Got paint stains on your favorite clothes and shoes?
Many of you would have tried many things to get rid of it and got no success in it.
Well, the key to getting rid of it depends on two factors –
- Knowing the type of paint and
- Using the right solvent quickly to get the job done
Remember, you have to act quickly and take the required steps to get rid of it, otherwise, you would not be able to use your clothes and shoes again without any paint stains.
Use the spoon or knife to remove the maximum amount of paint from the location while it’s still damp because if it dries out, it would be a much difficult task.
After knowing whether it is latex paint or acrylic paint, choose the right solvent to scrub off the left-over paint stains from cotton clothes and shoes.
10 Different Ways to Remove Paint from Clothes and Shoes
To make things easier, I have listed down 10 proven and tested stain-removing solvents along with their application.
The trick is, you are not going to buy any costly items to get rid of the paint stains.
By using the below-mentioned day-to-day items you use in your household, you can still get wonderful results.
Even if one suggestion fails for you, you can use another, and so you never run out of ideas to save your favorite clothes and shoes from becoming redundant.
1- Dish Detergent Liquid or Powder
For painting walls and ceilings, latex paints are commonly used.
While you try to paint your walls on your own, chances are there for the paint to spill on your clothes and shoes.
Dish detergent is the ideal choice for this kind of stain.
- Wash the affected area with warm water
- Cover it with a cloth soaked in water and dishwashing gel
- After some time, scrub and wash it with warm water
- Repeat this process till the stain goes off completely
- Finally, wash it with cold water
This solvent works well on acrylic paint removal as well
Read the labels in the clothes or shoes to confirm whether it is color proof, otherwise, these solvents will rip off the colors from the fabric and shoes.
2- Rubbing alcohol
Rubbing alcohol on latex or acrylic paint stains helps to get rid of it.
- First, you have to spot out the area on shoes or clothes and dampen that area with cotton balls soaked in warm water.
- After that, apply a portion of diluted alcohol using a soft-bristled toothbrush (preferably an old one) and let it settle down on the paint for a few minutes.
- Scrub it gently in a circular motion with a scrubbing pad to remove the leftover stain marks.
- Wash it with cold water finally and let it dry overnight before using it.
This rubbing alcohol can also be used as shoe polish and deodorizer.
So, if you want, you can use it for polishing your shoes once the paint is removed.
If the paint blotches cover only a small area, your hairspray containing alcohol can play a handy role in removing the stains.
- Keep spraying till it covers the area fully and in due course of time, it will loosen the paint
- At this juncture, scrub it gently with a toothbrush or scrub pad to remove it completely
- Once the above process is over, wash it gently with warm water in the washing machine
Use this on your shoes as well and as a bonus, you get a scented shoe in return (depending on scent flavor in your hairspray).
4- Hand Sanitizer
Hand Sanitizers with alcohol content can be put to good use in removing the stains affecting smaller areas, and they have proven quite effective too.
You can follow the same process and application as you have done while using your hairspray.
- Moisten the spot on your fabric or rubber shoes
- Then scrub it with a pad and rinse it well
For a double strong attack on the stains, you can try the combo of both hair spray and hand sanitizer simultaneously.
5- Essential Oils
Essential oils (such as lavender oil) can be used to remove small spots of latex paint stains on your Jordans and canvas shoes.
- Add few drops of essential oil to the stain and let it remain for few minutes
- Once the oil gets soaked in completely, scratch the stains using a spoon or butter knife
- Repeat the process again a few more times, if needed, to remove the stains fully
Similar to essential oils, virgin olive oil also works great for paint removal from your carpets, clothes, as well as shoes made of canvas and even leather.
Just apply a bit of it on the dried acrylic paint and then scrub using an old toothbrush.
In your day-to-day life, you use duct tape for various purposes, and now you can add the removal of paint to that list.
Yes, it works better on latex paint removal and makes sure it is completely dry.
Usually, in the previous methods, we wet the fabric to remove the stains.
But in this case, it’s just the opposite. It should be dry completely.
