Mascara stains are driving me CRAZY

We host guests in our home and we live there. We provide all sorts of lovely toiletries and provide make-up remover cloths for people to use in hopes of keeping our expensive towels/wash cloths from being damaged. Our last guest removed her make-up on a wash cloth and it took me several hours to get the stains out.

How are other hosts preventing this from happening? I would appreciate your suggestions on how to prevent this from happening and some tried and true methods for getting out the stains on towels and linens.


Don’t put it in the washer, I use a 70% alcohol, soak the stain, it’s the only thing I have found that works. If you wash in hot water it will set the stain forever.
I provide quality make-up removal pads, and then when I replaced my towels and face clothes, I purchased dark colors. I really don’t have the time for extensive stain removal.
Good luck


It happens just about every week. Soak the towels in Oxyclean. Wash in cold water. If possible, line-dry to bleach them. Job done.


Don’t buy “expensive towels/wash cloths”

I hold them at gunpoint until they’ve removed their makeup…:scream::fearful::rofl:
and then we only buy dark washcloths!

Seriously… I’ve never had an issue with makeup stains of any kind. Our towel sets are sandy tan and dark brown.


I have inexpensive gray and black washcloths to go with my white sheets and towels. I can replace them for about a buck each so I wouldn’t spend hours getting the stain out. I’d soak and treat and toss in the wash. If it didn’t come clean it would become a household rag and I’d replace it with a new washcloth. I now have excess pillowcases so same with them. Good quality sheets are the only thing worth expending some effort to get stains out. I’ve had so few mascara stains I’m not sure what I used. It was probably Genesis 950 which is an all around cleaner I buy in bulk.


@KKC What type/brand of extra pillowcases do you get?

I provide Neutrogena* makeup wipes. I leave the container on the vanity next to the washcloths, with a message:

MAKEUP REMOVER : In order to keep the white sheets as clean as possible, we ask that you use the makeup remover wipes as needed.

I have been purchasing a large box at Costco, when they have a sale. Costco is now selling its own Kirkland brand version.

It has either been very effective or I’ve been lucky as I’ve only had a couple of instances where I had makeup on the washcloths; in those instances I’ve sprayed the cloth with ‘Shout’ and they’ve come clean.



I stopped providing makeup remover wipes after a major drain blockage from people flushing them down the loo. Dark face cloths, Shout and oxyclean do the job for me.


We have a similar issue, as in the only thing you can put down our loos is paper - we’re in the “old town” and the sewage infrastructure here can just about deal with paper, hence a bin in every loo. And a plunger in the cupboard!

My OH uses Vanish, which I think is the european equivalent to Oxyclean. Soak them for 15mins and if that doesn’t work a mild solution of bleach. No idea about a hot or cold wash, I must ask her!!!


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Added a new rule, signage in the bathroom and gray washcloths. Has eliminated most of the damage.


They vary depending on what I like and what is on sale.

Sign going up today!! And new rule added. A big thank you to everyone for all the great ideas on prevention as well as cleaning solutions.

I get Costco sheets with 4 pillowcases and I keep the pillowcases when I have to dump the rest of the set. So over the last 4+ years I’ve accumulated an extra supply. I do have some that are printed from when I used printed sheets but I’m not afraid to pair pillowcases with sheets that don’t match.

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@Lynick4442 Replacement fees: Do you really put linens at that price point in your rental or is that meant to be a deterrent?

Deterrent. For the most part I don’t charge the damage fees I warn about. I do if you sneak in a dog or smoke but that’s the only time I’ve charged.

I was wondering the same. Costco has white washcloths at 24 for $12 US - or 50 cents each. Include tax and the hassle factor, and a washcloth is $1.

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I went with the gray washcloths because people like me are allergic to most Health and Beauty items. Plus less waste.

I tend to assume - and rightly in most cases - that people who are allergic will bring their own products. Even less waste if I supply nothing :wink:


Same here. Also with body wipes in bathroom

Septic concerns trump stains on wash clothes.

I think I posted this before, but since I bought these:
My makeup stains have become almost nonexistent. I think that just by providing them makes the guest realize it’s a problem, and there’s no excuse for stained linens.