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How to remove paint from clothes

Not sure how to remove paint from clothes? This step-by-step guide provides all that you need for removing that stubborn paint stain. Read on for tips.


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How to get paint out of clothes

Whether your kids have been getting messy for an art project or you’ve been busy retouching the paint on a wall, getting paint on clothes is inevitable. Knowing how to remove paint stains from clothes is often easier than you think. So the next time you want to rescue your clothes from paint splatters and stains, follow these simple tips.

Make sure that a paint-removal method is suitable for your garment by testing it on a small area first. When applying paint thinner or alcohol-based cleaners, always do this in a well-ventilated area

What type of paint stain are you dealing with?

First identify the type of paint stain you are trying to remove. How to remove acrylic paint from clothes is different from washing a paint stain from poster paints. Paint types broadly fall into the following:

  • Water-based paint stains: children’s paints, like poster paints, are water-based and are easier to wash to out of clothes using washing detergent like OMO or washing up liquid.

  • Oil-based paint stains: these take longer to dry and are water-resistant, requiring alcohol or paint thinner to remove.

  • Acrylic or latex paint: when it comes to how to remove acrylic paint from clothes, there is a difference between wet and dry stains. When wet, rinse the stain with water as you would do a water-based paint. When dry, use alcohol to break down the stain, as you would an oil-based paint.

Ways to remove to paint stains

When the time comes to needing to know how to remove paint from clothes, do the following:

  1. Remove excess paint: for water-based paints, rinse the stain under running warm water. For oil-based or acrylic paint, scrape off any excess, trying not to spread it.

  2. Apply your paint remover: For water-based paints, apply washing up liquid or laundry detergent, like OMO, to the stain. For oil-based or acrylic paints, dab the stain with paint thinner or alcohol until most of it is gone. For all types of paint, dab the stain very gently with a cloth until the stain has faded.

  3. Clean the garment in your washing machine: put the garment in your washing machine as you would usually do, making sure you follow the garment’s laundry label instructions.

  4. Inspect the stain: once it’s out of the washing machine, inspect the stain. If the paint stain is still visible, repeat steps 1-3.

If the stain has already dried, it can be more difficult to remove. To get rid of excess paint, apply duct tape to stain and rip it off to get rid of dry paint.

So now you can paint away with the knowledge of how to remove paint stains from clothes. Grab your paint brush and unleash your creativity or DIY maestro without having to worry about your clothes ending up in the bin!

  • Identify what type of paint the stain consists of

  • Treat the stain with detergent or paint thinner

  • Use a washing machine to clean the garment fully

Originally published