Accidents happen all the time and it is always best to know what to do and how to act when they do. In the case of spilled acrylic paints, the first step you need to take is to think fast and act immediately.
You will understand why acting fast when dealing with acrylic paints is important when you learn about the way they work.
You see, by nature, acrylic paint consists of pigments that are placed in a solution of acrylic polymer. Acrylic polymer becomes water-soluble when it is wet and tends to be resistant to water when it becomes dry. This is why you need to act quickly before the paint dries off; otherwise, there may be a permanent stain on your clothes.
Now that you know how acrylic paint reacts when it is dry and that it is crucial that you act fast, the question comes as to what things you can do to rescue your clothes from spilled paint.
Here are some basic step-by-step instructions which you can follow:
3 Steps to Getting Rid of Acrylic Paint from Clothes
1. Act Fast
Yes, I have covered necessity already, but, I cannot emphasize the importance of this act enough. Immediately start o removing all the excess acrylic paint, the moment you get it on your clothes.
2. Keep the Stain Wet
Just like it’s important to act fast, it is equally important to keep the stained area wet for as long as you cannot give it for a wash. Make sure the paint doesn’t dry until it is possible to wash your clothes.
3. Give it for a Wash
Give your clothing directly into the water for a wash and mix detergent. If you prefer, you can wash your clothing by hand too. If you are washing your clothes in the machine, then do not forget to adjust the settings to cool. This is because warm settings may cause the stain to set in your fabric more.
What to Do When Acrylic Paint Dries
If by any chance, the acrylic paint has dried off some time ago, there are three ways in which you salvage your clothing; so there is still some hope.
1. Using Stain Removers
If the stain is too stubborn the best plan is to get some commercial stain remover and apply it according to the instructions given on the bottle. Commercial stain removers can be available at any store and reliable pharmacies.
2. Go for Hairspray
Hairspray also works well for treating stains on clothes. You need to completely drench the stain with hairspray and wait for it to start softening. Once you see the stain is becoming soft, gently scrap off the paint and wipe it off. Then, run cool water directly through the stain. Afterward, give your clothing a regular wash.
3. Nail polish Remover is a Good Idea
Nail polish removers contain a property called acetone, which helps break down the dry acrylic paint. Begin by dipping cotton balls, cotton swabs or paper washcloths in a good nail polish remover and, press it on the stain gently, but firmly. Continue pressing on it till you notice the stain starting to soften up. When you see that the acetone has broken down the acrylic paint well enough; scrap off the paint using the edge of a card or a blunt knife. Afterward, thoroughly rinse the spot with cool water to wash away the nail polish remover.
Things to Remember When Treating Acrylic Paint on Clothes
There are some points which you need to keep in mind when you are treating paint stains on clothes, and I have summarized them below for you to learn.
1. Window Cleaners or Multi-surface cleaners
These cleaning agents will not benefit you because they contain a rich concentration of water and, dried acrylic paint is insoluble and resistant to water, remember?
2. Vinegar and Ammonia
Vinegar and ammonia should not be an option too because of the same reasons. They have a high concentration of water and applying them to clean your acrylic stain is, frankly, pointless.
3. Be Careful when using Nail polish Removers
Acetone can be flammable, so, it is extremely important that you are reasonable away from any sources of fire while you’re treating your stain with nail polish remover.
4. Do not Rub on the Stain
Smudging against the stain may be the first, instinctive reaction; however, doing this will only cause it to become more prominent and more set into the fabric. Plus, it is not going to help in any way.
5. Run a Trial First
I won’t lie; there is always a chance that the acetone or the chemicals from hairspray can cause damage to your clothes. That is why it is wise that you test a little bit of those cleaning agents on a small, unnoticeable area of your dress first.
6. Do not Ignore the Product Label
Before deciding to go with any technique or applying any kind of cleaning agent on the fabric, it is of utmost importance that you go through the warnings and instructions provided on the product label. The label will have the correct guidance on how to handle that clothing and will save it from further damage.
7. Avoid Ironing on Traces of Stain
If you find that after trying out every possible removal method, there are still some light traces of the stain remaining on your clothing, then I would suggest that you not iron it. Try giving it to the dry cleaners instead.
Additional Tips for Paint Stains
1. If you are opting for hairspray, try to make sure that it is an alcohol-based hairspray, as it will be the most effective at treating the stain.
2. I have prepared a list of cleaning agents that I think are the most effective:
- Rubbing alcohol
- Heavy detergent
- Commercial stain remover
- Enzyme-based stain remover
Well, that is pretty much it when it comes to getting acrylic paint out of clothes. I hope my article was able to help you.
Best of luck!
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