So you thought you could do that little — or big — painting project without getting any paint on your favorite jeans. How did that work out for you? Hey, we’ve all been there. Lucky for all of us, paint smudges don’t have to be a death sentence for your clothes. Here is how to get those stains out.
1. First Things First
Before you do anything else, remove any excess paint that you can. If the paint is still wet, scrape off as much as you can with a spoon or other tool that won’t hurt the fabric, and rinse with water from the back side of the garment. If it’s all dry, grab a paper towel and rub off as much as you can. You might be surprised at what you can get off.
2. Treat & Rinse
How you treat the stain depends on the type of paint you were using. For water-based paint, rinsing well with water is a good treatment. For oil-based paints, you’ll need to use turpentine first, then rinse and apply detergent or stain remover before rinsing again. According to Bob Vila, liquid dish soap works well as a pre-treater for paint, as long as the piece of clothing is color-fast. Others use rubbing alcohol as a pre-treatment, depending on the type of paint.
3. Soak & Wash
Does your washing machine have a soak cycle? If so, follow the directions to soak your item in water and detergent for several hours or overnight. Then, you can wash as normal. If the stain remains after washing, don’t put it in the dryer — you’ll only set the stain more. Instead, do the treatment process again and see if you can remove more paint. Once you’re sure you’ve removed the stain as well as you can, you can try the soak and wash process again.