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10 Ways to Get Oil Paint Out of Clothes (Step-By-Step Guide)


Ever notice how oil paint gets all over the place? Every time you paint, you seem to get more paint on yourself than on the walls. Tiny drips always find their way onto your garments. Will they remove? How do you get oil paint out of clothes?

While the clothing is still damp, oil paint should be removed. To stop paint from dripping through the garment, remove any excess using a cloth. Use a cold, running tap to rinse the object. Dish soap should then be applied to the stain. Utilizing detergent, wash the item. Paint thinners, acetone, or commercial stain removers can be used to remove dried oil paint stains.

We’ll look at some of the best 10 ways to get oil paint out of clothes in this article.

How to Get Oil Paint Out of Clothes?

You must move quickly if you want to get oil paint off of clothes—or any fabric, for that matter! That splash or blob trickling down your shirt needs to be still wet in order to have the best chance of getting rid of the paint. While they are still liquid, oil paint stains are simpler to remove.

First, you should wash any leftover paint from the fabric of your outfit. Remove the paint by blotting it with an old towel before it runs or spreads to other areas. As soon as possible, you want to prevent the oil paint from penetrating the fibers. But avoid rubbing the material, because the oil paint will be spread.

Once you’ve removed as much paint as you can, run cold water over the garment to help it dry. While considering your next step, keep the fabric as moist as you can.

Read the instructions before grabbing the paint can or tin. Before you begin to treat the stain, you should confirm that the paint is oil-based. Other paints are readily available. Acrylic and other water-based paints are easier to remove and don’t always require the same supplies as oil-based paints.

For oil paints, the tin will often indicate a solvent or thinning agent. Oil paint can occasionally be overly thick, thus paint thinners are used to make it a little bit easier to spread. This information is essential because you can remove oil paint using the same thinner that is specified on the can. Better yet, the tin need to provide advice on how to clean up spills or stains.

10 Ways to Get Oil Paint Out of the Clothes

Other solutions are available to get oil paint spots out of clothes. I’ve compiled a step-by-step list of a few of the X tried and true methods to remove oil paint from clothing. Using this list, you may choose which choice best fits your situation. Please note that wet paint stains are the focus of this section. Later in this article, we’ll discuss about dried paint stains.

1. Paint Thinners or turpentine

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Look on the paint can for the name of the thinners that are prescribed for your specific paint. You might notice that it makes mention of turpentine. This popular paint thinner and remover is referred to as “turps” for short.

But be careful when using it. Turps emits foul scents that are very offensive and might make you feel dizzy. They might give you headaches as well. Before applying paint thinners to your garments, such as turps, make sure the space is properly aired.

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What you need:

  • The paint thinner that is advised on your paint can
  • Airy environment
  • Rubber gloves
  • Turpentine
  • Clean white towels
  • The use of paper towels or an old bath towel
  • The care label on your clothing
  • Water and dish soap
  • Large bucket
  • Cotton swabs

Steps to follow:

  1. The fiber content of your clothing can be found on the care label. Turps and other paint thinners can harm synthetic materials. Test the thinners in a discrete region before applying a full treatment if you have a synthetic garment.
  2. Remove any extra or dripping paint by blotting it.
  3. Hold the cloth under running water after removing the extra paint. Keep the fabric damp at all times.
  4. On a level surface, spread out some paper towels. Put your clothing on the towels with the paint streaks facing the towel layer. Ensure adequate ventilation in the space where you perform this. Ideal would be outside.
  5. Use the paint thinners or solvent suggested by your paint can after checking it. For help cleaning up paint spills, refer to the tin’s instructions. Turps are an alternative that you have.
  6. For hand protection, put on your rubber gloves. To remove the discoloration, dab cotton balls with turps or paint thinner.
  7. The stain should continue to get additional turps or paint thinner until no more paint is able to transfer to the towel layer.
  8. Put dish soap on the stain and let it sit in a pail of water for the entire night. Once it is done, wash your cloth as usual.
  9. Look for paint stains after the wash cycle has finished. If there are any left, repeat step.


