Common sense tells us that we should wear old clothes when painting, but this is an easily forgotten step in the rush to transform a room. Thankfully, paint can be removed from clothes, especially if you act quickly. This article explains how to remove paint from clothes – both water- and oil-based paints.
Before using any method to remove paint from clothes, remember to:
- Act as fast as possible — Once the paint dries, it will be much more difficult to remove. Work as quickly as you can on the stain. If you can’t get access to the right materials, at least keep the stain wet until you can treat it properly.
- Remove excess paint before treating the stain — Use a spoon or dull knife to scoop up any excess paint from the fabric. Then use an old cloth or tissue to blot gently at the stain and soak up as much of the wet paint as you can. After this, you can start to treat the stain.
- If the paint has already dried, scrape away as much as you can before treating it — Use a dull knife, blade, or hard bristled brush to carefully scrape away the dried paint from the fabric. This will take away a layer or two and make it easier to remove the stain itself.
How to Get Paint Out of Clothes: Water-based Paints
In the meantime, you should find out if the paint is water-based or oil-based. Water-based paints include latex or acrylic paints, but many gloss paints also fall into this category – check the label to find out. If the paint is water-based, your stain will be much easier to remove. Bear in mind that paints vary wildly, and complete stain removal is not always possible – if the method below is unsuccessful, you may want to contact the manufacturer for further instructions. Once you have removed any excess paint from the fabric, just follow these steps:
- Flush the stain with warm water — Flip the fabric so the reverse side of the stain is facing up. Then use a forceful stream of warm water (a kitchen tap is ideal) to flush the stain from the reverse side, trying to wash as much of the paint out away from the garment as you can.
- Treat the stain with laundry liquid and warm water — If you don’t have OMO laundry liquid at hand, you can also use dishwashing liquid in a pinch. Regardless of your cleaning product, it’s essential that you test it on a small inconspicuous area of the fabric first, and always check the labels of both the cleaning product and the garment to ensure that they are compatible. Using a sponge or clean cloth, work the lather into the stain and blot until the paint comes out. You may need to rinse and repeat this process a few times.