How to remove lipstick from carpet

Spilling lipstick on your carpet can be a frustrating and daunting experience, but fear not! With the right techniques and a little elbow grease, you can successfully remove that unsightly stain and restore your carpet to its former glory. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of removing lipstick from your carpet, offering expert tips and tricks to ensure the best possible outcome.

remove lipstick from carpet

Lipstick stains can be tricky to remove, as they often contain a combination of waxes, oils, and pigments that can quickly set into the delicate fibers of your carpet. The longer the stain sits, the more difficult it becomes to remove, so it’s crucial to act quickly when dealing with a lipstick spill.

Identifying the Lipstick Composition

Before attempting to remove a lipstick stain, it’s essential to understand the composition of the lipstick itself. Lipsticks can be broadly categorized into two main types: oil-based and water-based.

Oil-based lipsticks: These contain a higher concentration of waxes and oils, which can make them more challenging to remove from carpet. Examples of oil-based lipsticks include classic creamy or matte formulas.

Water-based lipsticks: These tend to be more lightweight and contain a higher proportion of water-soluble ingredients, making them generally easier to remove from carpets.

Knowing the type of lipstick you’re dealing with can help you choose the most effective cleaning method.

Supplies Needed

To successfully remove a lipstick stain from your carpet, you’ll need the following supplies:

  • Blotting cloths or paper towels
  • Mild dish soap or carpet cleaner
  • White vinegar
  • Rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover (for oil-based lipsticks)
  • Carpet cleaner or steam cleaner (for tough stains)
  • Vacuum cleaner

Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Act Quickly

The moment you notice a lipstick spill on your carpet, act quickly. The faster you can address the stain, the better your chances of removing it completely.

Step 2: Blot the Stain

Using a clean, absorbent cloth or paper towel, gently blot the stain to soak up as much of the lipstick as possible. Avoid rubbing or scrubbing, as this can spread the stain and drive it deeper into the carpet fibers.

Step 3: Apply a Mild Detergent

Mix a small amount of mild dish soap or a specialized carpet cleaner with warm water. Dip a clean cloth or sponge into the solution and gently dab the stain, working from the outside in to prevent the stain from spreading.

For oil-based lipsticks, you can try using a small amount of rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover instead of the soap and water mixture. Test the solution on a hidden area of the carpet first to ensure it doesn’t damage the fibers.

Step 4: Rinse and Blot

After applying the cleaning solution, use a clean, damp cloth to rinse the area and remove any remaining soap or solvent. Blot the area with a dry cloth or paper towels to absorb the moisture.

Step 5: Apply White Vinegar (Optional)

If the stain persists, you can try using white vinegar as a natural cleaning agent. Mix equal parts white vinegar and water, and apply the solution to the stain using a clean cloth or sponge. Let it sit for a few minutes before blotting the area with a dry cloth.

Step 6: Use a Carpet Cleaner or Steam Cleaner (For Tough Stains)

For stubborn lipstick stains, you may need to bring in the big guns – a carpet cleaner or steam cleaner. These powerful machines can deep-clean the carpet, extracting the lipstick and any remaining cleaning solutions.

If you don’t have access to a professional-grade carpet cleaner, you can try using a store-bought carpet cleaning solution and a stiff-bristled brush to scrub the stain. Be sure to follow the instructions on the cleaning product and test it on a small, inconspicuous area first.

Step 7: Blot and Dry

Once you’ve applied the cleaning solution or used the carpet cleaner, blot the area with clean, dry cloths or paper towels to absorb any remaining moisture. This will help the carpet dry more quickly and prevent any lingering odors.

Step 8: Allow the Carpet to Dry Completely

It’s crucial to allow the carpet to dry completely before walking on it or replacing any furniture. Depending on the size of the stain and the type of cleaning method used, this can take several hours or even a day or two. Be patient and resist the urge to step on the damp area.

Step 9: Vacuum the Treated Area

Once the carpet is completely dry, vacuum the treated area to remove any remaining dirt or debris. This will help restore the carpet’s appearance and texture.

Tips for Preventing Lipstick Stains

To avoid the hassle of removing lipstick stains from your carpet in the future, consider these preventative measures:

  • Use a lipstick that’s formulated to be long-wearing or smudge-proof, as these tend to be less likely to transfer onto surfaces.
  • Apply lipstick carefully and blot your lips with a tissue before walking on the carpet.
  • Place a small rug or mat in high-traffic areas to catch any potential lipstick spills.
  • Encourage family members and guests to be mindful of their lipstick when walking on the carpet.

Commercial Products for Removing Lipstick Stains

If you don’t want to go through the DIY process of removing lipstick stains, there are several commercial products available that can help:

  1. Carbona Stain Devil for Lipstick and Grease Stains: This specialized stain remover is designed to tackle stubborn lipstick and grease stains on carpets and upholstery. It’s easy to use and can be found at most home goods stores. Features:
  • Formulated to effectively remove lipstick and grease stains
  • Safe for use on carpets, upholstery, and other fabrics
  • Comes in a convenient spray bottle for easy application
  1. Folex Carpet Spot Remover: This versatile carpet cleaner can be used to tackle a variety of stains, including lipstick. It’s a non-toxic, water-based formula that won’t leave any residue behind. Features:
  • Can be used on carpets, rugs, and upholstery
  • Removes a wide range of stains, including lipstick, wine, and pet accidents
  • Safe for use around children and pets
  1. Clorox Tilex Mold and Mildew Remover: While not specifically designed for lipstick stains, this product can be effective in removing stubborn stains, including lipstick. The bleach-based formula helps to break down and lift the stain. Features:
  • Effective for removing a variety of tough stains
  • Bleach-based formula helps to whiten and brighten
  • Can be used on carpets, tiles, and other surfaces

Remember to always test any commercial product on a small, inconspicuous area of your carpet first to ensure it doesn’t cause any damage or discoloration.

Dealing with Persistent Stains

If the lipstick stain remains visible even after following the steps outlined above, don’t be discouraged. Certain types of carpets or stubborn stains may require professional cleaning. Contact a reputable carpet cleaning service in your area to assess the problem and provide the best course of action.


Removing lipstick from your carpet can be a challenging task, but with the right techniques and a bit of patience, you can successfully remove even the toughest stains. Remember to act quickly, use the appropriate cleaning solutions, and be gentle with the carpet fibers. By following the steps in this guide, you’ll be able to restore your carpet to its former glory and prevent future lipstick mishaps.

Sharing Is Caring:

As the founder of Clean It Spotless, I am Melissa Walker, a leading expert in removing tough stains from fabrics, carpets, and upholstery. With over 10 years of experience in the cleaning industry, I have developed my own natural, non-toxic stain-fighting formulas that lift stains while preserving the integrity of the underlying material. My stain removal tutorials are widely read online, and I have appeared on local TV segments demonstrating my techniques. I also present popular stain removal workshops at community centers and schools.