Is this the way it goes at your house on Halloween? You send your ghouls out the door all suited up in their costumes and faces full of makeup, looking awesome. But they return with half of the meticulously applied makeup on the sleeves, collar, and for some unfathomable reason, say, the inside of the left pant leg. How and why is not important. What is important is getting the stains out if you want to use the costume again or if the garments were from their regular, everyday clothing.
Here are a few tips to try for clothing and costumes. As is always recommended, test on an inconspicuous area first to determine colorfastness. This is particularly important with inexpensive store-bought costumes:
Makeup stains derived from oil-based products like foundation, lipstick, and products claiming to be long lasting can be treated with a stain remover if the label allows – the sooner the better, even if the garment won’t be laundered right away. The same goes for chocolate stains. If you don’t have stain remover on hand, pour a little bit of laundry detergent on the stain and work it in as a Plan B. This may be all that’s needed to lift the stain out when the item is laundered.
Another method for lifting lipstick off quickly: Spray it with hairspray, let it dry completely, and brush with, for example, an old toothbrush or nail brush. Keep in mind, this may be too harsh for delicate fabrics.
If your costume piece can’t go into the washing machine, try white shaving cream (the kind that foams). It cleans like a mild soap but, because it’s foam, it doesn’t saturate as thoroughly as other liquid cleaning agents. Blot and lightly wipe the area after applying the foam with a damp white cloth. Powdered makeup like eyeshadow and blush generally can be removed or significantly lightened this way.
If your little ghoul happens to get some ghoulishness on your upholstery or carpet, get out a white cloth or white paper towels and a) dishwashing liquid like Dawn, rubbing alcohol, and water (these generally work well together to remove oil-based makeup), or b) a ready-made product specifically for upholstery and/or carpet. Be sure to blot rather than rub with the cloth or paper towels.
May we suggest you keep this one single multi-purpose product on hand at all times: Stain Assassin from Speed Cleaning. Dubbed “the James Bond of stain removers,” Stain Assassin can be used on fabric, upholstery, carpet, hard surfaces, and in your laundry.