Pinterest® and social media are buzzing with fun Halloween makeup for this year’s trick-or-treat and costume parties. Like us, you know all too well how heavy costume makeup seems to stay everywhere except your face. You hardly get the kids out the door before there is Halloween makeup on your shirt, on the costume itself, on your bathroom towels and more. Somehow all that face paint, fake blood and hairspray dye always seem to hang around long after the jack-o-lanterns have been lit for the last time.

Don’t shy away from this year’s costumes because of frightful makeup stains on your family’s clothes. We’ve got costume stain removal tips for everything from costume makeup to fake blood and Halloween hairspray dye.

Makeup stain removers

A lot of costume transformations aren’t complete without a thick coat of oily costume makeup. Here are two techniques for ensuring this year’s Halloween fun doesn’t haunt your costume or clothes for years to come.

Rubbing alcohol as your costume makeup stain remover

  • Test color safeness. Add a bit of rubbing alcohol or makeup remover to a cotton ball and press into a small and hidden piece of the garment. Let the spot dry, and check to make sure the fabric color did not change.
  • Saturate stained area. Cover the stained area with rubbing alcohol or a makeup remover.
  • Release the makeup from the fabric. Dab a clean paper towel on the saturated fabric. Rubbing alcohol releases makeup onto the paper towel. Keep dabbing the paper towel until the paper towel is no longer picking up makeup.
  • Treat with stain remover. Soak stained area with your favorite stain remover, and wash.

Remove costume makeup with baking soda

No rubbing alcohol in the house? No worries! Baking soda and hair spray can team up and tackle clown or unicorn makeup any day.

  • Sprinkle stain with baking soda. Use a clean brush to work the baking soda into the stain.
  • Keep brushing. Add more baking soda and keep brushing until you can’t brush off any more makeup. Clear baking soda/makeup crumbs from the area.
  • Spray stain with hairspray. Hairspray releases the remaining stain from the fabric.
  • Pre-treat. Saturate stained area with your favorite pre-treat solution. Let sit for 10-15 minutes before washing on a standard washing cycle.

Remove face paint stains

Went to a Fall Fun Fest filled with bobbing for apples, corn mazes and face paint, but now the kids’ clothes are covered in the remnants of their super cool, full-face tiger stripes? Good news! You can remove dry face paint from clothes in a few simple steps.

  • Saturate stain with an alcohol-based cleaner. Rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover are both a great fit.
  • Flush face paint stain. Flip garment over and flush with cold water to release paint from the fabric.
  • Pre-treat and scrub. Use your favorite spot remover or liquid laundry detergent. Scrub the pre-treatment into the fabric with a brush or scrubber.
  • Launder garment normally, based on fabric requirements.

Tackle fake bloodstains on clothes

Not everyone breaks out the fake blood for the finishing touches on this year’s costume, but if you do, here’s how to make sure your clothes look as good as new once November rolls around.

  • Foam up. Spray shaving cream onto the stain.
  • Brush fabric. Work the shaving cream into the stain.
  • Release the fake blood from your favorite shirt by rinsing with cold water.
  • Repeat, if needed. If the blood hangs around, repeat the process before laundering.
  • Pre-treat and wash. A little pre-treatment and a wash in the cycle best for the garment should revitalize the shirt.

Remove colored Halloween hair spray

Turning your luscious locks into temporary rainbow hair is crazy fast with all the Halloween hairspray dye products out there. And if your shirt accidentally starts to look like a rainbow, too, here’s how to make it look as good as new.

  • Test for color-fastness. Place a drop of bleach solution described below inside the hem of your shirt or somewhere else where the bleach won’t be seen. Let the spot dry for 10 minutes, and then blot. If the spot is not discolored, you’re safe to bleach.
  • Wet the stains. Lay your garment flat and dampen the stained areas.
  • Pre-treat and wait. Saturate the stain in your favorite pre-treatment product and let sit for 10-15 minutes.
  • Create soak solution. While you wait, create a pre-wash solution by mixing one-quarter cup all-purpose bleach to a gallon of cold water.
  • Run pre-wash. Soak the hairspray-stained clothing for 30 minutes. Rub clothing together in the solution after soaking to further release the stain.
  • Rinse and wash. Rinse clothing in cold water to remove bleach, and then launder.

Use these costume stain removal tips, and you won’t be tricked this Halloween!