Makeup Removal Etiquette

One of the guests who left this morning left makeup stains all over one of our white towels. We have make up remover wipes in the guest room. This question is for those of you who wear makeup as I never have so I don’t know the etiquette. If I notice that a guest wears makeup would it make them uncomfortable for me to show them the makeup removal wipes and ask the guest to use them, not the towels, for makeup removal? Thanks.

I think you could show every female guest the remover wipes, whether or not they had on makeup. If the stains are recent, try running the affected spots on the towels under some super hot water and see if they come out.

You could also try adding it to the house rułes. Something along the lines of, Please use makeup wipes provided to remove your makeup. Towels stained with makeup will be charged to the guest. Thank you.

What about a nicely worded sign in a frame (so as not to look too draconian) in the bathroom?

I pondered this when I first started hosting in this area where the plumbing is far less robust than other places. I eventually decided that I prefer guests to use towels even though they do get marked from time to time. I’ve very rarely had a stained towel that hasn’t been cleaned after treating and / or soaking before washing.

I decided against the wipes because it wouldn’t just be a case of ‘please use the wipes instead of towels for removing makeup’ it would be a case of ‘please use the wipes and not the towels for removing makeup and be sure that you dispose of the wipes in the bathroom trash can and do not flush them down the toilet’.

This just seemed too long-winded for me.

I’ve had the toilet stopped up by these things in the past and it has resulted in a hefty plumber’s bill whereas soaking the occasional towel costs me nothing.

I know of hosts who have successfully used special face flannels though.


Very few of my guests seem to wear makeup. It just isn’t a Boston thing. I have taken to noting where the removal pads and white washcloths for makeup are located. Six months ago, I would have said nothing. I have learned to be a bit more direct without being embarrassed. I am also more direct about showing guests where the sponge and cleaners for the countertop is, point out the dish soap, and the dish drain, which doesn’t look like a dish drain that people have seen before.

I have chosen not to place signs all over the house.

And I see that jaquo has mentioned how to say this… I have been saying “I notice that you wear some makeup. Please enjoy the makeup removal pads, or if you brought your own cleanser, here are the wash cloths.” So far, no one has looked annoyed. In fact, they seem grateful that I have taken care of this personal need.


Super good point!

Ellen you could also try buying the black face towels that say “for make up” on them. Or Re you saying they stained a full size towel? Wo would use a bath towel to remove make up?

Honestly… Guests can be such slobs!!

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I have found the worst guests for make up stains are the bridal parties.
I hate fake tan. I have had stained sheets, pillow cases as well as towels and washers. I met the last of one group and commented on the now orange towels, the response was " what are we supposed to do, bring our own?"
Why anyone wants to look like a carrot on a photo binge day puzzles me.


That’s a great question.

:tongue firmly in cheek: To look healthy, of course!


You’re going to laugh, but our biggest makeup wearer was a man. He got makeup everywhere.


The makeup wipes are in the guest room. As they were left by a Japanese guest and the writing on the package is in Japanese, we made a sign that says Makeup Remover Wipes and put it on the package. This is in a glass fronted bookshelf so there is no chance that guests can’t see it.

What about moving them to the bathroom? As that’s where guests will be removing makeup

I want to say it but I won’t!!!
Ok I will. I just never thought we’d have a carrot in chief! :laughing:


There isn’t much we can do about oblivious guests. Really there isn’t.

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Yes, the guest used a full size bath towel to remove her makeup. I sprayed it heavily with Shout, then added bleach to the laundry. It seems to have come out.

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I don’t understand. Why would people prefer to remove makeup in the bathroom than in the guest room? Our bathroom is small so I’m hesitant to add clutter.

My worst stain has been on a brand new washer. I am sure the guest used it to clean his work boots. I have sprayed, soaked, bleached and I cannot get it white. It is better than the huge brown sploge in the middle of it and I say to myself when I find these sorts of things " I bet you treat your expensive linens a lot better than you treat mine!"

A washer?? A washing machine??

Face cloth in your neck of the woods.


Not worth my time. I have some nice ones but when I find them for 50 cents each in the clearance bin I grab them. And I don’t care what color they are. I’m not spending good money on something people use to wash their private parts with. They can get stained by makeup or bleached by acne products.