Is Acrylic Paint Disposable? [Acrylic Removal from Fabric] Update 06/2022

You’ve certainly come across quite a few paint stains over the years, whether you have your own painting studio or just like to help your preschooler paint. Some paints are easy to remove from most surfaces, while others are more challenging. Does acrylic paint, for example, wash off clothes?

While the paint is still wet, acrylic paint is the easiest to remove from clothing. Several alternative methods can be used to remove both wet and dry acrylic paint off garments. Dishwashing soap, isopropyl alcohol, or an acetone-based nail polish remover are the most effective of these procedures.

This post will show you how to remove acrylic paint from clothing using eight different approaches. You’ll also discover why acrylic paint is so durable. Finally, there are some pointers for avoiding acrylic paint mishaps.

Does Acrylic Paint Wash Off Clothes

Is Acrylic Paint Permanent On Clothes?

If you catch acrylic paint while it’s still wet or before it’s exposed to heat, it won’t stain your clothes. The acrylic paint will heat up after washing and drying, making it incredibly difficult to remove. As a result, many fabric artists utilize heat to permanently adhere acrylic artwork to fabric.

Acrylic paint is water-resistant when dry and will not easily wash out of cloth, but it is not waterproof unless a special sealant is placed on top. As a result, you wouldn’t want to go out in the rain wearing an untreated fabric-art jacket!

Acrylic paint is made of of pigment suspended in a polymer emulsion of acrylic. Although the paint is essentially plastic, it is water soluble when wet and does not turn plasticky or water resistant until it dries. It dries rapidly as well.

Despite the fact that the first version of acrylic paint was invented in the 1940s, it was not commercially available for artists until the mid-1960s. Acrylic paints have a level of versatility that no other medium can match. Acrylics can be made to look like watercolors or oil paints depending on what you add to them. Furthermore, you may use this paint on a variety of media, including fabric, canvas, and wood.

Furthermore, acrylic paints are sometimes less expensive than watercolors or oils. Acrylic paint is a popular choice for anything from kid crafts to gallery artworks for all of these reasons!

Finally, in textile applications like painting a t-shirt, acrylic paints can typically be substituted for fabric paint. Acrylics can be used on almost any fabric, including synthetics. Many traditional fabric paints are only effective on natural fibers like cotton.

Does Acrylic Paint Wash Off Clothes?

How To Get Acrylic Paint Off Clothes

With the right treatment, such as hairspray or isopropyl alcohol, acrylic paint can be removed from clothing. Because this paint is water-soluble, if you catch a paint stain before it dries, you can usually completely rinse it away!

However, once acrylic paint has dried and hardened on fabric, it is far more difficult to remove the paint. Acrylic paint dries hard and plasticky, making fabric stiff to the touch and potentially ugly colorful blobs on your clothing. It’s possible that your garments will get uncomfortable as a result of this.

This paint will not come out of garments in an ordinary wash unless the stain is really new. It may fade significantly, but to completely remove acrylic paint off garments, you’ll need to use a special treatment. If you put a paint-stained clothing in the dryer, the paint will become almost permanent due to the heat.

If you smeared acrylic paint on your pants while working on an art project, for example, check to see if the paint is still damp before proceeding. If it is, dab the paint with a moist cloth as soon as possible, and then use one of the eight procedures described in this article.

If the paint is already dry, try scraping as much as you can off the jeans’ surface. After that, attempt a treatment like soaking part of the dried-on paint in isopropyl alcohol.

If you want acrylic paint to stay on your clothing (for example, if you painted a cool design on a t-shirt or jacket), you’ll need to mix it with a particular textile medium to keep it from breaking or remaining rigid and plasticky on top of the fabric. With this medium blended in, you can wash acrylic-painted garments without fear of destroying the design, which will last indefinitely.

How To Get Acrylic Paint Off Clothes

Though acrylic paint sets permanently on fabric once it dries, you may remove a stubborn paint stain with a variety of special procedures. All of these procedures work best when the paint is still wet and fresh, although dried-on paint may typically be removed successfully if it hasn’t been ironed or put through the dryer.

After you’ve washed the paint-stained garment, the chances of getting the paint out are slim to none. Before putting any clothing you worn while working with this paint in the washer, double-check it. That way, you can catch stains when they’re still easy to remove!

