How To Get Lipstick Out Of Car Upholstery

For some, lipstick is a daily part of their outfits.

You may carry your lipstick with you in your pocket in case you need to reapply at any time.

Unfortunately, your pocket is not always a secure location, especially when getting in and out of your car.

If you do not realize when sitting down or getting up, you may later notice that lipstick has come open on your car seat, and now you have lipstick on your car upholstery.

This issue is similar to getting lipstick out of your couch.

If you find yourself in this predicament, don’t worry, we have been where you are.

We decided to do some research to find out the best way to remove lipstick from any type of car upholstery.

Continue reading below to learn how to get lipstick out of car upholstery.

What You’ll Need

After you have grabbed the above items, continue reading for step-by-step instructions showing you exactly how to get lipstick out of car upholstery.

1. Apply Toothpaste To Lipstick Stain

If you find the lipstick when it is still wet, you can apply toothpaste onto the lipstick.

2. Blot Lipstick 

Using a clean cloth, blot the lipstick stain.

You should notice that the lipstick stain is lifting from the car upholstery.

Be careful not to smudge the lipstick on other parts of the upholstery.

3. Scrape Off Lipstick

If you have found the lipstick already dried, you can use a butter knife or similar implement to scrape away any remaining lipstick residue.

Be careful when scraping off the lipstick so that you do not harm the upholstery of your car. 

4. Apply Ammonia To Cloth 

If there remains some lipstick on your car upholstery, you will want to use ammonia to remove it.

Soak a clean cloth with enough ammonia to address the lipstick stain. 

5. Lightly Scrub Lipstick Stain 

Using the ammonia-soaked lipstick, lightly scrub the lipstick on the car upholstery.

Do not scrub too aggressively to avoid harming the material of your car upholstery.

More lipstick should be lifted and being removed from the car upholstery. 

6. Blot With Clean Water

You will want to remove the ammonia that is on the car upholstery.

You can do this by taking a new clean cloth dipped in water.

Take the cloth and blot the area where the stain was.

Blotting should absorb and dilute the ammonia that is on the car upholstery. 

7. Spray Hairspray On Lipstick 

You can also use hairspray to remove the lipstick from your car upholstery.

Spray a good bit of hairspray on the car upholstery where the lipstick is.

Leave this to soak into the hairspray for around five minutes. 

8. Wipe With Clean Cloth

Using a clean, dry cloth, you can wipe the upholstery to remove any of the remaining lipstick and hairspray.

Video Instructions

  • Step 1 (:06) — apply toothpaste to lipstick stain
  • Step 2 (:13) – blot lipstick
  • Step 3 (:21) – scrape off lipstick
  • Step 4 (:24) – apply ammonia to lipstick
  • Step 5 (:29) – lightly scrub lipstick stain
  • Step 6 (:31) – blot with clean water
  • Step 7 (:40) – spray hairspray on lipstick
  • Step 8 (:52) – wipe with a clean cloth


Why Does Toothpaste Help Remove Lipstick Stains?

Since toothpaste is slightly abrasive, it will help scrub away some lipstick.

In addition, since many kinds of toothpaste are made to whiten teeth, there is a degree to stain removal built-in.

Most types of toothpaste contain bleaching agents, such as hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide.

These bleaching agents should help remove any color-based stain that might form on the car upholstery.

Why Does Hairspray Remove Lipstick Stains?

Alcohol helps remove and break down several types of stains, such as oil-based stains.

Lipstick is not an exception.

The alcohol within hairspray helps remove stains and clean the surface where stains are.

When you apply it to the lipstick on the car upholstery, you use the alcohol within the hairspray to address the lipstick stain.

Since it has alcohol in it, when cleaning, you do not need to worry too much about removing it as it will quickly dissolve.

What Kind Of Stain Is A Lipstick Stain? 

Knowing what kind of stain is on your car upholstery helps you be better equipped to remove that stain.

Lipstick stains are made up of oil and wax stains and dyes.

The dye partially makes removing the lipstick from the car upholstery more difficult.

The waxy aspect of the lipstick allows you to chip and scrape away the lipstick from the car upholstery.

The oily part of lipstick requires ammonia, toothpaste, and hairspray removal of lipstick from car upholstery.

The alcohol, peroxide, and ammonia all work to dissolve the oily components of the lipstick.

This will work to break down the lipstick from the car upholstery. 

Is There A Difference In Removing Lipstick From Cloth Or Leather Car Upholstery? 

Typically, it should be easier to remove lipstick from leather.

You will need to remove it with a wet cloth or a makeup remover.

Both of these should remove as much lipstick as possible.

You may want to pay attention to treating and conditioning the leather after cleaning the lipstick off.

Cleaning lipstick from cloth car upholstery may be more difficult.

The lipstick is more likely to get caught and matted into the fibers of the fabric seats.

Removing these lipstick stains will likely require more elbow grease, especially if the lipstick is a substantial amount from melting into the car upholstery.

Does OxiClean Remove Lipstick? 

OxiClean can remove lipstick from upholstery in general, including car upholstery.

You will create a solution with the OxiClean and water and then apply the solution to the upholstery.

You will want to use OxiClean stain remover and follow the directions on the cleaner.

Using a clean cloth, you will blot the stain until you have removed the lipstick.

You will want to follow it up with another clean towel and clean water.

This follow-up will allow you to rinse the stain and remove anything remaining of the OxiClean solution from the upholstery.

How Do You Remove Dried LIpstick Stains?

As stated above, if you find a lipstick stain that’s already dried, start by scraping it off gently with a butter knife or similar tool.

Next, you can use a hand-gel or rubbing alcohol and pour a small amount over the stained area.

Let the alcohol sit on the area for five minutes, then blot, don’t scrub the area with a clean cloth until the stain has been removed.

Finally, dampen a separate clean cloth with cool water and, again, blot the area to remove the alcohol from the fabric.