How To Remove Paint From Clothes

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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 to daycare, they decide to break out ALL THE PAINT that day?

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.

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


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.

Spray hairspray on the affected area and let is sit for one to two minutes.
Scrub the paint gently with a scrub-bush or toothbrush.
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.

Spray window cleaner onto a cloth, then place a little nail-polish remover onto dampened area.
Blot over the paint stain.
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.

Soak the area the garment has been stained.
Scratch at the paint with a knife to lift it off the fabric.
Wash garment on normal cycle.

Dishwashing Liquid

A gentle, yet powerful cleanser.

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

Ammonia and Vinegar

Beware of bleaching!

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

For Oil Based Paints – Use paint thinner or turpentine

Place a old tea towel or think bunch of paper towel on the back of the fabric.
Place the thinner or turpentine on the affected area.
Use a scrub-brush or toothbrush to scrub the stain – You may need to replace the backing towel several times.
Scrub the area with detergent and let soak overnight.

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.

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?

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