How to Get Paint Out of Clothes
Accidentally adding paint to clothes is an all-too-common dilemma. Your painting project is coming along great, and then – splat – new colorful details find their way onto your favorite shirt. Don’t fret – It isn’t necessarily game over for your wardrobe. Depending on the type of paint, you may be able to get your clothes looking good as new.
Types of Paint
When trying to salvage your clothes, one of the key factors to keep in mind is the type of paint that got onto your garment.
- Oil-based: The toughest paint to remove, oil-based paints can usually only be removed with some serious chemical solvents. Industrial or professional solvents should be used very sparingly and with extreme caution.
- Latex-based: Often water-based, acrylic, or latex paints can be washed with a bit of detergent. However, drying the fabric before this treatment is essential, otherwise the paint could harden, making the stain much more difficult to remove.
- Markers, Pens or Crayons: These types of paint are often composed of waxy solvents. To remove, it’s best to pre-treat the area with a mixture of detergent and an appropriate solvent like rubbing alcohol, mineral spirits, or nail polish remover and then to launder normally.
Cleaning Clothes with Paint
It is important to work quickly once paint has come into contact with clothes in order to maximize the chance of a successful removal.
- Start by scraping off excess paint with a spoon or blunt knife.
- Rinse the paint under cold running water.
- Gently rub fabric softener or resolve onto the paint and let it sit for 15-20 minutes.
- Launder as usual