If you do DIY, or want to let your kids be creative, then paint stains are going to be a common occurrence. Coupled with that, it’s not always clear just how to get paint out of clothes. Treat each paint type appropriately, however, and paint stains can be tackled like any other.
Removing Paint from Clothes: Different Solvents
There are two main types of paint: oil-based and water-based. The best way of getting paint out of clothes depends on what type the stain is and whether it’s wet or dry. For example, while water, being electrically charged, is an excellent solvent for most things, it’s useless for shifting non-charged grease, which is where the soap and detergents we all know and love come in. However, in the case of paints, it’s often slightly trickier than that.
Removing Paint from Clothes: Water-based Paint
Acrylic, emulsion, and poster paints are usually more common than their oil-based counterparts and it’s easier to remove such paints from clothes. So we’ll start with them first.
- First get as much paint off the clothes as you can. Gently lifting off with a spoon or knife is a good way to achieve this. Try to avoid pressing the paint down into the fibres.
- Flush the garment with water from the side opposite to the paint. Try to hold the garment so that the stream of paint water doesn’t touch any other part of it.
- Dab the area with a cloth, but don’t rub at it.
- Mix up a 50:50 solution of water and detergent, such as Omo Liquid and gently work at the stain using a sponge. Repeat several times.
- If the stain persists, use a small amount of nail varnish remover to blot again. (Not suitable for certain synthetic fabrics – always check the care label first.)
- Launder in the washing machine as normal.
- Scrape off the bulk of the paint using a butter knife or blunted kitchen one.
- Using a stiff brush, work out some of the finer paint particles.
- Soak in a 50:50 mixture of water and detergent for 20 minutes.
- Gently work at the stain using a sponge.
- Launder as normal, making sure to follow the garment’s care instructions.