A collection of red lipstick

How to Remove Lipstick From Clothes

The same reason lipstick looks good and stays put on lips also makes it hard to remove from clothing. Lipstick lasts throughout the day because of the oil, pigments and chemicals in it. These also make it difficult to remove from fabric when placed in the washing machine without first taking a few important steps. Fortunately, these lipstick stain removal tips can help you get started.

Step 1: Check Your Clothing's Care Tag

Clothing items in a washing machine Clothing items in a washing machine

Check your clothing's care label for any special requirements like dry cleaning because this method is recommended only for clothes that can be machine washed.

You should also check the label for hot, warm or cold water temperature recommendations before beginning the stain treatment.

Here is a handy Washer and Dryer Care Symbol Guide to help you better understand your clothing's care labels.


Act Immediately
When the stain appears, start removing it as soon as possible. Waiting longer allows the lipstick oils to soak into the fabric, making it more difficult to remove.

Step 2: Gently Scrape Off Excess Lipstick

If any excess material remains, lift it off with a dull knife or credit card. Using a gentle scraping motion, scrape the fabric without pushing or rubbing the lipstick deeper into the fabric.

Step 3: Apply a Teaspoon of Dish Soap Directly to the Stain

Apply the dish soap directly to the stain on each side of the fabric if both sides of the fabric are accessible. Avoid rubbing or scrubbing the stain. Leave the dish soap on for 30 minutes.

You can substitute laundry detergent or pre-wash stain remover for dish soap, but these products may not be able to release the lipstick oils as well as dish soap.

Step 4: Soak In A Dish Soap Solution

Pour some warm water and a drop of liquid dish soap into a glass or plastic bowl or bucket as recommended on the care tag. Give the item at least an hour to soak. The longer the item soaks, the more likely it will be to yield results. Soaking overnight for lipstick stains is ideal.

Did you know that select Whirlpool® washers have an Automatic Presoak Option?

Now you can treat stains without a trip to the sink. Set your washer to soak for 15, 30, 60 or 120 minutes, then the washer will add water and detergent for soaking. The cycle will then start automatically once soaking is complete.

Step 5: Remove the Stain With A Soft Brush

A stain removal device A stain removal device

When it’s done soaking, gently scrub the stain with a soft-bristle toothbrush, working from the outside in to prevent spreading.

Remove as much of the stain as possible, and be sure to fully remove the soap by rinsing thoroughly before putting the item in the washing machine. Dish soap in the washing machine creates excess suds and can cause an overflow.

Whirlpool® washers with Pretreat Station Plus provide quick, easy access to tools through a built-in dual temperature faucet and pretreat brush for soaking, scrubbing, and washing in one place. To prevent stains from setting in, you can add detergent to the water stream.

Step 6: Machine Wash On Your Regular Wash Cycle

Distributeur Load & Go™ Whirlpool avec détergent liquide. Distributeur Load & Go™ Whirlpool avec détergent liquide.

It is recommended to machine wash the item at the warmest water recommended on its care tag. Stains can be removed with any stain-fighting product you have in your arsenal. If you don’t have either of these, add ½ cup of baking soda to the load.

Step 7: Repeat As Needed

Line dry the item: heat from a dryer will set any stain left behind that you can't see while the fabric is wet. Check the item after it has been washed. Repeat steps 1–7 as often as necessary until the lipstick stain is completely removed. In the event that you cannot remove the stain yourself, take it to a dry cleaner.

Need other Stain Removal Guides?

As an expert laundry brand, we host a handful of stain removal guides that can help you get the toughest stains out of your laundry. Check them out below:

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