2. Dish soap

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Dish soap has uses beyond simply cleaning your dishes. It removes paint spills, filth, and grease. To achieve this, it breaks down the glue holding gloop to dishes, or in this example, fibers. Any dish soap will do, though Dawn is renowned for being particularly good at dissolving oil. So much so that oil spills on birds are cleaned up using this technique.

What you need:

  • Dish soap
  • The regular laundry detergent
  • Toothbrush
  • Fresh cloth
  • The Water Bucket
  • Washing machine

Steps to follow:

  1. To remove any extra, blot the oil paint spill with a clean cloth. You want to prevent the paint from spreading or soaking into the fabric of your garments. Simply dab; avoid rubbing as this could force the paint deeper into the fabric.
  2. Dish soap should be added in little amounts to the paint stain. Allow it to sit for at least 15 minutes. The stain should next be scrubbed with a toothbrush. A nailbrush would also work for this.
  3. Submerge the debris in running water to remove it. Look for evidence of paint leftovers. Repeat step 2 if you can still see some staining. If not, proceed to step 4.
  4. Wash the garment once you’re satisfied that all of the paint has been taken off. Set the machine to the standard detergent settings. When the wash cycle is over, inspect the item. Repeat the previous instructions if there are still any stains. Once you are happy with the results, only dry your clothes.


3. Borax and laundry detergent

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Stain removal abilities are built into laundry detergent. Similar to dish soap, it is designed specifically to remove unpleasant stains, especially those brought on by oil-based products. You can improve your detergent’s ability to remove stains by adding 14 cup of borax to the mixture.

What you need:

  • Regular laundry detergent
  • Laundry machine
  • Borax
  • Paper towels
  • The care label on your clothing
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Steps to follow:

  1. Use paper towels to blot the oil paint stain and remove any extra.
  2. Scrunch up the clean laundry detergent in your palm and apply it to the paint spot.
  3. Give the detergent 10 minutes or so to work its way into the stain.
  4. After that, throw your item of clothing in the washer. Simply wash it.
  5. Set the machine to the warmest setting that the clothing can tolerate after checking the care label on your cloth.
  6. Then, turn on the machine after adding your detergent and 1/4 cup of borax.
  7. After the wash cycle is complete, inspect your clothing for oil paint stains.
  8. Repeat the washing process if any are left. Dry your clothing once you are relieved that they are all gone.


4. WD40


Try pre-treating the stain with WD40 if you discover that the dish soap or laundry detergent isn’t quite able to cut through the oil paint. The majority of us have this in our garage. It is a water dispersion and degreaser that also removes paint.

What you need:

  • WD40
  • Paper towels
  • Cardboard
  • Laundry detergent
  • Laundry machine

Steps to follow:

  1. Try to get rid of as much of the extra paint as you can. To stop it from soaking into the cloth, blot it with the paper towels.
  2. On a discrete area of your garment, test the WD40. Make sure it won’t result in harm that exceeds that of the paint.
  3. Place the cardboard inside of your clothing. Do not forget to place it precisely below the stained spot. After applying WD40 to the stain, let it remain for ten minutes.
  4. Use the warmest machine setting that the item can tolerate for washing. You can use your regular laundry detergent, but make sure the machine is set to a cycle appropriate for tough stains.
  5. Check the item for paint stains after the wash cycle is finished. Dry your clothing if they are all gone.


5. Rubbing Alcohol


The most popular option for woodwork, furniture, and other surfaces that require a long-lasting, glossy finish is still oil-based paint. Knowing how to remove paint off garments is a little trickier than with water-based paint stains because of the oil in the paint formulae.

You must soak an oil-based paint stain in rubbing alcohol until it dissolves if it has dried.

