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An image of a gold foundation stain.

How to remove foundation stains from clothes

We’re all guilty of last minute make-up fixes: that speedy lipstick application as you head out the door, the quick dab of blush while you wait in the car. But when when you’re in a hurry, mistakes can (and generally do) happen. One sleeve lightly brushes against your cheek as you touch up your mascara, and there they are: brown, smudgy, hard-to-miss foundation stains. 

Luckily, removing foundation stains isn’t all that hard. As long as you pick the right method, you’ll be able to tackle this problem like a pro. Then you can try the whole leaving-the-house thing again.


Deciding how to remove foundation stains from clothes

Different kinds of foundation call for different stain removal methods. Read the ingredients on the foundation packaging to see whether it is oil based or not, then choose the matching method below.

Remember: Read your garment’s care label before you start, and test your method on an inconspicuous part of the fabric (like the inner hem) before using it to treat the stain.


How to get rid of foundation stains (oil-based)

A high quality liquid detergent can help you tackle an oily foundation stain.

  1. Blot the stain with a piece of paper towel to soak up any excess foundation.  
  2. Apply a small amount of Surf excel liquid to the stain, using the Scrubber Cap to massage the detergent into the fabric. 
  3. Let the laundry liquid work its magic for about 30 minutes. Put your feet up.
  4. Wash the item at the highest temperature recommended on the care label.


How to remove foundation stains (oil-free) 

Believe it or not, shaving cream is the secret to removing foundation stains that are oil-free.

  1. As before, start by soaking up excess foundation with a clean paper towel.
  2. Dab a small amount of shaving cream onto the stained area, then gently massage it into the fabric until it starts to lather. 
  3. Rinse out the cream (and the stain) by holding it under a stream of cold water. 
  4. Check to see if the stain has gone. If not, treat it with shaving cream once more, rinsing with lukewarm water this time. Repeat as needed.
  5. Once the stain has disappeared, it’s time to wash the item as you normally would. Use a high quality laundry detergent specially designed for stain removal, such as Surf excel Liquid. That should do the job! 


How to remove foundation stains from powder compacts

Once you’ve learned how to how to remove foundation stains in liquid form, getting rid of the powdery kind is child’s play. Just follow the simple steps below:

  1. Brush off any loose powder. 
  2. Mix a small amount of Surf excel Liquid Detergent with cold water, and rub it into the stain. 
  3. Let the solution sit for 30 minutes or so. You have half an hour to relax.
  4. Wash as you usually would, at the highest temperature recommended on the care label. 


How to dry your clothes after removing foundation stains

Try to stick to natural drying until the foundation stain has completely disappeared. The heat from a tumble dryer, iron, or radiator can set the stain permanently if you’re not careful! 

Dealing with whites? Then try hanging the garment up in direct sunlight – this will help to bleach the stain out.

That’s all there is to it! So next time a quick make-up fix goes wrong, relax: you have that foundation stain covered.