How to Remove Latex Paint From Clothes? (5 Steps)

It’s common to notice latex paint stains on clothes after a paint job. But how can you remove latex paint from clothing? Here is the answer to that.

Latex paint stains can be removed from clothes by applying a mild solvent on the paint stain. The paint will be dissolved by the solvent making it easier to wash out the latex paint in warm soapy water.

Solvents that can be used to remove latex paint from clothing include rubbing alcohol, white vinegar, and mineral spirits.

However, this is just a snippet. This post reveals more about removing latex paint from clothing.

So let’s dive in.

Does Latex Paint Come Out Of Clothing?

Latex paint comes out of clothing easily. This is because latex paint doesn’t have VOCs (volatile organic compounds) or strong chemicals that burn or discolor clothes.

Latex paints include water-based paints like poster, flat, chalk, satin, craft, and acrylic latex paints. All of these paint types use water as the paint’s solvent. These paints are also not as thick as oil paints. The thin and water-based nature of latex paint makes it easier to remove from clothing and fabric.

Latex paint stain on clothing isn’t a pleasant sight. Anytime you strip off or paint a surface with latex paint, you risk some of the paint getting on your clothes.

However, you don’t need to panic because latex paint comes out of clothing easily. With a mild solvent, detergent, and elbow grease, you can remove any type of latex paint from clothing.

Latex paints come out of clothes because of the nature and formula of the latex paint. Latex paints unlike oil paints don’t have strong chemicals or VOCs. This means latex paint doesn’t bond tightly to clothes since there isn’t any chemical reaction meant to improve paint adhesion.

This makes the paint easy to remove from not just clothes but any other surface. This is why latex paint isn’t very durable.

Latex paint isn’t also as thick as enamel or other oil-based paints. This means the latex paint stain on your cloth will be thin so it’s easier to remove.

To remove latex paint from clothes, just add a mild solvent like rubbing alcohol on the paint stain. Then use your fingers to massage the solvent into the fabric and wash the paint stain off in warm soapy water.

Related Read: Can You Use Nail Polish To Remove Paint?

Does Vinegar Remove Latex Paint From Clothing?

Vinegar is a mild acid that will dissolve and remove latex paint from clothing. The best type of vinegar to use on clothes is white vinegar. White vinegar is gentler on clothes and very efficient in removing stubborn latex paints from clothing.

White vinegar is also environmentally friendly since it doesn’t contain chemicals or produce toxic fumes. This makes it safe to use on clothes.

Vinegar is one of the many substances that you can add to your cloth to remove any latex paint stain on the fabric. White vinegar especially is safe to use on clothes since it won’t discolor the cloth or damage it.

Vinegar is a mild acid that will penetrate the paint stain and dissolve the polymer from the paint pigment. When this happens, the paint loses its bond to the cloth. This makes the paint easier to wash off.

To remove latex paint using vinegar, pour a bit of white vinegar on the paint stain. Then let the fabric absorb the vinegar for a few minutes. After using a very soft brush to scrub the affected spot so the latex paint becomes loose.

Then wash the cloth in warm soapy water and rinse thoroughly to remove the latex paint and excess vinegar.

How To Remove Latex Paint From Clothing

Removing latex paint from clothing is easy. There are several ways to go about it. But for this post, we will check out the two most effective ways of removing latex paint stain from clothing, by:

  • Using a solvent
  • Using Hair Spray

To remove latex paint from clothing, you will need the following items:

  • A Plastic Knife Or Razor
  • Duct Tape
  • A Solvent (preferably, White Vinegar)
  •  Laundry Detergent
  • A Soft Sponge
  •  Clean Rag
  •  Lots of Water

Now let’s get work.

Here is how to remove latex paint from clothing:

  • Turn The Cloth Inside-Out
  • Scrape The Paint Off
  • Apply The Solvent
  • Rub The Solvent In
  • Wash And Rinse The Cloth
  • Leave To Dry

1. Turn The Cloth Inside-Out

The first thing to do is to turn the cloth inside-out. This helps to expose the underside of the paint which serves as the base coat in this case. Latex paint on the inner part of your cloth is the one that has soaked in the fabric the most.

2. Scrape The Latex Paint Off

Start by scraping the latex paint off the clothes.

The next thing to do is to use a plastic knife or razor to scrape the paint off the cloth. Start with the inner part of the cloth and then the other side. Scrape as much paint off as possible but don’t use any object that can damage the fabric. Metallic knives and scrappers particularly can pool the threads out.

You wouldn’t be able to scrape all the latex paint off the cloth. There will still be leftover paint in the fabric after you have scrapped it. Don’t worry about that, this is where the solvent comes in.

3. Apply The Solvent On The Paint Stain

Now, apply a solvent to the painted surface.

Apply the required amount of white vinegar or rubbing alcohol on the paint stain.

