how to get acrylic paint out of clothes

How to get Acrylic Paint out of Clothes – Your Go-to Guide

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Acrylic paint is immensely popular and is used in many projects such as general painting, decorating around the house and in many different types of crafts. To clean your painting tools and spills, just use water, but if it has spilt on your clothes, it could cause staining. Do not worry, as most spills are fairly easy to remove, but only if you take quick action. In this article discover how to get acrylic paint out of clothes.




Quick Action is the Key

Where you spill the paint does not matter, it can be on your clothes, carpets, chairs, or even on the hard wooden floor. The main thing is to act quickly. You first need to wipe up the mess and then apply water to remove the rest.

how to remove acrylic paint

On all surfaces you need to first wipe up the mess, then on soft surfaces use water to clean up the rest. After you have cleaned the mess on hard surfaces, using a knife or other flat tool lift off the rest of the mess and then use water to clean it up completely.

If the paint is not gone on the first attempt, continue to apply water until the paint stain has been completely removed.

You need to act quickly, as acrylic paint dries fast, and it is easier to remove the stain when the paint is still wet. Unfortunately, if allowed to dry, the paint stain will set. Acrylic paint is made up of pigments that are suspended in a water-soluble polymer solution, but only when wet. Once the paint has dried properly, it becomes slightly resistant to water and you may never be able to remove the stain entirely. Acrylic paint is much easier to remove than oil-based paints of latex paint which require something a little more technical.



Process of Removing Wet Paint from Your Clothes

How to get acrylic paint off clothes? Once again quick action is vital, as the acrylic paint needs to be removed before it dries. So, if you are doing art or some other home projects, watch your clothes, and as soon as you see a spot of paint remove it immediately. Although it is a water-based paint, acrylic paint stains can be very tricky to remove when dry.

how to get dried acrylic paint out of clothes

Let us look at the process of how to get acrylic paint off clothes. The best method to remove the paint is to use soap and warm water. Mix 1-part warm water with 1-part liquid soap or liquid laundry detergent, and only mix a small amount to start with. Take a sponge, place it into the water and soap solution, and apply it to the paint spot. Gently dab and blot the stain, being careful not to scrub it and work it deeper into the fibers of the fabric. Continue with this method until the paint starts to loosen. If you still have a stubborn paint spot remaining, apply a little stain remover straight onto the paint spot and pop it into the washing machine.

Tip: Be careful not to put the garment into the dryer until you have removed the paint spot entirely.     



How to Remove Acrylic Paint from Clothes by Hand?

No matter what method of how to remove acrylic paint from clothes you choose, the answer lies in your quick response in treating the stain. The faster your response to removing the stain from your clothes, the stronger the possibility of success. Follow these few steps before removing using any of the stain removers. By using a knife, spoon, or any flat tool, scrape the excess paint off your garment.

How to Remove Acrylic Paint from Clothes

Next, if you act quickly while the paint is still wet, gently pat the paint spot using a paper towel and soak up as much of the paint as you can. The key to your success lies in your quick action, removing as much paint as soon as you can. The paper towel method will only be effective when the paint is still wet and if you remove it as much as you can. Also, remember to gently pat the paint spot, do not rub it. This action will effectively remove all the excess paint that has not soaked into the material.

If you rub it, you will only cause the paint to go deeper into the material, which will make it even more difficult to remove. After you have successfully removed all of the excess paint from your garment, you can now proceed by following any one of the following methods below.


Using Isopropyl Alcohol to Take off Acrylic Paint

If you have a stubborn dried acrylic stain, there are several more hard-core methods that you can use. Rubbing alcohol is an option, as it will naturally dissolve dried acrylic. Always be sure to check the care label of your item of clothing to ensure it is not something highly sensitive like cashmere. If you are nervous about putting denatured alcohol on your fabric, begin by dabbing a small amount on an inconspicuous area.

how to get acrylic paint off clothes

  • Soak or saturate the paint-stained area completely using Isopropyl alcohol, do not be shy with the amount of alcohol you use
  • By using a flat object, a coin, a butter knife, or even your fingernail try to scrape or lift off the paint from your garment. When scraping, try to move in the direction of the weave of the fabric using back-and-forth movements. See if you can remove as much paint as possible before you proceed to the next step
  • Place your garment into the washing machine and set it to the correct cycle meant for that type of material. Add your usual type of detergent and wash the garment for the full cycle and hopefully, it will successfully remove the paint stain
  • This method should remove the paint stain, but if it remains you can do this again until the stain has been completely removed



Using Vinegar and Ammonia to Take off Acrylic Paint

If your garment contains triacetate or acetate, or if you do not have any Isopropyl Alcohol, you can use a mixture of vinegar and ammonia with a pinch of salt instead.