- Scrub the dried paint stains using a scrubber or emery sheet
- After this, press the adhesive side of the tape to the stained area firmly with good pressure and then lift forcefully
You can see the paint stains get glued to the tape, and you get rid of it fully.
7- Acetone and Nail Polish Remover mixture
With this mixture, you get the power of two-in-one to fight your paint stains.
- Mix 80ml of nail polish remover with 20ml of acetone to prepare this mixture and transfer it to a container
- Soak the stained area in warm water and dampen it with cotton balls soaked in the mixture and let it remain on the surface for some time
- Rub it gently and remove the paint stains carefully without damaging your clothes, painter’s pants, or shoes
- As usual, wash it gently and let it dry
This mixture can also be used to remove the stains from the midsole of the shoes as well.
Just a word of caution for you – this solvent should not be used if the fabric contains acetate/triacetate because the acetone in nail polish removes reacts chemically and damages the fiber in clothes.
8- Salt, Ammonia and Vinegar
I am sure, every household will have these three basic things – Ammonia, Salt, and Vinegar.
You can make use of these things to your biggest advantage in the following proportion to combat paint stains.
- The ratio of mixing is 1:2:2 tablespoon of salt, vinegar and ammonia respectively
- Apply this mixture over the paint stains on your suede shoes or clothes and let it remain for few minutes until it gets ready to scrub thoroughly
If you still feel that stain is so strong, immerse the cloth in a bucket of water, add the mixture and leave it overnight and wash it the next morning.
9- Use the detergent used for laundry
Like the dish detergent, detergent used for laundry can also be used for cleaning your sneakers and canvas shoes.
- For removing acrylic or spray paint stain, immerse the rag in laundry detergent
- Leave it on the stain till it gets wet and loose
- After that, scrub it gently with a toothbrush and rinse it well
If you are doubtful that the power of detergent will be strong, then you can dilute it by mixing water.
This can do wonders in removing the paint stains from your shoes as well.
10- Paint thinner or Turpentine for Oil paint stain
With a good base of oil, oil paint is the most preferred for painting outdoors to give a shiny appearance and can last long.
Similarly, the removal of oil paint stains won’t go away easily as you think.
Out of many types of paint stains, removal of oil paint from the garment or shoe is a tricky process.
The routine process which you employed for removing other paint stains on jeans won’t work well on this.
So, for removing dried oil-based paints, resins, glue, or adhesives you have to follow a different method.
- You need a paint thinner or any other chemical-based substance like turpentine or mineral spirits.
- Use a bunch of paper towels to wipe out the stain and make the paint settlement on the garment or shoe thinner.
- Once you have done this part correctly, use a stain remover with detergent to get rid of those leftover robust stains and wash it completely.
When diluting the paint, it is advisable to use these chemicals outdoors due to their strong odor.
Tips and Warnings when Removing Paint from Your Garments and Shoes
Keep in mind, even though you are using household items for paint and stain removal, they may contain some toxic chemicals.
So, it is advisable for you to exercise caution while using them.
These solvents can penetrate through your skin, so make yourself safe by wearing gloves.
Also, consider wearing masks, as their inhalation can cause breathing difficulty.
It is better to do the paint removal in a well-ventilated area.
Kids always find painting (and paint stuff) funny and would definitely like to try their hands on it.
They also have the habit of putting everything in their mouth.
So, it is good to keep your kids away while the painting and stain removal activity is done.
The above paint removal methods are pretty handy to get back your clothes and shoes back to their original condition
No matter the dried paint is Kilz, Benjamin Moore, Sherwin-Williams, Behr, or any other, these solvents can help you without causing much damage if handled correctly.
Douglas Becker (aka Painter Doug) has over twenty years of experience as a painter in Adkins, Texas. At present, he resides in Florida with his family.
From painting multi-storeyed houses, condos, and apartments to large commercial buildings and small offices, he had served various customers in areas not only in Adkins but also in Southwest Florida, Sarasota, Naples, and many more. To know more about him check here.