Mineral spirits or paint thinners are a bit stronger than rubbing alcohol, so go easy on the solvent. Usually, you will need to dilute the mineral spirit in water before using it on the cloth or fabric to prevent staining.

Rubbing alcohol or isopropyl and white vinegar are gentler and also efficient on clothes and fabric. So you can use these directly. Avoid using any sort of solvent either rubbing alcohol or mineral spirits on sensitive fabrics like wool and silk. For such materials, it’s best to use ordinary laundry detergent.

After applying the solvent on the surface, wait about 10 minutes for it to be properly soaked into the fabric. Then use a soft sponge to massage the area. This helps to remove the paint from the cloth.

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 all the latex paint stain, wash the cloth in laundry detergent. If possible, wash the soft sponge used earlier. Then use the sponge to scrub the spot where the paint stain was while washing.

This doesn’t just remove the paint. It also removes the solvent. You don’t want any of the solvents on your cloth after it has removed the paint stain. It will stain and ruin the cloth.

After washing the cloth, rinse thoroughly in clean warm water.

5. Leave To Dry

Let the clothes dry. And, that's how you remove latex paint from clothes.

Hang the cloth out to dry. The check after to be sure the solvent’s clash with the paint pigments didn’t leave any stain. If the cloth is neat and clear, then you have successfully removed the latex paint stain.

Let’s check out how to remove latex paint from clothes using hair spray.

Related Read: 5 Things That Can Remove Latex Paint?

How To Remove Latex Paint From Clothes Using Hair Spray?

This is another top method to remove latex paint from clothes but it is best reserved for small latex paint stains. You will need a whole lot of hair spray to remove large latex paint stains from clothes.

To remove latex paint from clothes and fabrics using hairspray, you will need the following tools:

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

Here is how to remove latex paint from clothes using hairspray

  • Lay The Cloth On A Flat Surface
  • Apply Hairspray On The Affected Spot
  • Scrub With Fabric Brush
  • Wash And Rinse The Cloth
  • Leave To Dry

Now, let’s get to work

1. Lay The Cloth On A Flat Surface

Lay the cloth on a flat moisture-resistant surface like concrete.

2. Apply Hairspray On The Affected Spot

Apply hairspray on the affected spot. Hairspray works on latex paints because hairspray products have a lot of alcohol content.

The alcohol will break down the paint pigments making it easier to remove the paint.

3. Scrub The Paint Off

After a few minutes, use a soft sponge to scrub the paint off. Then wash the cloth in warm soapy water. This will remove the paint before you rinse the cloth.

4. Leave To Dry

Hang the cloth out to dry. The check after to be sure the solvent’s clash with the paint pigments didn’t leave any stain. If the cloth is neat and clear, then you have successfully removed the latex paint stain.

Related Read: How To Use Mineral Spirits To Remove Any Kind of Paint?

Can You Remove Dried Latex Paint From Clothing?

You can remove dried latex paint from clothing easily but you must use a solvent like rubbing alcohol first on the affected spot to soak into and dissolve the dried paint. Dried latex paint is the most difficult to remove from clothing because it has cured.

The paint needs to be made a bit softer so it can be washed off easily. That’s where the solvent comes in. It soaks into the paint stain and then dissolves the paint pigments.

However, to remove dried latex paint from clothing, you need to scrape the paint off first. The good thing about removing dried latex paint is that it can be chipped off with a plastic knife or razor.

After removing the paint with a plastic knife, apply the needed solvent to the remaining paint stain. You can use white vinegar, rubbing alcohol, mineral spirits, or hairspray on the paint stain. Any of these will work fine.

Can You Use Paint Stripper On Clothes?

You shouldn’t use a paint stripper on clothing or fabric. This is because the paint stripping compound is designed to be used on hard surfaces like wood, concrete, and plastic. Fabric material or clothes are too sensitive and soft for paint strippers.

Paint strippers work by gluing to the paint. Paint strippers also need a hard and flat surface to attach to. When the paint stripping compound is applied on the surface, it attaches to the surface by soaking into the paint.

Then after a while, it cures (or dries) with the paint soaked in it. The dried paint striper is then scraped off the wall and since it has soaked in the paint, the paint comes off with the cured paint stripping compound.

The whole chemical reactive process is too harsh on clothes or fabric. Clothes are also not flat enough for the stripping compound to be applied evenly. This means uneven application and subsequently, uneven results. Using paint strippers on clothes will stain the cloth and ruin the fabric.

Instead, use mild solvents like rubbing alcohol, white vinegar, and hairspray. You can even use baking soda but ensure to follow all instructions.

Final Words

Overall, it’s easy to remove latex paint from clothes. You just need enough prep work, a mild solvent, and some laundry detergent. That pesky latex paint stain will be gone in no time.

So there you have it. If you liked this post, ensure to check out others on this website for more painting tips. Have a nice day.

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