Getting a room or house repainted? Attending art classes? There’s a good chance that the paint is going to spill on your clothes. This is one of the most common problems that people face every so often and stress over, often dumping their clothes without really knowing that the solution to this is rather simple. This article will explain detailed steps on how to remove paint out of clothes (both water-based and oil-based) and offer useful tips when dealing with this matter. 

Know Which Type of Paint You’re Dealing With

Reading labels on clothing is necessary, as you want to prevent the fabric from possible damage. Make sure your paint-removing method will not damage your clothes.

Oil-based paints are generally easier to remove because they don’t dry quickly. However, once dried, they’ll be very difficult to clean and remove. They also tend to get messy at times. Water-based paints are used after being mixed in water and tend to dry faster.

The solution to getting paint out of clothes might solely rely on the type of paint and fabric being targeted. The trick to getting paint out of fabrics properly is to attempt to remove it while it’s still damp. As the paint dries, it might dissolve into the cloth and automatically become much more difficult to clean out. 

How to Get Paint Out of Clothes: Water-Based Paint

  • If the paint is still wet. Since acrylic paints tend to dry quicker than oil-based paints, any paint splatters or stains should be acted upon while still wet. Still, they are rather easy to remove. For the removal of acrylic paint stains from clothes, flip the piece of fabric inside out and wash the area with cold or lukewarm water until it disappears.

  • If the paint has dried, you will need rubbing alcohol, cotton balls and some small equipment to scrape off the paint. Soak a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and rub the stained spot until it starts to vanish. Afterwards, use a scraping tool, such as a wooden stick or a bristle brush, to scrape off the access. Lastly, toss the fabric in the washing machine and dry it off as usual.

  • If the above option is not effective, dishwashing soaps can be useful alternatives. Simply mix dishwasher soap in lukewarm water and scrub the area with a sponge, and then rinse off once the stain is gone. In place of dishwashing soaps, hairsprays can also be used.

How to Get Paint Out of Clothes: Oil-Based Paint

For oil-based paints, prevent washing the area affected. Instead, purchase an oil solvent. These are liquids that dissolve to form discrete mixtures. Apply the oil solvent to the affected area and scrub off with another fabric, such as a towel. If the oil stain still shows, keep repeating the process until it diminishes. Afterwards, soak the material in cold water mixed with dishwasher soap to get rid of any grease.

Another way is to apply turpentine on the affected area with a sponge, in slow and gentle pats. This will allow the paint to easily peel off as the turpentine will solidify the stain. Afterwards, wash the piece of cloth as usual. However, be careful when using turpentine as the paint thinner might cause the color of the fabric to fade; always experiment on a small area first so that your clothing items are not damaged.

Video: Housekeeping Tips-- How to Remove Paint From Clothes

  • As paint tends to dry quickly, it should be acted upon while still wet.
  • Cold water is preferable for removing the stain compared to warm water, as it gets rid of the grease effectively.
  • Prior to using a paint thinner on a piece of cloth, apply it on a small area first as it might cause the fabric to lose color.
  • Before attempting any kind of stain-removal technique, thoroughly read the instructions beforehand, as the fabric might be frail and should be looked after by dry cleaners.
  • Prevent scrubbing or scraping the fabric harshly; this might cause some delicate fabrics to lose their colors.
  • Some detergents might cause an allergy or have an adverse reaction to your skin; therefore, it’s necessary to follow safety measures.
  • Getting rid of stains on washable material is easier.
  • To prevent paint from getting on your clothes, wear an extra piece of cloth on top, such as an apron.

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