How To Get Fabric Paint Out Of Clothes
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How To Get Fabric Paint Out Of Clothes

How to get fabric paint out of clothes? Trying to customize your clothes, but the colorful paint gets on unwanted areas, and you are looking for the best way to remove it? Well, you are at the right place; I will guide you on how to do it.

Besides, I have some tips to speed up the cleaning process and maintain the quality of your fabric after removing fabric paint. So, don’t skip any section because it might be useful for you.

Art Fabric Painting Toolkit
Fabric paint creates a unique look for your garment.

Fabric Paint – A Colorful Outfit For Your Clothes

Whenever I want to make my t-shirt or shoes more colorful, I think of fabric paint right away. This type of paint is designed to apply the exact texture on fabric as on other materials. Using fabric paint is a creative way to renew your clothes without paying extravagantly.

There are three common forms of fabric paints: markers/pens, spray, and liquid form. Well, all of these forms can leave stains on some unwanted zones on your garments. All these forms have a special binder to make fabric paint adhere to the fabric (1).

Although fabric paint grabs tightly on your clothes, removing the paint is not that difficult. Since the paint is water-based, it will not become a permanent stain until you let the heat seal the paint or leave the color dry on the garment overnight.

Watch this video to know more:

Watch this video: Give yourself a brand new T-shirt with fabric paint

How To Remove Fabric Paint Out Of Washable Clothes?

For the washable garment, you will have to deal with either the wet paint or the dried paint on your clothes. But before jumping on cleaning the stain, there are some vital preparations you have to do.


Bring all the prepared equipment close to the faucet, like a sink or a bathroom. These are the places where you can have strong water flow without being afraid of splashing and wetting other areas.

Turn the garment over and place a clean cloth underneath the stained garment to prevent the color and water from penetrating through the fabric and staining other areas. You will want to choose an absorbent material to protect other clean areas from the paint entirely.

Next, just before applying any chemicals to clean the stains, make sure you are dealing with fabric paint. People usually confuse fabric paint and acrylic paint; they are different in many aspects.

Another material that you might confuse is fabric dyes; mistreating fabric paint stains with other materials could cause chemical interaction and harm your fabric. So, check the paint bottle carefully before applying the following treatment.

Remove Wet Fabric Paint

Now, let’s handle the paint while it is still wet on your clothes. Wet fabric paint is simple to wash off; after a proper procedure, they will vanish. If you have any doubts, why not try it?

Note: You can wash the paint while wearing your clothes so as not to allow the paint to dry.

Tshirt Blue Paint
What a pity if you accidentally got some unwanted fabric paint on your clothes.


  • Dishwashing liquid or laundry detergent
  • Sponge
  • A spare toothbrush
  • Commercial paint remover


Note: This method suggests using a commercial paint remover, so ensure that you test the product on a small area of your fabric. If there are any signs of damage to the fabric, stop using the method.

Step 1:  Withdraw the unabsorbed paint with a putty knife. Paper towel is also a great choice for urgent situations. Gently blot the paint using a lifting motion to take the excess paint off your garment. You need to be careful not to rub the paint into the fibers.

Step 2: Wet the stain by flushing the water from the faucet. The force from the water will create enough pressure to wash most of the paint out of the fibers. Only use cold water, hot water will set fabric paint and make the paint cling tighter to the fabric.

Step 3: Rub the affected area with some drops of laundry detergent (dish soap can substitute perfectly). Dilute the detergent with the same amount of water to deliver a flawless outcome.

Step 4: Use a sponge to scrub the area or a spare toothbrush for small stains. Continue to scrub and rinse a few more times until the stain is not noticeable anymore.

Step 5: In case the laundry detergent is not strong enough, you can use a commercial paint remover. Apply the product according to the instructions on the package. The fabric paint will start loosening at this step.

Note: Find the pain remover that is suitable for cleaning fabric paint; read the package carefully before purchasing the product.

Step 6: Launder your garments with the washer using a large amount of your everyday laundry detergent. Remember to wash with cold water and don’t dry the garments unless the stain is completely gone.

The video below should be able to help you:

Watch this video: Such a simple way to eliminate fabric paint out of clothes

Remove Dried Fabric Paint

If you let the fabric paint dry on your clothes, the paint will cling to the fabric. Normal laundry will not remove the stain if you don’t pretreat it with the recommended solvent.

Note: Since this method uses acetone, don’t apply it to delicate fibers like wool or silk unless you want to ruin your favorite clothes.

Hand Applying Acetone Nail
Nail-polish remover can saturate fabric paint and restore the original look of your clothes.


