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How to Remove Waterproof Eyeliner From White Fabric

By M.H. Dyer
Eyeliner mishaps can happen to anybody.

You may think your makeup application skills are foolproof, but even the smallest slip of the hand can result in a big, brown or black blob on your pristine, white linen sheets or your favorite white blouse. Don't feel bad, makeup mishaps happen to everyone occasionally. Although waterproof eyeliner on white fabric may seem like the fabric is destined for the rag bag, you can remove the waterproof eyeliner and save your white fabric.

Read the care tag on the white fabric before attempting to remove the waterproof eyeliner. If the care tag indicates that the white fabric should be dry cleaned, take the fabric to a professional cleaner and don't attempt to remove the waterproof eyeliner by yourself.

Blot fresh waterproof eyeliner with a soft cloth or a paper towel. Blot gently, using a lifting motion. Don't rub, as rubbing can drive the eyeliner further into the fabric.

Use the tip of a plastic knife or spoon to scrape off as much eyeliner as possible. Scrape carefully at the edges of the eyeliner and be careful not to press the eyeliner into the fabric.

Place a few drops of liquid dish soap or laundry detergent and a drop of warm water directly on the eyeliner. Scrub the eyeliner stain with a clean toothbrush or nail brush, working in only one direction. Avoid scrubbing back and forth, which can damage the fabric and set in the eyeliner stain, making it more difficult to remove. Rinse the area with cool water.

Look carefully to determine whether you removed the eyeliner from the white fabric. If the stain remains, don't place the garment in the dryer, as the heat of the dryer will set the eyeliner into the white fabric.

Treat the eyeliner stain with a laundry pre-treat stick or spray if dish detergent or laundry detergent fails to remove the stain. Use the product as directed on the label.

Dry the white fabric only after you completely remove the waterproof eyeliner. Place the fabric in the clothes dryer or allow the fabric to hang dry, depending on the directions on the fabric care tag.

About the Author

M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.