how to get acrylic paint out of clothes 2023


Acrylic paints are a popular choice among artists and craft enthusiasts due to their vibrant colors and versatility. However, the downside of using acrylic paint is the occasional accidental spill or splatter on your clothing. If you’ve ever wondered how to get acrylic paint out of clothes, you’re in the right place. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore various methods to tackle acrylic paint stains effectively. Whether you’re dealing with a fresh spill or an old, dried-up stain, we have you covered.

How to Get Acrylic Paint Out of Clothes

Assess the Situation

Before diving into stain removal techniques, it’s crucial to assess the extent of the damage. Is the paint still wet or has it dried on the fabric? This initial evaluation will determine the approach you should take.

Gather Your Supplies

To effectively remove acrylic paint from clothing, you’ll need the following supplies:

  • Rubbing Alcohol: An essential tool in breaking down acrylic paint.
  • Liquid Dish Soap: Helps in loosening the paint stain.
  • Old Toothbrush: Useful for gently scrubbing the stain.
  • Paper Towels: To blot and absorb excess paint.
  • Butter Knife: For scraping off dried paint gently.

Act Quickly with Wet Paint

If the acrylic paint is still wet, follow these steps:

  1. Blot the Stain: Place a paper towel under the stained area and gently blot the paint. Avoid rubbing, as it can spread the stain.
  2. Apply Rubbing Alcohol: Dampen a clean cloth or sponge with rubbing alcohol and gently dab the stain. The alcohol will start to break down the paint.
  3. Rinse and Repeat: Continue blotting and applying rubbing alcohol until the stain disappears. Rinse the fabric with cold water.
  4. Wash the Garment: Launder the clothing as usual, but check for any lingering stains before drying. Heat can set the stain permanently.

Dealing with Dried Paint

If the acrylic paint has already dried, don’t worry; you can still salvage your clothing:

  1. Scrape Off Excess Paint: Use a butter knife or a plastic scraper to gently remove as much dried paint as possible without damaging the fabric.
  2. Soak in Rubbing Alcohol: Fill a basin with rubbing alcohol and submerge the stained area. Let it soak for a few hours to soften the paint.
  3. Scrub with Toothbrush: After soaking, gently scrub the area with an old toothbrush to loosen the paint.
  4. Wash and Check: Launder the clothing with cold water, and check for any remaining stains. Repeat the process if necessary.

Can you recommend stain removal products?

When it comes to removing stains, including acrylic paint stains, there are several effective stain removal products and household items that can be quite handy. Here are some recommendations:

  1. Rubbing Alcohol: Rubbing alcohol is excellent for tackling fresh acrylic paint stains. It helps break down the paint, making it easier to remove. Simply dampen a cloth or sponge with rubbing alcohol and gently blot the stain.
  2. Liquid Dish Soap: Liquid dish soap is a versatile stain remover. It can help loosen paint stains, especially when combined with warm water. Apply a few drops of dish soap to the stain, gently rub, and then rinse with cold water.
  3. Acetone: Acetone is a powerful solvent that can be effective for removing acrylic paint stains. However, it should be used with caution as it can damage certain fabrics. Test a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric first.
  4. Commercial Stain Removers: There are various stain removers available in the market specifically designed for different types of stains, including paint stains. These products often come with instructions on how to use them effectively.
  5. Hairspray: Surprisingly, hairspray can be used to remove some types of paint stains, including acrylic paint. Spray the stain with hairspray, let it sit for a few minutes, and then blot with a clean cloth.
  6. White Vinegar: White vinegar is a natural stain remover and can be effective for removing acrylic paint stains. Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water, apply to the stain, and blot gently.
  7. Hydrogen Peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide can help remove paint stains from white clothing. Apply it directly to the stain, let it sit for a few minutes, and then rinse with cold water.
  8. Commercial Paint Removers: For stubborn or old paint stains, you can consider using a commercial paint remover. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
  9. Stain Pens: Stain pens are convenient for on-the-go stain removal. They are designed to target specific stains and can be carried in your bag or purse for emergencies.
  10. Enzyme-Based Stain Removers: Enzyme-based stain removers are excellent for breaking down organic stains, including acrylic paint. They are particularly useful for removing paint stains from fabrics like cotton.

Remember to always test any stain remover on a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric first to ensure it doesn’t cause any damage or discoloration. Additionally, follow care label instructions on your clothing for the best results, and avoid using heat (such as a hot dryer) until the stain is completely removed, as heat can set the stain permanently.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I prevent acrylic paint stains in the first place?

Prevention is key. Wear an apron or old clothing when working with acrylic paints, and cover your work area with newspapers or a drop cloth. This will minimize the chances of accidental spills.

Can I use acetone to remove acrylic paint from clothes?

While acetone can be effective in removing some paint stains, it can also damage certain fabrics. It’s best to start with rubbing alcohol, as it’s safer for most textiles.

Is it possible to remove an old, set-in acrylic paint stain?

Yes, it’s possible, but it may require multiple attempts and patience. The method mentioned for dried paint can be effective for older stains.

Will these methods work for removing acrylic paint from delicate fabrics?

For delicate fabrics like silk or wool, it’s best to consult a professional cleaner to avoid damaging the material further.

Can I use a washing machine to remove acrylic paint stains?

It’s generally not recommended to use a washing machine until you’ve treated the stain manually. Washing and drying clothing with a paint stain can set the stain permanently.

Is there a difference between removing acrylic paint from white and colored clothing?

The basic steps remain the same, but be cautious when using rubbing alcohol or other solvents on colored fabrics, as they may cause color fading or damage.


Learning how to get acrylic paint out of clothes is a valuable skill for artists and anyone who enjoys creative endeavors. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can effectively remove acrylic paint stains and salvage your favorite clothing items. Remember to act quickly with wet stains and exercise patience with dried ones. With the right approach and a little elbow grease, you can bid farewell to unsightly paint stains and keep your wardrobe looking its best.

By james

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