How to Get Paint Out of Clothes

Close-up of person holding steel canister over blue jeans stained with white paint.

Whether you paint a picture or paint a wall, the mess of painting is something we all encounter. When the paint dries, you are often left with two things: the finished product and clothes covered in paint.

Don’t let the stress of the mess take away from the project you completed or the art you created.

With our step-by-step instructions for removing different types of paint stains from your clothes, you can spend less time cleaning up and more time appreciating a job well done.

How to Remove Paint From Clothes

Not all paint is created equal. Different types have unique characteristics that require specialized cleaning. From water- and oil-based paints to acrylic and latex, we’ve got you covered.

Water-based paint is an arts and crafts staple. Remove water-based paint from your and your children’s clothes with these quick and easy steps:

  1. Flush the backside of the stained clothing with cold water.
  2. Mix 1 tbsp. dish soap with 10oz water and apply the solution to the stain.
  3. Blot the area with a clean rag.
  4. Launder the clothes in cold water.

With oil-based paint you can achieve that perfect glossy finish that will last. However, with durability comes a more stubborn stain.

Follow these instructions to get even the toughest oil-based paint off your clothes:

  1. Flush the clothes with paint thinner or acetone.
  2. Mix 1 tbsp. dish soap with 10oz water and apply the solution to the stain.
  3. Blot the area with a clean rag.
  4. Pretreat the clothes with stain remover.
  5. Launder the clothes with hot water.

How to Get Acrylic Paint Out of Clothes

Acrylic paint forms a plastic layer on the clothes when it dries, making it more difficult to remove. The quicker you’re able to remove the paint the easier it will be to get out of your clothes. If you’re able to treat the paint before it dries completely, simply flush the paint from the clothes using cold water, pretreat the remaining discoloration with stain remover, and wash with warm water.

If you’re unable to address the paint stains right away, don’t fret! You can still get the paint removed by applying rubbing alcohol, nail polish remover or alcohol-based hairspray to the stain before pretreating and washing the clothes. Just be sure to test the alcohol-based product on an inconspicuous area of the clothes to ensure that it will not cause more harm than good before application.

How to Get Latex Paint Out of Clothes

Latex paint is often preferred for its easier application and quick-drying characteristics. Luckily for your clothes, it’s also less durable than typical acrylic paint and easier to remove. Using the same cleaning method as described for acrylic paint removal should do the trick!

Remember to try the less aggressive pretreatment method first before turning to the alcohol-based products to get out the tough, dried-on paint. This will keep your colors bright and prevent any accidental damage that the alcohol might cause to the wrong fabric type. Remember to always test the alcohol-based product before application!

Need Help Tackling Your Spring Cleaning To Do List?

Now that you know how to clean up the mess from your big spring cleaning paint project, you can move on to checking other cleaning projects off your list! Let the cleaning professionals at Molly Maid give you a head start with a one-time cleaning service. Then, consider setting up a scheduled cleaning service to keep your house clean all year round and save yourself some time on spring-cleaning next year!

Ready to schedule a service? Schedule a free estimate today!