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How to Remove Eyeliner From Clothes: 6 Easy Ways

Applying eyeliner requires a certain level of care to use it correctly and evenly. But sometimes, no matter how careful we are, we drop the eyeliner and what’s even worse is when it lands on our clothes. If that happened to you, you’re probably wondering how to remove eyeliner from clothes.

Whether it’s liquid, gel, pencil, etc., eyeliner is an oil-based and pigmented product that can be difficult to remove from clothes. The key is to pretreat the stain using a product that can break down the oil and pigment before washing the clothing. Stain remover, dry cleaning solvent, dish soap, and laundry detergent can all be used to pretreat the stain.

But how do you use these products to remove eyeliner effectively? And what about waterproof eyeliner? How do you remove it from your clothes? I’ll explain all of this in this article. I’ll explain how to remove eyeliner from upholstery and carpet as well.

How to Remove Eyeliner From Clothes

Are Eyeliner Stains Permanent?

Eyeliner stains may be more difficult to remove than other types of stains. But, as long as you treat and wash the clothing quickly, eyeliner stains shouldn’t be permanent. However, if the clothing has already been put into the dryer and the eyeliner melts into the clothing, it may be even harder to remove and could be permanent.

To prevent eyeliner stains from becoming permanent, you’ll want to treat the stain and wash the clothing as soon as you get eyeliner on it. But, some types of eyeliner will be harder to remove than others and the type of eyeliner can determine how permanent the stain is. For example, liquid eyeliner can be more difficult to remove since it can penetrate deeper into the fabric. Pencil eyeliner should be the easiest to remove.

Will Eyeliner Come Out in the Wash?

Eyeliner is difficult to remove because it contains dyes, pigments, and oils that are hard to remove from clothing with water alone. Oily substances are not broken down easily by water, so it’s not likely that eyeliner will come out if you just wash the clothing, especially waterproof eyeliner, which is designed to not be washed off with water.

The laundry detergent used for washing clothes may remove the eyeliner some, but it probably won’t remove it completely. It’s so diluted with water that it won’t be as effective at removing it as it could be. That’s why it is important to pretreat the stain first. Pretreating the stain helps to break it down enough to be completely removed before washing or broken down enough that washing the clothing will remove the rest of it.

How to Remove Eyeliner from Clothes: 6 Easy Ways

Will Eyeliner Come Out in the Wash

Even though some types of eyeliner will be more difficult to remove from clothes than others, all eyeliners are made of basically the same ingredients, just in different amounts. And regardless of the type of eyeliner, you’ll need something stronger than just normal soap and water to get it out of clothes.

With that being said, all of the methods mentioned in this article can be effective at removing eyeliner. However, you may have to use more than one of them to effectively pretreat the stain, depending on the type of eyeliner.

If you do need to use more than one, they’re listed in the order that you would need to use them in order for them to be the most effective. In the case of stain remover or dry cleaning solvent, you can use one or the other. You don’t have to use both. Then follow up with the other products that are mentioned.

1. Laundry Stain Remover

OxiClean MaxForce Laundry Stain Remover Spray, 12 Fl. oz.The first thing you should do is apply a stain remover to the stain. The stain remover will be one of your strongest products, as it is designed to break down and remove tough stains than can’t be removed with laundry detergent alone. Using it first should remove most of the stain, but since eyeliner does contain so many oil-based ingredients, the stain remover still may not remove it entirely.

How you use the stain remover just depends on what type you have. For example, some stain removers are liquid sprays while others are in powdered form. To apply the stain remover, just follow the instructions on the packaging for whatever stain remover you have.

You’ll also need to let the stain remover sit on the stain for a few minutes, but the exact amount of time depends on what stain remover you have. After letting the stain remover sit for the specified time, rinse it off and check the stain to see how much was removed.

2. Dry Cleaning Solvent

Woolite Dry Care Cleaner, At Home Dry Clean in 20 Minutes Everyday, Special Care, and Dry Clean Clothes, Fragrance Free, 6 ClothsInstead of using stain remover, you can also use a dry cleaning solvent instead. Dry cleaning solvents usually come in liquid form, making them easy to apply to the stain. They also contain chemicals that can remove tough stains without water.

If the dry cleaning solvent doesn’t already come in a spray bottle, you can put some into a spray bottle and spray it directly onto the stain. Let the solvent soak the stain for a couple of minutes. You don’t have to rinse the solvent off at this point.

3. Dish Soap

MRS. MEYER'S CLEAN DAY Liquid Dish Soap, Biodegradable Formula, Radish, 16 fl. ozAfter using the stain remover or dry cleaning solvent, you’ll want to create a mixture of liquid dish soap and cool water. To do this, mix one tablespoon of liquid dish soap with two cups of cool water. A little dish soap goes a long way and even a tablespoon will still create lots of suds and strong cleaning power.