  • Stiff nylon brush
  • Laundry detergent
  • Alcohol-based solvent (nail-polish remover with acetone content)


Acetone is a powerful chemical that can harm certain fibers, so before you decide to use this method, you can try a drop of this chemical on an inconspicuous area. Observe the area; if there are any damages to the fabric, skip this method.

Step 1: Use a stiff nylon brush and brush the excess paint off your clothes. That said, dried paint will adhere to your fabric, but you don’t have to brush aggressively because it might harm your clothes.

Step 2: Soften the paint with a small amount of alcohol-based solvent. Apply the solvent directly to the paint and allow it to sit there for a few minutes.

Step 3: Scrub the paint with a stiff nylon brush.

Step 4: Bring the garment to the sink, continue scrubbing with laundry detergent, and direct cold water from the faucet.

Step 5: Place your clothes in the washer and launder with cold water. Wash with more detergent than the ordinary quantity to clean the stains.

Step 6: Hang your garments and let them air dry.

Excellent Alternative Solvents To Break Down Fabric Paint

If you are dealing with a stain that is a bit tough, try the following suggestions. The trick is using an alcohol-based cleaning agent to soften the paint so you can wash it easily with water.

Alcohol, Turpentine, And Mineral Spirits

Turpentine and mineral spirits are famous for their ability to clean painting equipment, so they are a suitable choice to soften the paint. Denatured alcohol is also used to clean brush paint, so this is an excellent solvent that you can try (2).

Sanitizer Singleuse Protective Masks
Denatured alcohol in sanitizer could also help you wipe the stain out.


  • Denatured alcohol (turpentine or mineral spirits can work as well)
  • A cotton swab or an dropper bottle
  • Mild detergent
  • Clean cloths


Step 1: Damp a clean cloth with denatured alcohol and dab at the affected area on the fabric. If the stains are minor, pour the alcohol into an empty dropper bottle and drop alcohol on the stained area. A cotton swab might help if you can’t find any empty bottles.

Step 2: Allow the alcohol to saturate the area in a few minutes.

Step 3: Use another clean cloth and blot at the affected area until dry. Keep on repeating the whole procedure for 3-4 rounds until the stain is gone.

Step 4: Launder the garment follow the instructions given on the care label.

Step 5: Dry your clothes


Hairspray that has alcohol content will work the stain flawlessly. Just make sure your hairspray does not contain acetone so as not to ruin the fabric. The procedure with hairspray is straightforward, so you can consider using it now.


  • Hairspray (with alcohol content)
  • Mild detergent
  • An old toothbrush


Step 1: Apply hairspray directly on the stained fabric. You will want to spray in a close range not to spread the chemical on non-affected areas.

Step 2: Let the hairspray work for a few minutes.

Step 3: Scrub the stain with an old toothbrush and some drops of detergent with water at the sink. Keep scrubbing until the stain is removed to your satisfaction.

Step 4: Wash with the washer and hang the clothes on the clothesline.

Hairspray Spray
I bet you are surprised that your regular hairspray could help in cleaning fabric paint.

Take Care Of Your Expensive Delicate Fabric

If the fabric paint gets on your wool or silk garment, using regular detergent and other cleaning agents will harm the fiber. Choose a mild detergent and gentle solvent not to damage the fabric.

Stack Cozy Knitted Sweaters
Fragile material like wool will need to use gentle solvent to maintain the fabric.  


  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Denatured alcohol
  • Dry-cleaning solution
  • Cotton swabs
  • Clean rags
  • Glycerin
  • A large tub
  • Detergent for delicate fabric


Note: Make a spot test with glycerin and dry-cleaning solution on the fabric to ensure that your fabric can endure these chemicals.

Step 1: Dip the cotton swab in the denatured alcohol, then dab the cotton swab at the stained area. If the affected zone is big, you can dampen a clean rag with alcohol and blot the area.

Step 2: Allow the alcohol to penetrate into the fibers and loosen the paint.

Step 3: Use a clean rag to blot the alcohol out of the fabric.

Step 4: Should alcohol not work, drop some glycerin or dry-cleaning solvent on the stained area and allow the solvent to soak into the fibers.

Step 5: Use a new rag and dab the cleaning solvent at the discoloration.

Step 6: Mix a little amount of laundry detergent into a large tub with cold water. If you are handling silk, add half a cup of distilled white vinegar to sustain the fabric quality while washing.

Step 7: Handwash your clothes gently. Don’t rub or squeeze too hard so as not to ruin the clothes.

Here Are Some Vital Notes While Cleaning Fabric Paint

I have gathered some important notes that you need to notice while cleaning fabric paint. Try to memorize the following information to remove fabric paint perfectly from your clothes.

Say No To Heat

The heat will seal the fabric paint and make it cling to your fabric, so avoid using any high-temperature method. Besides, delicate fabric like wool will shrink when exposed to hot water. As a result, cold water is the suitable choice in this case.

