How to Get Paint Out of Clothes Easily (In-Depth 2022 Guide)

We’ve all been in a situation where we either painted something or just observed someone else painting, and we just couldn’t avoid getting paint on our clothes!

So, next time you notice a splatter on your shirt or jeans, you’ll have this guide to show you how to get paint out of clothes in a few simple steps. Read on to find out more.

How to Get Acrylic Paint Out of Clothes

Often used in craft projects, including painting on canvas or wood, acrylic paint is commonly favored by both amateurs and professionals.

However, if you stain your clothes with it, you must act quickly since dried acrylic paint is difficult to remove. Here’s what you should do:

  • The first step is to try to remove as much paint as possible. If the paint is still wet, you can dab it off with a paper towel, while if it has dried, you can use the back of a knife to scrape it off or even try removing it with a strong duct tape.
  • Use cold or warm water to rinse the paint stains. Be careful not to use hot water since it will only set the stain.
  • The next step is to soak the clothes in a mixture of warm water and dish soap or laundry detergent and leave it there for half an hour.
  • If the stain endures, soak it with an alcohol-based product such as rubbing alcohol, and then use a microfiber cloth or a sponge and blot the stain gently.
  • Wash the garment in chilly water again to clear the last specks of paint on clothes, and only when the clothes are clean can you air dry them.

How to Get Latex Paint Out of Clothes

Latex paint is easy to use and dries very quickly, which is why it can be challenging to remove from clothes.

However, since we know that by doubling the amount of time we wear each garment, we could lower greenhouse gas emissions by 44%, keeping our clothes wearable is not just a matter of sentimentality.

The good news is that there are effective methods of getting latex paint off your clothes. Read on to find out the necessary steps.

  • If the paint is still wet, you need to act fast and place paper towels or a pad of clean rags under the stain. Then scoop off the paint with a butter knife or a spoon, flush it under warm water, and dry it out carefully with clean, dry paper towels.
  • Even if you are dealing with dried latex paint, you should still do everything explained above. Next, pour either a small amount of ammonia or a mix of dish soap and warm water onto the stain, and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  • If you used ammonia, wash the clothes in cold water. Alternatively, you’ll need warm water if you tried cleaning the clothes with dish soap. If the paint remains, you can repeat this technique as many times as needed. 
  • If nothing else works and you are still left wondering how to get rid of dry paint on clothes, the last thing you could do is apply a small amount of acetone, scrub it with a used toothbrush, and blot it with water. But note that you shouldn’t use acetone (or turpentine) on fabrics containing acetate or triacetate, or else the fibers could melt. Likewise, always wear gloves if you intend to use anything stronger than dish soap.

How to Get Oil Paint Out of Clothes

The paints based on oil have a strong smell, but they are more durable than others, which is why they are typically used on areas that get a lot of wear. Oil-based paint is a popular choice for woodwork, furniture, and doors, but it may be a bit difficult to remove.

These are the steps you need to follow to remove the paint from your clothes effectively.

  • Scratch off extra paint with the back of a knife, turn the clothes inside out, and put paper towels on the back of the stain so that the color doesn’t seep out into the fabric. 
  • Blot the stain with paint thinner or the turpentine recommended on the paint can label until no more paint comes off. Keep doing that until the stain is gone. Note that you should be outdoors when trying to remove oil-based paint from clothes since paint thinner and turpentine are prone to evaporation. 
  • Apply dishwasher detergent to the paint and soak the clothes in warm, soapy water overnight. Rinse them thoroughly the next day, and then wash them as you usually would.

How to Get Fabric Paint Out of Clothes

The most important thing about removing fabric paint from clothes is not to iron them or wash them in hot water, as the heat will only set the stain (unless you’re dealing with cold-process dyes, like those found in high-quality tie-dye kits).

