How to Get Paint Out of Clothes?

It’s inevitable that even when painting in the most careful of ways, there is always the possibility of the odd paint splatter hitting your clothing – especially when you paint the ceiling or walls. Best of Machinery has created an easy to understand guide for you so that you can remove paint from your clothes really easily, simply and fast.

The first thing you need to do is work out what type of paint you have used so that you are using the most effective method for paint eradication. Generally, there are two types of paint used in everyday DIY projects, and these are either oil-based paint or water-based paint.

Removing Paint from your Clothing

Make a rough guestimate as to when you think the paint, no matter what it is made from, may have hit your clothing. The general rule is that the faster you can treat the paint on your clothes the more effective the end result and the more likely you are to be able to remove the paint thoroughly. If it is possible, try to treat the paint covered item of clothing before the paint has time to dry. This is because once the paint has time to adhere to the fibers of your clothing, it is substantially harder to remove.

Paint Spillage

If you get paint on your clothes, no matter the quantity, try and scrape off as much paint as you can as quickly as possible. The reason for this, no matter what type of paint base you are using at the time, is that the paint is less likely to stain your clothing and you are going to dramatically increase the likelihood of removing all traces of paint from your clothes.

This is an essential step especially if you are using acrylic paint, as the plastic, glossy finish is particularly hard to remove as it dries and hardens. Take note of where and when you get paint on yourself and treat the paint covered area of your clothing in the following ways:

Oil Paint Removal

If you have found oil paint on your clothing, there is a simple yet effective way to remove it. On the side of the paint tin, there are often instructions as to how to best remove paint should this happen which it would be a good idea for you to have a quick look at. The best, most effective and successful thing to do is to treat your paint clad clothing with a paint thinner. This can be turpentine or white spirits, and either of these can be found in the local hardware store.

To remove all paint from clothing, turn your item inside out and dab the paint from the back with a clean, dry cloth. Add paint thinner until the stain has vanished. Be sure to protect the surface you are attempting this process on so that you do not damage it – you can just use kitchen roll for this. Once the stain has disappeared, insert your garment into the washing machine and wash as normal, being sure to stick to the washing instructions so as not to shrink your clothing.

Removing Water-Based Paint

Water-based paints, including poster paints and chalk paints, are super easy to eradicate, with impressively high percentage success rates even when the paint has dried. All you need to do is to put your affected item of clothing into the washing machine and adjust the temperature to 40 degrees which is the average wash temperature. If you are worried about the stain, you can rub some washing liquid on to your clothing before you add it to the washing machine so that the detergent can begin to break down the paint.

Acrylic Paint Removal

Acrylic paint is not difficult to remove when it is wet as it is a type of water-based paint, but it increases in its removal difficulty as it dries. To remove wet acrylic paint, all you need to do is put your clothes into the washing machine. If the acrylic paint has dried, you will need to use a cleaner with a base of alcohol within it. This most frequently is something like hairspray or nail varnish remover.

Add the alcohol-based cleaner to a dry clean cloth and apply it to the affected area. The alcohol within this cleaner is effective because it breaks down the plastic type surface created by glossy acrylic paint. Once you have broken this plastic surface down, you can then put your clothing into the washing machine and continue to wash as normal.

Paint Free

Painting is a fun activity for children and a great way for adults to participate in a restoration project within their home. Whatever the reason you are choosing to paint, having a few paint removal tricks up your sleeve is always handy! When it comes to DIY or parenting, you can never be too prepared. Many people assume that once the paint has hit an item of clothing that the clothing must then be discarded but this, as you have just read, is absolutely not the case.

It is very easy for water-based paints to be removed from clothing, simply by washing them at 40 degrees with your usual washing detergent. Oil-based paints require a little more elbow grease as they will require the use of paint thinner to get rid of the paint. Remember, the key to removing any type of paint is to catch it early – the wetter, the better!

About the Author

Bob Robinson has been a tool enthusiast and lawn care expert for the past 11 years. First working with John Deere to reduce their impact on the environment, whilst building his love for writing in his spare time. Now, Bob runs the editorial team at BestofMachinery and tends to his garden in his spare time.

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