How to Remove Paint from Clothing: Water and Oil-Based Stains

How to Remove Paint from Clothing: Water and Oil-Based Stains

Remove Paint from Clothing, Water-Based Paint Stains, Oil-Based Paint Stains, Latex Paint, Acrylic Paint, Cleaning Tips, Fabric Stain Removal

Accidental spills and splatters while painting at home or with kids can quickly lead to paint stains on your clothing. Paint stains on fabric are notoriously difficult to remove, and once they set in, it can be a disaster. However, there are numerous effective methods for cleaning them without much difficulty. Here's a guide on how to proceed based on the type of water-based and oil-based paint.

Removing Oil-Based Paint Stains

Removing oil-based paint stains from clothing requires a specific approach due to the nature of the product. Here's a step-by-step process using readily available materials:


- Paint thinner

- Dishwashing liquid

- Pre-wash stain remover

- Clean white cloths or paper towels

1. Begin by scraping off any excess paint. If the stain is still wet, use a clean white cloth to blot the area. If the paint has dried, carefully remove the paint residue using a hard tool.

2. Rinse the garment under running water for an initial rinse before proceeding to the next step.

3. Place a stack of paper towels or clean cloths on a table.

4. Turn the garment inside out and lay it on the prepared surface.

5. Dampen a cloth with paint thinner and gently dab the stain. The paint will gradually seep into the towels or cloths.

6. If the stain is no longer visible, apply dishwashing liquid to the affected area, vigorously scrub, and then soak the fabric in a basin of water.

7. Allow the garment to soak overnight.

8. The next day, rinse and wash the garment as usual. If the stain persists, treat it with a pre-wash stain remover before washing it again.

Removing Water-Based Paint Stains

Water-based paints, commonly used for interior wall decoration, are easier to remove from fabric. Here's how to tackle these types of stains:

Latex Paint

To remove latex paint stains from fabric, you will need the following materials:

- Dishwashing liquid

- Warm water

- Acetone

- Sponge

1. Quickly turn the garment inside out and rinse the inner part with warm water. If the paint has already dried, scrape off any excess product using a spoon or another hard object.

2. In a bowl, prepare a stain-removing solution by mixing equal parts of dishwashing liquid and warm water.

3. Dip a sponge into the soapy solution and use it to scrub the stained area.

4. Thoroughly rinse the fabric. Repeat the previous steps until the stain is completely removed.

5. If the stain persists, dampen the sponge with acetone. This substance is effective in eliminating stubborn and persistent stains.

6. Once the stain is gone, rinse the garment again and hand or machine wash it as usual.

Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paint, another type of water-based paint, is a blend of pigments and synthetic resins. While it dries quickly, it can be effectively removed from fabric using the following method:


- Dishwashing liquid

- Warm water

- Sponge

1. Rinse the paint stain by running water over the affected area or by scraping the stained part.

2. Vigorously scrub the stain with a mixture of equal parts dishwashing liquid and warm water until it completely disappears.

3. Repeat the process if necessary.

4. Rinse the fabric and proceed with a regular machine wash. Your garment will be as good as new!

Useful Tips for Removing Paint Stains from Clothing

- Always check the paint can label for cleaning instructions and follow the garment's care label for washing instructions.

- Avoid rubbing the paint stain. Instead, gently pat the area to prevent spreading the paint to other parts of the fabric.

- Never mix paint-stained clothing with other laundry, as the paint can stain other fabrics and cause irreversible damage.

- If the stain persists, consider seeking professional dry cleaning services.

Preventing Future Paint Stains on Clothing

The best way to avoid paint stains on clothing is to wear protective garments before starting any painting project. For example, dedicated aprons or old clothes are your best options to prevent such mishaps.

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