How to Get Lipstick Stains Out of Carpet

How to Get Lipstick Stains Out of Carpet

The Spruce / Michela Buttignol

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 10 - 20 mins
  • Total Time: 10 mins - 8 hrs
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $5 to 10

A pop of color from lipstick can transform a face—but lipstick stains on carpet are always unwelcome. Since lipstick contains multiple components, the stain is usually a combination of oil, wax, and dye making it more tricky to remove.

Fortunately, with a bit of patience and a few household cleaning products you can get lipstick stains out of carpet. There are a few rules you should follow:

  • Don't wait. Act quickly to lift away and treat stains.
  • Don't rub. Lift away as much of the lipstick solids with a spoon as possible instead of rubbing the stain deeper into the fibers.
  • Don't make the stain larger. Always work from the outside of the stained area toward the center of the stain to prevent it from spreading.
Stain type Oil, wax, and dye
Detergent type Dishwashing liquid, ammonia, carpet stain remover
Water Temperature Hot

Before You Begin

If the lipstick stain is on an area rug on a hardwood floor, move the rug to a tarp or washable floor before treating the stain. If the wood floor beneath the rug becomes wet during cleaning, remove the rug completely to allow the floor to dry or dark stains may appear.

The cleaning tips will work on both natural carpet fibers like wool and cotton, as well as synthetic fibers. However, if you have a wool carpet, do not use oxygen-based bleach to remove difficult stains. Use hydrogen peroxide instead.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • 1 spoon or dull knife
  • 1 soft-bristled nylon scrub brush
  • 1 small bowl
  • 1 set measuring cups and spoons
  • 1 to 2 microfiber cloths
  • 1 vacuum


  • 1 container carpet stain remover
  • 1 bottle dishwashing liquid
  • 1 bottle household ammonia


How to Get Lipstick Stains Out of Carpet

  1. Remove Solids

    • Lift away any solid pieces of lipstick from the carpet or upholstery fibers using a dull knife, spoon, or the edge of a credit card.
    • Do not rub the stain because it will only push the lipstick deeper into the fibers and can make the stain larger.
    Use dull knife to remove lipstick stain from upholstery

    ​The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

  2. Use a Commercial Carpet Stain Remover

    Follow the product instructions on the label. Always use a microfiber cloth to prevent accidental dye transfer from other fabrics.

  3. Mix a Homemade Cleaning Solution

    In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid and 1 tablespoon of household ammonia in 2 cups of hot water.

    Use brush and stain and cleaning solution on upholstery lipstick stain

    ​The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

  4. Treat the Stain

    • Dip a soft-bristled brush (an old toothbrush works great) into the cleaning solution.
    • Work from the outside edges of the stain toward the center to prevent spreading the stain.
    • Blot with a microfiber cloth as the stain is transferred out of the carpet. 
  5. Rinse the Carpet

    • Rinse the freshly cleaned area to remove soapy residue by wiping it with a clean cloth dipped in plain water.
    • Do not oversaturate the carpet.
  6. Air-Dry and Vacuum

    • Allow the area to air-dry away from direct heat and avoid walking on that area of the carpet until it is fully dry.
    • Check the area for any traces of lipstick stains.
    • Vacuum to lift any matted fibers.
    • If stains remain, move to the next steps.

Additional Tips for Getting Tough Lipstick Stains Out of Carpet

  • Use a dry cleaning solvent. Working in a well-ventilated space, follow the product label directions carefully.
  • Try rubbing alcohol. Moisten a clean white cloth with rubbing alcohol and blot the stain. Keep moving to a clean area of the cloth as the lipstick dye is transferred. Rinse the area by wiping the carpet with a clean, damp cloth.
  • Use hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is the chemical compound H2O2, made up of two hydrogen atoms and two oxygen atoms. The 3 percent solution sold in drugstores acts as a mild bleaching agent to remove dye stains from light-colored carpets. Do not use on darker-colored carpets.
  • Try oxygen-based bleach. Mix a solution of powdered oxygen bleach with warm water and saturate the stained area. Allow the carpet to air-dry, do not rinse or blot away. This solution is safe to use on all colors of carpet but should not be used for wool carpets.

Removing Lipstick from Upholstered Fabric

The same cleaning techniques and products recommended for carpet can be used to remove lipstick stains from upholstery fabric. Be careful not to over-wet the fabric because excess moisture in the furniture cushions can cause mildew to form.

Before cleaning any furniture, always follow the manufacturer's care label on cleaning upholstery. This tag can be found under the cushions or fabric skirt with letter codes that indicate how to clean the furniture. If the stain is on a vintage rug or antique furniture, call a professional upholstery or carpet cleaning company to help you clean the stain from the fragile fabrics. Time can wear down fibers, and professionals can help you clean and preserve those items.