how to get mascara out of clothes

How to Get Mascara Out of Clothes Easily

Are you stuck in a mascara conundrum? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. I bet makeup doesn’t sound as much fun when the mascara bottle or wand slips out of your hand and spills all over your clothes.

You would think that cleaning these stains with soap and water would work, but the opposite happens and these stubborn stains often prove to be quite a hassle.

It is understandable that you would want to remove these stains as soon as possible because truth is told, the mascara doesn’t really go with clothes (alright, I’ll stop). Do you know that there is an awesome cleaning agent that you can use to clean the mascara stains?

Hydrogen peroxide tops the list of cleaning agents that you can use to remove the mascara stains.

Due to its oxidizing powers, it not only removes the stains but entirely destroys their structure, rendering them absolutely incapable of causing stains. Hydrogen peroxide produces OH radicals that remove those terrible mascara smudges from your clothes and allow them to shine truly!

What Removes Mascara From Fabric?

Did you know that mascara is an emulsion of pigments and is mainly derived from waxes or oils? Just to add to the mix, the oil and pigments immediately bind to the fibers of your clothes and refuse to leave them easily.

The color pigments in black mascara are derived from iron oxide and carbon black and the waxy component holds them together and provides structural integrity to the mascara.

You can immediately wipe the mascara with a makeup removal wipe that you generally use to erase mascara from your eyes. Things get difficult on a whole other level when it comes to waterproof mascara and just a makeup removal wipe won’t work to remove the mascara out of clothes.

You can remove waterproof mascara stains by applying a degreasing agent on the stains with a brush. The degreasing agent would prompt these oil-based mascara stains out of your clothes quickly.

How to Get Mascara Out of Clothes Easily — Top 5 Methods

#1 Using Hydrogen Peroxide to Get Mascara Out of Clothes Easily — Our Top Pick!

Since the mascara is derived from pigments and oils, it has the potential to strongly stick to your eyebrows and that’s why it has such an impressive function when it comes to makeup. An agent essentially acting to destroy these oils or pigments should work ideally to remove the mascara stains from your clothes as well.

Hydrogen peroxide works exactly through this mechanism and that is why it should be your top choice to remove mascara stains from the fabric.

It is an unstable compound and immediately decomposes into OH radicals on contact. These OH radicals are charged and small enough to penetrate the fibers of your clothes.

They oxidize integral chemical bonds that are responsible for causing the stain.

In addition to its stain-removing properties, hydrogen peroxide also has deodorizing, disinfecting, and bleaching properties, all of which come in really handy in different cleaning circumstances.

Hydrogen peroxide works essentially through the same mechanism i.e. by forming OH radicals. Now, that we know all about hydrogen peroxide, it is time to find out how you can use this agent to remove those mascara stains!

What You Need

How To Use

  1. Start by dipping a cotton ball in a 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide
  2. Blot the stain lightly with the dipped cotton ball
  3. Let the hydrogen peroxide sit for 10-15 minutes
  4. You should rinse the stain with a clean sponge now and you would find it to be coming off slowly
  5. Now run your clothes in a washing machine and then let them dry

Points to Consider!

  1. Hydrogen peroxide has bleaching properties and it can bleach out clothes that are not colorfast, hence, you should start by dabbing an area of your clothes with hydrogen peroxide to see if it bleeds out color
  2. You need to be careful while using hydrogen peroxide because this it is a powerful oxidizing agent and dangerous to skin and eyes. It can cause irritability and you should observe the usage of gloves when using hydrogen peroxide
  3. For waterproof mascaras, you would need to scrub the stains a little hard because they don’t really come off easily

#2 Using Isopropyl Alcohol to Get Mascara Out of Clothes Easily

Do you know what is a really good degreasing agent? Isopropyl alcohol. This alcohol can remove even the toughest of stains and removing a mascara stain is not a difficult job for such an agent.

Isopropyl alcohol dissolves the mascara in such a proficient way that you can always keep a bottle in hand and use it to remove mascara stains every time you encounter them!

The reason for this efficiency of alcohol to dissolve the mascara stains is because alcohol is organic and it specifically works to dissolve the oily components of mascara.

