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How To Get Acrylic Paint Out of Clothes: Guide & Tips

If you want to know how to get acrylic paint out of clothes or your favourite outfit, then this post will take you through some different methods you can use. These methods use household items you might have at home like hairspray, baking soda, alcohol, nail polish remover.

Before we begin here are some useful acrylic painting resources that can help you in your journey with acrylics. Just starting out with acrylics? Then check out this how to use acrylics ultimate guide. If you’re looking for painting ideas, then this 60+ acrylic painting ideas post is filled with inspiration. This 35+ acrylic painting tips post is chalked filled with easy and simple tips about acrylics.

Below are some common questions that you might have about removing acrylic paint from clothes.

Is Acrylic Paint Permanent On Clothes?

If acrylic paint is still wet it can easily be rinsed off. But acrylic is a fast-drying paint and when it dries, it becomes permanent and water resistant with a plastic surface. It’s generally hard to get acrylic paints out of clothes after they’ve dried. But the good news is that there are still some different ways (below) that can help remove dried paint.

One thing to keep in mind is using harsh chemicals (like paint thinner, etc.) on clothes can damage them. It’s a good idea to test the solution on a small area (spot test) of your clothes. Also, knowing the type of paint you’re trying to remove is important. For example, you would use different solvents to remove oil paint versus acrylics and latex paint.

Remove Wet Acrylic Paint

The quicker you try to remove acrylic paint from clothes the easier and better it will be. Removing the paint while it’s still wet (fresh paint) is your best way to ensure you don’t end up with a stain.

Acrylic paints become water resistant when dry, which makes it much harder to remove. The first thing you’ll want to do is to use warm water and soap to remove most of the wet paint before it dries, then put them in the wash (with a good detergent) to wash up the rest.

If you can’t get to washing the clothes right away, soak them in some water until you can get to them. If you let the paint dry it will be much more difficult to remove the paint. The benefit of soaking your clothes in water is it will catch all the paint stains on your clothes even those in an inconspicuous area.

Remove Dry Acrylic Paint

If your paint’s dried on your clothes like your jeans, you can use any of the methods listed below to try to lift the paint. One thing to prepare the fabric before applying any of the solutions to it is to use a blunt knife ( like a butter knife) or razor to scrape away as much excess paint (without damaging the fabric). That way the solutions below will be able to absorb into the fabric much easier so the paint can be removed.

1. How To Get Acrylic Paint Out Of Clothes with Hairspray?

Spray the hairspray on top of the dried acrylic paint, so the paint is saturation with hairspray. Wait a couple minutes then you can use a finger nail, old toothbrush, etc to peel/scrape the paint away.

If you still seen some flecks of acrylic paint you can repeat the step of covering the paint with hairspray, then peeling the paint.

Once you’re happy with the amount of paint you lifted you want to make sure you wash your clothes in the washine machine to get the hairspray out of them.

Note: One thing to keep in mind is that hairspray can damage certain delicate fabrics, so always to a patch test on your fabric before doing the whole thing.

2. How To Remove Acrylic Paint From Clothes With Baking Soda?

Another simple and cheap way to remove acrylic paint stains from clothes is to you baking soda.

You’ll want to create a mixture of 1 cup warm/hot water to 1 tablespoon baking soda. Make sure the mixture is well mixed then you can soak you clothes/fabrics. Leave and soak for 10 minutes. Then rinse off mixture with water or put into a washing machine.

3. Does Vinegar Remove Paint From Clothing?

You can use household vinegar to remove a paint spot from fabric. Make a solution of one part white vinegar to 10 parts water. Blot this solution with a paper towel or clean cloth until the liquid is absorbed. Sponge with cold water and blot dry or machine wash.

4. Isopropyl Alcohol/ Rubbing Alcohol To Remove Paint

Another option is using rubbing alcohol/ Isopropyl alcohol. An alcohol based cleaner also works well with lifting spray paint from clothes. With the rubbing alcohol, saturate the stained area on the fabric (using a cotton ball, etc.). Using an old toothbrush scrub the alcohol into the stained portion of the fabric and keep scrubbing until the paint is lifted. Machine wash to remove the rubbing alcohol.

5. Using Nail Polish Remover (Acetone) To Remove Paint

Using nail polish remover to remove acrylics paint/ spray paint is very similar to using rubbing alcohol. Saturate the affected area with nail polish remover and then scrub the stain (using an old toothbrush or a clean dry cloth) until the paint lifts. Make sure to toss into the wash after to remove the nail polish remover from the clothes.

One thing to keep in mind is to avoid using nail polish remover (with acetone) on any type of fabric that contains acetate or triacetate. The acetone in the nail polish remover can damage those fibers.

6. Using Dish Soap / Dish Detergent

You can use simple dishwashing liquid to try to remove acrylic paint from your fabric or any hard surfaces. Apply soap over the stain with some warm water. Scrub to work up a lather on the stain using an old toothbrush or with your hands. Rinse the with warm water or machine wash.

7. Salt, Vinegar, and Ammonia Solution

You can make a cleaning solution scrub using 1 tablespoon of salt with two tablespoons of vinegar and two tablespoons of ammonia. Apply this mixture over your stain and scrub until stain is lifted. Rinse the mixture out of clothes with warm water or machine wash. Word of caution: ammonia has a strong smell, so make sure to use caution and use ammonia solution in a well ventilated area.

8. Hand Sanitizer

If you have hand sanitizer (with isopropyl alcohol) laying around home, you can try that to remove acrylic paints from clothes. Apply the hand sanitizer to the stain (full covered/saturated then scrub the stain away using an old toothbrush. Follow up with a machine wash.

9. Use Laundry Detergent

Using laundry detergent, is an easy way to remove paints from your clothes and also safe to use on them. If you find your liquid laundry detergent is too strong, then you can dilute it a bit with water – especially if using on delicate clothes. Apply laundry detergent (or soapy water mixture) on the stain with some warm water. Scrub to work up a lather with an old toothbrush or with your hands. Rinse the with warm water or machine wash.

10. Use a Professional Dry Cleaner

If you’ve tried the above methods and they didn’t work, the next step is getting them professionally cleaned will be your best bet. It’s an additional cost but dry cleaners are experts at all types of stain removals so they’ll know the best way to remove the paint from your clothes. It’s worth the extra cost espetially if you

Tips to Remove Acrylic Paints From Clothes

In addition to the above methods to lift stubborn stains, here are 7 tips as extra help and guidance when trying to remove acrylic paints from clothes.

  1. Quick action is best: wash acrylic paint off clothes while still wet.
  2. Scrape off dried acrylic paint using a blunt knife / blunt object before applying solutions to the stain
  3. If can’t clean clothes right away, soak them in warm water until you can get to it
  4. If all else fails, work try professional dry cleaning.
  5. Use an old toothbrush to scrub one of the above cleaning solutions into the stain
  6. If stain doesn’t come out, instead of throwing them out, use them as painting clothes.
  7. After removing paint stains, wash the clothing item in a washing machine

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