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Acrylic paint is one of the most popular art forms, often used in crafting, home decor, and general paint projects. Most acrylic paints are water-soluble, although they do tend to stain when in contact with clothing. In most cases, acting quickly can save you from having to remove a stain later on. However, we will also take you through the necessary steps should the acrylic paint dry upon your clothing. Learn how to get acrylic paint out of clothes by following this article.
Table of Contents
- 1 An Important Note on Removing Acrylic Paint from Clothing
- 2 How to Remove Acrylic Paint That is Still Wet
- 3 How to Get Dried Acrylic Paint Out of Clothes
- 3.1 How to Remove Acrylic Paint from Clothes with Isopropyl Alcohol
- 3.2 How to Get Acrylic Paint Out of Clothes with Ammonia and Vinegar
- 3.3 How to Get Acrylic Paint Off Clothes with Dish Detergent
- 3.4 How to Remove Acrylic Paint with Hairspray
- 3.5 How to Get Dried Acrylic Paint Out of Clothes Using Acetone
- 4 How to Remove Acrylic Paint from Upholstery and Carpet
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions
An Important Note on Removing Acrylic Paint from Clothing
If you want to know how to get acrylic paint out of clothes, it is important to understand that the faster you react, the better. It is much easier to remove wet acrylic paint than it is to remove paint that has dried and hardened.
You can remove the spill from both soft and hard surfaces by wiping the area first, after which you can use a blunt knife or hard-edged object to scrape up the paint. You should then continue to apply water to the stain until it has disappeared.
It is so important to act quickly when you spill acrylic paint as this paint is renowned for drying quickly. The paint itself is composed of pigments in an acrylic polymer solution, which means that although it is water-soluble when wet, it is in fact waterproof when dry. Thus, allowing the paint to dry can result in difficult-to-remove stain that, if not treated correctly, may never come out.
How to Remove Acrylic Paint That is Still Wet
The question of how to remove acrylic paint from clothes while the paint is still in its wet state is an easy one, as it is in this state that the paint will be easiest to remove. Always try to work carefully and in old or covered clothing to avoid spilling any paint. However, if you do get acrylic paint on your clothing, you should follow these directions:
- Use warm water to flush and dilute the paint. Then, mix a solution of one-part soap to one-part warm water, using a sponge to dab the solution onto the paint. Keep saturating the area with water as the paint loosens.
- If there is any paint remaining, use a stain remover to apply directly to the paint spot. You can then put the piece of clothing in the washing machine. Do not place the item in the dryer until the stain has been eradicated entirely.
There are a couple of other ways of getting acrylic paint out of clothing, both of which work best while the paint is still wet. You will need to act quickly in order to save your clothing from becoming stained permanently.
- You can use a blunt-edged knife or spoon to scrape away any clotted paint off of the clothing. Gently dab at the wet paint with a dry paper towel or a cloth in order to soak up as much as possible.
- Remember to dab at the paint and not rub. Where dabbing removes the extra wet paint that has not yet been absorbed into the fabric, rubbing will cause the paint to soak into the fabric that much further, thus rendering it all the more difficult to get rid of.
How to Get Dried Acrylic Paint Out of Clothes
Once you have learned how to remove acrylic paint from clothing while it is still wet, you may find that there remains a stain in the fabric. This stain is caused by the acrylic paint soaking into and saturating the fabric, resulting in a tough-to-remove stain. You can attempt any of the following techniques in order to try to get rid of the stain.
How to Remove Acrylic Paint from Clothes with Isopropyl Alcohol
You can learn how to get acrylic paint out of clothes by using isopropyl alcohol to soak the affected area.
- Use a good amount of isopropyl alcohol to saturate the stained fabric completely.
- Scratch the paint, attempting to lift off as much as possible. You can use your fingernail, a coin, a wooden stick, or any other suitable item to scrape away the paint. Ensure that you go against the grain of the fabric when scraping at the paint, moving back and forth in order to remove the most paint.
- Dry your clothing. This method should have lifted the worst of the stain from the fabric. However, you can repeat this process once again if necessary.
How to Get Acrylic Paint Out of Clothes with Ammonia and Vinegar
You may not have any isopropyl alcohol at home, or perhaps you are working with certain fabrics made out of acetate or triacetate. In these cases, you can learn how to get dried acrylic paint out of clothes by using a mixture of ammonia and white vinegar with some salt.
- Scrape off as much of the hard, dry paint as you can. You can use a dry brush or a spoon to do this.
