How to get acrylic paint out of clothes

Acrylic paint can be hard to get out of clothes, especially if you don’t use laundry detergent. Do you have any recommendations?

Most people use laundry detergent to get acrylic paint out of clothing because it’s a popular decluttering technique. However, this method is dangerous and could damage your clothes. Here are safer alternatives to get acrylic paint out of your clothing.

It’s best to avoid getting acrylic paint on your skin in the first place. To minimize the chances of this happening, follow these tips:

get acrylic paint out of clothes

What is acrylic paint?

Acrylic paint is a fast-drying, water-based paint made from pigments suspended in acrylic polymer emulsion. It is widely used in art and craft projects, as well as for decorative painting purposes. Acrylic paint is known for its ability to dry quickly, its versatility in blending and layering, and its resistance to water and UV light. It can be thinned with water and is easily cleaned up with soap and water.

Acrylic paint is available in a wide range of colors and finishes, including matte, gloss, and satin. It can be applied with brushes, rollers, or spray guns, and it can be used on a variety of surfaces, including canvas, wood, metal, and ceramic. It is also commonly used in mixed media art, where it is often combined with other materials such as collage elements, pastels, and oil paints.

Acrylic paint can leave stubborn stains on clothes, but fear not! There are effective methods you can employ to remove these stains and restore your garments to their former glory. Let’s explore some tried-and-tested techniques for getting acrylic paint out of clothes.

Isopropyl Alcohol Method

Isopropyl alcohol is a reliable option when it comes to removing dried acrylic paint from clothing. To use this method, follow these steps:

  1. Gather a cotton swab or a small white rag.
  2. Moisten the cotton swab or rag with isopropyl alcohol.
  3. Gently dab the stained area with the cotton swab or rag, applying slight pressure.
  4. Lift away the paint as it begins to dissolve.
  5. Continue this process until the paint stain is completely removed.

Scraping Method

For wet acrylic paint stains, it’s crucial to remove any excess paint before you begin the cleaning process. Follow these steps for the scraping method:

  1. Scrape off any excess paint using a blunt object, such as a spoon or a butter knife.
  2. Run the fabric under warm water.
  3. Apply a small amount of dish soap to the stained area.
  4. Gently blot the fabric with a clean cloth or sponge.
  5. Rinse the fabric thoroughly to remove any soap residue.
  6. For dry acrylic paint stains, you can try scraping off the paint using a scraper, soap, and water. However, exercise caution as this method may damage the fabric.

Rubbing Alcohol Method

Rubbing alcohol can be an effective solution for breaking down acrylic paint stains. Follow these steps to use rubbing alcohol:

  1. If the stain on your clothing is old or dry, dip a cotton ball into rubbing alcohol.
  2. Rub the stained area with the cotton ball, applying moderate pressure.
  3. Continue rubbing until you see some of the paint color transfer to the cloth.
  4. You can also try using nail polish remover, hairspray, or another alcohol-based product as an alternative to rubbing alcohol.
  5. Once the stain is removed, wash the garment as per the fabric’s care instructions.

Dishwashing Liquid Method

Simple dishwashing liquid can also be an effective tool for removing acrylic paint stains. Follow these steps to utilize this method:

  1. Apply a small amount of dishwashing liquid directly to the stained area.
  2. Add warm water to the stained area and create a lather.
  3. Gently scrub the stain using an old toothbrush or a soft brush.
  4. Rinse the fabric thoroughly to remove any soap residue.
  5. If the stain persists, repeat the process until the paint is completely removed.

Importance of Quick Action

It is essential to note that prompt action is crucial when it comes to removing acrylic paint stains from clothes. Fresh paint is easier to remove than dry paint because acrylic paints become water-resistant when they dry. Therefore, the sooner you attempt to remove the paint, the better your chances of success.


Removing acrylic paint stains from clothes may seem challenging, but with the right techniques, it can be done effectively. Whether you opt for the isopropyl alcohol method, scraping method, rubbing alcohol method, or dishwashing liquid method, following the outlined steps will help you tackle the stains and restore your clothes to their original state. Remember, quick action is key to achieving the best results.


1. Can I use other alcohol-based products instead of rubbing alcohol? Yes, you can use alternatives such as nail polish remover or hairspray, as they contain alcohol and can help break down acrylic paint stains.

2. Will the scraping method damage my clothes? While the scraping method can be effective for removing dry acrylic paint stains, there is a chance it may damage the fabric. Exercise caution and test the method on a small, inconspicuous area before applying it to the stained area.

3. Is it necessary to rinse the fabric after using the dishwashing liquid method? Yes, rinsing the fabric thoroughly after using dishwashing liquid is essential to remove any soap residue and ensure the stain is completely eliminated.

4. How long should I wait before attempting to remove a fresh acrylic paint stain? It is advisable to act quickly and remove the paint stain while it is still wet. The longer the paint dries, the more challenging it becomes to remove.

5. Can I use these methods on all types of fabrics? These methods can generally be used on most fabrics, but it’s always recommended to check the fabric’s care instructions and perform a patch test on a small, inconspicuous area before proceeding with the stain removal process.

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Camilo Kawas is a seasoned entrepreneur and expert in the field of commercial cleaning, with a specific focus on clothes, carpet cleaning and floor care. With a profound understanding of the importance of selecting the right products for effective stain removal from clothes, Camilo has established himself as a trusted authority in the industry.