These oily components are what make the mascara stains stick to the microfibers of your cloth.

Moreover, alcohol can dissolve as well as break down the structural components of compounds present in the mascara.

Do you want to learn how you can use this agent to remove mascara stains? Let’s find out!

What You Need

  • Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Cotton

How To Use

  1. Pour some isopropyl alcohol on a small piece of cotton
  2. Start dabbing lightly with the alcohol cotton on the stain
  3. Keep doing this until you find the mascara stain to be wiped off
  4. Now run your clothes through a washing machine cycle
  5. Let your clothes dry

Points to Consider!

  1. While rubbing the stain with the cotton, you should start by doing circular movements and then work your way towards the center
  2. Don’t keep rubbing with only one cotton piece. If one gets used, replace it with a new one and repeat the process
  3. You can also use hand sanitizer as an alternative. A hand sanitizer contains a large proportion of alcohol and would produce the same effects as isopropyl alcohol

#3 Using Dish Soap and Water to Get Mascara Out of Clothes Easily

Dish soap is an excellent degreasing agent, as it contains hydrophobic parts that dissolve the organic large molecules such as fat.

Dish soap contains surfactants that exhibit cleansing abilities mainly through emulsifying the large fat molecules into small droplets and degreasing your clothes.

As we know that mascara is mainly oils and wax-based and the dish soap breaks down these oils stuck in the microfibers of your clothes. Additionally, the hydrophobic parts of the dish soap dissolve these broken-down fat droplets and effectively remove them.

What You Need

  • Dish Soap
  • Cup of warm water
  • A small bowl
  • Sponge

How To Use

  1. Take a small bowl and add one teaspoon of the dish soap to it
  2. Add in a cup of warm water to make a mixture
  3. Mix the entire solution really well
  4. Soak a sponge in the dish soap mixture
  5. Start gently dabbing on the stain with the damp sponge
  6. Rinse your clothes in the laundry and let them dry

Points to Consider!

  1. For this method to be effective, you need to ensure that the dish soap solution you’re making contains the proper proportion of the dish soap and water because both of them will be working together to get the mascara stains out of your clothes.
  2. While using the sponge, you would see the black smears of the mascara stains coming off. At this point, you should resoak the sponge in the dish soap solution and continue with the cleaning method
  3. You can also alternatively use a laundry detergent with the exact same method, however, the dish soap is recommended for more delicate clothes

#4 Using Detergent to Get Mascara Out of Clothes Easily

Suppose that you were putting your clothes in the laundry machine and you come across some mascara-stained clothes that you weren’t even aware of.

Do you know what would be a really efficient method you can use right there and then? You can use your detergent to get the mascara stains out of your clothes.

A detergent essentially works in the same method as a dish soap i.e. it degreases the clothes and emulsifies the fat-based stains such as mascara, making it convenient to remove the stains in no time!

However, a detergent may be a good choice to remove the mascara on every type of clothing, but a dish soap should be preferred for delicate and light clothing.

What You Need

  • Laundry Detergent
  • Piece of cardboard
  • Soft brush

How To Use

  1. You should start by placing cardboard immediately underneath the surface of your spread-out, mascara-stained clothing so that the other side isn’t stained by the precipitates of the stains that will be removed upon application of the detergent
  2. Pour the laundry detergent directly onto the stain
  3. Use a brush to rub the laundry detergent onto the stain and ensure that it produces enough lather to clean the entire stain
  4. Allow the detergent to sit for 20-30 minutes on your clothes
  5. Now rinse your clothes and ensure that as you’re running water through the clothes, the mascara stain is also getting removed

Points to Consider!

  1. If the mascara stain has dried and is crumbling, then you should first scratch that mascara off the clothes before starting with this method
  2. You should pour a generous amount of the detergent so that you cover the entire stain with the laundry detergent
  3. You can also alternatively use a sponge instead of a brush to rub the laundry detergent in the clothes

#5 Using Bleach to Get Mascara Out of Clothes Easily

Bleach does exactly what it is supposed to do, it bleaches the clothes by removing the stains such as mascara. There are two main types of bleaches that you can use; Chlorine bleach and Oxiclean (oxygen bleach).