If you really like a piece of clothing and didn’t notice the paint stain until it was too late, consider one of the more difficult procedures listed below, such as using ammonia and vinegar. Even so, the set-in paint stain may not be completely removed.


The best likelihood of success is to use an acrylic paint stain as a pretreatment before using any of these procedures.

Most crucial, act fast to blot away as much of the stain as possible using a clean cloth or paper towel if you see it before it dries and hardens. To pull tough parts out of the weave of the fabric, use a firm paintbrush or toothbrush.

While wet paint is considerably easier to remove, don’t give up if you come across an old stain! Scrape away some plasticky paint with a spoon, blunt knife, or stiff brush to prepare dried acrylic paint for treatment.

The more paint you can scrape or dab away before you begin, the better!

Finally, most of these treatments should not be attempted while wearing stained garments. While some of the eight ways involve environmentally benign goods such as dish detergent, the majority of them use chemicals that should not come into touch with your skin.

1. Dish Soap

Dawn Ultra Original Dish Detergent Liquid Blu Plastic Squeeze Btl Rp, 16.2 Ounce

Because acrylic paint is water-soluble while wet, you can use this approach to remove paint out quickly!

  1. Combine equal parts water and dish detergent in a mixing bowl. Dish soap of any kind should suffice.
  2. Soak a clean cloth in the solution for a few minutes. Make sure it’s not too damp by wringing it out.
  3. Using the damp rag, dab at the paint stain. You should avoid rubbing the stain because this could spread it across the fabric’s surface.
  4. Using cool water, thoroughly rinse the stained area.
  5. Check to see whether any paint is still on the surface. Repeat the dabbing and washing process as needed until no paint is visible.

Of the eight techniques given above, this is most likely the quickest and least expensive. However, it works best with still-wet paint.

2. Isopropyl Alcohol

Medical Grade Isopropyl Alcohol - No Methanol - No Foul Odor - Meets USP Specifications - Approved for Hand and Skin Application (32oz) (1 Bottle (32oz))

Isopropyl alcohol is just rubbing alcohol that has been diluted. It’s sold in the same aisle as other disinfectants in most grocery stores and pharmacies.

This approach works on both wet and dry paint, but it works exceptionally well on dried-on paint!

  1. Place your ruined clothing over a sink or basin to soak up the liquid.
  2. Directly apply isopropyl alcohol to the stain, allowing the liquid to soak in and drip into the basin below.
  3. Scrape the paint using a spoon or blunt knife after wetting the stained area. At this point, try to get as much off as possible. Scrape the fabric back and forth, both with and against the grain.
  4. Remove the alcohol from the stained area by rinsing it.
  5. Look for any stray paint flecks in the stain.
  6. If the paint has worn off, wash the clothes as usual in your washing machine.

Finally, you can attempt this approach with rubbing alcohol instead of isopropyl alcohol, although the results will be less desirable. To remove all of the dried paint, you’ll probably have to repeat the technique several times.

3. Hairspray

L'Oreal Paris Elnett Satin Hairspray Extra Strong Hold Unscented 11 oz; (Packaging May Vary)

Several polymers, as well as alcohol and hydrocarbons, are found in hairspray. It may effectively remove paint stains from a variety of fabrics.

However, you should test a spritz of hairspray on an inconspicuous region of your garment before proceeding with this procedure. Some materials may be damaged by the chemicals in hairspray.

  1. Place your paint-splattered clothes over a sink or basin to dry.
  2. Hairspray should be sprayed all over the soiled area, saturating the fabric.
  3. Examine the paint to determine if the hairspray has softened it enough to allow you to pull an edge away from the fabric’s surface.
  4. Remove as much of the softened paint as possible as quickly as feasible.
  5. Using cool water, rinse the item.
  6. Check for any remaining paint particles. With your fingernail, you might be able to scrape away the remaining fragments. If the problem persists, repeat the hairspray and rinse cycle.
  7. To get the hairspray out of your clothes, wash them right away in a regular washing machine cycle.

With the hairspray approach, even old, dried-on paint can be pulled away. However, hairspray can damage some materials, so proceed with caution.

