How to Clean Dried Paint Stains From Fabric

Water-Based Paint

Step 1

Rub heavy-duty liquid laundry detergent onto the paint stain to saturate the fabric. You can also apply a liberal amount of a pretreatment stain remover. Wait 60 seconds to give the cleaner time to soak into the fabric.

Step 2

Wash the paint-stained clothing immediately in hot water with heavy-duty laundry detergent.

Step 3

Remove the clothing from the washer and inspect the stain. If it has disappeared, dry the clothing as you would normally. If the stain persists, continue to step four.

Step 4

Mix 1 gallon of water and 1 cup of bleach. Use liquid chlorine bleach for white or color-safe clothes and color-safe bleach or oxygen bleach for other fabrics.

Step 5

Soak the garment in the mixture for no more than 15 minutes. Bleaching the clothing longer than that might damage it.

Step 6

Wash the clothing again in hot water with heavy-duty detergent. If the stain persists after this second wash cycle, it is probably permanent.

Oil-Based Paint

Step 1

Apply paint thinner or turpentine to a white rag.

Step 2

Blot the paint stain with the wet rag to soften the paint. You should see the paint begin to appear on the rag during this process. Continue to blot until the paint stops transferring to the rag.

Step 3

Wash the clothing in hot water with heavy-duty laundry detergent.

Step 4

Soak the clothing in the same bleach and water mixture from section one if the stain persists after the wash cycle.

Step 5

Wash the clothing again in hot water with heavy-duty detergent to remove the bleach and any remaining traces of the paint stain.

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