How to Remove Lipstick From the Upholstery on a Car

by Mia Carter
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lipstick image by Alex Karmanov from

Car upholstery can be subjected to numerous stains. Often, a well-intentioned driver will try to remove a lipstick stain, only to find that the upholstery has been damaged and you risk making the stain even more obvious. Lipstick and other cosmetics can be difficult to remove since they're oil-based and the pigment has a tendency to spread if the stain is not treated properly. Lipstick can be removed from a leather or vinyl interior by simply wiping it away with a clean paper towel or a paper towel dampened with rubbing alcohol, but removing lipstick from a fabric interior is a bit more difficult.

Step 1

Pick up any chunks of lipstick that are present on the seat using your fingers or tweezers.

Step 2

Scrape off melted lipstick using the dull side of a butter knife. Scrape toward the center of the stain to avoid spreading it.

Step 3

Dab the stain with a clean paper towel to remove excess lipstick. Use a different part of the paper towel for each dab to avoid re-depositing the lipstick on the fabric. Do not rub the stain, as this will spread it.

Step 4

Pour rubbing alcohol onto a clean rag and dab the stain to remove the lipstick. Use a different (clean) area of the rag for each dab to avoid re-depositing the lipstick on the fabric. This process will remove a vast majority of the lipstick from the car upholstery.

Step 5

Spray degreaser onto any remaining traces of the stain and dab with a clean rag. If traces still remain, reapply degreaser and gently scrub the stain in a circular motion using a toothbrush; dab periodically with a rag and frequently wipe off the toothbrush to remove excess pigment.

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