Removing Paint Stains from Dried Clothing


On one school, dress my daughter has a large paint stain (I believe the paint to be acrylic) from art, on another, she has made many (but smaller) more. Both have been washed and dried. They are 65% polyester and 35% cotton. Your help is urgently needed and much appreciated.

By Frances from S.A.


Recent AnswersAnswer this Question

By Puresetgold 1 11/06/2009

I went to a goodwill store years ago and found a jean jacket with paint on it. The cashier told me to use hairspray. I did and it worked. You simply spray the area and rub it together. If it doesn't come out, don't dis pare, simply SPRAY some more and rub again. Repeat until it is gone! Believe me, it made my days, and I have used that tip often.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

By Suzanne 1 07/04/2010

Best advice ever! I used regular hairspray on a jacket that my son was wearing when he leaned against a freshly painted wall. Since it was my husbands prized college jacket, it seemed impossible to get the paint out. I can't say thanks enough!

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

By Jennifer 4 09/25/2010

I had accidentally rubbed up against a newly painted hallway and had gotten water based paint on my $400 Coach Black pocketbook. I didn't notice this until the next day and it was thoroughly dried. I used hairspray as was suggested and it got off all of the paint. I had to keep reapplying about 3 or four times. I used a wash cloth and sprayed the hairspray right on the material of the Coach bag. I then used a Scotch Brite sponge (the no-scatch griddy side kind) to get the last of the faint paint stain off and it worked like a charm. It looks brand new again and this girl is a happy camper!!! Hairspray works!!!

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No


Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the comments that were provided then.

Archive: Removing Paint Stains from Dried Clothing

My daughter's skirt has purple paint stains on it and it has been washed and put into the dryer. It is 94% cotten and 6% spandex. What can I use to remove the paint stains?

Eveready01 from San Diego, CA

RE: Removing Paint Stains from Dried Clothing

I have read that petroleum jelly will remove latex or acrylic paint. The directions were unclear, except to say that you must immediately launder the garment after using the petroleum jelly. (10/13/2004)

By audidudi

RE: Removing Paint Stains from Dried Clothing

Hey. Wash the clothes, take them out of the washing machine and whilst the paint is still warmish from the water, get steel wool onto the paint. It works on jeans however not sure about T-shirts. (01/11/2005)

By A Smart Cookie

RE: Removing Paint Stains from Dried Clothing

Thank you Smart Cookie! I just tried the steel wool trick on my favourite pair of jeans, it worked quite nicely. I can still see some of it, but it's mostly all gone. (01/15/2005)

By Adelaide

RE: Removing Paint Stains from Dried Clothing

I used fresh lemon juice and oxi clean stain remover. I tried the oxi cleaner by itself and it did not work, so there fore I tried the lemon juice because of the acid it contains. It worked fine! This stain has been in my jacket for almost a year! So try it! I hope you achieve the same result! (03/07/2005)

By Brett Merrill

RE: Removing Paint Stains from Dried Clothing

Try "shaving" the dried paint off, like you would shave off pills on a wool sweater. (04/21/2005)

By Donna Breck

RE: Removing Paint Stains from Dried Clothing

I've never actually tried this so i dont know if it stains shirts/pants or not but i just kinda thought of it. Maybe paint thinner, I mean, you use it to get dried paint off of brushes and such so it may help. (05/25/2005)

By kittykat

RE: Removing Paint Stains from Dried Clothing

Rubbing alcohol will remove dried latex paint from clothing. Test for colorfastness first, then soak the affected area for about 5 minutes. Works like a charm! (06/23/2005)

By Paint

RE: Removing Paint Stains from Dried Clothing

I always use Goof Off and it works. You have to put it on and let it sit a few minutes and then scrape it with a dull knife of your fingernail;. This is the only way it really seems to work. You will see it start to dissolve and lift and then you can wash it. I agitate it for a short time ( a few minutes) and then soak for about 5 to 10 and then wash. It works every time except possibly in really delicate. Lyn (10/11/2005)

By Lyn

RE: Removing Paint Stains from Dried Clothing

The rubbing alcohol tip mentioned here is wonderful. I just tried it on a new tshirt and cargo shorts... had acrylic paint on them and they came out just fine! (10/23/2005)