- Soak the clothing in a sink of cold water. Once soaked, drain the water and squeeze out any excess water in the clothes by pressing the fabric against the side of the sink. The piece should be damp, not wet.
- Mix a solution of one-part white vinegar, one-part ammonia, and little bit of salt. Working carefully, use a sponge to rub the solution onto the paint spot. Flush the clothing with cold water and repeat the process as required.
- Once you have removed most of the paint stain, you can wash the piece of clothing in a machine as you normally would. Ensure that you do not place the clothes in the dryer until you are certain that the stain has disappeared.
How to Get Acrylic Paint Off Clothes with Dish Detergent
You can also use dish detergent in learning how to remove acrylic paint from clothes. This is one of the most useful methods due to the fact that most people tend to have some form of dishwashing liquid on hand at home.
- Turn the stained piece of clothing inside out. Hold it under some warm water running from the tap in order to displace and remove as much of the paint as you can.
- Create a solution of one-part dish detergent liquid to one-part warm water. This is the mixture you will use in an attempt to remove the acrylic paint stain.
- Use a lint-free cloth or sponge to dab at the stain with the dish detergent solution. Use force when dabbing, although take care not to rub the area too much, as this will cause the stain to spread. You can also use your fingernails to help dislodge the paint.
- Rinse the garment with water once you have removed as much of the paint as possible. Check the stain and repeat the process of dabbing it with the dish detergent if necessary.
- Wash the garment as usual. Once your item has dried, the stain should hopefully be gone.
How to Remove Acrylic Paint with Hairspray
The question of how to get acrylic paint off clothes with household items can also be answered by using hairspray or even window cleaner.
- Use a knife or your fingernail to pick off as much dried paint as possible. The more paint you remove initially, the less likely the stain is to spread.
- Spray either some hairspray OR window cleaner onto a suitable cloth. You can also use a sponge for this. Then, apply some acetone to the dampened cloth or sponge. Acetone is found commonly in nail polish remover.
- Use the damp cloth to scrub at the paint stain, moving up and down. Try to work gently but firmly, as scrubbing too much can end up spreading the stain.
- Wash your item of clothing immediately. This is a strong cleaning solution that may damage the fabric fibers of your garment if left for too long. Wash your piece as normal and then dry.
How to Get Dried Acrylic Paint Out of Clothes Using Acetone
Acetone is one of the more potent solutions for removing dried acrylic paint from a garment of clothing. Acetone, unlike alcohol, cannot be used on plastic or synthetic fabrics. In fact, this solvent is really only meant for reaching tough areas where it may be more difficult to scrub.
Acetone is ideal for nonporous surfaces such as glass and metal. This solvent may be low in toxicity, but it remains highly flammable.
You can get acetone from most hardware, paint, or home improvement stores, as it is used often when working with fiberglass resin. You can also use acetone to clear up your airbrush nozzle tips if they get blocked with paint.
How to Remove Acrylic Paint from Upholstery and Carpet
It can be more difficult to remove paint stains from furniture and carpets, as these pieces cannot exactly be placed in a washing machine. Thus, you can follow these steps to learn how to remove acrylic paint from your upholstery and floors.
- Use a blunt knife or hard-edged object to scrape off as much excess paint as you can. It is best to use a blunt object, as sharper edges may end up cutting the fabric. Ensure that you clean your object after each scraping of paint.
- Fill a large mixing bowl or bucket with some lukewarm water. Ensure that the water is not too hot, as this can increase the permanence of the stain.
- Create a soapy solution by adding some dish or laundry detergent or some soap. Take a clean cloth and dampen it with this solution.
- Ensure that you blot the stain and do not rub, as the latter can cause the stain to permeate deeper into the fabric or to spread further. Rinse the cloth out between each dabbing of the paint, as this will ensure that you are applying clean soapy water to the stain each time.
- Keep repeating this process until the paint has been removed. The water in the cloth should run clear.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will a Toothbrush Work to Remove the Paint Stain?
Yes, you can use a toothbrush to scrub a paint stain out of your clothing. However, this might not be the most effective method of the toothbrush bristles are soft.
Is It Possible to Dissolve Dried Acrylic Paint?
Yes, you should use warm water to dissolve any dried acrylic paint, as this type of paint is water-soluble. Simple add a couple of drops of warm water to the paint in order to begin dissolving them.
Can I Use Vinegar to Remove Hardened Acrylic Paint?
Vinegar is one of the easiest, cheapest, and most effective means of removing hardened, dried paint from harder surfaces such as windows. This is a more eco-friendly option that can remove the dried paint without the use of any toxic chemicals or fumes.