Next, dip a sponge or rag in the mixture. Dab at the stain until you’ve absorbed as much of it as possible. Be careful not to aggressively rub the stain as this could cause it to spread. Repeat this process as necessary until the stain is gone or until you’re no longer able to remove any more of the eyeliner.

4. Laundry Detergent

Tide PODS Laundry Detergent Soap Pods, Spring Meadow, 81 countIf the eyeliner stain persists after trying all of the above steps, apply some liquid laundry detergent to the stain. This method is very effective for removing the stain before washing since the laundry detergent isn’t diluted with water as it would be in the washing machine.

Heavy-duty laundry detergent works best as it is better at breaking down oily substances. But, you can use any detergent you have. You just may have to repeat the process a couple of times. To avoid making a mess, pour some laundry detergent into a smaller container before applying it to the stain. Then, dip your finger or a rag into the laundry detergent and gently rub it into the stain.

5. Wash the Clothing

With the laundry detergent still on the stain, the next step is to wash the clothing. Before doing this, you’ll want to check the care tag to know what water temperature the clothing can handle. Wash the clothing on the hottest water setting you can use that won’t damage the clothing.

Add some more laundry detergent the way that you normally would when washing clothes. Use heavy-duty detergent if possible for the most effective removal, but again, any detergent will work. After the clothing has finished washing, check the stain before putting it into the dryer. If the stain is still there, do not put the clothing into the dryer. Instead, repeat the pretreatment methods above or proceed to the next step.

6. Bleach

BleachBleach can be used as a last resort if you’ve pretreated and washed the clothing and the stain is still there. You’ll first want to check the care tag to ensure that the clothing can be bleached. You’ll also want to make sure to use bleach that is safe for whatever fabric the clothing is made of.

For example, chlorine bleach is more powerful than oxygen bleach, but it can degrade the fibers of more delicate fibers. You’ll also want to make sure that you only use chlorine bleach if the clothing can tolerate bleaching and is white. For colored clothing, use oxygen bleach instead.

Next, make sure to dilute the bleach in water according to the instructions on the packaging. Then, let the clothing soak in the bleach solution for about 5-10 minutes or 15 minutes if the stain doesn’t go away.

After bleaching, wash the clothing again. If the stain is still there, you can repeat the whole process. But, it’s also possible that you won’t be able to get it all out.

How Do You Get Waterproof Eyeliner Out of Clothes?

Waterproof eyeliner is more difficult to get out because it can’t be removed with just water. But, all of the above methods should work to remove eyeliner even if it is waterproof. However, you may have to use them differently since waterproof eyeliner contains even more oils to make it more resistant to being washed off with water.

Instead of immediately reaching for the stain remover or dry cleaning solvent, you may wish to start with the dish soap method. Dish soap is designed to break down oily substances, so using it first helps break down the stain more than if you were to use it later.

But this time, when you use dish soap, do not mix it with water first. Instead, apply the soap directly onto the stain and use your finger to rub it in. Then, rinse the soap off. If the eyeliner appears to be coming out, it can’t hurt to repeat this a couple of times until you’ve removed as much as you can.

Afterward, use the stain remover or dry cleaning solvent before rubbing the stain with laundry detergent. Finally, wash the clothing, and hopefully, all of the eyeliner will have come out. If it doesn’t repeat the whole process until the eyeliner is removed or until it stops coming out.

How to Remove Eyeliner from Upholstery/Carpets

Sometimes, we don’t drop eyeliner on our clothes but instead on our furniture or carpets. The best way to remove eyeliner from upholstery and carpets is to use liquid dish soap or dry cleaning solvent.

If you’re using liquid dish soap, make the mixture of dish soap and water mentioned earlier (1 tablespoon of dish soap and 2 cups of water). Then, apply the mixture directly to the stain and use a sponge to blot it until you’ve absorbed as much of the stain as possible. If you’re using dry cleaning solvent, pour it or spray it directly onto the stain and use a sponge to blot it.

Repeat with dish soap, dry cleaning solvent, or both, as necessary, until you’ve removed as much of the stain as possible. Then, use a clean sponge or rag to rinse the area with just water to remove the soap or solvent and allow the area to dry.


Eyeliner, especially liquid or waterproof eyeliner, can be difficult to remove due to its oil-based ingredients. You may not be able to get eyeliner out of clothes just by washing them, but several pre-treatments can be very effective at helping to break down the eyeliner stain before you wash the clothing.