How to get makeup out of a white dress

Written by kimbry parker
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How to get makeup out of a white dress
Preserve the beauty of your white dress by removing make-up stains at first sight. (white back wedding dress bride image by Paul Retherford from

Make-up on a white dress is a frightening sight. Whether it's an oil-based make-up such as lipstick or mascara or powdered make-up like blush or eye shadow, you likely want it off of your white dress immediately. Removing make-up from a white dress is not as tricky as it may look. Using the proper products and techniques will have the make-up gone in no time.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Baking soda
  • White rags
  • Clear shampoo
  • Hairspray
  • Clear dish soap
  • Make-up sponges
  • White vinegar
  • White foaming shaving cream
  • Club soda

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    Removing Oil-based Makeup

  1. 1

    Sprinkle the make-up stain generously with baking soda. Dab the baking soda gently with a dry rag. Allow the baking soda to sit on the dress for at least 10 minutes.

  2. 2

    Shake the dress briskly to remove the powder. The baking soda is absorbent so it will soak up at least some of the make-up from the dress.

  3. 3

    Place a few drops of clear shampoo directly onto the make-up stain. Add a few drops of water to the stain.

  4. 4

    Use a white rag to gently work the shampoo and water into the stain. Rub gently in a circular motion until the stain has lifted.

  5. 5

    Rinse the stained area with plain water. Use a white rag moistened with water to remove the soap residue and any remaining make-up.

  6. 6

    Repeat this process, if necessary, until all of the make-up is gone.

  7. 7

    Spray hairspray onto the stained area of the dress if the make-up remains. Saturate the area with hairspray and allow it to sit for several minutes. Wipe the dress with a damp rag and clear dish soap. Rinse the dress with a rag and plain water. Allow it to air dry.

    Removing Powdered Makeup

  1. 1

    Rub the make-up stain gently with a make-up sponge. Rub in only one direction and do not apply much force. Turn the make-up sponge over or switch to a new one once it becomes soiled. Continue doing this until no more make-up transfers to the sponge.

  2. 2

    Moisten a white rag with white vinegar. Dab the stain gently with the rag, switching frequently to use clean parts of the rag.

  3. 3

    Rinse the dress with a rag and water. Allow the dress to air dry.

  4. 4

    Use shaving cream if the make-up stain persists. Use plain, white foaming shaving cream rather than a coloured gel.

  5. 5

    Apply a small amount of shaving cream to a white rag. Dab the stain with the rag.

  6. 6

    Dampen a white rag with club soda to rinse the dress. Wipe the shaving cream and any remaining make-up residue from the dress using the rag and club soda.

Tips and warnings

  • Always test the product you are using on a hidden area of the dress prior to applying it to a more noticeable area.

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