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3 Tips for Removing Acrylic Paint From Clothes

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Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you just cannot keep acrylic paint from getting on your clothes. Of course, it is never easy to get acrylic paint out of clothes. But if you do all the right things, you just might salvage your article of clothing.

So, how do you get acrylic paint out of your clothes?

Well, you can scrub it out, try to dissolve it with a solvent, or try to wash it out with water. The steps you take depends on the peculiarity of the stain formed by the acrylic paint.

boys standing at the table and looking attentively at the jars with paints

If you are unsure of what to do when acrylic paint gets on your clothes, read the rest of this article. Herein, we offer tips for removing acrylic paint from clothing.

1. Act Fast

When it comes to acrylic paint stains on clothes, a stitch in time truly saves nine. If acrylic paint gets in your clothing, you must get to removing it ASAP.

Acrylic paint gets dry pretty fast. The longer you wait, the drier it gets, and as it gets drier, it becomes even tougher to get out.

2. Try to Reduce the Amount of Paint on the Clothing Manually

The first step in removing any type of acrylic paint stain is to reduce the quantity of paint on the clothing.

When the Paint Is Wet

If the acrylic paint stain is very fresh, then it will most likely be wet. In such a scenario, you will need some dry paper towels to reduce the amount of paint on the clothing.

  1. When you have the dry paper towel, dab the spot of the wet paint gently. Keep dabbing gently to get as much as you can out.
  2. You can dab with a new spot on the paper towel each time to ensure you keep drawing paint out.
  3. While using the paper towel on your clothing, ensure you do not rub the spot. Rubbing the stain will push the paint deeper into the fabric, making it harder to remove. Just stick to dabbing.

When the Paint Is Dry

When acrylic paint dries on your piece of clothing, the first thing to do to get it out is to scrape the dry paint off.

  1. Before picking an item to scrape the paint off, consider the strength of the fabric. If the cloth is very tough, you can try scraping with a bristled brush, a spoon, or a blunt knife.
  2. However, if the fabric is delicate, you may try scraping the paint off with your fingers. Alternatively, you could use a spoon or a coin but ensure you apply less force.

3. How to Wash the Paint Out

Little hand manually wash white shirt

After removing as much paint as you can from the fabric, proceed to wash the stain out.

When the Paint Is Wet

If the paint is wet, you must be hasty in washing out the stain. If you don’t, it will dry, and you may have to resort to non-water-based chemicals to remove it.

Washing With Warm Water and Soap/Detergent

  1. To wash a wet spill out of your stained fabric, start by placing it under warm running water to flush out as much paint as possible. Alternatively, you may submerse the stained spot in a large bowl of warm water for a few minutes.
  2. Once this is done, prepare a soapy solution in warm water. Then get a sponge or a clean washcloth.
  3. Dip the sponge or washcloth in the solution and use it to dab the stain out. While dabbing vigorously, ensure you do not rub or only rub slightly. Remember, rubbing can spread the blemish.
  4. You should rinse the sponge every few dabbings to ensure you get the dirty soapy water out and introduce a cleaner solution.
  5. You may repeat dabbing with the sponge or washcloth until you are satisfied.
  6. Rinse the fabric thoroughly with clean warm water when you have removed as much paint as you can.
  7. Then wash the piece of clothing the way you would under normal circumstances.

Other Useful Tips for Washing Wet Paint Out

  1. Never use hot water to wash the stain out. The heat from the hot water will hasten the drying process of the paint, making it harder to remove.
  2. In place of soapy water, you may wash the stained spot with solvents like isopropyl alcohol, window cleaner, ammonia + vinegar solution, hair spray, or fingernail polish remover. Just follow the steps above, and you are good.
  3. Soapy water might be the safest option of all the solvents/solutions we mentioned above. It is unlikely to ruin your clothing.
  4. Before trying out any other solvent/solution besides soapy water, you should do a safety check. Apply a few drops of the solvent to a hidden spot on the garment and observe any change. If you do not notice any damage to that fabric, then the solution/solvent should be harmless to it.
Boy in a white T-shirt, stained with paint

When the Paint Is Dry

With dry acrylic paint, there is really no urgency. The pigment is already dry, and non-water chemicals might be your only option.

The process of washing dry paint out of your fabric is the same as what we described above. The only difference is soapy water may not suffice for the cleaning.


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