How to get paint out of clothes: learn to get rid of all kinds of paint

How to get paint out of clothes: learn to get rid of all kinds of paint

When doing painting-related work in the house or elsewhere, one can easily get wet paint on their clothes. Getting rid of such stains from fabrics can be quite daunting, especially once they have dried on. However, you do not need to toss the stained clothes away. Here, you can find some simple steps on how to get paint out of clothes using some easily available tools and products.

how to get latex paint out of clothes
A photo of paint brushes and a stained garment. Photo:, @bilgecangurer
Source: UGC

Before removing any paint smudges from clothes, it is essential to know what paint you are up against. Some paints are water-based, while others are oil-based.

How to get paint out of clothes

Can paint be removed from clothes? Luckily, yes. Here is a look at the necessary steps to remove different paint stains from clothes. Water-based paints typically include acrylic and latex paint, while oil-based ones include linseed (natural) and alkyd (synthetic) oils.

The water-based varieties are normally used for decorating walls and ceilings, while oil-based ones are best for wooden doors, cabinetry and trim. However, they can also be used for walls and ceilings.

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How to get oil paint out of clothes

When cleaning dried-on oil-based smudges, the first step involves softening the stain. To do this, treat the stained spot with a thinning product recommended by the manufacturer. This information can be found on the packaging label.

  • Once the stain is sufficiently wet and soft, scrape off as much of it as possible using a plastic or metal spatula.
  • Get a clean piece of cloth to blot up as much of the residual stain as possible. When doing this, ensure the stained spot does not dry up.
  • Place the stained area face down on white paper towels or a white piece of cloth.
  • Blot the stain with turpentine while periodically replacing the paper towels until no more stains can be removed.
  • Wash the fabric using liquid hand soap and then soak it for about 12 hours.
  • Rinse the fabric and let it air dry.

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How to get water-based paint out of clothes

how to get acrylic paint off of clothes
Assorted water color paints. Photo:, @bodobe
Source: UGC

Water-based paints are largely classified into latex and acrylic variants. These paint variants are widely used on walls. Here is a look at how to get wall paint out of clothes.

How to get acrylic paint off of clothes

Acrylic paint is a quick-drying paint variant made of defoamers, oils, stabilizers, plasticizers, and pigment suspended in an acrylic polymer emulsion. While these variants are water-based, they become water-resistant once they have dried.

Follow these steps to remove acrylic residue from clothing.

  • Scrape off the excess residue using a spatula or spoon.
  • Rinse the stained area gently using warm water.
  • Make a mixture of one part dishwashing soap and one part water.
  • Using a sponge, blot the stain using the water-soap mixture until the residual stain is gone.
  • Use an alcohol-based solvent such as acetone, rubbing alcohol, or nail polish remover for stubborn stains.
  • Wash the fabric in cold water and let it dry.
  • Ensure the stain is completely gone before drying the fabric.

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How to get latex paint out of clothes

Like acrylic paint, latex variants are made from acrylic resin. When fresh, latex paint washes out quite easily. However, this becomes quite the opposite once the stain has dried off. Here are the necessary steps for getting latex stains out of your clothes.

  • Scrape off the excess dried paint using the edge of a spoon.
  • Wash the fabric gently under warm running water to flush off as much of the stain as possible.
  • Make a mixture of one part dish soap and one part water.
  • Sponge the stain with the mixture. Repeat this process until no more of the stain can be removed.
  • If there is still some residual stain, blot it with an alcohol-based solvent such as acetone. When doing this, make sure not to use such solvents on fabrics containing triacetate or acetate.
  • Launder as you normally would.

How to get dried paint out of clothes

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Here is a look at the steps to take when removing dried-on paint from fabric.

When the stain has dried onto fabric, the first step in removing it involves scraping it off using a dull knife, spoon, or spatula. When doing this, take care not to damage the fabric layer beneath the stain.

  • Rinse the affected area with warm water and then apply a mixture of warm water and detergent.
  • For light stains, the above steps should sufficiently do the work.
  • For heavier stains, you will probably have residual stains even after cleaning with detergent. In this case, spray the affected area with rubbing alcohol or hairspray. You can also use nail polish remover.
  • The alcohol in these products will loosen the smudge, making the spot easier to clean.
  • Once the residue loosens, lift it off using a dull knife or spoon.
  • Use warm or hot water to clean the fabric (only if the manufacturer’s directions allow this) and push any residual stains out.
  • It is worth noting that hot water should only be used when removing dried-on stains. Doing so on fresh stains will only speed up the drying process, making the stain harder to clean.

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How to get emulsion paint out of clothes

how to get dried paint out of clothes
Cans of different paints. Photo:, @Free-Photos
Source: UGC

Emulsion paint can be water-based or oil-based and is characterized by the addition of vinyl or acrylic to make it more durable. When removing such smudges from clothes, the first and perhaps most important step is figuring out whether the paint is oil or water-based.

Most gloss paints are water-based, although this is not a guarantee that you will not come across oil-based variants. Here are the steps for removing these stains.

  • Act fast. Typically, emulsion paint is significantly easier to clean when wet than when dry.
  • If possible, keep the stained area wet until you have time to clean it.
  • For oil-based paints, use a thinning compound on the stain. Turpentine is among the most common options when it comes to this.
  • Lay the fabric on a flat surface with the stained side facing downwards. Dab some thinner onto the affected area. When using removers and thinners, always ensure that the material can withstand the solvents. Synthetic fabrics such as rayon cannot withstand the component chemicals in products such as turpentine and spirit.
  • Once the stain is gone, wash the fabric with water and detergent. Feel free to use hot water in this case since most or all the stain is gone.
  • Launder as you normally would.

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Does vinegar remove paint from clothing?

Vinegar is a safe, effective, and inexpensive way to get rid of dried-in smudges from fabric. Unlike solvents such as acetone, turpentine and polish remover, vinegar is considered environmentally friendly.

To remove stains using vinegar, apply hot or warm vinegar on the affected spot to lift off the residue. However, keep in mind that vinegar might damage some fibres, especially those made from synthetic materials.

How to remove paint from clothes with baking soda

Baking soda is a well-known paint remover for clothes. To use, make a paste with baking soda and warm water in the ratio of two to one. Apply the pasty mixture onto the affected area and let it sit for about an hour. During this time, the paste will begin to dry while lifting the smudge stain off the fabric.

Figuring out how to get paint out of clothes is essential, especially for people who regularly work in decoration, renovation, and art spaces. Luckily, there are several methods one can use to get rid of different paint stains from fabric.

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Luckily, coconut oil comes in handy towards combating some of these problems, resulting in naturally whitened skin. The oil has numerous skin-friendly compounds that work in sync to lighten one’s skin.


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