How to Get Makeup Stains Out of Pillowcases and Sheets

remove makeup stains out of pillowHave you ever woken up with the previous night’s makeup smeared across your good sheets? Or maybe you’ve had visitors depart only to find they’ve left behind impressions of their faces in your pillowcase? Regardless of how the mess was made, one fact remains: You need to know how to get makeup stains out of sheets.

Read on for some tips that can help you get your bedding back to its natural state.

Note: Before you try to clean your sheets or pillowcases using any of the following methods, you should first check the instructions on the care tag. It’s also a really good idea to conduct a spot test on a small inconspicuous patch to make sure your cleaning solution won’t stain or bleach the fabric. And spot tested areas should be allowed to dry completely before you proceed any further.

How to Remove Mascara from Pillowcases

Many mascaras are waterproof and smudge proof, but even the best brands are bound to leave traces behind when you fall asleep wearing multiple coats. Fortunately, learning how to get mascara out of sheets isn’t that difficult.

You’ll need:


  1. Use the spoon or butter knife to gently scrape the mascara off the bedding. Don’t rough up the fabric, or you could damage it.
  2. Mix the dishwashing liquid and the water.
  3. Dampen a microfiber cloth with the cleaning solution.
  4. Lightly blot at the stain until it lifts away, rewetting your cloth as needed. Again, you don’t want to scrub harshly.
  5. Rinse the affected area in the sink to remove any soapy residue.
  6. Wash the bedding as you normally would, but air dry it. Heat from the dryer could cause stains to set in further.
  7. Repeat these steps until the stain has been completely removed.

Removing Foundation from Sheets

While foundation may give your skin a smooth appearance, it’ll make your sheets look rough after a night of tossing and turning. Ready to learn a surprising trick for getting this makeup essential out of your linens?

You’ll need:

  • A butter knife or spoon
  • Shaving cream (That’s right!)
  • Water
  • Microfiber cloths

  1. Delicately remove any clumps of foundation with the side of the spoon or knife.
  2. Spray the shaving cream on the stained area and let it sit for three to five minutes.
  3. Dampen a microfiber cloth and use this to gently dab at the stain. Work from the outside in, and switch to a clean cloth (or clean area of the cloth) as often as needed.
  4. Rinse the spot with cold water.
  5. If you still see foundation, give the above steps another go.
  6. Wash the sheets as you would any other day, but skip the dryer to prevent the stain from setting.
  7. Repeat until the stain has been lifted.

How to Get Lipstick Out of Sheets

Lipstick is often oilier than most other makeups, which means you’ll need to tackle it with something that will cut through the stain. Here again, you can use dishwashing liquid. Just follow the same steps we laid out for removing mascara from pillowcases and sheets.

We’ll also give you an alternative solution, just in case.

You’ll need:

  • A butter knife or spoon
  • Witch hazel or isopropyl rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton balls

  1. Lightly scrape as much lipstick as possible from the sheets, taking care not to damage the fibers.
  2. Soak a cotton ball in witch hazel or isopropyl rubbing alcohol.
  3. Dab at the stain to lift it.
  4. Freshen up your cotton balls and repeat as needed. Depending on how deep the stain is, this method can take a while.
  5. Launder your linens as you would any other time. Again, don’t put them in the dryer or you risk setting the stain in deeper.
  6. Repeat as needed.

While Merry Maids typically doesn't handle laundry duty, we do offer bedroom cleaning services. In fact, we’ll clean your entire house, whether you’re prepping for a special occasion or need a hand due to a busy schedule, so feel free to contact us if you need a helping hand!

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