  • Once the paint has dried use a spoon, knife, or fingernail to remove as much dried paint as you can
  • Put the garment in some cold water and soak
  • Next, mix 1-part of white vinegar and 1-part ammonia with a pinch of salt

How to Get Acrylic Paint off Clothes Easily

  • Remove the garment from the basin of water and wring it out
  • Put some of the vinegar and ammonia solutions onto a clean sponge and gently rub the affected paint spot
  • Rinse the garment with water and if necessary, you can repeat the process
  • Now you can wash the garment in the washing machine, but before you put it into the drier make sure the paint stain has been completely removed


Using Dish Wash Liquid to Take off Acrylic Paint

  • Turn your clothes inside out, especially where the paint stain is, and rinse them with some warm running water until you have removed as much paint as possible
  • Mix 1-part warm water with 1-part dish wash liquid. This is a simple method as most people have dish wash liquid in their house
  • Immerse a clean sponge or cloth into the mixture and swab the paint stain vigorously, try to avoid rubbing it as you can cause the stain to spread further. Remove as much paint as possible, even using your fingernails
  • Rinse the affected area with water and check to see if the stain has been removed. Repeat the process if needed
  • Put the garment into your washing machine and wash it as you normally do, then put it into the drier and check to make sure the paint stain has been removed



Using Hairspray or Window Cleaner to Take off Acrylic Paint

  • If the paint is still damp, you can pat the spot with some paper towel but do not rub it
  • Spray some hairspray or window cleaner onto a clean cloth or sponge. Next, moisten the area you have sprayed with a little nail polish remover or acetone, be careful not to use too much as acetone will attack any synthetic materials

How to Get Acrylic Paint Out of Clothes Easily

  • Try to remove as much of the paint stain with your fingernails or a knife before you start to scrub with the cloth. Then use the moistened sponge or cloth to rub the paint stain with an up-and-down movement. Try being gentle and not rough, as you might spread the stain
  • You need to put the garment into the washing machine straight away to avoid the chemicals damaging the material. Put the garment into the drier and when done your paint stain should be gone


Using Acetone to Remove Paint Stains

Acetone is by far the best and strongest method to use for removing paint stains. However, unlike all the cleaning materials used above, it will destroy synthetic fabric or plastic. This type of cleaning material is not recommended for use on clothes but is safe to use on other surfaces like metal, glass, or any nonporous materials.

how to remove acrylic paint from clothes

Also, it is used extensively in hard-to-reach areas where you are not able to scrub. Take care when using it as it is extremely flammable and has a strong odor. Acetone is also often used with fiberglass resins. If you use an airbrush, you can soak your nozzles in acetone to remove the excess paint which clogs up the hole.

All the paint, hardware, and home improvement stores stock this item packed in metal tins.



What to do when Acrylic Paint is Spilled on your Carpet or Upholstery?

You cannot put your carpet or upholstery into the washing machine, so how to remove acrylic paint spilled on your wooden furniture or carpet? Here are some guidelines to follow:

  • Use a knife, scraper, or some flat hard object to scrape off most of the excess paint
  • Put some lukewarm water into a bucket, bowl, or container that is large enough to take an ordinary dish towel or washcloth. Try to use hot water, as it could cause the paint stain to become permanent

How to Remove Acrylic Paint Naturally

  • Next, add some dish wash liquid, laundry powder, or bar soap to the water and mix until it begins to foam
  • Put the cloth into the soapy water and pat the paint stain lightly, do not rub it as it could cause the stain to spread or go further into the fabric. Clean the cloth and repeat if needed.
  • Keep up with this process until the paint stain has been removed and the water you rinse out of the cloth is clear


Although most of us will have a moment of panic when we get some acrylic paint on our favorite t-shirt or even on our couch, often it is a very easy fix. There are many different ways to remove paint from clothing, from scraping the dry paint off with a blunt knife or tablespoon to using dish soap or baking soda. This article has given you a detailed run down of how to remove this paint quickly and easily. 




Frequently Asked Questions


How do You Remove Acrylic Paint from Clothes Fast?

By using water, acrylic paints are water-based, and they will dissolve in water. Simply adding a few drops of warm water to the paint stain will moisten the paint, making it easy for you to remove. This is the approved method of how to get dried acrylic paint out of clothes. If, after you have removed the dry paint there is still a stain, it may be time to consult a professional dry cleaner.


Will Vinegar Remove Acrylic Paint?

There is little worse than getting a big ugly paint stain on your favorite shirt. Fortunately, it is not the end of the world so do not panic! Vinegar is an effective, easy, and affordable way to remove hard-dried paint from most surfaces. Vinegar is also non-toxic and eco-friendly. Vinegar is also highly effective in removing stubborn paint from most surfaces.


Can You Use an Old Toothbrush to Remove Paint Stains?

Certainly, a toothbrush can be effective in removing paint stains from clothes, but if the bristles are too soft it might not be as successful. When using a brush to remove acrylic paint from a t-shirt or couch, remember to always brush with the fabric fibers so you cause as little damage as possible.


Does Acrylic Paint Wash Off with Water?

If you catch it just after it has spilled, you can wash acrylic paint off of the fabric with just water because it is a water-soluble paint. If it has dried, even just a little, then you should consider using some kind of soap too.


Does Baking Soda Remove Acrylic Paint from Clothes?

Baking soda is a good substance to use for removing acrylic paint, especially once it has dried. You can simply make a paste with baking soda and water, or baking soda and vinegar and apply it to the stain. You can then gently wash it off.

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