Does Acrylic Paint Wash Off Clothes? The Solution

As fancy, as it sounds, being an artist is never easy. Especially when you have to work with acrylics and the paint gets stuck to your clothes. While some paints come off easily from the clothes, others do not. To remove acrylic paints from your clothes, you must wash them as quickly as possible while they are still wet to remove as much paint as possible. 

However, as we all know, the best part about working with acrylic colors is that they dry out quickly compared to oil colors. But, in case of cleaning those off of clothes could prove to be difficult for you. You do not have to worry; it is not a very complicated task to clean acrylic paint from any fabric, whether they are in a wet or dried state. 

So if you are wondering –does acrylic paint wash off clothes or not; this article will help you discover some of the quickest and most natural techniques to remove acrylic paint stains from your garments. Make sure to read the article until the end so you do not miss out on any crucial information.

Does Acrylic Paint Wash Off Clothes

So the Question: Does Acrylic Paint Come Off Clothes?

Acrylic paint doesn’t damage the fabrics and is not permanent on clothes either. Also, it is easier to get rid of wet acrylic paint stains by simply washing the clothes with fabric softener. 

If you can clean it off while the color is still wet or is exposed to sunlight, it would be easy to get rid of the excess paint stains. But, if you directly wash the clothes without pre-treating the stain or when the paint dries off, you will have to go through some steps to get rid of the color blot. 

You can easily wash wet acrylic paint out of clothes by adapting appropriate treatment methods. Using compounds such as isopropyl alcohol (nail polish remover) or hairspray, you can pre-treat the fabric’s surface exposed to acrylic color. Wet acrylic paint is water-soluble.

However, when acrylic dries off, it turns into plastic, and the product’s compound alters completely and makes it water-resistant. 

Therefore, it is said that as soon as the acrylic paint dries on the fabric, it gets difficult to wash out the paint stain from the garments. Apart from leaving behind an odd color blob spot, the fabric paint will make your t shirt stiff, making your favorite pieces of cloth go waste. 

If you forcefully try to remove excess paint stain without pre-treating the colored surface of the fabric, it will leave behind some faded spots. Suppose you directly put your favorite garment into the washing machine before taking any preventive action.

In that case, the heat produced in the machine will make the acrylic stain permanent on the cloth. Therefore, it is extremely important that you pre-treat the fabric. 

Read Also: How to Remove Paint from Clothes

Easy Ways to Remove Acrylic Paint From Clothes

Although acrylic paint stays on clothes after it has dried, the stain can be removed if you adapt some special treatment techniques. All the techniques work effectively if the paint is still damp and has not been exposed to heat. To save your clothes from getting damaged, check the ones you wore while working with colors before washing them in a washing machine. 

Even if the paint has dried off naturally on the cloth, it can still be removed unless you have used a washing machine to dry the wet cloth or ironed the fabric. The chance of getting rid of paint stains decreases significantly if the garment is not pre-treated or is exposed to artificial heat methods. Double check the clothes you use during your painting hours so that if there are any paint stains on the fabric, you can catch them at the right time and get rid of them. 

If you haven’t noticed the wet paint stain on time and it was too late before you realized, something can still be done. However, the methods used could be a little harsh and time taking. But, getting rid of the acrylic paint blots is still possible.

Pre-Treating Is Important:

Before you get ahead with cleaning acrylic paint out of your favorite garment, you must apply some pre-treatment methods to make the fabric ready for some additional cleansing treatment. Use a paper towel to clean the fabric from as much paint spots as possible. You can also use an old toothbrush with stiff bristles to scrape the hardened excess paint blots from the fabric’s surface.

Although fresh and wet acrylic paint stains are easier to get rid of, don’t be upset if you find an old spot of acrylic stain on the cloth. To get the cloth ready for further treatment, you can use a blunt knife, spoon, or a hard bristle cloth brush to help you eliminate the plastic that acrylic paint would have turned into. 

Do not attempt to clean off the wet paint from the fabric while still wearing the cloth. Here, we have listed below a few techniques that you can use to wash out paint stains from the clothes.

Method-1: Ammonia and Vinegar

Ammonia and Vinegar

Using Ammonia and Vinegar can be the most effective method to get rid of acrylic paint flecks. But, people generally avoid this method as it requires a little more work than usual. 

  • First, check if the paint-stained area is still wet or completely dried off. Use the pre-treatment technique to get rid of as much dried paint stain as possible and then only proceed ahead with the remaining steps
  • It would be best if you soaked the entire fabric or at least the stained spot in cold water until it is soggy wet
  • Mix one part vinegar with a cup of ammonia and 1/4th part table salt solution. 
  • Wring out the soaked cloth completely and get rid of all the extra water from the cloth, then lay it on a plastic garbage bag or table cloth
  • Take a rag or sponge and soak it in the ammonia and vinegar solution and rub it vigorously on the acrylic-stained area
  • Rinse the tainted portion, again and again, to get rid of any extra paint
  • Then put the cloth in a wash cycle and cleanse it thoroughly to remove any additional paint spots.