What you need:

  • Liquid clothes detergent
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Paper towels
  • Water
  • Paint thinner

Steps to follow:

  1. Put a thick layer of paper towels down below the stain after turning the clothing inside out.
  2. Use a damp paper towel dipped in paint thinner to dab the stain until no more paint is absorbed.
  3. Warm running water should be used to rinse the stained area.
  4. To completely cover the stain, liberally apply liquid dishwashing detergent.
  5. Put the clothes in a hot tub or sink and leave them there all night.
  6. The following day, use hot water to rinse the clothes.
  7. According to the care label, wash the clothing.
  8. Before checking the stain, let the clothing air dry.


6. Ammonia, vinegar, and salt

Here’s how to remove oil paint from clothing using three common household items.

What you need:

  • Tooth Brush
  • Ammonia
  • Vinegar
  • Salt
  • Water

Steps to follow:

  1. One tablespoon of salt, two tablespoons each of vinegar and ammonia, are combined.
  2. Scrub at the stain with a rag or an old toothbrush dipped in the mixture until it disappears.
  3. Fill the sink with water and add additional ingredients, maintaining the same ratio of two parts ammonia, vinegar, and salt, if the stain is big or very difficult to remove.
  4. After soaking the soiled item in the sink for several hours or overnight, scrub the stain with a toothbrush once more.
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7. Acetone


Rubber, plastics, and oil can all be broken down with the help of the solvent acetone. It functions as one of the components in paint strippers. The removal of nail polish contains it as well.

Acetate-containing clothing, however, is lethal when exposed to acetone. You’ll melt an acetate shirt instead of removing oil paint off it. Mod acrylics operate in a similar manner. Use acetone sparingly if you are unsure of the fabric composition of your item.

Similar to how turpentine and paint thinners are used, acetone can also be used in this way. You may find step-by-step directions in the section above labelled “How to Remove Oil Paint from Clothes.”

8. Camouflage


Sometimes, especially with oil paint stains, it’s best to accept defeat. Living with the stain on your clothing is preferable to taking a chance on further harming the fabric.

Clothing with paint splatters is fashionable. So much so that some people purposefully smear paint all over their clothing. It gives off a distressed appearance, which is currently quite trendy. Why not play with the haphazard paint drops? You simply raised your street cred instead of damaging a shirt!

You might also attempt to conceal the paint stain. Consider tie-dying the fabric to transform the paint stain into a one-of-a-kind pattern.

If it doesn’t work, you can attempt iron-on or sew-on patches. Your oil paint will be concealed by a strategically placed stitched pattern over the top of the oil paint.

9. Commercial Stain Remover

Check the instructions on your paint can for information on the appropriate solvent for that specific paint before you contemplate using a stain remover like Goof Off.

Commercial stain removers may not be powerful enough to remove oil-based paint, which is one of their drawbacks. They are primarily directed towards latex and other water-based paints.

It’s always preferable to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for removing oil paint. especially after the paint has dried. Paint thinners or turpentine are frequently required to remove oil paints successfully. See the above article for a step-by-step tutorial on cleaning clothing of oil paint.

10. Lavender essential oil


Here is another super-simple method for getting rid of small oil paint stains. Simply apply five to seven drops of lavender essential oil on the stain and allow it to sit for 30 minutes. Once the oil has been absorbed, scrape off as much of the loose paint as you can with an upside-down spoon or a butter knife. Repeat as necessary or try one of the other techniques if all of the paint doesn’t come off.


It can be difficult to get oil paint out of clothes. You have a better chance of success if you treat the paint stain while it is still wet. Use turpentine or paint thinners to remove tough or dried-on stains.

However, pay attention to the fabric composition of your clothing. Paint-removing products can cause synthetic materials to react badly.

Wear old clothes and utilize drop cloths for a hassle-free painting session. You won’t have to worry about washing clothing that have oil paint on them that way.

5/5 - (4 votes)

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