ART SHARE – How do YOU get paint out of clothing?

One of the questions I most often get about paint is, “Is it washable?”

How do you get paint out of clothing?Parents often get annoyed when children come home with paint on their clothes, so teachers have to concern themselves with this. Sometimes the most beautiful paints are “mostly washable” but not completely. And even with “washable” paints, the reds and other colors don’t always come out completely. I find that Zout brand laundry stain remover works best in getting out paint stains.

What are YOUR tricks for getting paint out of clothes? Please share your comments.

17 thoughts on “ART SHARE – How do YOU get paint out of clothing?

  1. Having been in Childcare for over 30 years, I found a mix of:1 part water, 1 part amonia, 1 part regular dishsoap, mixed together, and sprayed onto stains,will remove just about any thing. JUST BE CAREFUL not to breathe the fumes from the ammonia.Note: most purple paints will not come out completely, something in the dye.

  2. We have a product here in Canada called Hertel. It’s advertized as a surface cleaner, but sprayed right into the fabric before washing, it’ll even remove purple.Also good for baby formula, blood, and friut stains ( Of course, once something has been through the dryer, the stain becomes permanent) Jan

  3. Having only 32 years of motherhood (including more than 25 years as a Girl Scout), I guess I have a different view of this kind of “mess.”We have always worn paint clothes for activities that might trash them. That includes gardening, building, glueing and so forth.In completing my degree in Art two years ago, I followed the same rule. If I wore it to the studio, it had to be able to be sacrificed.I patched patches on my jeans when I was sculpting. It was no more than I asked of the girls as they grew up. We all changed clothes when necessary. Sometimes, that meant before going to classes in the rest of the university. Play clothes for playing, school clothes for school (with old shirts sprayed with Scothguard for projects), Sunday clothes for church.And, sometimes, paying the price for irresponsibility by having to wear damaged attire that didn’t come clean with regular attention. This did not stifle our girls’ creativity. One has a master’s in Math and is a weaver, one has a master’s in Divinity and is an internet marketer, and one has a brand new BFA and works in graphics.It seems to me that, after proper precautions, parents should be educated on expectations more than cleaning techniques.My sister and I are blogging about infants and toddler questions on AuntyB and Grandmama. Hopefully, we’ll be helping parents along with expectations before those children get to the age where you’re dealing with them.Sarah Hester

  4. Sarah, Wow, you’re definitely passionate about this outlet for creativity. I think that enthusiasm has impaired your ability to consider all of other people’s situations. We’re not just talking here about a certain age group or learning environment. My son goes to preschool three days/week for three hours. I am not there w/ him, and his teachers are not, and should not be expected to change our children’s clothing each time they engage in an art project. Unfortuanately, I can’t afford to have a separate arsenal of clothing that is just meant for destruction, and frankly am not interested in sending him out three days/week in ruined clothing. Thanks for your input. The other postings on this topic have proven to be quite helpful regarding the original request for help.Blessed mother of two.

  5. Thank you for the blog. It is useful read what others have done to remove stains. My 4 year old goes to all day daycare and I love sewing cute sweatshirts etc for her and DO NOT believe that stains should be allowed to happen without taking basic sensible precautions such as…1.)Children can be smocked and 2.)the staining paints/colors and be thrown out. When my daughter came home from school today with her absolutely adorable homemade top covered in paints I WAS FURIOUS with the schools lack of professionalism and attention. The shirt was so stained that they had taken it off her. I really hope I can salvage the shirt.

  6. Many preschools have aprons for art projects. When my girls were in preschool/daycare, we were asked to send oversized shirts for those. I “scotchgarded” those to make them easier to clean.You have every right to expect for there to be adequate supervision in a preschool situation. If your child is being harmed, there is a problem. If their clothes were torn off by another child, there is a problem. If paint is on a garment from another child’s actions, there is a problem.Paint on a garment from activity is part of what they do, if not protected. Proaction, in this case, by asking for aprons or smocks to be used is indicated.It is common for daycares and preschools to return children to their caregivers with clean faces, clean hands and clean clothes (which you send with them in expectation of such activities) so that the child is ready for the rest of the day.If they are not returned to you cleaned up, I would then question the supervision and sanitation at the facility.Suiting clothing to activity is still the best choice with the adorable outfits left for occasions where the children are on display, not at play, for example, church or family excursions out.If you want to send children to participate in educational, creative activities in clothing in which you’ve invested yourself, make sure that those clothes are protected and/or expendable. A painted t-shirt that’s been “scotchgarded” will weather the usual activities better than a blouse with a lot of needlework.Do you think I don’t know that kids are kids? Even three sets of adults eyes on groups of ten are sometimes not enough. (Our Daisy/Brownie troops were limited to ten with three leaders.)Now, my husband is another story. And I use the new Spray and Wash Stick with Resolve to try and salvage his clothing that he wears for inappropriate activities. Sigh.

