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How to Remove Paint Stains From Clothes

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There’s no need to throw away a garment when we’ve stained it with paint. While the best solution is to wear old clothes when handling paint, there are a few effective ways to remove paint stains from clothes. Keep in mind that choosing the best technique will depend on the type of paint your clothes were stained with. Also, make sure you take the necessary precautions when handling paint thinner and read the label on the garment to avoid damaging it.


5-Minute Crafts shows you how to remove different types of paint stains from your clothes.

1. Acrylic paint (dry stain)

If the paint has already dried on the garment you’re trying to clean, it will be a little more difficult to remove.

What you’ll need:

  • A metal spoon
  • A jar of cold water
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Washing machine
  • Detergent

Instructions:

  1. Pour rubbing alcohol directly onto the stain. The alcohol will help break up the dry paint a bit and make it easier to remove it.
  2. Scrape carefully with the metal spoon. Repeat on all visible stains.
  3. Soak the garment in cold water for approximately 15 minutes.
  4. Wash the garment with detergent.

2. Acrylic paint (fresh stain)

A stain made with water-based or acrylic paint is the easiest type of stain to clean as long as the paint is still fresh.

What you’ll need:

  • Warm water
  • Clothes brush
  • 1 cup ammonia
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 handful of salt
  • Detergent
  • Washing machine

Instructions:

  1. Place the garment under the running faucet with warm water.
  2. Mix ammonia, white vinegar, and salt in a large enough container. Then place some of the mix on the stain and rub using a clothes brush. However, be careful to use the mix only in the area where the stains are. That’s to avoid the stains from getting bigger.
  3. Put the clothes in the washing machine with detergent to remove what’s left of the paint. This should be enough to clean the garment thoroughly.

3. Oil-based paint (dry stain)

This is the most complicated stain to get out. You’ll have to use paint thinner. Read the label to know all the safety information when working with this solvent.

What you’ll need:

  • A metal spoon
  • Paint thinner
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • A bottle of cold water
  • Sponge
  • Detergent
  • Washing machine

Instructions:

  1. Perform the procedure to remove dried acrylic paint stains, as we mentioned before, in point 1.

2. Place the garment on a cloth and add thinner to the stain; make sure it’s well spread and rub with a sponge.

3. Soak the garment in soapy water made with detergent and leave it for approximately 8 hours.

Note: If there are still traces of paint, add detergent directly to the stain and wash at a high temperature or as hot as the garment can take.

4. Oil-based paint (fresh stain)

To remove these types of stains, you also need to use thinner. Make sure you are in a properly ventilated area before starting the procedure.

What you’ll need:

  • Paint thinner
  • A metal spoon
  • A towel
  • Detergent
  • Washing machine

Instructions:

  1. Place a towel under the garment.
  2. Carefully apply the thinner so that it covers the paint stain.
  3. With a metal spoon, gently scrape it off.
  4. Wash the garment to remove what’s left of the paint.
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