How to Remove Eyeliner, Eye Pencil, and Eyeshadow Makeup Stains

Why do we traditionally spring clean in the spring?
Why do we traditionally spring clean in the spring?
Nichola Evans/­Getty Images

­Sometimes when you're in a hurry with your eye makeup, it's your furniture and other furnishings that end up needing a makeover. Avoid all that ugliness with some helpful stain removal techniques.

The first step in removing makeup stains is to identify the stained material.­­­

­Below are the most common types of materials that can become makeup-stained, with steps on how to remove makeup from each:

  • Non-washable fibers such as Acetate, Carpet/Synthetic, Carpet/Wool, Fiberglass, Rayon, Silk Triacetate or Wool
  • Washable fibers such as Acrylic Fabric, Cotton, Linen, Modacrylic, Nylon, Olefin, Polyester or Spandex
  • Hard surfaces such as Acrylic Plastic, Alabaster, Asphalt Bamboo, Cane, Ceramic, Glass/Tile, Cork Enamel, Glass, Gold, Ivory, Jade, Linoleum, Marble, Paint/Flat, Paint/Gloss, Plexiglas, Polyurethane, Stainless Steel, Vinyl Clothing, Vinyl Tile or Vinyl Wallcovering
  • Stone surfaces such as Bluestone, Limestone, Masonry Tile, Sandstone, Slate or Terrazzo
  • Leather or Suede
  • Wood

Non-washable Fibers

Follow these steps to remove makeup stains from Acetate, Carpet/Synthetic, Carpet/Wool, Fiberglass, Rayon, Silk Triacetate, Wool:

  • Brush (the method of using a stiff-bristled brush to gently remove dried stains and spots) or blot up any excess, taking care not to spread the stain.
  • Flush (the method of applying stain remover to loosen staining materials and residue from stain removers) with a dry-cleaning solvent such as Afta Cleaning Fluid.
  • Apply a dry spotter to the stain and cover with an absorbent pad dampened with the dry spotter.
  • Check the stain every 5 minutes.
  • Before changing pads, press hard against the stain.
  • Continue the alternate soaking and pressing until no more stain is being removed.
  • Flush with one of the dry-cleaning solvents and allow to dry.
  • If any stain remains, flush it with water and apply a wet spotter with a few drops of ammonia. (Do not use ammonia on silk or wool.)
  • Cover with an absorbent pad dampened with the wet spotter.
  • Let it stand as long as any stain is being removed.
  • Change the pad as it picks up the stain.
  • Keep the stain and pad moist.
  • Flush well with water. Repeat if necessary; allow to dry.

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Washable Fibers

Follow these steps to remove makeup stains from Acrylic Fabric, Cotton, Linen, Modacrylic, Nylon, Olefin, Polyester, Spandex:

  • Brush or blot away any excess, taking care not to spread the stain.
  • Flush with a dry-cleaning solvent such as Afta Cleaning Fluid.
  • Apply a dry spotter to the stain and cover with a cloth dampened with the dry spotter.
  • Check the stain often, tamping (the method of bringing a brush down with light strokes on stained durable fabrics and materials) before changing the pad.
  • Continue alternate soaking and tamping until no more stain is lifted.
  • Flush with one of the dry-cleaning solvents and allow to dry.
  • If any stain remains, try the same procedure of soaking and tamping, using a wet spotter and a few drops of ammonia.
  • When the stain is gone, be sure to flush the area with water to remove all traces of ammonia. Launder as soon as possible.

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Hard Surfaces

Follow these steps to remove makeup stains from Acrylic Plastic, Alabaster, Asphalt Bamboo, Cane, Ceramic, Glass/Tile, Cork Enamel, Glass, Gold, Ivory, Jade, Linoleum, Marble, Paint/Flat, Paint/Gloss, Plexiglas, Polyurethane, Stainless Steel, Vinyl Clothing, Vinyl Tile, Vinyl Wallcovering:

  • Wipe any spills or brush away any excess.
  • With a cloth or sponge dipped in warm sudsy water, wash the surface.
  • Rinse well with water and wipe dry with a clean cloth.

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Stone Surfaces

Follow these steps to remove makeup stains from Bluestone, Limestone, Masonry Tile, Sandstone, Slate, Terrazzo:

  • Wipe up excess.
  • Mix a solution of washing soda or detergent (not soap) and water.
  • Wash the stained area.
  • Rinse well with clear water and allow to dry.

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Leather or Suede

Follow these steps to remove makeup stains from leather or suede:

  • Gently remove excess.
  • Mix a solution of mild soap in lukewarm water.
  • Swish to create a great volume of suds.
  • Apply only the foam with a sponge.
  • Wipe dry with a clean cloth.
  • If a greasy or oily stain remains, powder it with an absorbent such as corn meal.
  • Give it plenty of time to work.
  • Gently brush or shake the absorbent from the surface.
  • Repeat if necessary.
  • On leather only, follow with cleaners such as The Tannery or Fiebing's Saddle Soap to condition the leather.

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Wood

Follow these steps to remove makeup stains from wood:

  • Mix dishwashing detergent in hot water and swish to make a great volume of suds.
  • Dip a cloth in only the foam and apply to the stain.
  • Rinse with clear water.
  • Wipe dry immediately with a soft cloth and polish or wax as usual.

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