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How To Get Acrylic Paint Out Of Clothes: 4 Expert Methods 

acrylic paint off clothes

Accidents happen! Especially when it comes to creative endeavors. Whether you’re a seasoned artist or simply dabbling in a DIY project, the dreaded moment of getting acrylic paint on your clothes is all too familiar. If it ends up on your shirt, it is a hassle that you must manage.

Thankfully, with a bit of knowledge and patience, you can rescue your favorite garments from acrylic paint stains. Whether you’re dealing with a fresh spill or a dried-on stain, our step-by-step instructions and alternative solutions will help you salvage your garments without causing any damage or discoloration.

Let’s explore different methods and useful tips for getting acrylic paint off clothes, so your wardrobe stays as vibrant and stain-free as your artwork.

Acrylic Paint Off Clothes

How Acrylic Paint Stain Sticks To Your Clothes

Acrylic paint is made of pigments that are suspended in an acrylic polymer emulsion. When it dries, the emulsion forms a flexible and durable film that sticks to surfaces. This is great news when you’re using it on a canvas.

But, when acrylic paint lands on a piece fabric, the paint penetrates the fibers and forms a bond with them. Once it’s dried up, the acrylic paint sticks to clothes.

How To Prep For Acrylic Stain Removal From Clothes

Before kicking off the stain removal process, let us walk you through some safety precautions that you must keep in mind. Here is a detailed outline of the safety measures, including stain assessment, and stain removal equipment. Here’s what you need to get started:

Act Quickly: The sooner you address the stain, the easier it will be to remove. Try to tackle it as soon as possible before the paint dries and sets into the fabric.

Spot the stain: Determine whether the paint is wet or dry. Your approach to removal will vary depending on the state of the paint.

Blot Wet Stains: If the paint is still wet, use a clean white cloth or paper towel to blot the stain gently. Avoid rubbing, as this can spread the paint further into the fabric.

Scrape Excess Paint: For dried paint stains, carefully scrape off any excess paint using a blunt knife or spoon. Be gentle to avoid damaging the fabric.

Now, let’s get to the removal process.

How To Get Wet Acrylic Paint Out Of Clothes

When it comes to removing wet acrylic paint stains, acting quickly is key to preventing the paint from drying and setting into the fabric. Here’s a step-by-step guide to effectively tackle wet acrylic paint stains. First, let’s start with the ingredients:

What You Need To Get Wet Acrylic Paint Out Of Clothes

What You Need To Get Wet Acrylic Paint Out Of Clothes

To effectively remove acrylic stains from clothing, you’ll need the following materials:

  • Clean white cloths or paper towels: These are used for blotting and absorbing excess paint and cleaning solutions.
  • Blunt knife or spoon: For scraping off any excess dried paint without damaging the fabric.
  • Laundry detergent: These products help break down the paint and lift it from the fabric fibers.
  • Rubbing alcohol or acetone: These solvents are effective for dissolving and loosening dried acrylic paint stains.
  • Soft-bristled brush (optional): A soft brush can help agitate the stain remover or detergent into the fabric for better penetration.
  • Cold water: Used for rinsing the fabric and removing any residue after treating the stain.

Optional: Stain remover applicator: Depending on the product you use, you may have an applicator built into the bottle or need to apply it using a cloth or sponge.

How To Get Wet Acrylic Paint Out Of Clothes: Step by Step Tutorial

Like we mentioned before, acrylic paint is easier to get off when it’s wet. But worry not – here’s how you can dried paint off your clothes.

Step 1 – Assess the stain: Determine whether the acrylic paint is wet or dry. Your approach to removal will vary depending on the state of the paint.

Step 2 – Flush the stained spot with water: Rinse the stained area with cold water from the back of the fabric.

Step 3 – Pre-treat the Stain with Detergent: Apply liquid detergent directly to the stain and let it sit for a few minutes.

Step 4 – Soak the Stain in Cold Water: Submerge the garment in cold water for 15–30 minutes, and scrub it out.

How To Get Dried Acrylic Paint Out Of Clothes

How To Get Dried Acrylic Paint Out Of Clothes

Removing dried acrylic paint from clothes is a different and tougher challenge as compared to wet stains due to several factors. Once acrylic paint dries, it forms a robust bond with the fabric fibers, making it resistant to conventional cleaning methods. The hardened texture of dried paint requires more aggressive techniques, such as scraping or rubbing, to dislodge it from the fabric surface.

Here’s how you can do it in three simple steps:

Step 1 – Scrape Off Excess Paint: Use a blunt knife, spoon, or your fingernail to gently scrape off as much dried paint as possible from the fabric. Be careful not to damage the fabric fibers.

Step 2 – Apply Rubbing Alcohol or Acetone: Moisten a clean cloth or cotton ball with rubbing alcohol or acetone. Dab the stained area with the moistened cloth or cotton ball. The alcohol or acetone will help dissolve and loosen the dried paint.

Acrylic Paint Off Clothes

Step 3 – Blot the Stain: After applying the alcohol or acetone, gently blot the stained area with a clean cloth or paper towel. This will help lift the dissolved paint from the fabric.

