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How to Get Paint Out of Your Clothes

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I am a mother to two jovial boys who likes to write about things that interest me and my children—like painting, crafts, and nature.

Remove paint from your clothes with these simple tricks!

Remove paint from your clothes with these simple tricks!

How to Remove Paint From Clothes

It doesn't matter if you're painting the interior of your home or a little ceramic figurine—inevitably, you're going to get paint on your clothes. You could take the precaution of wearing your old painting clothes, but it doesn't matter. Sooner or later, before you finish the project, some little dab of paint is going to mysteriously find its way into your closet and latch itself onto your favorite blouse.

Getting wet paint out of your clothes is bad enough, but trying to get paint out of your clothes after it's had time to set up and dry is almost impossible. Even if you think it won't happen to you, make note of these tips to get paint out of your clothing. Sooner or later, you'll need them.

How to Remove Latex/Acrylic Paint

If it's latex or acrylic paint, you can try using rubbing alcohol. and a clean white cloth.

For a Small Spot:

  1. Soak the white cloth with rubbing alcohol.
  2. Use the cloth to thoroughly soak the spot with rubbing alcohol.

If the Spot Is Large:

  1. Pour the rubbing alcohol directly on the area.
  2. Let the alcohol soak into the stain for a couple of minutes.
  3. Using your fingernail, a small spatula, or even a popsicle stick, gently scrape away the stain. Make sure to start at the outer edges.
  4. Apply more alcohol if necessary. First, scrape with the grain of the fabric. Then, go against the grain. Use your clean white cloth to blot up any excess as you scrape it away.
  5. Eventually, you may have just a slight bit of color remaining that will usually come out in the wash.
Use rubbing alcohol to remove acrylic paint from fabric

Use rubbing alcohol to remove acrylic paint from fabric

More Tips for Paint Removal From Fabric

  • Paint thinner, when used sparingly, works well on heavier fabrics like denim. Be careful, as it can harm finer fabrics. Also, it could also just smear the paint around and make an even bigger mess.
  • Lestoil helps loosen the paint. Use it the same way you'd use rubbing alcohol, but be careful. It may fade some fabrics.
  • If the paint is water-based, try soaking the garment in warm, soapy water to soften the paint. Then, use a small scrub brush to loosen the stain. A trip through the washing machine should take care of the rest.
  • If these tips don't work, try contacting your local art supply shop to see if they have a secret recipe for paint removal. Most artists wear paint spatters as a badge of pride, but you never know.
  • If all else fails and you're really fond of the garment, try taking it to your local dry cleaner. Every dry cleaner I've ever known has a 'Secret Formula' for getting out tough stains.

Hope It Works!

The video shows how to get paint out of clothes using dish soap and hairspray. I've used this method to get black Sharpie ink out of a skirt and it worked like a charm. The stain I was removing was probably three or four times the size of the little spot shown in the video, so you know it works!


CherylsArt on May 04, 2013:

Great info. It's nice to know that I can use a regular household item to remove acrylic paint from clothing.

WriterJanis2 on July 02, 2012:

I really appreciate this information. Thank you!

kimark421 on June 27, 2012:

Great lens. Thanks for the tips!

Sheilamarie from British Columbia on June 25, 2012:

It always happens, doesn't it? Thanks for your tips!