How to remove dried paint from clothes in a few steps
Life is messy, hands get dirty and at some point, someone is going to splatter their shirt or jeans with paint.
And with all you’ve got going on, the last thing you want to do is try to remove dried paint. But you don’t have to toss your favorite outfit just yet. Although it may take a little bit of work, it’s possible to get dried paint out of clothes in just a few steps; both manual and using your washing machine.
Removing water-based paints (like acrylic and latex)
Between weekend crafts and school projects, these paints are probably as common in your household as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. And even though the kids tend to finger paint their papers and their clothes, the good news is that water-based paint is relatively easy to remove.
Now you both can breathe a sigh of relief because her unicorn dress is not destined for the trash.
How to Remove Paint From Clothes (Latex and Acrylic)
Scrape off as much excess dried paint as you can with a spoon, dull knife or brush.
Flush the back side of the stain with warm running water. (With Whirlpool brand’s built-in water faucet, you can do this right in the washer.) Or, you can blot it with a clean rag or paper towel to absorb as much of the remaining paint as possible.
Saturate the stain with a mix of half detergent, half warm water and blot it vigorously with a rag or paper towel. Rinse and repeat until the paint is gone or no longer coming up.
Spot test a small, hidden part of the garment first to ensure that none of these agents ruin/discolour the fabric.
Apply stain remover if necessary and wash the clothing item on the cycle recommended by its care label.
If any of the paint remains, try blotting gently with nail polish remover, hairspray or rubbing alcohol and then rewash.
And if the stain is still there, consider bringing the item to a professional dry cleaner.
How to Remove Oil-Based Paints (Like Emulsions)
Although many wall paints are now acrylic, oil-based paint is still a popular choice for woodwork, doors, furniture and other surfaces that demand a glossy finish or durability, like floors. This type of paint might be a little bit difficult to remove and requires more aggressive cleaning agents — and a little more elbow grease.
But even when your spouse accidentally sits on a still-wet mudroom bench, getting dried paint out of his jeans doesn’t have to be a lost cause.
Turn the garment inside out on a thick stack of clean rags or paper towels. Blot the stain from the back with turpentine or the paint-thinner recommended on the paint can label until no more paint comes up.
Spot test a small, hidden part of the garment first to ensure that the paint thinner doesn’t ruin/discolor the fabric.
Rinse thoroughly and then wash it as you normally would. If the stain remains, treat with a stain remover and wash the item again.
If the stain proves permanent, turn it into a tie-dye work of art!
Whirlpool® washers to take on paint stains, spills and splatters
No matter who’s painting in your house (the kids who don’t roll up their sleeves, the teenagers who insist on re-doing their own rooms, your DIY-minded spouse), spills and splatters are inevitable. Luckily, you can get dried paint out of clothes — with the help of our innovative washer features, like the built-in water faucet. Check out our complete line-up of washers to make stain removal — and the rest of laundry day — run more smoothly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Read below for answers to frequently asked questions about removing paint from clothes.
Can I Use Paint Thinner on Clothes?
Yes. However, you should keep in mind that paint thinner can leave an unpleasant odour behind. Additionally, it can stain clothes.
How Do I Remove Latex or Acrylic Paint From Clothes?
Follow the How to Remove Paint From Clothes (Latex and Acrylic) steps listed above. If any of the paint remains, try blotting gently with nail polish remover, hairspray or rubbing alcohol and then rewash.
How Do I Remove Oil-Based Paints (Like Emulsions)?
Follow the Removing Oil-Based Paints (Like Emulsions) steps above. Remember to spot test a small, hidden part of the garment first to ensure that the paint thinner doesn’t ruin/discolour the fabric.
More laundry tips and tricks
How to choose laundry cycles
Do you know which settings you should be using to wash and dry your family’s clothes? Find answers to all your questions.
What do those laundry symbols actually mean?
We get it; your clothes’ care tags are as indecipherable as your kids’ geometry homework. We’ll help crack the code.
Want more answers to your kitchen and laundry questions?