DIY Mishaps: Removing Latex Paint From Clothes

DIY Mishaps: Removing Latex Paint From Clothes

Michelle Chin
Sep 26, 2011

As I'm deeply entrenched in renovations to the apartment over my garage, many cans of paint have been purchased. Sometimes, I'm too lazy to put on my official painting garb (old, holey overalls and t-shirts that are past their prime) and stay in the jeans or yoga pants I'm already wearing. The thought, "I'll be careful. No worries about getting paint on this," is often what one might call, "famous last words."

Saturday, while wearing my favorite pair of lazy girl pants that are nice enough to wear to the market, but comfy enough to nap in, I looked down and saw a good part of my thigh covered in Behr's Swiss Coffee ceiling paint. WHAT THE #$*@!? After a minor meltdown, I turned to the internet to, hopefully, save my pants. I had tried soap and water, Goo Gone and mineral spirits in the past, so I thought it may be a lost hope. But it wasn't! What worked? A simple thing that most of us have in the medicine cabinet: isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol.

All you need to do is pour a little isopropyl alcohol over the painted part of your clothing item (just enough to cover the stain) and start rubbing the fabric against itself. If it's cotton, jersey or denim, you can rub rather hard without harming your fabric. With anything more delicate, use your own discretion. With my pants, I rubbed the stain vigorously, then used my finger nail to scrape off the last few flecks of paint. I even tried it on an older pair of pants that I thought were goners. Even after having been put through the dryer twice, I was able to use this trick to remove 95% of the paint. I've also read that hairspray works, but I don't think I've had a can of hairspray in my house since the mid-90s.

Do you have any other tried and true tricks to remove paint from clothing? If so, please share them below.

(Image: Flickr Member Old Sarge licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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