An image of a child painting.

The ultimate craft paint stain removal guide for busy parents

Every parent knows the feeling: you love watching your kids paint, but you wish they were a bit less creative about what counts as a canvas. Paper and craft projects? Great! Their clothes? Not so much. Luckily, paint stain removal can be pretty quick and easy. Follow our handy guide, and those colourful splashes on your kids’ clothes will be a thing of the past. 


How to remove paint stains from clothes: Water-based paints

If you’re removing a water-based paint stain (like poster paint) then you’re in luck: these stains are pretty easy to remove, since the paint tends to dissolve in water. 

Paint stain removal tip #1: Dry paint is harder to shift, so the sooner you start removing paint stains from clothing, the better. On the go? Just keep the stain damp until you get home.  

Here’s how to remove paint stains from clothes:  

  1. Remove any excess paint. Gently scrape off as much wet paint as possible using a spoon or an old card. Then blot the stain with a damp cloth. 
  2. Flush the stain with cold water. Turn on the cold tap and place the stained garment under it, holding the fabric so that the water is falling onto the back of the stain. This will push most of the paint stain out of the garment.
  3. Apply a pre-treatment. Cover the stain with a small amount of Surf excel Liquid and gently massage it into the fabric. Let it perform its stain removal magic for 15 minutes or so before washing the garment as normal. 

Paint stain removal tip #2: If the stain isn’t rinsing out, you can try dabbing it with a small amount of rubbing alcohol before rinsing it again. Just check the garment care label first, and test the alcohol on a tiny hidden part of the fabric before treating the stain.


How to deal with paint stains on clothes: Acrylic paints

A wet acrylic paint stain can be removed using the method above, since the paint is water soluble while wet. Dry acrylic paint stains are waterproof, and will need a bit of extra attention. Here’s a quick acrylic paint stain removal method: 

  1. Apply a solvent. Rubbing alcohol, hand sanitiser, hair spray, alcohol-based nail polish remover – all these are good options. Dab the solvent onto the stain using a clean cloth until the paint starts to come away.
  2. Follow the method above. Gently scrape off any excess paint with a spoon or an old card, rinse the fabric, pre-treat with Surf excel Liquid Detergent, and wash as usual.

Paint stain removal tip #3: Solvents aren’t compatible with every fabric. As mentioned before, check the care label before you start, and test your stain removal method on a small, inconspicuous area of fabric. When in doubt, always bring your garment to a professional.

So, that’s the secret to complete paint stain removal. Now that you’ve mastered both methods, you can relax and let your little one show off their artistic skills more often. Why not take a look at the arts and crafts section of our site for some fun ideas? 

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