Chlorine bleach works best to remove any mascara stains from your white clothes but it has a damaging effect on the fibers of the cloth.

Chlorine bleach should absolutely not be used on colored clothes because it would bleed all the color out and destroy the entire look of your garments!

Oxiclean on the other hand is more clothes-friendly because it contains hydrogen peroxide which has mild bleaching properties that work ideally for your colored clothes.

An additional plus point of using oxygen bleach is that it does not cause any damage to the fabric of your clothes and maintains their original shape and form.

What You Need

  • Bleach (Oxiclean or Chlorine Bleach, whichever one you choose)
  • Bucket
  • Water

How To Use

  1. Fill up a bucket with water
  2. Pour bleach into the bucket and make a well-mixed solution
  3. Soak your clothes in the solution for around 6-8 hours
  4. Take your clothes out and put them in your washing machine
  5. Run a washing machine cycle and check to see if the stain is gone

Points to Consider!

  1. Please note that bleach takes a long time to work and be effective. Therefore, the clothes need to be submerged for enough time for bleach to be effective
  2. Before sending off your clothes to the washing machine, you should check their wash-care label
  3. If the stain is not gone after one cycle of cleaning, then you can opt to repeat this method

How Do You Get Dried Up Mascara Off?

A dried mascara can be even harder to remove since the pigments and oil have stayed long enough to form a strong bond with the microfibers of your clothes.

However, one convenience that dried-up mascara stains provide is that they start to crumble up and can be removed that way. Therefore, your first step should be to scratch away and crumble mascara stains.

The next step would be to submerge it in a solution of 1 tablespoon bleach, a cup of laundry detergent, and 2-3 cups of water.

Preferably, you should leave the clothes overnight in this solution. Note that this wouldn’t entirely remove the stain, it would only make it soft enough to be removed. You should follow the bleaching with the application of a makeup remover wipe or isopropyl alcohol.

How Do You Remove Stubborn Waterproof Mascara?

Waterproof mascara is harder to remove because it contains additional silicone components that contribute to its waterproof nature.

Usual degreasing agents may or may not work to remove the waterproof mascara stains from your clothes.

You should apply or spray some laundry detergent directly onto the stain and allow it to sit there for 30 minutes.

Now use a brush to scrape off the stain and pick up the softened mascara with the brush’s bristles. If the stain still persists, you should apply hydrogen peroxide or isopropyl alcohol and see how effective they turn out to be.

Can You Remove Mascara From Clothes Without Washing?

Yes, you can remove mascara from clothes without washing them. This can be done with the help of a hair spray.

Hairspray contains alcohol which dissolves the oil-based components of the stains. Hence, it is an effective method to remove mascara stains if you don’t have access to water immediately or simply want the process to be simple and fast.

For the hairspray method, you would have to put down cardboard underneath the surface of the mascara-stained area.

The next step is to spirit the hairspray onto the stained area and make it damp. Let the hairspray stay for around 20-30 minutes. Finally, use a brush to brush off the softened stain.

Can You Use Hydrogen Peroxide to Remove Mascara From Upholstery and Carpets?

The challenge with upholstery and carpets is that the mascara stains get absorbed and stuck on the surface and don’t get it out so easily.

Initially, you should just be using a solution of dish soap and warm water to sponge off the mascara stain but if that doesn’t yield any fruitful results, you can use an ammonia solution

Using these methods would remove the stains from upholstery and carpet however you need to be careful while using the water-based solutions on carpets because they can result in the formation of very persistent molds.

The Final Verdict

Mascara stains are hard to get out of clothes because of their oil-based nature. There are various cleaning agents you can use to get rid of these stains that principally work through the mechanism of dissolution and breakdown of oils.

Among many useful cleaning agents that can do that, hydrogen peroxide is worth noting.

Hydrogen peroxide has strong oxidizing properties that form OH radicals and break down the stains very effectively.

Besides its cleaning properties, hydrogen peroxide also has bleaching, disinfecting, and deodorizing properties, all of which make it one of the best cleaning agents out there

Do you want to use this agent in your household too? Order your set now and see the magic happen!

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