How to remove different paint stains from your clothes

How to remove different paint stains from your clothes

Paint can help brighten up your world, but when paint stains your clothes, you’re more likely to feel frustration than joy. As a parent, you can be extremely proud of your kids when they show you the painting they did for their arts and crafts project in the kindergarten, but you may not like having to deal with their paint-stained outfit. Thankfully, Ariel is here to give you a helping hand. Read on to learn how to tackle different types of paint stains and how to get dried paint out of your clothes.

Different types of paint stains

Paint stains are combination stains featuring pigments, grease and proteins and will vary between paint type, such as:

  • water-based paints, like acrylics

  • oil-based paints.

Most paints are water-based, and the stains from these can be removed a bit more easily than oil-based paint stains. Oil-based paints are usually used on wood and metal surfaces, but make sure to check your paint tin so you know what type of paint stain you’re about to remove from your clothes. Because yes, both can be done, let us show you how.

Oil-based and water-based paints are both stains you can get out with Ariel

5 steps on how to remove paint stains from your clothes

  • 1

    Act immediately

    If you want to get rid of that paint stain from your clothes, it’s best that you don’t allow the stain to set into the fibres of the fabric. You need to be quick and remove the excess paint with a spoon or fork as soon as the stain happens.

    Act immediately
  • 2


    If you’ve managed to stain your clothes with an oil-based paint or tempera, rinse your garment under cold water. Oil-based paint stains contain oily elements as well as pigments, and since paint tends to dry quickly, your best chance for stain removal is to act quickly while the stain is still wet. Although tempera is a water-based paint, tempera stains are a mix of pigments and grease, and while it’s easier to remove than oil-based paints, it’s still a stain removal challenge.

    Should your garment get stained by a water-based paint, like finger paint, use warm water. Water-based stains are actually the easiest to get rid of: Just hold up the stained part of the garment and rinse it under warm, running water, until the water runs clear.

    Remove excess
  • 3


    If you can still see a small amount of discolouration on the garment, pre-treat the spot by rubbing some liquid detergent into the fabric.

  • 4


    When it comes to placing your garment inside your washing machine, carefully add the recommended dose of Ariel Matic Liquid to your machine’s dispenser drawer and wash on your usual cycle, following your garment’s care label. When the cycle is complete, unload the garments immediately.

  • 5


    Only dry the items once the stain is completely removed, as drying stained garments will set the stain. If the paint stain persists after washing, repeat the above steps before drying.


How to get dried paint out of clothes

Although water-based paint stains can be easily removed from your garment in both wet and dry form, getting rid of acrylics is more challenging. For that reason, before going through the usual steps of rinsing, pre-treating and washing, you should try the following:

  • Gently scrape off any excess of paint with the back of a spoon. This way, you will not only have better chances for a completely stainless garment, but you will also avoid damaging the fabrics.

  • If the stain is persistent you may need to use turpentine or paint thinner on the back of the garment but bear in mind that it may discolour the fabric.

  • Follow our stain removal guide to get rid of even the most stubborn stains in one wash. If you can act fast, paint stain removal is easy, especially with some help from Ariel. Ariel Liquid and Ariel Washing Powder dissolve quickly in your laundry and remove even the toughest stains in just one wash, while keeping your clothes bright and vivid.

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FAQs on how to remove paint stains from your clothes

  • Applying hot vinegar to paint stains and let it sit on it for 10 to 15 minutes may help get rid of paint stains from your clothes, but vinegar may also damage the fibres of your clothes. So, your best bet is to use something that was specifically designed for stain removal, like a liquid laundry detergent.

  • If you’ve rubbed up against the wall that has just been painted with latex paint, act quickly and rinse it under warm water until the stain disappears. If it’s persistent, you can use liquid detergent directly on the stain as pre-treatment to remove it, then wash it as usual.

  • Act as swiftly as possible and rinse your garment under running warm water to get most of the paint out of it. If the water is clean, but there’s still some discolouration on the garment, pour some liquid laundry detergent onto the stain, rub it in, then wash the item as usual.

  • Mixing baking soda and water, then applying it onto the paint stain may help remove it from your clothes, but the most effective solution is to use a liquid laundry detergent that was specifically developed to tackle stains, like paint stains.