Method-2: Dish Washing Liquid

The prime nature of acrylic paint is that the molecules of the product are soluble in water. Therefore, if you use a dishwashing liquid to apply it to the dried paint-stained spot and then wash it off with water –you might get better results. Follow the process to clean the acrylic paint spot tactfully:

  • Mix equal parts of the dishwashing liquid with water in a container
  • Take a clean cotton cloth, preferably of a lighter shade, and soak it in this solution
  • Take the soaked cloth, wring out the excess water, and dab that wet cloth on the acrylic-stained spot on your favorite t shirt. But, remember not to rub the wet cloth on the paint-stained spot harshly; this would cause the color to spread further
  • Now, rinse out the tainted fabric in cold water
  • Double-check the fabric for any paint remains

You can repeat this step if some acrylic paint stains still remain on the garment. 

Method-3: Using Hairspray

The hairspray is composed of several hydrocarbons and polymers of alcohol; therefore, it works effectively in removing stains, especially of acrylic paint. 

NOTE: Before using the hairspray directly on the fabric, test it on some inconspicuous spot of the garment. Generally, hairspray contains a lot of chemicals, and we wouldn’t want any damage to be caused to your favorite attire. 

  • Lay down your favorite acrylic stained t shirt on a basin 
  • Take the hairspray and spray it thoroughly over the acrylic spotted area so that the fabric soaks in the solution
  • Generally, the hairspray is supposed to soften the hard paint spot. Wait for it –so that you can peel off the paint from the fabric directly
  • Remove the softened part as much as possible
  • Then rinse the cloth in cold water (do not at any cost use warm water for rinsing)
  • See if acrylic paint flecks remain, and scrape them off with your fingernail

You can repeat the step if you are unhappy with the results.

Method-4: Isopropyl Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol’s diluted form –isopropyl alcohol is an effective agent that can help you eliminate acrylic paint stains. Isopropyl alcohol can easily be available in your nearby grocery store or pharmacy. This particular method can be applied both on wet or dry paint spots. Follow the steps mentioned below one by one, and you will see positive results:

  • Lay the stained cloth on a sink 
  • Take some isopropyl alcohol solution in a measuring cup and then pour it directly onto the stained spot of the fabric
  • Once the stained spot has been soaked with the alcohol solution, let it sit for some time; then, use an old brush or blunt knife to scrape off the plastic blot
  • Use cold water to rinse off the garment from alcohol
  • Re-examine the cloth again to check for any remaining spots of acrylic stains, and then repeat the same process on the stained area
  • Once all the stains have been successfully removed, drop the cloth into the washing machine and give it a proper wash

Rubbing alcohol can also be used instead of nail polish remover. But, use some cotton ball to apply the rubbing alcohol to the stained spot, and do not pour the solution directly onto the fabric.

Method-5: Commercial Stain Remover

Several commercial stain removers available in the market today, like BISSELL Professional Spot and Stain +Oxy portable Machine Formula or OxiClean On the Go Stain Remover Pen, can be effectively used in getting rid of acrylic paint stains. The only way to appropriately use them is by reading the user manual provided on the packaging of the commercial stain removers. 

No matter what products you use on your fabrics to get rid of acrylic stains, always remember to pre-treat your clothes and never wash them in hot water. Always use cold water to rinse off the blobs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Does Acrylic Paint Stain Fabric?

Yes, acrylic paints stain the fabrics but can be easily removed if caught when the paint is still wet. Some artists paint on fabric with acrylic colors and use them as commercial products by ironing the paint on the garment. However, if you accidentally got some acrylic stains on your favorite attire and want to get rid of it, then that is possible.

Q: How Do You Get Dried Acrylic Paint Out Of Clothing?

There are several methods of getting rid of acrylic paint from fabric. Some homemade techniques include ammonia and vinegar solution, dishwashing soap solution, isopropyl alcohol, hairspray, or even commercial products that can be used to get rid of dried acrylic paint out of fabrics.

Q: Does Acrylic Paint Wash Off Denim?

Acrylic paint can be washed off from any fabric when fresh and wet. But, you do not have to worry if you have just discovered some dried acrylic paint stain on your favorite denim jacket. Here is a video that you can watch to learn the steps to remove acrylic paint from denim fabric.

Q: What Paint Does Not Wash Off On Clothing?

It isn’t easy to get rid of acrylic color if the stained spot is completely dried off. However, getting rid of paint from clothing is not completely impossible. However, if any amount of oil color has stained your garments, then it could be a real headache to get rid of it.

Wrap Up

You can easily get rid of acrylic color stains from clothing using some of the efficient methods used in the article. When the strain has dried off completely, you need to use the pre-treatment techniques described above so the wet is soaked again and its water-resistant plastic nature is reversed. 

Generally, it’s easier to get rid of acrylic color when it is dry because –the compound is water soluble. Even if you can’t scrape off the spot to remove the paint, you can put the fabric up for a wash cycle and see the results. It is a real challenge to get rid of the paint with dried acrylic.

Have you tried any of the methods before, which we have mentioned in the article? How did it work for you?

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Loard Eva

Hi there! I’m Eva, artist, designer, photographer and mom of three little gentlemen altogether. When I’m not playing with my kids, you’ll find me researching and writing for ChooseMarker.

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