Moreover, since fabric paint is specifically designed to adhere to the fabric, you should treat the stain while the paint is still wet. When it comes to removing it, just follow the next steps, and you will succeed: 

  • If you’re dealing with wet paint, you just need to scrape it off with a spoon and wash the clothes in detergent mixed with cold water. But, if you don’t get there in time, you still need to know how to get paint out of clothes if it’s already dry.
  • First, scrape off as much paint as you can. Hopefully, you will manage to remove most of the paint manually with a butter knife or a brass wire brush.
  • In order to soften the remaining paint, you need to apply a couple of drops of alcohol, turpentine, or mineral spirits directly to the paint, let it sit for several minutes, and blot the stain with a dry cloth. If you are dealing with a stubborn stain, you can leave the alcohol in a bit longer to ensure it will get the paint out of your clothes.
  • In case you do not own any of these products, you can use hairspray, an acetone-based nail polish remover, or buy a cleaning product that is specifically designed for removing the type of paint you are dealing with. Likewise, if you have a versatile first aid kit, you might be able to find some of the items you need there.
  • Wash the garment with a mild detergent in cold water and let it dry once you are sure you managed to remove paint from clothes.

How to Get Spray Paint Out of Clothes

The first thing with spray paint before you start removing it is to check whether it is oil-based or water-based. These are the cleaning steps for the first option:

  • With paper towels or clean cloths, blot the stain before you rinse it with warm water.
  • The next move is to get some turpentine, WD-40, or hairspray and gently spray the stain. Leave it there for 10 minutes, and then use a clean cloth or a used toothbrush to rub the stain.
  • If necessary, repeat the process; if not, wash and dry the clothes on a hot water cycle.
  • If you are wondering what removes spray paint based on water, the process is almost the same. However, instead of using turpentine, hairspray, or WD-40, you should try a mixture of cold water and dish soap.

How to Get Water-Based Paint Out of Clothes

As opposed to oil-based, water-based paints are relatively easy to remove from your clothes. 

  • As is the case with every paint stain, you should first scrape off as much as you can, using a dull knife, brush, or spoon, and then flush the backside of the stain with warm water.
  • Then, mix laundry detergent or dish soap with warm water, use a clean cloth or paper towel to blot the water-based paint stain, and rinse. You can repeat this step several times.
  • Launder the clothing item as you usually would. If the stain is still there after washing, make sure not to put it in the dryer since the heat will set the paint.


How to get dried paint out of clothes

Although it is always better to treat the stain while the paint is still wet, you can remove the dried paint effectively with a little bit of effort. First, you need to know the sort of paint you are dealing with. Removing oil-based paint is not the same as removing acrylic or latex paint.

Depending on the material, you can use all kinds of cleansers to loosen the paint and then scrub it off with a butter knife, spoon, or toothbrush.

After that, you need to rinse it with cold or warm water — once again depending on what material you are dealing with — and then wash the clothes as you usually would.

Does vinegar remove paint from clothing?

Besides using hairspray, alcohol, or ammonia, vinegar is another option for removing paint from clothes. You just need to let it soak in the stain for several minutes, rinse it, and launder the clothes as you usually would.

If you’re wondering what gets paint out of clothes even better, you can mix vinegar and ammonia with a pinch of salt and try this out.

Can you get permanent paint out of clothes?

Acrylic paint is the most effective permanent paint for clothes, as it can dry fast and is waterproof. As you can see in the text above, there is a way to remove acrylic paint on clothes by using cold or warm water, dish soap or laundry detergent, and alcohol-based products.

Does baking soda remove paint from clothes?

Baking soda, on its own, is not an excellent cleaner that can remove paint stains. However, you can mix it with dish soap, laundry detergent, or rubbing alcohol, and you will get impressive results.

The Bottom Line

If you have been wondering how to get paint out of clothes, we hope that this guide has demonstrated that you probably already have everything you need in your home. Just follow the steps carefully, and you should manage to restore some of your favorite clothing items in no time.

Jelena holds a bachelor's degree in English language and literature. Although she wanted to be an English teacher, Jelena found herself in creative writing. She loves to travel and wander around unfamiliar places, while in her spare time, she loves watching movies, reading books, playing with her two dogs, and discovering new music.