No matter how much you try to stay clean while painting, it always seems like a few splatters get on your clothes. Before throwing your soiled clothes away, try to get the paint out by following these six tips.
It's always easier to remove wet paint than dry paint. In fact, dry paint is sometimes impossible to get out of fabric. The moment you notice that you got paint on your clothes, you should take a break to remove the stain.
Unless you just get a few drops on you, you'll probably have quite a bit of paint to remove from your clothes. You don't have to waste time washing every spot. Instead, blot or scrape away the excess paint. An old towel comes in handy when you're blotting wet paint. If you need to get more aggressive, then use a putty knife or something similar. Just take it easy. You don't want to damage the fabric.
Once you have removed as much paint as possible, hold the affected spot under running water. This will flush out as much of the pigment as possible. You'll probably have some paint left over, but at least you will have a smaller mess. Plus, the water helps prevent the paint from drying.
The gentlest way to remove paint from clothes is to saturate the affected area with a 50-50 mixture of dishwashing liquid and warm water.
Pour the detergent and warm water into a bucket and mix them until you see some suds form on the surface. Once the ingredients are mixed, dunk the painted area of your clothing into the bucket. If you do this soon enough, most of the paint should come off, and you'll see the water change color slightly.
If dishwashing liquid doesn't remove the paint, then you can try using isopropyl alcohol, which is also called rubbing alcohol. It's more aggressive than dish detergents, so only use it if you need to.
You can also use isopropyl alcohol to remove paint from wood, plastic, and unvarnished surfaces.
There's a good chance that you will need to apply some pressure to the stain. A natural sponge should work well. Make sure you wet it first, though, or you risk damaging your clothes.
If you don't have a natural sponge nearby, you can use a toothbrush. Scrub the affected area gently to remove paint that has gotten inside the fibers.
At this point, you have done pretty much everything possible to save your clothes. Apply a commercial stain remover to the area and wash the clothing as you normally would.
If you noticed the paint shortly after it got on your clothes, then this process should remove it easily. Nothing is assured, though, when it comes to getting paint out of fabrics. Just do your best and hope the stain comes out.
Image via Flickr by Cestrius Signius.