Skip to Content

How to Remove Powder From Clothes

This post may contain affiliate links. Learn more.

Powder stains can be a hassle to remove from clothes. As we all know, makeup comes in different varieties. From bronzers and rouge to foundation and concealers, they’re all part and parcel of the modern woman’s life. But they tend to leave stains in the most obvious and least expected places. You’ll find the powder stains on your clothes, on your leather bag, carpet, and even bed linen. 

To remove powder from clothes, try to blow away excess powder on small stains. Large stains can be removed with a blow dryer. Apply a few drops of liquid soap and a wet sponge to wipe out the stain. Then blot the wet spot with a kitchen towel to absorb the excess moisture. Then wash the clothes regularly in the washer.

While that sounds easy, the same cannot be said about other makeup stains such as foundation and bronzer. Even more so when the stains land on leather or carpets. Read more to find out how to remove makeup stains of all types from clothes and other surfaces.

How to Remove Powder from Clothes

Powder is relatively easy to deal with. Unless you rub it, it tends to land lightly on the fabric and doesn’t stick to it like other liquid-based makeup. But it’s not the only makeup stain you have to deal with. Makeup stains come in three categories. These are powder foundation stains, oil-based liquid foundation stains, and non-oil-based liquid foundation stains. Each stain category requires a different approach to removing it.

Powder Foundation Stains

A bronzer powder stain on your blouse is no reason to panic. Even if the powder has been rubbed in, you can still get it out of the fabric without resorting to drastic measures. However, you should take precautions not to disturb the powder stain until you’re ready to deal with it. Trying to rub it off with your hand or a towel can push the powder grains deeper into the fabric, which would require extra work on your part.

The solution we discuss here is only for washable clothes. If the stained clothes are dry-cleaned only, then you should take them to a dry cleaner professional to get it cleaned out. Don’t forget to point out the stain and identify the type of powder foundation that caused it to the professional. For washable clothes, you can follow these easy steps.

  1. Don’t touch the stain or try to rub it out. That will only push it in.
  2. Use a blow dryer at a medium setting to blow away the excess powder off the fabric. Keep the blow dryer relatively away from the fabric to avoid heating up the powder, which would make it harder to remove.
  3. Examine the remaining powder stain. If there are no traces left, then you can put the clothes in the washer and wash them normally.
  4. If the powder has been rubbed into the fabric, then apply a few drops of liquid soap to the stain.
  5. Wipe off the soap along with the stain with a wet sponge or a clean washcloth. Move the sponge up and down over the stain and avoid spreading the powder stain.
  6. Rinse the sponge and rub the stain to absorb the excess soap.
  7. Use a clean kitchen towel to blot the excess moisture in the wet spot.
  8. Put the clothes in the washer and wash them normally at a regular temperature.

Oil-Based Liquid Foundation Stains

If the foundation stain is liquid and oil-based, then just blowing away will not work. By the time you get around to cleaning the stain, the fabric would have absorbed the liquid. However, it’s still easier to remove a fresh oil-based liquid foundation stain than one that has already dried. Even with this type of stain, you can still remove it successfully without leaving a permanent shadow of the stain behind.

For these types of stains, you’ll need liquid soap, a sponge, clean towels, a spray bottle, and lukewarm water. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Spray the stain with water to make it damp.
  2. Apply a few drops of liquid soap to the stain directly and rub the soap into the fabric with your finger.
  3. Use a wet sponge to clean the stain by rubbing it up and down repeatedly.
  4. Rinse the sponge when it gets soaked with the suds.
  5. When all the soap, along with the stain, has come out, rinse the wet spot under the tap.
  6. Examine the stain under the light to make sure it’s totally gone. If it doesn’t, repeat Steps 2 to 5.
  7. Drop the garment in the washer and wash it normally.

Oil-Free Liquid Foundation Stains

Oil-free liquid foundation products such as concealer can also leave stains on your clothes. And these stains are quite difficult to remove. Even without oil to stain the clothes, the ingredients in the products are rather tough. You will need shaving cream, rubbing alcohol, cold water, and a clean towel. Keep in mind that this method doesn’t work with wool fabrics that are sensitive to shaving cream.

  1. Spread the stained garment on an even surface and located the oil-free liquid foundation stain. 
  2. Apply shaving cream to the stain liberally. Make sure the shaving cream covers the stain and allow it 2 to 3 minutes to break down the stubborn stain.
  3. Rub the shaving cream into the fabric with your fingers to help it reach the root of the stain.
  4. If the stain has dried or is not responding to the shaving cream, pour some rubbing alcohol over it. 
  5. Let it sit for a few minutes, then use a sponge to wipe off the excess shaving cream.
  6. Put the stain under the tap and rinse it with cold water.
  7. If the stain isn’t gone, repeat Steps 2-5.
  8. Wash the clothes regularly and put them out to dry in the sun.

I also wrote an article on how to remove eyeshadow stains that may interest you to read next.

Ways to Get Makeup Stains out of Clothes

Sometimes makeup stains will not respond to liquid soap and water. This is especially true of stains that have been rubbed into the fabric or had enough time to dry out and set. In these cases, you can start with liquid soap and water. If that doesn’t work, then you need to get a little more creative. Some of the materials readily available around the house can help you break down these stubborn makeup stains.

