This Cleaning Expert Taught Me a Free Makeup Stain-Removing Hack

published Oct 31, 2019
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Part of what I do as a writer is interview experts on everything from fashion to beauty to cleaning. Even when it comes to subjects that I think I know enough about, I am often surprised at just how much I learn when talking to someone who is, well… an expert. This brings to me to the thing I think everyone should know about getting makeup stains out of your clothes.

Most of us who wear makeup have been in the same spot before: You pull your sweater or top over your head, only to turn it inside out and observe a giant smear toward the top of it. So much for no-transfer foundation, right? Makeup is one of the hardest types of stains to remove, too. And if you’re traveling or in a hurry, dealing with the mark can be even more difficult. 

Leanne Stapf, chief operating officer at The Cleaning Authority, told me in an interview that removing makeup stains (specifically foundation stains, but this applies to any oil-based product) is as simple as applying a standard grooming product to the spot before washing it—something super common, that both men and women probably have in their bathroom cabinet: shaving cream.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

How to Remove Makeup Stains with Shaving Cream

According to Stapf, shaving cream will “cut through the oil” and help take a makeup stain right out of any garment when followed by a quick washing machine cycle.

Here’s how it’s done: Apply a squirt or two of shaving cream to the stain, letting it sit for about 10 minutes before carefully blotting up as much as you can with a clean cloth. Rinse the spot with cool water, then machine wash as usual to remove any trace of your look that day.

This tip is also handy to know for when you want to buy the last available dress or top at a store in your size, but it has a makeup stain near the collar. Knowing that getting it out is as easy as a squeeze of shaving cream makes it a little less daunting to buy as is. Plus, you might be able to get the store to give you a discount on the piece and get the stain out within minutes when you go home. 

So not only will shaving cream save you money on dry cleaning, but it’ll also help you save money on buying clothes. It’s an all-around life hack, really.