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How to remove makeup from carpet

Two young girls lying on fluffy carpet painting their nails.
(Image credit: Getty)

Knowing how to remove makeup from carpet is a key skill for anyone who gets glam on a regular basis, or is prone to slippery fingers when handling products. It's no wonder that carpet is a popular choice in bedrooms and dressing rooms, as it has a plush feeling that makes morning routines feel like a luxury. However, the potential mess from eyeshadow fallouts or foundation bottle spills can make it tricky to keep clean. 

There are many different directions you can take when figuring out how to clean a carpet (opens in new tab), from at-home remedies to turn to professional carpet cleaners. While using the best vacuum cleaners (opens in new tab) is great to keep your carpet fresh from day-to-day, you might need to break out something a little more heavy-duty when makeup is involved.

Makeup products all have different formulas, for example, oil or water-based, and so the way you approach cleaning them will vary. We've looked into the most commonly spilled items and offered step-by-step advice on how to remove them so that you can get your carpets back in tip-top condition quickly. 

How to remove lipstick from carpet 

What the expert says...

Mallory Micetich, Home Care Expert at Angi (opens in new tab), recommends "to clean oil-based makeup products, start by removing as much of the makeup from the carpet as possible. From there, you’ll want to put dish soap and a little bit of water directly on the stain and begin blotting with a paper towel. Once the stain is gone, use a fresh paper towel to absorb any leftover liquid. Many dry or powder makeups are also oil-based so you can follow the same steps as other liquid products."

Lipsticks are around 60% wax and oil, primarily made from ingredients such as beeswax, mineral oil, and caster oil. This gives lipsticks their smooth, spreadable quality however also means that they can be difficult to remove from carpet. 

So, whether you drop a lipstick face down with no lid or your toddler decides to create some art with your favorite crimson, this guidance will help you to remove it without too much elbow grease. 

Step 1

Use a spoon or butter knife to carefully scoop up any excess lipstick from the carpet. Doing this before you start cleaning will avoid any makeup from being trodden into the fibers further. 

Step 2

In a spray bottle, mix a teaspoon of white vinegar with 2 cups of warm water and 2 drops of washing-up liquid. Make sure to mix it carefully rather than shake it, as this will prevent bubbles. 

Step 3

Squirt liberally onto the stain and leave it to sit for around 10-15 minutes. 

Step 4

Using a clean paper towel or microfiber cloth, dab the mixture into the stain. We always recommend dabbing and not smearing the stain, as this will help to avoid spreading it further. 

Step 5

Repeat as necessary until the stain is gone but be careful not to over-wet the carpet. 

How to remove eyeshadow from carpet

Eyeshadow is an oil-based product, which gives it a greasy texture that's notorious for being difficult to remove from surfaces. This is why we recommend using hydrogen peroxide for this clean-up. 

Powdered eyeshadows can also shatter easily with a light drop, which adds another risk of staining floors. Even without any major breakages occurring, powder floats freely into the air and surrounding areas when applied, making it a potentially messy activity. 

Step 1: 

Apply a few drops of hydrogen peroxide directly to the stain and allow it to sit for a minute. 

Step 2: 

Using a dry clean cloth, start to blot the stain until it starts to lift. 

Step 3: 

When the stain has disappeared, dampen a second cloth with warm water and use this to remove any chemical residue left behind. 

Step 4:

Pat dry! 

How to remove foundation from carpet 

Foundation is one the trickiest makeup products to remove from carpet, and one of the most commonly spilled when pumped onto the back of your hand or your face. Hydrogen peroxide can be used in the same instance as above here, however, if you're averse to using bleach on your carpet, cornstarch is a great alternative. 

Step 1:

Using a spoon or butter knife, scoop up as much foundation as possible to avoid pressing any standing product further into the carpet. 

Step 2:

Sprinkle cornstarch liberally over the stain and let it sit for around 24 hours. 

Step 3: 

Vacuum up the cornstarch. If the stain remains, contact a professional carpet cleaning service. 

How to remove mascara from carpet

Mascara wands gone astray can result in black, oily stains smeared across your carpet - a sight for sore eyes and an even bigger annoyance to clean. Despite having a dark color that leaves a significant stain, mascara is relatively simple to remove from the carpet using just dish soap and warm water. 

Step 1: 

Mix 1/4 teaspoon washing-up liquid with 1 cup of warm water in a bowl. Make sure the water isn't too hot as this can cause carpet to shrink. 

Step 2:

Using a clean sponge or microfiber cloth, begin by dipping it into the mixture and dabbing the stain. 

Step 3: 

Repeat until the stain has gone. 

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Holly is the Features Editor at Top Ten Reviews where she focuses on creating informative, how-to advice. She has a degree in English Literature and previously worked as a copywriter at Howdens, specializing in kitchens and trend-led interiors. When she’s not reading or writing, you can find her exploring the best London bars and brunch spots, or planning the next budget-friendly city break. 

With contributions from