How to Remove Paint From Clothing

How to Remove Paint From Clothing

Ever rubbed up against wet paint?

Or have the kids just gone mental at messy play?

Why is it always the case the day the kids insist on wearing their favourite outfit, they decide to break out ALL THE PAINT that day?

Smudges of paint that get stuck in clothes can be very difficult to remove. If you are not aware about the components that make up paint. Keep in mind that there are various types of paint which means there are also different ways on how to scratch them off from a piece of clothing.

Here are some of our best tips that can help remove paint from clothes.

Firstly, when cleaning any stain, remove any excess paint from the fabric. If the paint has already dried, use a hard brush to brush and scrape off the excess. Whenever you are trying a stain removal method for the first time on a fabric – ensure you do a spot test in an inconspicuous area first, just in case!

Latex paint is harder to remove compared to other kinds of paint and needs some sort of acetate. Water-based paint can be removed with ordinary washing using cold water. Also, oil-based paint can be removed using strong detergents in hot water.

The Magic of Clean Water and Detergent

A mixture of detergent and clean water may do the trick but not always. In fact, there are instances that water and detergent may cause the paint to spread on the fabric. With that said, it’s important that you learn how and when to use detergent, water, and other solutions in cleaning paint-stained clothes.

How to Remove Paint from Clothing | Stay At Home Mum



Any brand of hairspray will do, even the cheap ones. Many recommend using the extra hold or extra strength version of the hairspray. Do not worry about the hairspray on the clothing. You can launder the fabric after to remove the hairspray.

  1. Spray hairspray on the affected area and let is sit for one to two minutes.
  2. Scrub the paint gently with a scrub-bush or toothbrush.
  3. Repeat the process until paint is gone.

Window Cleaner

Window Cleaner contains chemicals that have proven to work and let you avoid the hassle of experimenting with ordinary household products.

  1. Spray window cleaner onto a cloth, then place a little nail-polish remover onto dampened area.
  2. Blot over the paint stain.
  3. Wash garment immediately.

Isopropyl Alcohol

You will have to do a lot of scrubbing with this technique. Be gentle since the fabric may tear if you rub it too hard. Use an old toothbrush for softer fabrics like cotton and spandex. For denim and twill fabrics, you can use a scouring sponge.

  1. Soak the area the garment has been stained.
  2. Scratch at the paint with a knife to lift it off the fabric.
  3. Wash garment on normal cycle.
Removing acrylic paint from clothes | Cleanipedia

Dishwashing Liquid

A gentle, yet powerful cleanser.

  1. Flush the back of the stain with warm water.
  2. Soak a clean sponge in a mixture of equal parts of dishwashing liquid and warm water.
  3. Blot the stain with the soapy sponge (wring out any paint that is collected into a separate bowl).
  4. Rinse the backside of the garment under warm water.
  5. Repeat process until stain is gone.

Ammonia and Vinegar

Beware of bleaching!

  1. Place garment in a soaking bucket with water.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix 1 cup of ammonia and 1 cup of white vinegar with a handful of salt.
  3. Remove garment from water; and then with a sponge, blot the garment with the ammonia and vinegar solution.
  4. Repeat until the stain appears to be lifting.
  5. Wash garment on normal cycle.

For Oil Based Paints – Use paint thinner or turpentine

There are certain types of paint that are really difficult to remove like oil-based enamel paint and art paint.

For stains caused by these types of paint, you might need to make use of paint thinners or turpentine. These are very strong solutions that can dissolve the paint. Because of the strength of these solutions, you must use them in moderation so as not to damage the fabric of the clothing.

  1. Place a old tea towel or think bunch of paper towel on the back of the fabric.
  2. Place the thinner or turpentine on the affected area. The towel will absorb the paint as it breaks down.
  3. Use a scrub-brush or toothbrush to scrub the stain – You may need to replace the backing towel several times.
  4. Scrub the area with detergent or let the fabric saturate in liquid detergent and let soak overnight.

When most of the paint have been absorbed,and leave it alone overnight. Then wash the fabric the very next day. If the paint stain remains, apply paint thinner again and rewash it. You may have to do these several times before the stain completely disappears. Or you could just wear protective clothing to avoid menacing mishaps!

For really stubborn stains, place acetone on the stain and blot with a clean sponge. Do Not put acetone on fabrics that also contain rayon, acetate or triacetate.  If this brings no luck – try taking the garment to the dry-cleaner. They may be able to help.

Additional tips on how to remove paint from clothing:

Anything Can Be A Scraper

Always remember that as the paint gets drier, it also becomes more difficult to remove.

That said, you need to quickly scrape off the wet paint from your clothing before it gets dry. You can use anything with a flat and sharp edge as a scraping device. It could be a spoon, a plastic calling card, a knife, or even a hard book cover.

As you scrape, make sure that you start from the edges of the stain and work towards the centre to avoid spreading the paint.

How to Remove Paint from Clothing | Stay At Home Mum

Place the clothing on a hard surface and press on it to maximise the amount of paint that’s scraped off. You should never use a rag or a paper towel to clean the stain because you will only smudge the paint to previously unaffected areas.

Well, it’s a totally different story if the paint had already dried off which means you have to dissolve or soften it first before it can be removed.

If the paint has totally hardened, see if you can scrape off excess blobs with a dull knife. Don’t scrape too hard because you might ruin the fabric of the clothing.

After scraping the excess blobs of paint, what you need to do is flush the paint off using a forceful stream of warm water. This will help in either softening or dissolving the paint. When flushing the warm water through the fabric, you should do it from the other side of the stained part.

Do it upside down as well so that runoff water containing the dissolved paint won’t return back and cause even more damage to the clothing. If possible, you should flush the paint off with the assistance of another person. One person holds the clothing while the other one does the flushing.

How to Remove Paint from Clothing | Stay At Home Mum


Flush and Wash

Flushing is applicable to stains caused by latex, acrylic, and water-based paint. The whole process can take several minutes.

  1. Just keep on flushing until the paint starts to break down. In cases wherein flushing the paint with warm water doesn’t seem to work, you can try submerging the stained part in rubbing alcohol and see if it softens or dissolves.
  2. After flushing, the next step would be to wash the clothing with a solution of liquid laundry detergent and clean water.
  3. Mix the solution together then apply it on the affected fabric. You may leave the solution there for several minutes to see if has any effect on the paint.

You may have to do this several times by rinsing the clothing then applying the solution all over again. You can also use a sponge to try and get rid of the paint. Just saturate the sponge with liquid detergent then rub it vigorously on the stained fabric.

Once the stain starts breaking down, you can then wash the garment manually or in a washing machine.

How did you go about getting out your worst stain?

Do you have any other tips on removing paint from clothes that we can share?

Whoever said that to remove paint from clothing is a hassle?

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