Also, drying your clothes with a dryer or a hair dryer is not recommended, only apply these methods when you guarantee that the fabric paint is completely gone.

Some manufacturers produce fabric paint which can’t be sealed with heat, in this case, you can rinse your clothes with hot water to loosen the stain. Ensure that you follow precisely the instructions on the package.

Water Tap Hot
Hot water will make fabric paint permanent, so avoid washing your clothes with it.

Know Your Garments

Read the care label carefully to know what is best for your fabric. Any choices of detergent or solvent should follow the care tag unless you want your favorite clothes ruined while applying powerful chemicals.

Read The Pain Bottle

Some manufacturers make their products slightly different from others; therefore, you need to know the content of your paint. Using the wrong solvent could cause chemical interaction and damage the fibers.

Always Clean The Stain While It Still Wet

Like other stains, the sooner you act, the less effort you have to pay. With fabric paint, cleaning it while it is still wet is an ideal approach. The sealed paint is tough to wash off; you can even launder the heat-sealed paint for years without any significant changes.

Why Not Customize The Stain?

Fabric paint is designed to cover your clothes with a new and colorful appearance, so if the paint is sealed by the heat, here are some ways that you can utilize your creativity.

Improvise The Previous Paint

A good way to handle the sealed paint is to improvise with another drawing with the old paint. You can make yourself a masterpiece from the old paint mark, and this is an exciting way to optimize your artistic talent.

Don’t pour on the stain with a new paint because the previous layer will prevent the new one from adhering, so the outcome will not look like what you imagine.

Brush Paint Picture
Be creative and continue the previous paint, you might create a marvelous masterpiece.

Show Off Your Sewing Skill

Turn your long trousers into ¾ pants or shorten your long-sleeve shirt with your sewing skill. If the stain is near the edge of your clothes, you can hem the garment. Although the new one might be shorter, you will have a unique piece of clothes.

Decorate The Stain

You can cover the area with another piece of fabric or just some decorative items for textiles available on the local market. Colorful patches or some sequins will make your clothes look splendid. Plus, iron-on patches are also available for those who are not so skillful in sewing.

Patches Denim Embroidered
You can create cool-looking jeans with cute patches.


If you have further concerns about fabric paint, the following questions might help you clear them up. Let’s go!

Can I use rubbing alcohol to remove fabric paint?

Alcohol-based products can loosen fabric paint, so rubbing alcohol can work as a solvent in cleaning the stain of fabric paint. Especially when you have to deal with dried fabric paint, just dab some rubbing alcohol on the stain for a few minutes, then wash the garment.

Is it impossible to use vinegar to eliminate paint from clothing?

White vinegar can help you wash the delicate fabric without harming them. Your clothes will be brighter and softer after being washed with white vinegar. But vinegar alone is not strong enough to break down the stain from fabric paint, so you need stronger methods.

How can I remove paint out of polyester?

Simply blot some alcohol at the stained area, wait until the paint loosens, and rinse your fabric with cold water. After that, launder the affected clothes with heavy-duty liquid detergent, the stain will be removed.

Can bleach get rid of fabric paint?

Yes, dilute bleach with water, following the instructions on the package. After that, soak the stained garment in the bleach solution for around 15 minutes. Then, launder with liquid detergent and make a second round if the stain still persists.

Only use bleach after you have read the care tag on your garment or make a spot test. This chemical is powerful and can damage the fragile fabric.

Can fabric paint go in the dryer?

Heat will seal the fabric paint, so make sure you love the painting on your clothes. After going through the dryer, the fabric paint will stay on your clothes for many years.

Go With The Flow

Don’t panic if you can’t get the stain out of your clothes. There are tons of creative ways to play with the stain that even make your garment look unique. In this case, the only limitation is just your creativity.

I hope you have a great time decorating your own textiles. If you have any secrets or tips about fabric paint, please share them with me; I really appreciate your contribution.

How To Get Fabric Paint Out Of Clothes


  1. Fabric Paint Vs Acrylic Paint. 2021.
  2. 2021. Graffiti Removal Techniques.

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Kevin Jones

Kevin Jones

Home Cleaning Specialist

Expertise: In-depth Knowledge of Cleaning Agents and Their Uses, Advanced Home Sanitization, Techniques Expertise in Cleaning and Maintaining, Various Floor Types, Innovations in Home Cleaning Tools

School: American College of Home Economics

Kevin Jones is a seasoned home cleaning specialist with over a decade of experience in the industry. A stickler for cleanliness and organization, Kevin brings a systematic and innovative approach to home maintenance. His expertise ranges from traditional methods to modern cleaning technology, ensuring homes are not just clean but healthy environments too.

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