  7. I logged on to get advise on REMOVING “washable” paint stains from my daughter’s clothing. I understand that precautions can be taken to prevent the stain in the first place and I have done that in the past when I had previous knowledge that my girls would be painting or using markers; however, my husband is a minister and we were at visiting a church where He was preaching. I sent my daughter to Sunday School in an adorable dress with matching sweater, socks, hairbow etc….I was not expecting a painting from my 4 year old but I got it and a beautiful dress covered in brown “washable” paint. I was told by the teacher that it was washable and would come right out to which I said thank you (knowing that if it did it would be a miracle from above) I have 3 girls the oldest 12 and have had similar instances of ruined church clothes, sending my daughters to Sunday School and seeing them with their dresses covered in paint and the infamous “washable” marker!!! Without sounding harsh, it is hard for me to go to all the teachers that teach my girls in Sunday School and say “under no circumstances, are my children to use markers or paint!! So my solution HAS to be, get the paint out! I have had a little success with bleach pens on whites but this dress is dark blue with brown paint! I’m not willing to throw it out but I’m also not willing to let her wear it anywhere! I need a solution that will not bleach the dark blue color (that would look worse than the brown paint) Any advise is appreciated and any solution valued! Hey, I’m not ruling out that Miracle either!!

  8. i want to get paint out of my jeans not listen to a lecture about how im irresponsible because i worn good jeans to paint. your a grandma so you obviuosly don’t remember what being young and carefree is like. just give me solutions not ways to prevent what has already happened!

  9. If your child or children get permenet paint on their clothes or even them self use gasolin to get it off of their hand to get it of their clothes wash their clothes two times using Bounty washing diturgent

  10. gasoline does get paint off skin, i`ve tried that and it causes no harm. i`ve also heard that when clothes get a paint stain , it should be rubbed immediatly with gasoline, not water, gasoline!Now, after i`ve had branded clothes stained and unfortunatly…dried! i`ve decided to wear them beneath something, allowing only the colar or sleeves to appear, just covering the stain!

  11. why cant you just say it simply….. zout, gasoline, or the amonia water and dishsoap mixed together. i came on here to find out how to get a stain OUT not how to prevent one from getting on me. i am a preschool teacher smock or not smock there are not enough smocks in the world that could cover the pants i HAVE to wear every day as a uniform that fortuantatly for me are attracting paint from every angle!!

  12. Amused and enlightened by the debate here! What strikes me is that many people see their clothing as a means of expression,as well as an investment.Others value more the opportunity to express themselves through paint, clay, gardening, etc.I found this as I am about to facilitate art for a group of kids at church. I wonder if people really think we could paint without getting it on ourselves? But I get that people also are not tuned in to the activity schedule within the kid's hour.I solemnly promise to have them wear the cut t-shirt smocks, to try to use soap and water on paint that does get on clothes, and to pass on the 'getting stains out' tips that appeared here. Perhaps I should also make an announcement about painting so parents can opt to have kids play on the playground instead of paint? Thanks for the discussion and the opportunity to understand each point of view.

  13. Im amazed at peoples negative attitude to being prepared for messy subjects – of course you must take responsibility for your childs clothes – dont put them in 'best' outfits and allow them to be young adn carefree – its only paint – you are young for so short a time – go enjoy…

  14. Having only 27 years as a mother (not 32 like Grandmama Sarah), I guess I wasn't prepared enough for my HUSBAND to brush up against some wet paint at a house we were preparing for rental. (WE weren't painting). That's why I came on here, and I haven't really gotten anything useful from the "helpful" tips on how to prevent the stain in the first place!I will try the water/ammonia/dishsoap idea – thanks Iam

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