4. Nail Polish Remover/ Acetone

Cutex Ultra-Powerful Nail Polish Remover for Gel, Glitter, and Dark Colored Paints, Paraben Free, 6.76 Fl Oz

Acetone, which is also the principal ingredient in many paint thinners, is found in most nail polish removers. Unsurprisingly, this solution does a great job dissolving paint stains!

If you’re worried about coming into contact with harsh chemicals, you might want to put on gloves.

Also, test a small dab on a hidden area of your clothing to ensure it doesn’t cause an allergic reaction. Acetone is corrosive to spandex and other synthetic materials.

  1. Soak a clean towel or sponge in nail paint remover for a few minutes.
  2. Apply a moist rag to the paint stain and leave it there for five minutes.
  3. Remove the sponge or rag and inspect the fabric’s surface for any loosened or flaking acrylic paint.
  4. Scrape away as much paint as possible with a blunt implement like a spoon or a butter knife.
  5. Rinse promptly with cool water to remove the acetone before it causes harm to the cloth.
  6. Repeat the process if necessary to remove any leftover paint.
  7. Finally, wash as usual in warm water with detergent.

You almost certainly have a bottle of nail paint remover in your bathroom, making this a quick and easy stain removal option! Simply look to see if it contains acetone.

5. Windex

Windex Glass and Window Cleaner Refill Bottle, Bottle Made from 100% Recycled Plastic, Original Blue, 32 fl oz

Windex and other glass cleaners contain a variety of chemicals, including ammonium hydroxide. These chemical blends are frequently effective at removing both wet and dried paint.

  1. While the paint is still wet, dab away as much excess paint as you can. If there’s too much paint, start by scooping part of it away with a spoon.
  2. If you’re working with dry paint, start by peeling off as much as you can.
  3. Windex should be sprayed liberally over the paint stain.
  4. Blot the saturated area with a second clean rag. Make cautious not to rub the paint with the rag, as this could spread it even further.
  5. Using cool water, rinse the item.
  6. Check for any remaining paint on the fabric’s surface and, if necessary, repeat the spraying and blotting operation.
  7. Finally, to get rid of the Windex, wash your clothes as usual.

Windex can also remove acrylic paint from the hard surface of a variety of different materials, such as the plastic or foam components included in many cosplay outfits. If you do a lot of model construction and need to remove acrylic paint from metal objects like model automobiles, this procedure may come in handy.

Allow the Windex to settle on a hard surface for a few minutes before attempting to remove the acrylic paint.

6. Murphy’s Oil Soap

Murphy 70481465315 OIL SOAP Wood Cleaner, Original, Concentrated Formula, Floor Cleaner, Multi-Use Wood Cleaner, Finished Surface Cleaner, 128 Fluid Ounce (US05480A)

You undoubtedly recall the smell of Murphy’s Oil Soap from your grandparents’ house if they had wood floors. If you work with acrylic paint on a regular basis, keep this old-fashioned cleaning on hand. It will swiftly remove wet paint from fabrics as well as hard surfaces such as your table and floor.

It can also erase acrylic paint after it has dried if given enough time. You can, for example, soak a stiffened paintbrush overnight in a solution of equal parts soap and water. You can easily rinse the dried paint out of the brush with warm water in the morning!

  1. Before you begin, follow the pretreatment steps to remove as much extra paint as possible.
  2. Under running water, rinse the stained area.
  3. Soak a clean rag or paper towel in Murphy’s Oil Soap, undiluted.
  4. Using a moist rag, dab the stain. Take care not to rub the paint into the fabric any further!
  5. Rinse the clothing again, and check to see if all of the wet acrylic paint has been removed from the fabric.
  6. Finally, wash the clothing as usual to remove any residual soap and any paint flecks that may have become entangled in the fabric’s weave.

7. Ammonia and Vinegar

Austin's 00051 Clear Ammonia Multipurpose Cleaner - 64 Ounce

This procedure necessitates the use of many materials as well as a little more effort, but it can be very effective in removing dried acrylic paint.

Always conduct some study before mixing common household cleaning chemicals, as a word of caution. However, mixing ammonia and vinegar does not produce any hazardous gases or chemical reactions!

