How to Get Makeup Off Pillowcases

A white pillow on a bed with makeup stains on the pillowcase
So, you fell into bed last night without removing your makeup. You probably woke up this morning with your mother’s voice in your head, scolding you for not taking proper care of your skin. But what about that pillowcase? With a similar sense of dread, you spot the mark and feel your stomach turn all over again. Lucky for you, removing makeup stains from your pillowcase doesn’t have to be as frustrating as Mom’s beauty regimens.

With six quick steps, your pillowcase will be good as new!

1. Don’t Touch!

The first step to pillowcase stain removal is actually a caution — ignore your gut instinct to touch the stain. Rubbing the makeup mark with your finger will only set the stain in further by combining with your skin’s natural oils to become a stubborn grease stain. Simply remove any flakes of makeup with your fingernail.

2. Dampen and Lather

Grab the pillowcase and head to the kitchen sink, for easy access to the secret stain-fighting ingredient. Turn the water to a cold trickle and run the stained pillowcase underneath to dampen lightly. Then, grab the dish soap (Ivory or Dawn, not the dishwasher detergent) and squirt a drop onto the stain. Now you can rub it with your fingers, lathering to get those bubbles moving

3. Hold Tight for Ten

Allow the dish soap to do its thing, bringing the elements of the stain to the surface of the pillowcase fibers. Take 10 minutes to wash the makeup residue off your face and make Mom proud. Now, both you and the stain are wide awake.

4. Blot and Rinse

With a dry paper towel or cleaning cloth, blot the stain to remove any residue that has risen to the surface of the pillowcase. Run the stained pillowcase under warm water in the sink to rinse off any excess dish soap.

5. Treat and Prepare

Before putting the stained pillowcase in with any random load of laundry, collect the rest of your sheets to fill the washing machine — chances are, they could use a wash as well. Apply a treatment to the stain – like OxiClean™ or even lemon juice! — and toss it in with the rest of your sheets.

6. A Final Ingredient

For extra brownie points, throw half a cup of white vinegar in the basin as well. This simple addition will make your sheets extra soft while also upping the degreasing power of the stain treatment and laundry detergent, ensuring that the stain on your pillowcase has been removed forever.

With a clean face and clean pillowcases, you’re ready to take on the day! Now, call your mother and brag about how you removed that makeup stain from your pillowcase without her help. However, if neither you nor your mother feels confident about tackling your cleaning needs, contact your local Molly Maid!