By Shari

RE: Removing Paint Stains from Dried Clothing

I just used Cleveland Superb Fabric and Leather Cleaner that I got from a shoe repair store to clean paint off my wool jacket. I thought I would have to throw the jacket out but it worked really well. (11/03/2005)

By Gretchen

RE: Removing Paint Stains from Dried Clothing

I just tried hairspray and it works brilliantly. Just spray the stain and you will see the paint start to soften immediately. Rub and blot the paint alternately with hairspray and any washing detergent and eventually it will disappear like magic. Wash as normal in the washing machine and its good as new! (01/08/2006)

By Babs

RE: Removing Paint Stains from Dried Clothing

Two things work like magic. #1. Lighter Fluid #2. Peroxide (04/13/2006)

By Jim

RE: Removing Paint Stains from Dried Clothing

What really works is that citrus degreaser, nothing else even touched the purple acrylic on a skirt of mine! The brand I used was called Citrus-Maxx, but I can't find that anymore. But any concentrated citrus degreaser should do it. It will dry out your hands tho, make sure you have lotion! It even took black spray paint (it was kinda fresh) off my linoleum floor! (05/25/2006)

By Kirsten

RE: Removing Paint Stains from Dried Clothing

Last week, I was helping my art teacher clean up the art room and happened to get black paint on my pink t-shirt. I tried everything I could find to get it off:

- Laundry Detergent
- Hairspray
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Lime Juice
- Stain remover

Nothing worked. Even my mother ran out of ideas. So I combined the hairspray, alcohol, lime and stain remover and scrubbed it with a scrubbing brush. It started coming off. I rinsed the shirt and repeated. Then when it was light enough, I only used stain remover and now, I can barely see it unless I look extremely close. Thanks for the tips =D (06/20/2006)

By Karu

RE: Removing Paint Stains from Dried Clothing


That hairspray did the trick. I have been painting lately and unwisely did some in a favorite pair of comfortable poly/cotton knit black pants. Sure enough a blob on the front and light areas of paint on the back. Looked up what to do, found this page and tried the hairspray. It worked beautifully. Spray the hairspray on then hold under a faucet with water barely dripping out and scrape off with a sharp knife. The scraping gets the paint off after it's been loosened by the hairspray and the water drains it away. The pants are completely black again. Thanks so much for saving the seat of my pants! (06/28/2006)

By 91chevy

RE: Removing Paint Stains from Dried Clothing

I got red acrylic paint on my white polo shirt!! first tried to rinse it out, the used soap, but it didnt work. then i tried window cleaner, mentioned on another site, but it didnt really help, it just fainted the spatters a little, then i saw this website, and sprayed hairspray on my shirt. I started scratching at it, and now the stains are gone!! also no damage done to my shirt :) (09/23/2006)

By hairspray rocks :P

Removing Acrylic Paint from Bluejeans

Hey guys I am in a painting class and got a couple drops of acrylic paint on my bluejeans in class and wasn't too happy about it. So i looked on this little forum here and decided to give Rubbing Alcohol a shot using some Q-tips. Worked like a charm! Can't even hardly see the stain anymore! Thanks guys! (01/12/2007)

By Matt R.

RE: Removing Paint Stains from Dried Clothing

Hairspray worked awesome. Even after washing and drying! (Dried latex paint on polyester pants) (03/06/2007)

By Leslie

RE: Removing Paint Stains from Dried Clothing

Original Pinesol does the trick for acrylic paint! Hairspray for other kinds of paint like fabric. (03/06/2007)

By Emily

RE: Removing Paint Stains from Dried Clothing

Getting the material damp before applying the hairspray and the rubbing alcohol really helped. It takes a lot of scrubbing, but it pays off in the end. (06/08/2007)

By Nicole

Archive: Removing Paint Stains from Dried Clothing

My children got some paint on their clothing at Vacation Bible School. One was 95% cotton and 5% spandex. The other is 100% cotton. I don't know what kind of paint it is. The paint did come off easily when they washed their hands. Any suggestions?


Answer This Question