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How To Remove Mascara Stains from Clothing

Here Are Five Useful Tips on How to Remove Mascara Stains From Clothing

As you apply the second coat of mascara and hurry to an important event, disaster strikes when you drop the wand.

It falls on your collar, flips off your pocket, and leaves a track of kohl-colored stains down the front of your top.

Waterproof mascara and formulas with “fibers” can be a pain to remove from clothing, but don’t worry. Our easy steps will help you get the stains out in no time.

First, a little science lesson about mascara.

 What Mascara Is Made Of?

Mascara is a cosmetic product used to give the appearance of longer, thicker eyelashes.When applied close to the eyes, it has to be made with certain types of ingredients that won’t irritate your eyes or cause sliding and messy fallout throughout the day.

The standard ingredients in traditional mascaras are:

  • Pigment: Very black and deepest black are favorite shades that require a dark pigment like carbon black, which is a byproduct of coal mining. However, 100% Pure never uses it because it’s known to be carcinogenic and toxic. Instead, this brand uses iron oxides in its mascara colors to keep them pure and safe for you.
  • Polymers are usually man-made from products like petroleum, coal mining byproducts, or chemicals that combine to create formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is an ingredient found in many traditional mascaras. You’ll never find preservatives or petroleum-based ingredients in natural brand formulas.
  •  Waxes: Wax can make lashes appear fuller by coating them and adding volume.

Mascara, although easy to apply, can be hard to remove when it stains clothes. Formulas with plant-based ingredients are generally easier to prepare than those containing synthetic ingredients.

Waterproof mascara typically contains silicone, making the product very tough to take off (your lashes included).

Waterproof mascara requires makeup remover to remove from your lashes and a lot of work to attempt to remove from your clothes.

Instead of choosing a waterproof formula, choose a formula with plant-based, natural ingredients that naturally bind to your lashes for a lasting effect.

Also, be aware that some mascaras contain fibers that are intended to create the appearance of longer lashes. These fibers, which are usually made of nylon, silk, or rayon, can easily detach from the lashes and become stuck on clothing.

We’re here to help you get rid of mascara stains, no matter what kind of fabric your shirt is made out of.

How Do I Remove Mascara From Clothes?

The more quickly you remove a stain, the better. If possible, always treat stains immediately. But if you’re in a bind, try one of the methods below and then wash the item as soon as you can.

1. Soap

If you’re in a hurry and have soap and water nearby, apply them quickly to the stain; this will probably be enough to lift it out.

This tactic also works best for mascara smudge stains as opposed to full-blown, heavy color stains.

 Use a cotton ball or paper towel to lightly rub the smudge off of your clothing.

2. Makeup Remover

Using a makeup remover wipe to get rid of a stain may seem like it would work, but regular wipes have ingredients that could actually end up staining your clothing.

If you’re going to use this method, put the stained side of the fabric down on a clean white paper towel or cloth first.

3. Laundry Soap

If a makeup remover wipe or the care label doesn’t work on a tough stain, try laundry detergent instead.

Make a paste with warm water and powdered laundry detergent. Apply it directly to the area of the clothing that’s stained, and wait 15 minutes before laundering as usual.

Wash the garment in your washing machine on a cold water setting. You can also use liquid detergent for this method.

Apply the detergent directly to the stained area, and leave it there for 15 minutes. If necessary, repeat this process several more times until the stain is gone completely.

4. Ideal for Heavy Coats and Fabric

Before you start scrubbing away at your clothes, make sure to test the water and detergent on a small, unnoticeable area first.

You’ll need hot water, a toothbrush or other soft-bristled brush, and, of course, some fabric cleaner that is safe for the clothing material.

 To clean the garment, first lay it over a white cloth or paper towel. Then, take your cleaning solution and spray a small amount onto the stain.

Rub the area gently with a brush until you see the stain start to lift. Finally, use some clean water to wipe away any remaining residue.

5. Carpets

If you’re anything like me, your mascara wand falls to the floor on occasion. If it happens to leave markings on your lovely cream-colored carpet, follow these steps to get rid of them:

Mix 1 part dish soap with 4 parts warm water in a bowl. Use a sponge to dab (not scrub!) at the stain until it starts to lift. If the stain is still visible after this, mix together 1 tablespoon of ammonia with 1 cup of water.

Once again, use a sponge dipped in this solution and blot (don’t scrub) until the mark disappears!

More Tips and Tricks

Cold water should always be your first step in treating a stain, no matter what the type of stain may be. If hot water is used as an initial method, this can cause the set the original stain, making it more difficult to remove.

Additionally, you should consult the care label before laundering any clothing items; some materials require professional dry cleaning, which would usually better handle removing tough stains such as mascara from fabric.

In addition, be sure to check the care label before laundering your clothing. If an item can only be dry cleaned, you’ll need to take it to a professional cleaner in order to remove the mascara stains.

Some other helpful tips:

  • You should never use hairspray if you want to maintain your clothes. Hairspray often contains chemicals that can’t be removed or could potentially damage the fabric of your clothing.
  • Contrary to popular belief, pre-treating your stain with shaving cream will do nothing for you except maybe leave an even bigger mess.
  • If you don’t have a laundry bag, use a pillowcase when washing your stained garments. Put the item in the pillowcase and loosely tie it before adding it to the washer. In this way, you’ll remember to double-check if the stain has lifted before putting it into the dryer, where heat could set the continuing presence of that stain even deeper into the fabric fibers.
  • Using chlorine bleach might remove the mascara stain, but it will also leave a yellow burn mark on the clothing that will permanently damage it.

Carefully read the care label before using any bleach on your clothes. If it is safe to use non-chlorine, color-safe bleach, give it a try!

After you’ve attempted the methods detailed above and can’t seem to get rid of the stain, take it to your local dry cleaner.

They likely have a stronger solution that will remove the stain without harming your clothing’s fabric.

Save the Environment and Your Money 

Environmentally-friendly cosmetics are not only gentle on the environment, but they’re also easier to remove stains with brands like 100% Pure use the cleanest ingredients available and have set the standard for others in the industry to follow.

The long-lasting mascaras are not only higher quality, but they also outperform traditional beauty products. These products are made with  high-quality ingredients that won’t damage your eyes or lashes like some chemical-based brands.


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