lipstick stain removal photo of different-coloured-lipstick-in-a-row

Lipstick stain removal, from upholstery or carpet, will take some consideration if a permanent stain is to be avoided. The following step will help diminish the stain if not remove it. However, there are many variables: e.g. length of time on/in the material, ingredients in the lipstick, and type of fabric/fiber.

Step 1:  Scrape as much excess lipstick off the upholstery as possible, without smearing it further into the upholstery.

Step 2:  For the lipstick still remaining take a clean cloth and sponge the stain with a dry-cleaning solvent like ‘K2r’, if available. Alternatively, try surgical or white (paint) spirit/turpentine.

Helpful Hint:  Be sure to test any solvent on an inconspicuous area of the upholstery to make sure it is safe and will not damage the fabric.

Step 3:  Next, blot at the stain until the solvent is absorbed.

Step 4:  Repeat steps 2-3 until the stains are removed from the upholstery.


The steps, above, on how to get lipstick stains out of upholstery are the same for carpet. Alternatively, If the above stain removal steps do not work you can mix a solution of two cups cold water, one tablespoon washing up liquid, and one tablespoon of white vinegar.

Sponge the stain with a clean cloth, blotting at the stain until the liquid is absorbed, and the stain removed. Once the stain from the lipstick is gone use some cold water and a clean cloth and blot the area to remove the cleaning solution, and then blot dry.

Helpful Hint: Be sure to get the carpet only as wet as is necessary to remove the lipstick.

In combination with the above steps here are a couple of other remedies/tricks to try whether on upholstery or carpet:

  • Use isopropyl alcohol (similar to surgical spirits, but for cleaning electronic components), sponge some onto the stain, then blot until the stain is removed. Rotate the cloth to a fresh area as the lipstick is transferred to it.
  • Use hairspray; spray enough of it on the stain to dampen the area. Let the hairspray sit on the stain for a couple of minutes, then blot away the stain. Sponge the area with water to rinse, then pat it dry.
  • Use shaving cream, rub some men’s white shaving foam into the stain, then gently rub it off, softly, with a cloth.

Note: Do not use any solvent/alcohol solutions on a wool carpet!

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