How To Remove Lipstick (and other makeup) From Carpet
Cosmetics are designed to flatter your appearance but lipstick or other
makeup can be downright ugly when it gets on your carpet.
From the young child playing dress up with mommy's makeup, to the
daily use by a teenager or adult, makeup stain removal can be a
Most makeup contain dyes or pigments which are utilized to
achieve a desired color. Some cosmetics as with lipstick, contain fats,
waxes and oils.
Generally, stains from cosmetic products are non-water soluble
and can be found on the surface and absorbed into the carpet fiber.
Procedures to remove lipstick and other makeup stains
- In the case of lipstick, carefully scrape away the solid or
semi-solid stain using a spoon or blunt end of a bone scraper. Never use
a knife as it's sharp edges could harm the pile fibers.
If the makeup stain is blush, eye shadow or other powder based stain, vacuum thoroughly.
A stain from mascara can be easily spread with scraping or vacuuming. Proceed directly to step 2.
- Apply a volatile dry solvent
such as a dry cleaning solvent.
Apply this stain remover to a towel before applying to a fabric. Never
over-apply or pour this spotter directly onto the carpet as it can
dissolve latex and may result in carpet delamination.
Always pretest any stain remover on an inconspicuous area of
the carpet. Apply a few drops to each color in the carpet test area.
Press a clean, white cloth on the wet area for approximately 30 seconds.
Check both the towel and the carpet for color transfer, color change or
any other damage. Repeat same procedure with another stain remover if
you notice any change.
Work from the edges of the stain to the center to prevent the
stain from spreading. Continue as long as the stain is getting
transferred onto the towel. Apply more solution to a fresh area on the
towel and repeat the process as long as the stain is being removed.
Patience is a virtue as far as this step is concerned!
Do not scrub the area. Scrubbing can distort the pile and harm
the fibers. Scrubbing can result in making the stain set into the carpet
- If any cosmetic stain remains, apply a non-volatile dry solvent
also known as POG (paint, oil and grease remover). Follow the same
application procedures as a volatile dry solvent in step #2 above.
- Remove the non-volatile dry solvent with a volatile dry solvent or an alkaline cleaning solution (pH 9-10)
If available, utilize a carpet cleaning machine or a spray bottle to
apply the alkaline cleaning solution to flush the stains. Then extract
to remove stains from carpet.
As an alternative a shop vac may be
utilized for extraction purposes. Dry treated area as much as possible.
Care must be taken not to over-wet the carpet.
- If the cosmetic staining material has been removed but
color remains, most likely the cosmetic product's coloring agent (dye
or pigment) needs to be addressed and removed via a reducing bleach or stripper (sodium bisulfite, sodium hydrosulfite, among others). Most synthetic colored stains require a reducing bleach for removal.
By placing a damp towel over the stain and applying heat from a
steam iron will accelerate the action of the reducing agent. Use
caution as heat may damage the carpet fibers or cause color loss.
An acid (household vinegar or acetic acid) will also accelerate the action of a reducing bleach.
When the lipstick or other makeup stain has been satisfactorily
removed, thoroughly rinse the reducing agent from carpet with an
alkaline cleaning solution (pH 9-10) and dry carpet as much as possible.
When most of the moisture is removed, you may use clean, dry
towels weighed down by flat, heavy objects like a book or brick on the
damp area to absorb any remaining moisture. This helps prevent wicking
of any deep staining material not removed that will move to the surface
as the carpet dries.
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