Getting Rid of Makeup Stains on Your Carpet


The makeup industry has done a great job in offering highly pigmented and long-lasting products. And while we love this, it can be frustrating when they end up anywhere other than our faces.

For example, suppose you are constantly finding stained spots on your carpet. In that case, that's probably a little bit of foundation that dripped from your beauty sponge or fragments of eyeshadow that fell while you were taking the excess off your brush.

Cleaning the mess as soon as possible and using the appropriate tools can increase the chance of successfully removing the stain without calling on the services of a carpet cleaner

Basics of Removing Makeup From Carpet

Before you do anything, review the care instructions from your carpet manufacturer, or test the cleaning solution in a hidden area. If the fiber fades or changes color, try another method. Rinse the carpet lightly with clean, cool water after cleaning it with a water-based product. Blot up any excess moisture and residue.

Since every cosmetic is made differently, you will need a different cleaning method to remove the stains.

Pressed and Loose Powders

When blush, eyeshadow, and finishing powders break or spill, wipe them away as soon as possible. Powders set and spread more quickly on the carpet the longer it is left on, especially if it’s an area of high traffic.

Use a multipurpose cleaner to remove as much of the powder as possible, then softly brush the remainder onto a cloth with a butter knife.

Second, mix 1.25ml of colourless dishwashing liquid with 500ml of lukewarm water. Then, use a cloth to rub the solution against the stain. Wait a few minutes so that the detergent can break up the pigment, and then continue to blot until the mark disappears. Make sure you always dip a clean part of the rag in the solution to keep the color from going back onto the carpet.

If you notice the stain is being a little bit stubborn, apply a few drops of hydrogen peroxide to it and let it sit for one minute. Do not rub it. Then, blot the product with a microfiber cloth. Use a damp and clean cloth to remove any traces of the hydrogen peroxide and pat the area dry. This solution works well with any oil-based makeup.

Creamy Lip and Cheek Products

Most cream blushes, lipsticks, and similar products have oil as a main ingredient. Products like these reduce fine lines and prevent dry flakes, but they also stick to carpet fibers, making it hard to remove makeup from them.

Add 1/4 teaspoon of white distilled vinegar to 1 cup of warm water, apply the solution to the stain and blot the excess. Let the vinegar’s acid dissolve the makeup base for a few minutes before blotting again.

If you still see the stain, press a white paper towel over the smear and iron with the lowest setting for a few seconds. The stain should transfer from the carpet to the paper towel. Keep doing this until the stain disappears.

Long-lasting Liquids

Products claiming to last for 12 to 24 hours can be even more challenging to remove from carpet fibers. Therefore, they require more potent cleaning agents.

Add 1 tablespoon of ammonia to 1 cup of water and wipe the stained area with a cloth until it disappears.

If the stain remains, dampen a white rag with dry cleaning solvent or unflavored vodka and blot the stain away. For stubborn stains, apply the product evenly with a cloth and wait 30 minutes before blotting again.

You can also apply white cream-based makeup remover to the stain. Then, use the ammonia and water mix, dry cleaning solvent, or vodka to remove any leftover pigment. Remember always to use a cloth whenever you apply ammonia or solvent to your carpet.

Liquid Eyeliner

If you knock over a bottle of liquid eyeliner, you may end up with a huge mess. But don’t worry, with a little bit of effort, you can clean out the eyeliner from your carpet. Just keep in mind that depending on the product’s composition, you may need to use more potent cleaning agents. Here are some tips for cleaning eyeliner out of your carpet.

Add 1 teaspoon of white vinegar to half a cup of warm water. Then, dab a cloth into the mixture and blot at the stain, working from the outside until there’s no eyeliner left. Next, use a clean microfiber cloth dampened with clean water to remove the vinegar solution.


Mascara can be a nightmare to clean because it smears quickly. You will need a lot of patience to take this product off your carpet.

Using a makeup remover and a cloth, gently blot at the stain until the mascara is all gone. Constantly reapply the makeup remover to the cloth as needed. Again, patience is key here. Rushing this process can lead to an even worse mess.

Then, use a damp cloth with cold water to remove any makeup remover left on your carpet.

Nail Polish

Nail polish spills on rugs and carpets require similar treatment to paint spills. Apply acetone nail polish remover lightly to a white cloth and dab at the stain. Do not touch the surrounding carpet.

Acetone works like a diluent and makes the nail polish thinner and easier to remove.

Dip a clean part of the rag in the acetone every two to three blots to prevent spreading the nail polish to other areas. To remove acetone residue, mix 1/4 teaspoon of dishwashing detergent with 1 cup of water, then rinse with clean water. Do not oversaturate the carpet with acetone, as it can dissolve the backing adhesive.

It’s always easy to avoid spilling makeup on the carpet than stressing about cleaning it. So, before you start applying makeup to your face, cover the area with a towel or old sheet.

But as much as we do our best to keep our carpets safe from makeup, accidents happen. Just know that makeup can be effectively removed from the carpet using the right products and methods. Find out what you need to know about your makeup so that you can tackle stains successfully.

Have you come across other stains on your carpet that are giving you grief? Maybe tomato sauce stains? Or the all too common coffee stain? Well keep on reading our blog to find out how to deal with them!


About the author 

Saul Jones

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