How to Remove Acrylic Paint Stains from Clothes?

Acrylic paints usually come in two forms water-based and oil-based.

Different types of acrylic paint require different approaches to treating stains on fabrics.

Water-based acrylic paint stains can be removed by soaking your garments in water mixed with detergent. Whereas, stains caused by oil-based acrylic paint can be removed by rubbing the stained surface using acetone or a nail polish remover.

It is very common for acrylic paint to attract to your garments while painting a wall or clothing.

No matter how experienced you are, accidents happen, and sometimes they involve paint getting on your clothes.

The process of removing acrylic paint from clothes isn’t as difficult as you may think.

With a few household items, you can get the job done quickly and easily. To remove the stains with minimum effort, treating them instantly is always a good idea.

Key Takeaways

  • Water-based acrylic paint stains can be easily removed from the garment’s surface without using any special solvent or chemicals. Soaking the garment in water mixed with detergent will do the trick.
  • For oil-based acrylic paint, stains can be treated with several household items and may take more time to remove completely.
  • You will have to treat your garment differently depending on the type of fabric and the stains. Before using any solution or ideas to treat such stains always refer to the care label of your garments or simply try on a hidden area of the garment first.

How to remove acrylic paint from clothes?

Let us look into the steps to remove acrylic paint stains from clothes depending on the type of solution.

Water-based Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paint is a synthetic polymer produced from pigments suspended in a water-based solution.

It is fast-drying, durable, and flexible, making it ideal for a variety of applications including garment painting.

Since water-based acrylic paint is easy to use, cleans up easily with soap and water, and dries quickly, it is the most commonly used type of acrylic paint.

Although it is water-based, it can be challenging to remove it from clothing once it has dried.

Instructions to remove water-based acrylic paint stains from your garments

Step 1: Soak the affected garment

Start by filling clean and warm water in a container.

You may not need to add detergent in this step.

Soak the stained item in warm water for 10 minutes for a fresh stain and 30 minutes for a dried stain. Doing this will help to loosen the dried paint particles.

Step 2: Remove and apply soap

Apply a generous amount of dish soap or laundry detergent to the stain and gently rub it in with your fingers.

Once you notice the stains have lightened, simply pour some drops of water and gently rub them.

Step 3: Rinse the garment

Rinse the item thoroughly in warm water to remove the soap.

Step 4: Repeat Rinsing if patches do not go away

If you still notice mild patches then simply repeat steps 2-3 until the stain fades.

Step 5: Wash the clothes as usual

Launder the item as usual and put it for drying.

Note: For a stubborn stain caused by water-based acrylic paint that doesn’t seem easy to disappear, you can use distilled vinegar. Simply, soak the stained area of the garment in a bowl filled with 1 part distilled vinegar and about 4 to 5 parts water. Then, leave it to settle in the solution for about 30 minutes before you apply detergent for spot cleaning.

Oil-based Acrylic paint

Oil-based acrylics are more durable, resist fading, and chipping better than water-based acrylics.

Moreover, they are a bit difficult to use, take longer to dry, and require special solvents for cleanup.

Do not panic if you accidentally spilled acrylic paint on your clothes. These are some simple ways to get it off.

  • As the first step, try dabbing the area with a damp rag.
  • If that doesn’t work, you can try using a mild detergent or soap.
  • Additionally, you can try using rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover. Acetone compounds work best over oil-based paints or their stains.
  • To use acetone or nail polish remover simply apply the solvent to a soft cloth and dab at the stain.
  • Just be sure to use them sparingly and test them on an unnoticeable area of the fabric first to avoid any damage. If all goes well only then proceed using this solution.
  • As a final step put your garments for a thorough wash and then dry them later.

One of these methods should work to remove the oil-based acrylic paint from your clothes.

Note: For some fabric, if the stain still appears on its surface, you may need to use a more potent cleaning agent, like bleach.

Caution: Be sure to test any cleaning agent on a hidden or unnoticeable area of the fabric first to make sure it won’t damage the clothing.

Conquering Dried Acrylic Paint Stains

Scrape off Excess Paint

Dealing with dried acrylic paint? Don’t panic.

The first step is to gently scrape off any excess paint from the fabric.

Use a dull knife or spoon for this purpose and be cautious not to damage the fabric fibers.

Introducing Isopropyl Alcohol

Now comes the secret weapon, isopropyl alcohol.

This powerful solvent is highly effective at breaking down dried paint.

Apply a small amount of isopropyl alcohol onto the stained area and allow it to penetrate the fabric for a few minutes.

Rinse and Treat

After giving the alcohol time to work its magic, rinse the treated area with cold water once again.

This step helps to remove any remaining paint residue and alcohol.

Follow up by applying a stain remover to the affected area and gently working it in.

High-Temperature Wash

When it’s time for another round in the washing machine, opt for the highest temperature setting allowed for your garment.

This elevated temperature will aid in fully banishing the stubborn stain.

Precautions and tips

  • Prior Test: Prior to using any cleaning solutions, perform a trial on a hidden part of the fabric to avoid additional harm.
  • Consistent Effort: If the stain endures, continue the stain removal method until the paint disappears entirely.
  • Heat Caution: Refrain from exposing the fabric to heat (like from a dryer) until the stain is fully eradicated, as heat can permanently set the stain.

Final Thoughts

So, the bottom line is that the method to remove the acrylic paint depends on the type of paint that has stained the fabric.

Water-based acrylic paints are easy to get rid of as compared to oil-based paint.

With all that said, do not try too hard to remove the stains as there are chances that you may end up damaging the fabric.

In most, cases after multiple washes, the paint should fade away if it’s treated using the right solution.

Lastly, read the care labels carefully before decking to spot clean the stains as rubbing alcohol or acetone may be a bit harsh on the fabric.

Manish Singh is an expert in electrical engineering with a Diploma in the field. With over 12 years of experience, he specializes in repairing music systems, washing machines, dryers, and other laundry-related appliances. His in-depth knowledge in electrical repairs and decent knowledge about garment care makes him a trusted authority in the field of appliance repair and laundry related topics. If you have any questions or need assistance with your appliances, you can reach out to Manish through email: manish.singh (at)