9 Ways to Get Rid of Mascara Out of Clothes

Mascaras are good on the lashes, but not on clothes. If you’ve accidentally stained your favorite top with some mascara, then you don’t have to worry. We’ve got not one, not two, but nine ways to help you with that problem. So, without further ado, let’s jump right in.

Getting Rid of Mascara Out of Clothes

Your mascara can help you finish your look. However, it still comes off of your lashes at the end of the day. It might not leave your clothes as fast or easy, but it can still come off. So, don’t throw that top just yet, and allow us to show you the ways you could get rid of that mascara stain.

1. Makeup Remover

removing mascara from clothes

Makeup removers could help you get makeup off of your face, and they could help you with that makeup stain on your clothes too.

If the stain is still fresh, this one might work best. Get some cotton balls or q-tips and soak them with your makeup remover. Gently dab on the affected area. Don’t rub! Repeat until no mascara is coming off anymore.

It is unlikely the mascara got to the other side, but you might also want to turn the affected garment inside out. Pour some makeup remover from the back, and gently dab at the front again. It might also be a good idea to have a rag or some paper towels in front of the stain when you start pouring the makeup remover. This way, the mascara stain would transfer on the paper towels and not spread on the garment.

You can also use makeup wipes for this one.

This method is good as an immediate pretreatment, but if there’s still some mascara stain left after, use it in conjunction with one of the other methods.


2. Rubbing Alcohol

remove mascara from clothes

You can use this one how you would use the makeup remover.

It might be a good idea not to douse the area with rubbing alcohol. Soak the cotton balls or q-tips instead.

Dousing the stain with any liquid while it’s still fresh might make it spread to other areas. Only pour any liquid cleaning agent on the mascara stain once you’ve taken a good amount of it off.

If you don’t have any of the two with you, you can try using sanitizer if you have it. However, make sure you’re using the clear type. Some sanitizers, specifically those targeted for kids, usually have some dye or sparkles. Don’t use those. They might leave a stain of their own.


3. Dish Soap

how do you get mascara out of clothes

Dish soap like Dawn and Joy could also help.

Since most mascaras have wax or oil, dish soap would be a great cleaning agent against those.

There are several ways dish soap is employed in stain removals.

First, you can pour a generous amount of dish soap on the stain and with your fingers or a toothbrush, gently work it on the area.

On the other hand, you can mix some dish soap and some water. Dip a sponge or a cloth on the solution and gently dab at the stain.

See it used on a pillowcase:


4. Stain Remover

get mascara out of clothes

You can use stain removers how you’d use dish soap. Spray some stain remover on the affected area and work it on the fabric with your fingers or a toothbrush. Let it sit for a few minutes or hours before washing.

If you’re dealing with a tough stain, then it might be better to use stain removers like Spray n Wash than dish soap.

It might be a good time to note that the names we’ve mentioned are only suggestions. Feel free to use your preferred brands.


5. Liquid Detergent

how to remove mascara from clothing

Of course, we can’t forget about liquid detergents like Ariel or Tide.

With this method, you’d want to pour a generous amount of liquid detergent on the affected area. Let it sit for some time, and wash as normal.

It would be ideal to use one of the other methods before using liquid detergent to have a better chance of removing the mascara stain after one wash. However, if you want, you can try this method first. If the mascara is still there after washing, then that might be when you want to try the other methods.


6. Bleach

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If you are dealing with a tough stain and you really want to save that shirt, you might want to consider using bleach if none of the other options are working.

However, you might want to forgo this one as much as possible. Bleach could be harmful to your clothes and the environment! Treat it as something like a last resort type of solution.

Not So Common Stain Removers

None of the cleaning agents above might have surprised you. However, our last set might startle you a bit. Who knew these things could help with laundry concerns?

7. Shaving Cream

mascara out of clothing

If somehow it happened that shaving cream is all you have when the mascara accident took place, well, today might be your day.

Yes, shaving cream could help.

Put some shaving cream on the affected area and let it sit for a while. After some time, wipe off the shaving cream or flush it with cold running water.


8. Hairspray

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Hairsprays are actually a common suggestion when it comes to different kinds of stains. However, not a lot use them anymore. That is because not all hairsprays could help. There are only some types that could. Namely, those that have high alcohol contents.

With that said, you can use hairspray how you’d use rubbing alcohol. However, many suggest another method with hairsprays.

What you want to do is spray a good amount of hairspray on the affected area. After that, let it dry out. Once it dries, you can either use a wet wipe or dampen a cloth to wipe it off.


9. Hydrogen Peroxide

how to get mascara out of a shirt

Here, we have hydrogen peroxide. Again, you can use it as it is similar to rubbing alcohol. However, it is a little stronger, so use it with caution.

What Not to Use and What Not to Do


I don’t know about you, but I used to think the water was always a good idea when it came to stains. Whenever I got something on my clothes, I went and looked for water for pretreatment. However, I learned that that was not always a good idea, and mascara stains could be one of the many examples why not.

Often, mascaras have oil or wax – or both! As you might already know, these things are hydrophobic. Using water as a pretreatment would probably not be the best idea.

It might even make the problem worse. Water might not do anything to the wax and oil, but it might do something to the dye. Instead of getting rid of the problem, it might even spread it!


Rubbing a stain is almost always tempting. Often, it does look like we could get rid of a problem with a few good scrubs. However, that is not usually the case.

Rubbing is not ideal when trying to blot. It could make the problem worse. Sometimes, it might look like the stain is starting to lighten. It could, but not because it’s getting off of your clothes. It could be because it’s spreading.

Things to Remember

mascara out of clothes

Test It

Always try your cleaning agent of choice in an inconspicuous area before you start working on the stain, especially if you’re dealing with delicate materials.

They might get the stain out, but they might get the color out too!

Know Your Fabric

In addition to testing the product on a hidden area, it would be a good idea to get to know what fabric you’re dealing with. This way, you’ll have a better idea of how much elbow grease you can exert. For example, cotton could take a little more pressure than silk.

Also, knowing your fabric might give you a better idea of which products have a better chance of taking care of the stain in question.


With mascara stains and other stains like it, don’t forget to scrape as much of it off before treating the problem. You can use your fingernail or a toothpick for scraping off mascara since this kind of stain is usually only small. For larger stains, you can try using a blunt knife.

Scraping the stain off might look like an additional task, but it helps. Not only are you taking parts of the stain, but it also helps avoid spreading the mascara on other areas.


Mascara could help make your look. That is when it’s on your lashes and not on your clothes! We want them to stay on your lashes, but not on your tops. So, when it gets on your clothes, you might ask how to get mascara out of clothes? Well, you don’t need to wonder anymore! As you have seen, there are 9 ways you could try to get rid of mascara out of clothes!


removing mascara from clothes

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