How to remove makeup stains from car interior


There are instances in which you will discover makeup stains in your car interior. Sadly, the car interior might end up stained or damaged in the long run if not dealt with properly.

Luckily, most of the usual makeup stains can be removed easily. Nevertheless, it is vital to be careful when removing makeup or when cleaning the car interior to prevent any damage to the upholstery.

If the makeup you need to remove is a liquid face foundation on the car interior and upholstery, you can apply a mild cleaning detergent on the stain with a toothbrush. Then you rub it with a clean sponge with warm water. You’ll see the stain getting smaller and smaller.

Read further to learn techniques on how to remove makeup stains from car interior in a safe yet effective manner. 

Useful techniques on how to remove makeup stains from car interior

Prompt treatment of makeup stains is vital since most cosmetics contain oily substances that become oxidized in the open air. Some cosmetic stains can deeply embed into fabrics which makes them difficult to remove. 

Several methods can effectively remove different types of makeup stains from the car interior. Let us take a look at these cleaning techniques:

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  • If a makeup stain is water-based, without any oily substances, it can be easily cleaned. Simply use a soft sponge soaked in warm soapy water to remove the stain.
  • Use a cotton pad that has been immersed in a 10% solution of ammonia and leave in place for a few minutes. Sprinkle baking soda over the stain and let it sit for a few minutes. Carefully sponge on the site with the solution. Do not place too much pressure on the car interior fabrics since some can be delicate than others. 
  • If the car interior is made from synthetic fibers, initially use a cotton pad that has been soaked in hot water and apply a mild cleaning product, ideally on the surface of the stain. Gently rub with a damp sponge or towel. This approach is useful when cleaning upholstery in pale colors, but not ideal for brightly colored upholstery.
  • Lipstick stains are considered as oily stains since they include specialized pigments. Add a few drops of dishwashing detergent on the mark and gently rub with a sponge or brush. 
  • If there is a liquid face foundation stain, you can utilize an old toothbrush to apply some mild cleaning detergent. Rub with a sponge dipped in warm water until the stain starts to vanish. You can use wet wipes as an alternative.
  • Nail enamel stains are the hardest to clean. Remember not to rub the surface of the car interior but try to soak up the substance with a towel if it is still soggy. Massaging will only widen the stain. Once everything is absorbed, use an old towel dipped in acetone and press on the stain. Once the stain starts to lighten in appearance, use another towel and press it on the stain. Do this several times until the stain is removed. 

Tips on cleaning the car interior

Proper cleaning of the interior of the vehicle is vital for maintenance and value.

Cleaning the central console

  • Moisten a cloth with household cleaner. Start from the cleanest areas to the dirtiest. Clean the dashboard section, steering wheel, and middle console. Do not forget to wipe the gearstick and within the door pockets. 
  • With a damp rag, clean the buttons on your dashboard and dry with a clean rag. 
  • Utilize an old, soft-bristled toothbrush to clean rough spots such as leather grain on the console and interior doors. Try to brush in a circular motion to eliminate the dirt. 

Cleaning the seats and upholstery

  • Before cleaning the floor mats, remove the floor mats before vacuuming to eliminate any grime or debris underneath. If you have plastic floor mats, take them out of your vehicle and shake the dirt out. Hose them down and allow them to dry. If you have carpet mats, vacuum in the car or take them out. Return the mats after vacuuming the interior. 
  • Vacuum the ceiling and gradually move down to the floor. Utilize the appropriate nozzles for different surfaces. 
  • Move the seats so that you can access hard-to-reach areas. When cleaning under the front seats, push them all the way forward or backward. Utilize a crevice tool to pick up any dirt or debris under the front seats. 
  • The leather seats must be properly conditioned as well as cleaned or they will crack and dry out. When cleaning leather seats, utilize a soft brush and the right cleaner such as saddle soap. 
  • When cleaning upholstered fabric seats, check the manual for the suitable cleaners to use. The first task is to vacuum the seats and use a foam or other cleaning agent. Lastly, vacuum the seats again. 
  • Use a stain remover for tough stains. Aside from makeup products, car seats can end up with other types of stains such as chocolate, candy, crayons, and other products. 

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How do I get mascara off my car interior?

When mascara is smeared on your car interior, it can be undesirable to look at. Luckily, you can remove the mark. Despite the dark pigment present in mascara, it is not hard to remove. 

It is recommended to tackle mascara stains on your car interior immediately to prevent it from spreading. Make sure that removal is performed properly with the following steps:

  • Prepare a solution with 2 cups of cool water and a tablespoon of liquid dish soap. Mix thoroughly with a spoon. 
  • With a clean white rag, dip into the soapy water and wring out the excess. Dab the cloth on the mascara stain, making sure to switch to a clean side of the cloth often. Blot the site with a dry rag to soak up any leftover wetness on the upholstery.
  • Alternate dabbing the stain with the rag and soapy water and blotting with the dry cloth until the mascara stain has vanished. Carefully rinse the site with a rag soaked in cold water and blot with a dry rag.
  • Apply a dry cleaning solvent on the site if a trace lingers. Soak a clean cloth with the solvent and rub it onto the stain. Dab with a dry cloth to soak up the cleaning solvent. 

How do you get lipstick out of car upholstery?

If you find a lipstick mark on your car upholstery, you should deal with it immediately. For a fresh stain, dab on a Play-Doh in white color or white bread. This will soak up the stain before it can embed into the fibers of the fabric. 

For older marks, you can scrape off as much as possible with a spoon and use any of the methods below:

  • Isopropyl alcohol. Sponge onto the stain and blot until the lipstick stain is removed. 
  • Hairspray. Spritz on the stain to moisten the site. Allow it to sit on the stain for a few minutes and dab away the stain. Brush on the site with water to douse and tap it dry.
  • Shaving cream. Dab some foam onto the stain and carefully rub it off with a clean cloth. 

Can vinegar remove lipstick stains

A lipstick stain can be unsightly to look at on your scarf, blouse or cup. If it has melted in the dryer or pulverized into the carpet, it can be a frustrating mess to deal with. Luckily, vinegar can be used to deal with this type of stain.

If faced with a stubborn lipstick stain on the carpet, prepare a solution of one-part white vinegar and two-parts water. Using this solution, sponge the carpet and blot up the liquid. 

Final thoughts

Proper care and maintenance of your car interior are essential in preserving its pristine appearance and overall value. Once you find undesirable makeup stains on the car interior, proper removal methods are vital. With the techniques on how to remove makeup stains from car interior, you can easily deal with the stains effectively.

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