your clothes should be stain-free!

liquid foundation on clothes

How to remove water- or silicone-based liquid foundation

Whilst the washing-up liquid method can be used for other types of liquid foundation, there is another cleaning option that is commonly found in many homes: shaving cream! For this way of removing foundation stains, follow the steps below:

  1. Lightly blot the stain with a paper towel so that any bits of foundation that haven’t yet dried are removed. If you have already washed the clothing item or the stain is completely dry, you can skip this and move on to step two.
  2. Add a small amount of shaving cream to the stained area and let it sit for a few minutes. Once the time is up, rub the shaving cream into the fabric using your fingers to help further work it into the material. If the stain is very stubborn, you can add a few drops of rubbing alcohol to the shaving cream at this point and rub that in as well.
  3. Once you think the stain has been removed, rinse out the shaving cream and rubbing alcohol with cold water. Use a clean cloth to gently blot the area and remove any last traces of the foundation, and then put the item in the wash as normal.

How to remove powder foundation

powder foundation on clothes

In many cases, removing powder foundation from your clothes is much easier than removing a liquid foundation mark.

As long as you act quickly and don’t rub at the stain, the foundation won’t have enough time to fully absorb into the material.

To remove powder foundation from clothing, follow the steps below. You may only need to follow the first step of this cleaning process to notice results, so check the stain at each stage to see whether more work is required:

  1. The first step is to remove the excess powder that hasn’t worked its way into your clothes. The best way to do this is by using a hairdryer or lightly blowing on it. If you try to brush away the foundation, you will accidentally make the stain worse.
  2. You next need to cover the stain with a cleaning solution. Depending on what you have available, you can either use a few drops of washing-up liquid and water or a mixture of two parts water and one part white vinegar at this stage.
  3. Lightly blot the stain with a clean cloth until the foundation mark is gone, and throw your clothing into the wash as usual.


How to Remove Foundation Stains From Delicate Clothing

how to remove foundation stains

When removing foundation stains from delicate clothing, the above methods aren’t your best option. It is better to use a more gentle cleaning method so that the fabric isn’t damaged.

For the best results, we recommend you use the following method and take your time. Here is what you’ll need:

Start by removing any excess foundation using a paper towel (for liquid foundation) or hairdryer (for powder foundation).

If you’re using a paper towel, make sure to blot at the stain rather than rub, as the latter could cause the stain to grow.

Next, sprinkle bicarbonate of soda onto the foundation stain until it is lightly covered. Using your cloth, softly work the powder into the fabric and let it sit for at least five minutes.

Once the time is up, shake the excess powder off the clothing, flip to the other side of the stain, and repeat the process.

If you can still see the stain after this, you will have to use some washing-up liquid as well. Dampen the fabric using cold water and dab the foundation with the washing-up liquid until it is fully covered.

Let the soap sit for five minutes, rinse it with cold water, and wash the item as you usually would. Once your delicates are dry, they’ll be as good as new!