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How to Effectively Remove Foundation Stains from Carpet

Updated: Jul 4, 2023

Foundation stains on your carpet can be a daunting sight, especially when you have spent time and effort to keep your carpet looking pristine.

These stains can happen accidentally while applying makeup or when your foundation spills during storage. In fact, makeup stains are one of the most common, and most difficult to remove.

But fear not, as this blog will guide you through the step-by-step process of effectively removing foundation stains from your carpet, ensuring it regains its former glory.

Removing Foundation Stains From Carpet & Upholstery

To Remove foundation stain:

  1. Blot the foundation stain, not rubbing in up and down motions

  2. Pick a spot cleaner safe for your carpet or upholstery

  3. Spray the cleaner generously and dab gently to remove. You will need to repeat this a few times

  4. Rinse the stain with cold water and blot to remove the rest of the foundation

  5. Dry the carpet. Air dry or with a fan. It's best not to use heat

For a full overview, carry on reading:

Step 1: Act Quickly

foundation stain on a carpet
Foundation spill on carpet: Time for removal!

The key to successful stain removal is acting promptly. The longer the foundation stays on the carpet, the more it will seep into the fibres, making it harder to remove. As soon as you notice the stain, try to tackle it immediately.

Step 2: Blot, Don't Rub

Grab a clean cloth or paper towel and gently blot the foundation stain. Do not rub, as rubbing might spread the stain and push it deeper into the carpet. Foundation is worse even than those dreaded lipstick stains on carpets, the smearing effect can be unending if you don't blot properly.

Use an up-and-down motion, starting from the outer edge of the stain and moving towards the centre. Continue blotting until you've absorbed as much foundation as possible.

Step 3: Test a Cleaning Solution

Before using any cleaning solution on your carpet, it's essential to test it on an inconspicuous area to ensure it doesn't cause any damage or discoloration.

Pick a small, hidden spot on the carpet (e.g., inside a closet) and apply a small amount of the cleaning solution. Wait for a few minutes and check for any adverse reactions.

Step 4: Choose an Appropriate Cleaning Solution

For synthetic carpet fibres (nylon, polyester, olefin), you can create a DIY cleaning solution. Mix a teaspoon of mild liquid dish soap with one cup of warm water.

Alternatively, you can use a commercial carpet cleaner specifically designed for removing stains.

For natural fibre carpets (wool, cotton), consult a professional cleaner, like us, to avoid damaging the fibres.

Step 5: Apply the Cleaning Solution

Once you've confirmed the cleaning solution is safe to use, dampen a clean cloth with it. Gently dab the stained area, working from the outside towards the centre.

Avoid saturating the carpet, as excessive moisture can lead to mould and mildew growth if left afterwards. Although you could treat it with an enzyme cleaner afterwards to avoid this problem also.

Step 6: Rinse and Blot

After applying the cleaning solution, take a separate clean cloth dampened with water and gently blot the area to rinse away the soap and remaining foundation. Continue blotting until no soap residue remains.

If you own a wet and dry vacuum cleaner, you may want to use this on the stained area to make your job a whole lot easier.

Step 7: Dry the Carpet

To avoid any chance of mildew growth, ensure the carpet dries completely. You can speed up the drying process by using a fan or opening windows for ventilation. Avoid walking on the damp area until it's entirely dry.

Step 8: Repeat if Necessary

In most cases, particularly with stubborn or older stains, you might need to repeat the cleaning process several times. This will more than likely be the case with foundation as it is very thick and tricky to remove.

Be patient and persistent, as some stains might require multiple attempts to completely disappear.

Step 9: Professional Cleaning

If your efforts haven't fully removed the foundation stain, it might be time to call in professional carpet cleaners.

They have specialized equipment and expertise to tackle challenging stains without damaging your carpet.


Foundation stains on your carpet don't have to be a permanent eyesore. By acting quickly, choosing the right cleaning solution, and following the correct steps, you can effectively remove foundation stains and restore your carpet to its original beauty.

Remember, prevention is also essential, so take care while applying makeup near your carpets and try to avoid eating or drinking near them to minimize the risk of spills.

With the right approach, you can keep your carpets looking fresh and clean for years to come.

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