The secrets to getting foundation out of your clothes

Victoria Beckham white turtleneck

Because we’ve all been there

Beauty Crew Beauty Writer / November 23 2018

Fact: Regardless of your skill level with a foundation brush or how cautious you are when getting dressed after applying your makeup, you’re going smudge foundation along the neckline of your clothes at one point or another. But rather than panic and hastily attempt to rub the stain away, which (spoiler alert) will only make things worse, there are a number of tricks that will help remove the stain quickly and effectively. To find out exactly what they are, we asked an expert in stains (and laundry in general!), Biozet Attack Australia, Claire Vanderstoel. 

The best ways to remove liquid foundation from your clothes

Foundation splatters
For splattered foundation stains, Vanderstoel recommends using two surprising products to spot-treat this type of makeup mishap. “It’s important to get to the stain source as soon as you can by treating the area with shaving cream or even dishwashing detergent and blotting the area with a clean washcloth.” She explains that both of these household products are ideal for lifting foundation specks or splashes on clothes because they are able to effectively cut through the stain. She also notes it’s important to gently dab the stain rather than rub it, as rubbing will only push the stain further into the clothing fibres, rendering all your hard work useless.

“Once you’ve removed the stain as much as possible, make sure to put it in the wash using a detergent dedicated to removing stubborn stains,” says Vanderstoel. She adds, “Biozet Attack’s PLUS Eliminator is perfect for these situations”.

Foundation smears
Similar to foundation splatters, the key to effectively removing a smudged liquid foundation stain is to tackle it as soon as possible. For best results, Vanderstoel recommends using a product specifically formulated to remove stains. However, if you don’t have a stain remover handy, she notes a laundry booster that you normally add in with your normal detergent to improve stain removal will work, too. 

“Apply your stain remover or laundry booster directly to the stain and ‘agitate’ the area by rubbing the fabric together to create friction - or use an old toothbrush. This technique will help ensure that the stain lifts,” explains Vanderstoel.

The best way to remove powder foundation from clothes

Powder foundations are generally much easier to remove from garments, but still require certain care when doing so,” says Vanderstoel. To effectively dislodge a powder stain, she advises you “dust away any excess powder, work in a laundry solution with a toothbrush, then rinse before completely washing”. 

“To ensure the stain doesn’t expand, absorb the excess oil by pinching and dabbing the dirty area with dry tissue paper.”
Claire Vanderstoel
Head of Biozet Attack Australia

How to remove a foundation stain when you’re out and about

While you may have the ability to change your outfit when you’re in the comfort of your own home, the same can’t be said when you’re out and about and notice a stain. Luckily, Vanderstoel revealed a sneaky DIY hack for minimising the damage: “If you can, quickly cover the area with a thicker layer of salt and pour soda water on top. Let the stain sit for an hour before brushing off the excess salt and liquid. Then, make sure to wash as usual as soon as you get home.”

TOP TIP: Never apply water on a stain that is oil-based (which many foundations are) – water and oil don’t mix and doing so will only cause the stain to absorb further into the fabric.

On the hunt for more makeup tips and tricks? Then check out the best eyeshadow palettes you’ll want to use every single day and discover the new grown-up way to wear pink makeup

Do you have any tips for getting foundation out of clothes? Share them with us in the comments below.  

Main image credit: Getty

Kate started working for BEAUTYcrew in early 2016, first as a contributor, and was then named Beauty Writer in 2017. She loves picking the brains of the industry's top experts to get to the bottom of beauty's toughest questions. Bronze eyeshadow palettes are her weakness and she's forever on the hunt for the perfect nude nail polish to suit her fair skin. Her words can also be found in Men's Health magazine, and she now works in PR.