It takes just a millisecond to brush up against a freshly painted wall, only to find a stain on your clothes later. Your best outfit ruined?

And if you’re doing the painting and you’ve dressed in old clothing just in case, you might still find a blotch of paint somewhere that you wish wasn’t there. Meeting a paint stain just seems unavoidable.

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Regardless of how the stain got there, it might seem like a pretty tough job to get rid of it. So, how to get paint out of clothes?

intro how to get paint out of clothes

The cleaning rule of thumb applies – the quicker you get to it, the better! Work as quickly as possible to prevent the stain from drying and hardening. You’ll get the best results removing a stain while it is still wet.

However, when dealing with a paint stain, it is important to know whether the paint is water-based or oil-based. Water-based paint is easiest to remove from clothing. While dealing with oil-based paint stain can take more work, it isn’t impossible to remove.

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Here are some easy, tried-and-true methods you can use to get paint out of your clothes.

Water-Based Paints

Method 1: Use Warm Water and Laundry Detergent

before and after of using liquid detergent

Step 1. Turn the fabric stain-side down and flush with warm water

flush the cloth with water

  • Flip the fabric over so the paint stain is facing down.
  • Over a bowl or in a sink, use a forceful stream of warm water to wash away as much paint as possible.

Alternatively, you can soak the stained area of the fabric in water for a few minutes to make the paint damp.

Step 2. Dilute the detergent with warm water

dilute the detergent with water

  • Pour 2 tablespoons of liquid laundry detergent in a bowl.
  • Add 1 cup of warm water to it.
  • Mix them together well.

Step 3. Soak the fabric in the solution for 10 minutes

soak the fabric in diluted detergent

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  • Soak the stained fabric in the detergent solution for 10 minutes.

Step 4. Gently rub the stain out

rub the stain to remove it

  • Gently rub the stain with your hands to loosen it.
  • Rinse it off.
  • Rub and rinse again as needed, until the entire stain is gone.

final remove paint stain from clothes using laundry detergent

Method 2: Use Rubbing Alcohol

before and after of using rubbing alcohol

Things you’ll need:

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things you'll need to remove paint stain from clothes using rubbing alcohol

  • Rubbing alcohol – 1 cup
  • Cleaning brush

Step 1. Pour rubbing alcohol into a bowl

pour rubbing alcohol in a bowl

  • Pour about 1 cup of rubbing alcohol into a bowl.

Step 2. Soak the stained fabric

soak the fabric in rubbing alcohol

  • Dip the stained area of the fabric in the rubbing alcohol to break down the dried paint.

Step 3. Scrub and rinse the stain

scrub and rinse the stain

  • Rub the stained area with a cleaning brush until the paint starts to come off.
  • Rinse with water to clean off any residue.
  • Finish with a final wash in detergent and water, then dry it as usual.

Alternatively for wet paint stains, blot the stain with rubbing alcohol. Use a toothbrush to scrub the stain off. The bristles of a toothbrush will provide the abrasiveness and precision needed to remove a wet stain. Scrubbing away at the stain should produce results within a minute of exertion.

final remove paint stain from clothes using rubbing alcohol

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Method 3: Use Hair Spray

before and after of using hair spray

Things you’ll need:

things you'll need to remove paint stain from clothes using hair spray

  • Hair spray
  • Cleaning brush

Step 1. Squirt the hair spray on the stained fabric

squirt hair spray on the stain

  • Liberally spray some hair spray on the paint stain.

Step 2. Scrub the stain with a cleaning brush

scrub the stain with a cleaning brush

  • Scrub the stain with a cleaning brush.
  • Repeat until the stain is removed.

Step 3. Rinse with water

rinse with water

  • Run the fabric under water to clean off any paint residue.

final remove paint stain with hair spray

Method 4: Use Ammonia and Hydrogen Peroxide

before and after using ammonia on paint stain

Things you’ll need:

things you'll need to use ammonia to remove paint stain from clothes

  • Hydrogen peroxide – 1 cup
  • Ammonia – 1 cup
  • Salt – a handful
  • Water
  • Cleaning sponge

Step 1. Soak the fabric in water for 5 minutes

soak the fabric in water

  • Soak the stained part of the clothing in cold water for 5 minutes.
  • Make sure the fabric is thoroughly saturated with water.

Step 2. Wring out any excess water

  • Wring out any excess water from the soaked fabric.

Step 3. Mix hydrogen peroxide, ammonia and salt to form a cleaning solution

mix hydrogen peroxide with amonia and salt

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  • Pour 1 cup of ammonia into a bowl.
  • Add a handful of salt to it.
  • Add 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide to the mixture.
  • Mix the ingredients well.

Step 4. Dip a sponge in the solution and scrub the stain

dip a sponge in solution and scrub the stain

  • Saturate a sponge in the homemade cleaning solution.
  • Scrub the fabric with the sponge to lift out the stain.
  • You will see immediate results as the stain fades away. Repeat until the stain is gone completely.
  • Finish with a usual wash with detergent and water, then dry as usual.

final remove paint stain using ammonia

Oil-Based Paint

Method 1: Use Turpentine

Another effective method for removing oil-based paint stains is using turpentine. Turpentine solidifies the stain, thus allowing most of the stain to easily peel off.

Things you’ll need:

things you'll need to use turpentine to remove paint stain from clothes

  • Turpentine
  • Cleaning brush

#For Wet Paint Stains

Step 1. Saturate the stain with turpentine

saturate the stain with turpentine

  • Place the stained side of the fabric facing down in a bowl so that the stain lies at the center.
  • Pour turpentine over the fabric so that the stained area is saturated.

Step 2. Soak for 1 hour and clean with detergent

soak for an hour and clean with detergent

  • Soak the fabric in turpentine for 1 hour or until the paint comes off.
  • Give it a final wash with detergent.

final wet paint stain from cloth using turpentine

#For Dry Paint Stains

Step 1. Position the stained area of the fabric in a bowl

put stained cloth in a bowl

  • Place the fabric stain-side down in a bowl.

You can use a knife or a sharp object to scrape off the dried paint before soaking it in turpentine.

Step 2. Pour turpentine over the stain and let it soak

pour turpentine over the stain

  • Pour turpentine over the stain, enough to saturate it.
  • Let the fabric soak in the turpentine for 3 to 4 hours or until the paint comes out.

Step 3. Scrub with a cleaning brush

scrub with a cleaning brush

  • Rub off any remaining residue with a cleaning brush.
  • Finish with one final scrub and rinse with laundry detergent.

Note: Be careful while using turpentine. It may cause the color of the fabric to fade.

final remove dry paint stain usinh ammonia

Tips

  • As paint dries quickly, the quicker you deal with a paint stain, the more likely you are to successfully remove it.
  • Unless it is a grease stain, cold water is best for removing the stain.
  • Prior to using a paint thinner like turpentine on a piece of cloth, test it on a small area first. It might cause the fabric to lose color.
  • Before beginning any stain-removal technique, thoroughly read the cleaning instructions on the piece of clothing. The fabric might be delicate and require dry cleaning.
  • Follow safety measures and wear gloves, as some detergents might cause an allergic reaction or have an adverse effect on your skin.
  • To prevent paint from getting on your clothes, wear an extra piece of cloth on top, such as an apron.
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