1. Makeup Wipe

The most obvious solution can be the most effective one. Before you apply chemicals to the stain that could damage the fabric, try removing the makeup stain with a makeup wipe. This intuitive option takes advantage of the wipe’s ability to absorb all types of makeup stains, from foundation to concealers. Moreover, it can wipe off liquid as well as powder stains.

Dab the fresh makeup stain with the wipe or press it gently and rub the stain off. The wipe works best on colorfast clothes where the stain hasn’t dried yet. Don’t use the wipe on silk or other delicate fabrics.

2. Rubbing Alcohol

Oily and waxy stains can be hard to just wipe away with a makeup wipe or just wash with liquid soap. You’ll need something stronger that can break down the stain and free it from the fabric. Rubbing alcohol is a good option in this situation. It works well against all kinds of liquid sticks, whether they’re oil-based or not. Use it to remove lipstick and concealer stains even if they’ve dried out.

To apply rubbing alcohol, sprinkle it generously on the makeup stain and let it sit for up to 5 minutes. It will break down the dry stain and make it easier to remove it completely by rubbing or scrubbing it off.

3. Shaving Cream

Shaving cream is another product that is available in every house. While it does wonders for softening the roots of unwanted hairs, the same ingredients have an amazing effect on makeup stains that resist regular liquid soap. It’s more effective against dry non-oil-based liquid makeup stains. To use it, squirt some shaving cream directly on the stain and let it sit for 2 to 3 minutes.

Then work the shaving cream into the fabric to push it deeper where the dry stain has infiltrated the texture of the garment. Give it a few more minutes before wiping off the shaving cream with a wet sponge. Rinse the spot with cold water.

4. Blow Dryer

A blow dryer works only with makeup powders that haven’t been pushed into the fabric or dried out. The fresh powder doesn’t penetrate the clothes unless you rub it yourself. The easiest way to remove it is to point a blow dryer on a medium setting at the powder. Most of the powder will disappear, leaving behind a small stain. Wash that stain with liquid soap and water, then put the garment in the washer.

5. Hairspray

Hairspray contains some powerful chemicals that can break down lipstick stains and remove them without a hassle. Spray the hairspray on the lipstick stain and allow them both to dry out. Usually, the hairspray will dry first, followed by the lipstick. Now you can easily scrub off the lipstick stain with a sponge. Rinse the spot in cold water, then put the garment to wash.

6. Ice

Cold water is the best way to treat all types of makeup stains. Whether they’re liquid or powder stains, you shouldn’t expose them to heat. Low temperatures keep the makeup stains frozen and prevent them from infiltrating the fabric. In the same principle, you can use ice to remove lipstick and other makeup stains. Rub the ice cube on the stain to break it and peel it off the fabric. 

How to Remove Powder and Makeup from other Surfaces

More often than not, powder and makeup stains will end up on some unexpected clothes. Your leather jacket, bag, carpet, or even the furniture. You might wonder how it got there, but it’s better to start working on removing it as quickly as possible before it dries out. 


A carpet has a soft pile, but it’s not as delicate as your clothes. So you can take risks when removing makeup stains that you usually wouldn’t do with your silk or wool clothes. The first step to removing makeup stains from the carpet is to get rid of the excess powder with a stiff-bristled brush. If it’s a liquid stain that hasn’t dried yet, blot it with a paper towel taking precautions against spreading the stain.

Use a dry-cleaning solvent to break down the dry stain. Then use a dry spotter to absorb both the solvent and the stain. Change the dry spotter every 10 minutes until the stain is totally gone.


Makeup stains such as foundation powder that drop on your leather bag or shoes are easy to remove. Luckily the pores of the leather don’t absorb makeup stains that quickly. To remove the stain, wipe off the excess material with a paper towel, then clean the stain with dish soap and a sponge. Rinse with a clean and wet sponge.


With wood, you can safely use hot water to remove makeup stains. A combination of hot water and dish soap will break down the makeup stain on the wood surface much faster. Make sure the cleaning mixture has lots of suds. Soak a washcloth or sponge in the hot liquid and wipe off the makeup stain. If it’s dry, try to scrub it with a cloth. Dry the wood with a clean towel and wax it immediately to prevent cracks.


Rouge, bronzer, and foundation powder stains on clothes need to be treated immediately; otherwise, they can become difficult to remove. Blow small powder stains with a blow dryer, then treat the remaining stain with liquid soap and cold water. Always use cold water when removing makeup stains from all kinds of clothes. For oil-based liquid concealers, you can use shaving cream, rubbing alcohol, or hairspray.

Stains on carpets need to be treated with dry-cleaning solvent. Meanwhile, leather and wood stains can be treated with dish soap and water.

Next, you can check out my complete guide to removing all makeup stains.


Join The Newsletter And Get My 5 FREE Laundry Folding Hacks as a welcome gift! 🎁

You have Successfully Subscribed!


Join The Newsletter And Get My FREE 5 Folding Hacks Cheatsheet as a welcome gift! 🎁

You have Successfully Subscribed!


Join The Newsletter And Get My FREE 5 Packing Hacks Cheatsheet as a welcome gift! 🎁

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest