How to Remove Latex Paint From Clothes? (Easy!)

To remove latex paint from clothes, turn the cloth inside out, scrape the paint, apply paint removal solvent, and wash and rinse the cloth.

You can use rubbing alcohol, hair spray, or white vinegar for this. Avoid using paint stripper or harsh solvent-based products as they can damage the cloth.

Can You Remove Latex Paint from Fabric?

You can remove latex paint from fabric as the paint is water-based and doesn’t have a glossy finish or strong additives that make it hard to remove.

Latex (or water-based) paints, such as chalk or acrylic paint, use water as their solvent, have a thin flow, and don’t have good adhesive qualities, which makes them easier to remove from surfaces.

Water-based paints don’t have a glossy sheen (or finish) that repels water, they have a dry and textured finish that is water-soluble. Since the paint doesn’t have a glossy finish, it absorbs water or paint-removal solvents and gets removed faster.

Once the paint-removal solvent penetrates its finish, it will dissolve the paint particles and liquefy the paint, making it easier to remove.

Can You Remove Dried Latex Paint From Clothes?

You can remove dried latex paint from clothes with a strong solvent, such as rubbing alcohol. Rubbing alcohol penetrates the coating, dissolves the paint particles, and liquefies the finish, making it easier to remove.

The solvent (water) has evaporated from the coating and the paint particles have hardened when the paint dries. The paint will bond (adhere) to the surface once the paint particles harden.

To remove dried latex paint, the paint particles must break their bond and the coating must liquefy. To break the bond between the paint particles, use rubbing alcohol or a paint-removal solvent.

You can scrape some paint off the fabric to help the paint-removal solvent work faster and easier since it will deal with less paint.

Use mineral spirits, paint thinner, hairspray, or (white) vinegar as an alternative to rubbing alcohol.

How To Remove Latex Paint From Clothing?

To remove latex paint from clothing, do the following things.

  1. Turn the Cloth Inside Out.
  2. Scrape the Paint off.
  3. Apply Paint-removal Solvent.
  4. Wash And Rinse the Cloth.

The tools you need for this project are listed below.

  • A Plastic Paint Scraper
  • Duct Tape
  • A Solvent (preferably White Vinegar)
  •  Laundry Detergent
  • A Soft Sponge
  •  Clean Rag
  •  Lots of Water

1. Turn The Cloth Inside Out

To expose the paint’s underside (basecoat, in this case) turn the cloth inside out. The paint on the inner part of the cloth has penetrated the fabric the most and must be removed.

2. Scrape the Paint off

Start by scraping the latex paint off the clothes.

Use a paint scrape to scrape paint off the fabric as much as possible. Scrape the inner part of the clothes first, then the other side.

You can’t remove the entire paint with a scraper as there will be leftovers, but you can remove a large amount of it.

Don’t use a metallic paint scraper as it can pull the threads of the fabric off. 

3. Apply Paint-removal Solvent

Now, apply a solvent to the painted surface.

Apply a paint-removal solvent or rubbing alcohol over the paint, wait 10 minutes for it to soak the fabric, then use a soft brush (or sponge) to scrub it off or put the cloth in a washing machine.

Use diluted mineral spirits or paint thinner for paint stains that won’t come off. Dilute the mineral spirits with water to prevent staining the fabric.

For sensitive fabrics, use laundry detergent and avoid using rubbing alcohol, mineral spirits, or paint thinner as it can damage it.

4. Wash And Rinse The Cloth

After applying rubbing alcohol and using a soft sponge the remove the latex paint, you have to wash the clothes.

After removing the paint stain, wash the cloth with laundry detergent or put it into a washing machine. The laundry detergent will remove the leftover stains (if any) and the residue of the solvent.

The residue of the solvent will damage the fabric or discolor it if you don’t wash the fabric after using it.

Related Read: 5 Things That Can Remove Latex Paint?

Which Products Can You Use to Remove Latex Paint?

The products you can use to remove latex paint from fabric, are listed below.

  1. Hair Spray
  2. White Vinegar
  3. Paint Stripper

1. Hair Spray

Hair spray typically contains 25-50% alcohol in its formula and will remove latex paint from clothes. It works well for small paint stains.

The tools you need for this project are listed below.

  • Hairspray (Preferably One With A High alcohol content)
  • A Flat Moisture-Resistant Surface
  • A fabric Brush Or Soft Sponge
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Lots Of Water

To remove latex paint from fabric with hair spray do the following things.

  1. Lay the cloth on a dry flat surface, such as concrete.
  2. Apply hair spray over the painted spot and wait a few minutes. The alcohol in the hair spray will break the paint particles and liquefy the paint.
  3. Use a soft sponge to scrub the paint off.
  4. Wash the cloth with warm soapy water and leave it to dry.

2. White Vinegar

White vinegar is a mild acid and will remove water-based paints from clothes. It’s gentler on clothes and more efficient in removing stubborn paint stains.

The white vinegar solvent will penetrate the paint on the cloth and dissolve the polymer from the pigment, resulting in paint losing its bond to the surface and peeling off.

To use vinegar to remove latex paint from clothes, do the following things.

  1. Pour the white vinegar over the affected spots.
  2. Wait a few minutes for the fabric to absorb the vinegar.
  3. Use a soft brush to scrub the coating. 
  4. Once the paint stain is removed, use warm soapy water to remove the vinegar residue.

White vinegar will discolor the fabric if you leave it for too long — so remove it immediately once the paint stain is removed.

Can You Use Paint Stripper to Remove Latex from Clothes?

You can’t use paint stripper to remove latex paint from clothes as it will damage the cloth or discolor it.

A paint stripper is a compound designed to remove paint from hard surfaces, such as concrete, plastic, or wood, by soaking and drying over the paint coating. Once the paint stripping compound dries, you must scrape it off together with the paint.

If you use the paint stripping compound on fabric, you must scrape it off after it dries — this can damage the fabric or discolor it.

Tony Adams

Tony Adams

Woodworker, Interior and Exterior Painter, Flooring Specialist

Tony is a professional painter and an author of DIY Geeks. Tony has completed over 1,000 painting projects for his clients. It's safe to say he knows what he Is talking about.

Eral Kadrija

Eral Kadrija

Lead Editor, Home Renovator

Eral has a passion for home renovation and repair. Over the years, he has bought, renovated, and sold 7 old homes. Using his experience from different DIY projects he created DIY Geeks.

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