  1. If the paint is still wet, use the pretreatment process to get as much paint off the fabric as possible before you begin.
  2. Soak the soiled area of the fabric in cold water until it is completely saturated.
  3. Combine one cup ammonia, one part vinegar, and 1/4 cup salt in a solution.
  4. Using a wringer, wring out the clothing and place it on a safe surface. A huge garbage bag or a plastic tablecloth can be used.
  5. Soak a clean sponge or towel in ammonia solution and scrub the discoloration vigorously. You can massage in this situation, especially on dried acrylic paint! Furthermore, the salt will act as an abrasive, assisting in the removal of the paint.
  6. Rinse this section of the fabric several times and check for any remaining paint.
  7. Finally, to get rid of the chemical odor, wash your clothes in the washing machine!

8. Lacquer Thinner

Sunnyside Corporation 457G1 Lacquer and Epoxy Thinner, Gallon, 6 Pack

Lacquer thinner is more caustic than regular paint thinner since it contains many solvents, including acetone. As a result, you’ll need to test a small amount of the product on your fabric to ensure the thinner doesn’t harm the fibers.

While lacquer thinner is a powerful tool that comes with some risk, it may be used to remove acrylic paint from a variety of surfaces, including concrete!

  1. Scrape off as much acrylic paint as possible without smearing it deeper into the fabric.
  2. Use a clean cloth soaked in lacquer thinner to dab at the discoloration.
  3. Rinse the rag and continue the process until no more acrylic paint is visible on your clothes!
  4. Of course, wash the clothing as soon as possible to remove the lacquer thinner before it damages the fabric.

How to Get Dried Acrylic Paint Out of Clothing

The methods indicated above for removing dried acrylic paint from garments are acetone, ammonia and vinegar, and isopropyl alcohol. Any of the eight methods will work, but these three are particularly effective at soaking into dried paint and causing it to flake or peel away.

Plan to spend some time scraping paint flakes out of the fabric, regardless of whatever approach you employ. Unfortunately, after acrylic paint has dried, cleanup becomes considerably more difficult.

One thing you don’t want to do is put clothing in the washer and dryer that has an old paint stain on it. This will just compound the problem by causing the acrylic to heat set into the fabric.

Instead, consider whether you want to invest some time in rescuing the discolored cloth and using one of the treatments described in this article.

Does Acrylic Paint Come Out of Clothes in Wash?

Wet paint stains may partially come out in the wash if you act promptly and pretreat the fabric correctly. Acrylic paint that has dried will not wash out of textiles.

In general, utilizing a chemical rinse and scrub, such as the ones outlined in this article, and then putting your item in the washer for a final wash is preferable.

If you prefer to wash clothing that has been soiled with new acrylic paint, make sure you do so on its own! You might end up with a full load of soiled clothes if you don’t.

However, unless you throw an entire bottle of paint in the washer, a small stain on a garment should not harm or stain your washing machine in any way.

Tips for Preventing Acrylic Paint Stains

Although a little paint splatter is unavoidable, you can take a few extra steps to avoid a lot of potential acrylic paint stains!

Here are a few pointers to assist you avoid having to remove an acrylic paint stain entirely.

  • Keep your work area safe. Before your child begins an art activity at the kitchen table, you may quickly lay down newspaper on the floor!
  • Put on your old clothes! You won’t have to worry about removing fresh stains if you’re wearing old, stained, or ripped clothes because you won’t be concerned about ruining them!
  • Take into account any potential seepage. If you’re painting on a shirt, for example, a cardboard buffer should be placed between the front and back of the shirt to prevent paint from soaking through to the reverse side.
  • While you’re working, keep paper towels and the cleaner of your choice handy. Keep in mind that blotting away a fresh smear of paint is considerably easier than scraping away congealed or dried acrylic paint!


Any of the eight procedures outlined here will readily remove acrylic paint from clothing, including blotting a fresh stain with dish soap and water, soaking the stain in isopropyl alcohol, and washing the stain with a mixture of ammonia, vinegar, and salt.

However, unless you use one of these specific treatments, acrylic paint is unlikely to come out of clothing in the wash. Also, working with dried acrylic paint is more difficult. You can also scrape dry paint out of your clothes with a little effort!

Have you attempted to remove acrylic paint from your clothing? Which approach did you employ? Please let us know in the comments section below!

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