How to Remove Paint from Clothes and Fabric


Painting is full of fun and joy. But sometimes, it creates a lot of mess only a painter can understand.

One of the big problems is getting paint splashes on the dress. Although, regular painters don’t care a lot about it because they better know to deal with such situations. But for a newbie, it could be challenging to handle it.

Is it Possible to Remove Paint from Clothes?

Although it is possible to get paint out of clothes, it could be challenging to remove it, as it takes some time and labor. However, there are many ways to remove paint from clothes in easy steps. When you face such a situation, take immediate steps to remove it before it gets dry.

Moreover, removing paint from clothes not just relies on how quickly you take action. But it also depends on the type of paint and the type of cloth you are treating. Removing paint from jeans and removing paint from cotton may require different methods and consume different periods for the same paint type.

How to Remove Paint from Clothes?

If you were doing painting and ended up in such a situation, don’t worry about it. Here you will learn the best home remedies to deal with paint stains without making it big trouble.

Method 1. Wash with Warm Water

Latex paint or Water-based paint is not harder to remove from cloth. Even you can remove it simply by washing the clothes with warm water. To do so, just follow the simple steps below.

    1. Reverse your garment inside out.
    2. Flush out with warm running water onto the reversed side.
    3. Place a paper towel beneath the stain to soak as much paint as possible.

Mixing the baking soda in warm water helps to clean the clothes better. So it is better to add some baking soda before flushing the fabric with water.

Best For: This method is best to remove water-based paint from clothes.
Try to Avoid: Don’t try this method on oil-based paint. It can create a mess making it more difficult to remove paint from cloth.


Method 2. Wash with Dishwashing Liquid

Stubborn stains do not get removed without soap or detergent. Using a dishwashing liquid can help you get rid of paint stains from your clothes. Follow the procedure below to try this method.

    1. Wash the stained cloth with warm water.
    2. Dab the stain with a piece of cloth soaked in dishwashing liquid.
    3. Let the solution sit in the fabric.
    4. Rinse the stained cloth with water and let it dry.

You can also apply dishwasher detergent directly to the stain. To do so, put detergent on the stained area and soak the garments overnight in warm and soapy water.

By doing so, detergent or dishwasher soap will adhere to the paint and perform its job. Check for the suggested water temperature for washing the item.

If you do not have dishwashing liquid, you can also use vinegar as it is a natural paint remover. But it may harm your clothes, so it is best to use a dishwashing detergent if available.

Best For: This method is best to get acrylic paint out of clothes. However, you can also try this for any water-based paint.
Try to Avoid: Don’t try this method for any oil-based paint.


Method 3. Use Rubbing Alcohol

Paint will stick onto the cloth if not treated in time. It will dry out, making it more difficult to remove.

Rubbing alcohol is one of the most tried and proven methods to remove water-based and oil-based paint from a cloth. To do so, follow the simple steps below.

    1. Soak an old toothbrush in rubbing alcohol.
    2. Scrub the toothbrush on the paint spot.
    3. Wash the stained area with warm water.
    4. Repeat the process if necessary.

Best For: This method is best for white or colorless cloth.
Try to Avoid: Don’t use rubbing alcohol on colored clothes as it can dull their color.


Method 4. Use Nail Polish Remover

You can also use nail polish remover to get paint out of clothes. It works similar to the working of rubbing alcohol. It is also one of the most common ways to remove latex or acrylic paint stain.

To remove the paint using a nail polish remover, follow the steps below.

    1. Soak the cloth in the nail polish remover.
    2. Bloat the stain and wash the fabric with warm water to clean the paint.
    3. Let it dry and see if the stain gets removed.

It is better to rinse the affected fabric before laundering. Put it into the washer with other clothes, and wash on the typical cycle, on the most sweltering temperature showed. Take off the cloth from the water and give the stained region one final scour.

The wash cycle should eliminate any leftover paint. However, make sure it gets removed before you dry your attire. Otherwise, the dried stain will be harder to dismiss.

Best For: This method is best for all washable fabrics.
Try to Avoid: Don’t use this method if the fabric contains acetate or triacetate. As nail polish remover contains acetone, it can damage such fabric.


Method 5. Use Kerosene Oil or Turpentine

Oil-based paints are much harder to remove than water-based paints, especially when dried out. But still, they can get eliminated with a little bit of know-how.

If you are specifically looking for a solution to get dried paint out of clothes, follow the steps below.

    1. Turn the garment inside out.
    2. Then place a paper towel beneath it.
    3. Smear the stain from the back with turpentine or kerosene oil until no more paint comes off.
    4. If the stain still exists, repeat the process.

Best For: This method is safe and best for cotton clothing.
Try to Avoid: Don’t use this method on a delicate or synthetic garment like nylon, rayon, or polyester. Turpentine and kerosene can ruin its color, and sometimes they can even cause damage to it.


Safety Measures and Precautions

  • Always test your cleaning solution in an unnoticed region to ensure that it does not harm the cloth in any way.
  • Do not rub or scrape the cloth with too much energy. It can cause damage to it.
  • For washing, use a friendly solution according to the type of cloth. Such that, use a nylon-friendly detergent for washing nylon.
  • Always wear a face mask while using turpentine or kerosene oil.
  • Use dry spotters, as they can easily absorb fat and oil stains. They perform exceptionally well when stains are damp.


How to Avoid Paint Stains while Painting Next Time?

It is not possible to protect your clothes from paint stains while painting. However, there are some alternative steps you can take to do so.

While painting, it is best to wear a dress that you don’t like to utilize anymore. If you don’t have such a dress, choose to wear an apron. So that if you get some paint splashes on them, you don’t feel any pain.

If you are professional or fond of painting, always keep an alternative bunch of garments with yourself. It might get handy in such a situation.

Final Thoughts

Removing paint from clothes is not a difficult task. However, you need to perform it with care and attention. Taking any step without proper knowledge and safety measures can ruin your clothes.

Whenever you face such situations, keep calm and look for a proper method to remove paint from clothes. Perform each step with attention and precautions to avoid an embarrassing result.

If you follow one of these methods correctly, you will get excellent results, or at least, you can make your clothes wearable again.