Accidentally got paint on your clothes while working on a DIY project? No worries, we've got the ultimate guide to help you out! Dried paint stains may seem like a formidable foe, but with the right knowledge and a touch of ingenuity, you can restore your clothes to their former glory. We’ll show you how to get dried paint out of clothes so that you can DIY worry-free.
What causes dried paint stains?
When we're having a creative moment or tackling a home improvement project, paint can unintentionally find its way onto our garments. Dried paint stains may seem like the ultimate enemy of our clothing, but let's uncover the science behind their stubbornness. Paints are traditionally made up of four components: pigments, binders, solvents, and additives. Pigments, the colorants in paint, are often finely ground particles suspended in a liquid binder. When the paint comes into contact with fabric, these pigments can adhere to the fibers, leading to stains. Binders, like acrylic or oil-based polymers, help the paint adhere to surfaces and can form a stubborn bond with clothing fibers which only get trickier as the paint dries. Additionally, the wide varieties of paints can make figuring out how to get paint out of clothes difficult. Your go-to stain fighting techniques may be great for water-based paint stains, but oil paints are another matter!
Armed with this knowledge, we have all the tips you need to learn how to remove dried paint from clothes. Happy painting (and stain-removing) adventures!
How to Get Dried Paint Out Of Clothes
Step 1: Remove Excess
Whether you’re looking to learn how to get dried acrylic paint out of clothes or how to get dried wall paint out of clothes, the first step is the same–let’s get rid of that gloppy paint! Gently scrape off as much excess paint as you can with a spoon, credit card, or dull knife. This will help you remove dried paint from clothes before treating the stain.
Step 2: Flush Out Stain
Rinse the stain under cold water to flush out as much of the paint as possible. Be sure to rinse through the back of the stain to push the pigments out of the fibers, instead of further in. This is particularly helpful in treating water-based paint stains.
Step 3: Treat Stain
Add one pump of an enzyme-based product, like Dropps Ultra Concentrated Stain & Odor Laundry Detergent, directly to the stain. Gently rub the detergent to create a lather, and allow it to sit. The enzymes in the detergent should break down the oils that make up the dried paint stain, making this a great treatment for both water and oil-based paint problems. After allowing the treatment to sit, rinse the stain in cool water, working the stain with your fingers as you do so. The remaining dried paint should lift out of the fabric. Repeat as needed until the stain is fully gone.
Step 4: Wash
Now that the stain has been removed, wash the item as normal. We recommend using a Stain & Odor Laundry Detergent Pod, which contains enzymes for extra stain fighting. You can also add an additional Oxi Booster Pod to the wash for extra cleaning power and brightening!
Step 6: Dry
Let your garment dry! Be sure that the stain is completely removed before putting the item in the dryer, as the dryer’s high heat can cause stains to set permanently. We recommend leaving your garment out to air dry after the first wash, preferably in the sunshine. After following all of these steps, your clothes should be as good as new!
Frequently Asked Questions
Have more questions about how to get dried paint out of clothes? We’re here to help with all your paint stain needs.
Does vinegar remove paint from clothing?
Looking to learn how to get dried paint out of clothes using items in your pantry? Vinegar is a great natural astringent that can assist with getting paint out of clothes. Soak the stain in white vinegar, then gently scrub the fabric to remove the stain. This should work on both water and oil based paints. Vinegar also serves as a deodorizer to blast away that arts-and-crafts smell!
Will paint come out of clothes after its dried?
Removing paint stains from clothes after they have dried can be more challenging compared to tackling fresh stains, however, it is absolutely possible to remove dried paint from clothes! Follow our guide for how to get dried paint out of clothes safely and easily without damaging your garments.
Does rubbing alcohol remove paint from clothes?
Rubbing alcohol is a solvent, which makes it a great solution for removing both water and oil-based paint stains. Apply rubbing alcohol directly to the stain and allow it to sit for 5 minutes before rinsing. Be sure to test on a small inconspicuous area first to make sure it will not damage or react to the fabric!
What removes dried paint?
You can use a variety of products when getting dried paint out of clothes! If you are dealing with an oil-based paint, you will want to use a product that is able to break down oils, such as a solvent or an enzyme-based cleaner. Here are a few of our favorite stain-fighting tools.