Step 4 – Wash the Fabric: Once the dried paint stain is significantly reduced or removed, launder the garment or clean the surface as usual according to the care instructions.

Important tip: Use cold water and mild detergent for the fabric, and avoid using heat until the stain is completely removed to prevent setting it further into the fabric.

How To Remove Acrylic Stains From Clothes With A Hairspray

There are many creative ways to get those tough acrylic stains off your clothes. Unconventional methods like using hairspray can indeed be surprisingly effective in removing acrylic paint stains. Here’s how it works:

Step 1 – Spray the Stain: Liberally spray the stained area with aerosol hairspray. The alcohol content in hairspray helps to break down the acrylic paint, making it easier to remove.

Step 2 – Let it Sit: Allow the hairspray to sit on the stain for a few minutes to penetrate the paint and loosen its grip on the fabric fibers.

Step 3 – Blot and scrub: Using a clean cloth or sponge, blot the stained area to lift the loosened paint. You can also gently scrub the stain with a soft-bristled brush to help remove any remaining paint.

Step 4 – Repeat if necessary: Depending on the severity of the stain, you may need to repeat the process multiple times until the paint is completely removed.

Step 5 – Launder as usual: Once the stain is lifted, launder the garment or clean the surface as usual according to the care instructions.

Important Safety Precautions:

  • Ventilation: When using hairspray or any aerosol product indoors, ensure adequate ventilation to prevent inhaling fumes. Work in a well-ventilated area or open windows and doors to allow fresh air circulation.
  • Avoid Heat Sources: Avoid using hairspray near open flames, cigarettes, or other heat sources, as aerosol products are flammable. Additionally, do not use heat sources, such as hair dryers, to accelerate the drying process, as this can increase the risk of fire or injury.

Do Read: How to Get Rid of Holiday Stains for removal of various other types of stains.

Can Commercial Stain Removers Can Help?

While this was a home remedy, commercial stain removers can also be effective in removing various types of stains from fabrics, carpets, and other surfaces. They come with specific chemicals and enzymes that are designed to break down and lift stains effectively.

If the method above didn’t work for you, here are some brands that you can try:

#1
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Known for its powerful stain-fighting capabilities, OxiClean can effectively remove tough acrylic paint stains from clothing when used as directed.

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#2
how to get acrylic paint off clothes


Shout’s foam formula penetrates deep into fabric fibers to lift and remove acrylic paint stains, leaving clothes clean and fresh.

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#3
how to get acrylic paint out of clothes


Resolve’s pre-treatment spray is effective at loosening and lifting dried-on acrylic paint stains, making them easier to wash away during laundering.

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#4
Zout Laundry Stain Remover


Zout’s triple enzyme formula is designed to target and break down a variety of stains, including acrylic paint, making it a reliable option for stain removal.

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Do read: Eco-Friendly Stain Removers: DIY Tips and 5 Natural Brands to Try

Post-Stain Removal Care

Proper post-removal care is essential to preserving the garment’s integrity. After removing acrylic paint stains, promptly launder the garment following care instructions, air-dry it to avoid heat damage, inspect for any remaining residues or damage, and store it properly to prevent future staining.

Get Stains Off With Ease!

In conclusion, mastering acrylic paint stain removal requires knowledge, preparation, and the right techniques. By following the methods and tips outlined in this guide, readers can effectively remove acrylic paint stains from their clothes with confidence. Prompt action and proper care are essential, ensuring garments remain pristine and wearable.

At Ecowiser, our mission is centered around providing assistance and solutions to make your everyday tasks easier and more eco-friendly. Check out our site to learn more!

Here’s your next read: Eco-Friendly Solutions: How to Remove Tree Sap Stains from Clothes?

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Can I use hot water to remove acrylic paint stains?

Hot water may help loosen acrylic paint stains, especially when used in conjunction with other removal methods. However, avoid using excessively hot water, as it can cause the paint to set further into the fabric or potentially damage delicate fabrics.

Can I use the same method for removing both water-based and oil-based acrylic paint stains?

While some removal methods may overlap, it’s essential to tailor your approach based on the type of paint and the stain’s condition. For instance, water-based acrylic paint stains are best treated when still wet, whereas oil-based stains may require different techniques for removal from dry fabrics.

Is it safe to use alternative solutions like hairspray on all fabric types?

It’s important to exercise caution when using alternative solutions such as hairspray, as they may not be suitable for all fabric types. Conduct a patch test on a discreet area of the garment to ensure compatibility before proceeding with stain removal.

What should I do if the stain persists after attempting multiple removal methods?

Stubborn stains may require repeated attempts or a combination of different removal techniques. If the stain persists despite your efforts, consider seeking professional dry cleaning services or specialized stain removal products.

Can I use bleach to remove acrylic paint stains?

Bleach is not recommended for removing acrylic paint stains, as it can cause damage to fabrics and may worsen the stain. Instead, opt for safer and more targeted stain removal methods outlined in this guide.

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