Cleaning Tips, Guides & Resources

How To Remove Makeup Spills From Carpet

DIY make up remover custom graphic

We can all agree that taking the time and effort to work on your look is something we enjoy and have fun with. Whether it's the clothes we wear, or the way we style our hair; we all want to feel good about our outward appearance no matter what the occasion. 

Aside from the clothes and hair, there are many cosmetics products that one may use on their face to help achieve the perfect make-up look for the day or night ahead. And while make-up application can be an enjoyable and fulfilling process, there are times where the chain can be broken, and it has nothing to do with what you’ve done to your face, but rather what you've spilled on your carpet!

To err is human, so you can’t be too surprised or disappointed when you accidentally drop a make-up brush, or worse, spill an entire bottle of a product like foundation! When something of this nature happens, and the ground below you is tiled, you don’t have much to worry about. On the other hand, if you’re standing on a carpet, it’s a whole new ball game!

Carpets are notorious for being hard to clean, so it's understood that you'd feel terrible about a foundation stain on it. That said, with a little extra effort, and the know-how, you can get rid of  make-up stains caused by foundation on your carpet with just soap and water! 

The guide below will explain how to work the stain out in its entirety without causing any harm to your carpeting or having to hire expensive carpet cleaning services. Read on!

Things to Keep in Mind Before the Clean

cleaner wearing blue gloves using a yellow sponge to remove red make up from a plush white carpe

To prepare for the stain removal process, there are a few things one ought to keep in mind when it comes to applying any type of cleaning method to their carpet. Particularly for spillages like this, it's important to take note of some dos and don’ts, lest you end up causing more damage to the material than you thought to undo. These are as follows:

  • The first thing to remember is that stains take time to set in; the longer they sit, the worse the stain is to remove. Therefore, it's always recommended to act quickly when you discover a stain on your carpet.
  • Secondly, ensure that you have clean microfibre cloths at home at all times. This material works amazingly well at cleaning almost anything, and it isn't abrasive to use on carpets.
  • When you attempt to remove a carpet stain, under no circumstance should you use force, or attempt to scrub the fabric. This is guaranteed to make the stain worse, so make sure you are only dabbing the stain with your microfibre cloth.  
  • If you are using a cleaning method that requires water, ensure to use cold or room temperature water. The warmer the water, the more likely it is to spread the stain and make it worse.
  • Finally, if you are trying a new cleaning process out, regardless of what products or cleaning solutions you are using to work the stain, be sure to test the cleaning agents on an inconspicuous area of the carpet to prevent fibre damage, or worsening of the stain.

What You’ll Need

items needed to remove make up from carpets on an orange background

  • Vacuum cleaner 
  • Spoon or butter knife to remove the foundation if it is in liquid form
  • Microfibre cloths
  • Mild (preferably clear) liquid dishwashing soap 
  • Cold water
  • Paper towels

Cleaning Instructions to Remove Foundation from Carpet

man using handheld vacuum on a beige throw down rug

With all of that out of the way, it's time to dive into the stain removal process itself. Depending on what type of make-up foundation you are dealing with, i.e. liquid or powder, you can use the guide below to effectively get rid of the carpet stain in question.

Step One: Consider the Foundation Form

The first thing to consider is whether the foundation is in liquid or powder form. The latter tends to be easier to remove as it is not going to soak into the carpet on its own.

For powdered foundation, get your vacuum cleaner, and turn it up to the strongest setting. Try and pull out as much of the foundation from the carpet without wasting any time. Moisture in the air or from the detergent solution to be applied later can make the stain worse, so it's best to get out any excess first.

If you're dealing with a liquid type of foundation, you will have to go about it differently. Here, you want to use a spoon or butter knife, and carefully scoop out all the excess. The key is to not use too much pressure, and to prevent it from spreading to a wider area while lifting it up. 

Step Two: Clean With a Homemade Solution

Prepare your cleaning solution by mixing a few drops into some cold water to make a mild, soapy solution. Then, take a microfibre cloth, dampen it slightly with the solution, and begin dabbing at the stained area. Try to keep moisture on the carpet to a minimum as the material should not be saturated. 

You must also ensure that you're working your way into the stained area without using much pressure. This part of the process will take some time and effort as you may need to rinse the cloth, and repeat the process until the stain is gone completely. If the stain is quite large, you may require multiple cloths for the job.

Step Three: Rinse and Dry the Carpet

Finally, once the stain isn't visible anymore, take another cloth and dampen it with clean water; dab at the affected area to rinse out the soapy solution. Thereafter, blot the damp part of the carpet with paper towels to soak up moisture. If you have a wet and dry vacuum cleaner, go over the area a couple of times (after absorbing excess moisture with the paper towels), and leave the carpet to air-dry


While the entire process is fairly simple, it does take some physical effort and patience. Of course, getting the job done right means you won't have to get your carpet replaced or cleaned by a professional just yet, thus saving you a lot of money in the bargain. Fortunately, with the cleaning guide shared above, you can get rid of a foundation stain on your carpet before it turns into a large patch. Just keep in mind that the most important thing to do is to act quickly, and get rid of the foundation as soon as possible.

Adriana Aziz is the operations manager at MaidForYou. With over 6 years of experience managing cleaning operations, she knows all the best hacks when it comes to cleaning residential and commercial buildings. With expert experience in managing house cleaning operations, interior design and logistics. She spends her free time with her family and as a freelance food critic.

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