How to get makeup out of a white dress

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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.


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

Things You'll 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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About the Author

Kimbry Parker has been writing since 1998 and has published content on various websites. Parker has experience writing on a variety of topics such as health, parenting, home improvement and decorating. She is a graduate of Purdue University with a Bachelor of Arts in organizational communication.