If You Ever Do Laundry or Wear Makeup, You Need Some Baby Shampoo

updated Mar 2, 2021
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A close-up shot of 365 brand's baby shampoo
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

If you thought baby shampoo was only good for washing silky baby hair, then think again. Turns out that baby shampoo has a host of uses around the house, even for non-parents. From makeup removal to treating stains, here seven unexpected ways to use baby shampoo at home outside of the bathtub.

1. As a gentle makeup remover

Most shampoos contain surfactants, a.k.a. compounds that remove grime and buildup, but those compounds can cause irritation and pain if they get into your eyes. However, since baby shampoos are formulated with numbing chemicals (known as tear-free formulas) to combat eye irritation, you can moisten a cotton ball or swab with a little bit of it to remove your stubborn eye makeup in a pinch.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

2. For cleaning makeup brushes

Just like you can use a little baby shampoo to remove your eye makeup, it’ll also work wonders for cleaning your makeup brushes, too. Simply run your dirty brush bristles under lukewarm water and dab them into a nickel-sized blob of baby shampoo in the palm your hand or inside a bowl. Swirl the brush bristle around enough to work out as much of the trapped oil and dirt as possible and rinse them in lukewarm water again for a thorough clean.

3. To remove water-based paint

Believe it not, baby shampoo acts like regular soap when used on water-based paint stains. Keep a bottle handy in your craft bin for the next time you need to remove latex paint from your skin, clothes, or dirty paintbrushes.

4. To get rid of sweat stains

Who knew baby shampoo could get rid of gross sweat stains on your clothes? Pre-treat your sweat-soiled shirt collars and underarm areas with baby shampoo for half an hour before throwing them in the washer and say goodbye to those unsightly pit stains once and for all.

5. Treat leather

Looking for a cheap and easy way to spot clean your leather sofa or shoes? All you need is a little baby shampoo and a damp (not wet) cloth to buff your leather goods away, no rinsing necessary. The shampoo also doubles as a mild conditioner, which will help keep your beloved leather belongings looking nicer for longer.

(Image credit: EKramar)

6. Un-shrink sweaters

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Baby shampoo might be able to save your favorite sweater from shrink-ville. Assuming your sweater isn’t fully felted, you can fill up a bucket with lukewarm water and two tablespoons of baby shampoo to let your shrunken sweater soak for twenty minutes, then drain, flatten, and lay it out as taut as possible to dry to stretch your shrunken sweater back to its original shape.

7. As an emergency laundry detergent (when hand-washing)

What to do when you’re out of detergent but desperate to wash a few items real fast? You can hand-wash a few articles of clothing in your sink with one tiny teaspoon of baby shampoo—just let it dissolve in a sink full of clean water before adding in your clothes to prevent spotting.