Lip gloss. Love it, or hate it. It remains one of the hardest substances to remove from clothes.

How to remove lip gloss from clothing? There are many step-by-step processes that help you get rid of the pesky substance from your clothing once and for all. Choosing one that feels the most effortless to you is the best idea as it’s the quickest to implement so that the stain doesn’t have a chance to settle into the fibers of the clothes.

This guide is all about the tough-to-get-out-of-clothing substances that ruin your apparel. Learn everything you can about how to remove things like lip gloss that inadvertently end up on clothes that you pull over your head after putting on your makeup.

How to Remove Lip Gloss from Clothing?

So, how do you remove lip gloss from the clothing that you wear? Several options exist to meet your needs. Some are easier than others, so you’re allowed to choose the best method of removal for you and your apparel.

There are certain steps you must take with any solvent remover that you use. To better illustrate this, we’ve listed them below. You’ll need to follow them in order with any detergent or solvent remover you opt to use to dissolve the oils and thickeners that make up the lip gloss.

Step 1

Removing as much of the lip gloss from the surface of the clothing. You can do this with any flat-sided scraping tool. A used gift card or expired credit card works well.

Step 2

Next, you’ll want to run the stained area over hot water to prepare it for the third step. Setting up a station with the items that you need to remove the lip gloss is highly recommended so that the tools and cleaners you need are an arm’s length away.

Once the clothing is wet, you’ll want to pre-treat the stain. You can do this with pre-treatment laundry detergent or a solvent detergent specifically formulated for removing oils. It helps prepare the garment for laundering.

Step 3

You’ve now reached the stage where you will need to wash the clothing in the hottest water available. If you choose to do this by hand, you’ll need tongs to pick up the clothing and prevent burns from occurring. If you have a washing machine available, you can choose to put it on the hottest cycle available.

Step 4

The final step involves air drying the garment. Doing so allows the lip gloss to not get set into the clothing if traces of it remains. If you discover that there are no signs of the cosmetics left on the garment, you can place it in your dryer on the lowest heat setting.

These steps can be used with any thickening-removing solution. Just substitute the detergent for something more powerful. Again, the most important steps in the process are laundering the garments.

What Other things You Can Use to Remove Lip Gloss

Dissolving the thickening agents that make lip gloss a specific consistency is a matter of trial and error. It requires a very involved process from you. You may find one remover better than another.

To help you better understand what you can use, we’ve created a list for you to follow. You can use the items you have on hand or buy what you need from a retailer. Either way, you must follow the steps listed above for applying the detergent or solvent remover for best results.

Rubbing Alcohol

Who doesn’t have a bottle of the solution available for use? To remove the lip gloss, soak a clean white cloth with the rubbing alcohol and blot the clothing. Do not rub as it pushes the cosmetic further into the threads of the fabric, making it even harder to get out.

It’s best to dab the spot instead. Keep doing that until you see no traces of the lip gloss. Once you’ve removed the cosmetic from the apparel, you can proceed with the next step in the removal process.


Ammonia is another effective solution for removing lip gloss from clothing. It can be purchased for a few dollars and lasts a long time. Using water to remove as much as the substance as possible is highly advisable.

Taking a cotton swab and dipping it into the ammonia and applying it to the lip gloss helps dissolves some of the thickening agent causing it to remain on the fibers. You will need to dip and remove as often as needed until no signs of the lip gloss remain.

What to Do If Lip Gloss is Dried in a Dryer

From time to time, you may find that you dried a tube of lip gloss in the dryer. Now, it’s on all of your clothing. You’ve certainly got your work cut out for you because you have numerous pieces of apparel to clean and remove cosmetics from their fabrics.

The first thing to do is to remove the lip gloss from the dryer and dispose of it. Next, take out all clothing and set them aside. Then, clean out the barrel of your dryer to remove any traces of lip gloss so it doesn’t get onto the other clothes that you dry at a later time.

Go through each piece of clothing to see if there is lip gloss on it. If there is, put it into a pile to address later. If the clothes are unscathed, hang or fold them to get them out of the way.

Now, you’ll need to approach the cleaning process using the same steps listed above. Scraping all traces of lip gloss off the clothes is the first step. You’ll then want to loosen up some of the cosmetic with water and a cleaning agent.

Once the lip gloss is gone, you’ll want to rewash the clothing in hot water. If possible, line dry the items versus putting them into the dryer once again. Doing this can help prevent the lip gloss from drying into the fibers and becoming much harder to remove from the apparel.

Dry-Cleaning-Only Clothing Needs Outside Stain Removal Assistance

If the label on the clothing suggests dry-cleaning-only, you will need to take it to a professional dry cleaner that can remove the stains safely from the fabric. You may destroy an expensive jacket or dress by applying a detergent that doesn’t work well for the specific fabric. Leave it to the experts when the label clearly mentions that the clothing needs dry cleaning. 

How to Prevent Lip Gloss from Getting onto Clothing

Several ways to prevent lip gloss from getting onto clothing include checking all of your pockets before laundering clothes. It’s especially important to prevent the lip gloss from being placed in the dryer. If you make it a habit to check, you’ll keep your clothing from getting stained.

Another option is to apply makeup after you’ve gotten dressed. Some people prefer to do it the other way around. You can keep lip gloss off your clothes if you carefully apply it after you’ve gotten dressed for the day.

Removing your makeup before getting undressed is another way to prevent lip gloss from getting onto clothing. Using cleaning clothes designed for removing substances from your face and lips helps tremendously. You can then remove your outfit without it getting makeup on it.

A final tip is to keep the cap screwed onto your lip gloss whenever you carry it in your pocket. It prevents the cosmetic from being squeezed out on the fabric of your pants, jeans or skirt. Opting to place the lip gloss in a bag or purse with the lid on keeps your clothes from being affected by the cosmetic.

Related Questions

What is lip gloss made out of?

Natural or synthetic thickeners make up all lip gloss formulas. It’s what allows them to stay on the lips without coming off quickly. Beeswax is a common natural thickener that gives the gloss its preferred consistency.

Are all brands of lip gloss the same?

No, they are not. Just like any other formulated product, different ingredients are used to make up different brands of lip gloss. Companies may add or omit ingredients to create their unique product offering to the public.

Why can’t I just throw the item into the washer to remove the lip gloss stain?

The thickening agent that make lip gloss stick to the lips needs to be removed from the garment before it can be deemed clean and ready to wear again. If placed in the washing machine, it will remain until the area is treated without a solution that dissolves the thickener. You will always need to pre-treat a garment with traces of lip gloss on it before machine washing it.

What other types of makeup are hard to remove from clothes?

Foundation is one very difficult substance to remove from clothing. So is bronzer. The color and thickness of the cosmetics make them difficult to get out of apparel.

Is handwashing as effective as machine washing?

Handwashing gives your muscles a good workout. It can be as effective as machine washing if time and effort is put into the process. You will need to wash the garment in a sink or plastic basin, using warm water and laundry detergent before allowing it to air dry or placing it in a dryer.

Should I throw clothing away that is stained?

If the stain is visible and cannot be removed, you have a few options for what to do with it. You can cut it up and use it as rags for cleaning up spills and dusting surfaces. Or, you can repurpose the clothing by covering up the stain with colorful patches or embroidery.

See also: How To Get Scentsy Wax Out Of Clothes?

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