Easy Cleaning Tips For Getting Foundation Stains Out Of Clothes

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Foundation is an excellent tool for making our skin look smoother, clearer, and more polished. We enjoy using foundation so much that we even researched the best foundations for the 2023 Glam Beauty Awards! Moreover, we appreciate all the clever and easy foundation tricks that ensure the most natural finish. However, as helpful as foundation is for helping us achieve skin that looks as flawless as possible, the makeup product doesn't come without its downsides and challenges. For instance, makeup foundation is typically heavier than options like BB creams and tinted moisturizers. Not only can that heaviness lead to a cakey look if you're not careful, but it's also likely to stain clothes, much like deodorant can.


Famous TikToker Brooke Monk even posted a relatable video joking about the struggles of foundation stains. In the video, Monk hugged someone wearing a black shirt, and the hug left him with a significant stain of her foundation on it. Foundation stains on clothes are inevitable if you wear the product often, so since you can't avoid them altogether, let's focus on the various ways to clean those stains after they happen.

Micellar water works for powder foundation

Anyone who frequently wears powder foundation knows that while it helps to make our skin look more polished, it often gets messy, especially for our clothes. But micellar water can make cleaning those annoying powdery stains much easier. "Apply some of the micellar water to a Q-tip and soak the stain with it, gently working the product out of the garment," Rebecca Ravenna, a wardrobe stylist, told Byrdie. Thus, even if you don't typically use micellar water to remove makeup from your face, it's still a good idea to keep some around to get the powder stains out of your clothes.


You can find many micellar water products online, such as the best-selling Garnier SkinActive Micellar Water, available for less than $10 on Amazon at the time of writing. The product has 4.7 out of five stars with over 78,000 ratings! Meanwhile, another micellar water option to check out is the Caudalie Vinoclean Cleansing Micellar Water, available for $30 at Sephora. The product has four stars with over 660 ratings.

Shaving cream will remove foundation stains

Many people who keep shaving cream around at home should be happy to know they can use it to get foundation stains out of their outfits. It may sound strange to use a product you traditionally use for shaving in the shower on your clothes to get foundation stains out, but it works! You should "dampen the area with cold water and apply shaving cream directly onto the stain. Rub gently with your fingers or a soft toothbrush," makeup artist Vanessa Ungaro told The Strategist.


We don't recommend using scented or colorful fancy shaving cream to remove your foundation stains — just keep it simple. You might even want to have some inexpensive shaving creams around just for foundation removal! For instance, the best-selling Cremo Barber Grade Sensitive Shave Cream — available for less than $10 on Amazon — will likely do the cleaning job without any fancy scents and dyes getting in the way.

Dish soap also helps

Another product we all have at home that can remove the foundation stains from your favorite outfits is dish soap. "Oil is an essential ingredient in most makeup, and dish soap is designed to gently break down oils to help get things clean ... Spray the stain with water — distilled if you have it, so no mineral residue is left behind when the fabric dries — and gently rub a drop of dish soap onto the stain and let it soak for 10 to 15 minutes," Maeve Richmond, founder of Maeve's Method home organizational business, told Well + Good. The expert also noted that brushes with gentle bristles will help the dish soap win against more stubborn foundation stains.


Anyone looking for an ultra-affordable dish soap should check out the Palmolive Ultra Dish Liquid, available for about $2.50 on Amazon at the time of writing, with 4.4 stars and over 1,000 ratings. Another option is the best-selling Gain Ultra Dishwashing Liquid Dish Soap, Original Scent, selling for only around $1 at Walmart with 4.5 stars and more than 1,500 ratings.

You can try hand sanitizer, too

This next idea isn't guaranteed to work as well as the micellar water, shaving cream, and dish soap hacks, but it involves an item everyone should have at home and with them whenever they go anywhere: hand sanitizer. TikToker @cait_mya posted a video sharing that hand sanitizer helps remove foundation stains from clothing, calling the hack a "game changer." While some viewers appreciate the hack, commenting "OMG. THANK YOU" and "Omg I needed that," a few others didn't find success with the technique, writing, "It didn't work for me." However, we think it's still worth a try if you wear foundation a lot.


While dish soap and shaving cream seem to work better for removing foundation stains, these aren't products that we typically carry around in our pockets and purses. However, we don't leave our homes without hand sanitizer — a habit everyone should pick up, considering the germs you're likely to encounter when you're out and about. So, if you get some foundation on your clothes when you're not home, you can pull out your hand sanitizer and apply it to the stain. Even if it doesn't work perfectly, it should be better than nothing and letting the foundation stain set in further.

Consider a portable stain remover

If you aren't a fan of hacks involving household items, you should instead invest in a stain remover that you can keep around for whenever you wear foundation. One option is the Janie Stick Spot Cleaner, selling for just under $10 on Amazon at the time of writing. The item has 4.4 stars, and around 75% of reviewers gave it five stars. One reviewer even wrote that the product "Works like magic!" Another option is the beloved Tide Stain Remover for Clothes, available for below $5 on Amazon. The Amazon's Choice product has 4.7 stars with over 1,500 ratings, and 80% of reviewers give it a perfect 5-star rating!


There's also the Dryel Dry-Clean Safe On-The-Go Stain Removal Pen for Clothes and Laundry, available for under $10 on Amazon, with 4.2 stars. Moreover, anyone who'd prefer to use stain-remover in the form of a wipe rather than a stick should check out the Emergency Stain Remover Wipes, selling for under $20 on Amazon at the time of writing. The fragrance-free wipes can handle the stain, whether it's new or old, and the wipes have a 4.2-star rating.