How to Remove Paint Stains From a Cotton Shirt

Written by amanda williams
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Paint is supposed to be on walls and canvases, but occasionally it does end up on our clothing. Paint can be very pesky to remove from a shirt if you aren't sure what to use, and you certainly wouldn't want to further ruin your shirt. A little elbow grease and some rubbing alcohol, hairspray and Windex will go a long way to remove paint stains, specifically from cotton shirts.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Gloves
  • Spoon or fork
  • Tooth brush
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Hairspray
  • Windex
  • Washing powder

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  1. 1

    Scrape or peel off as much of the paint stain as you can with a spoon or fork. Don't scrape too hard or you might ruin the shirt. If this fails to remove all traces of paint, wash the shirt in a washing machine with warm water then dry. This will loosen up the stain.

  2. 2

    Dampen the stain with warm water after it is washed then apply either rubbing alcohol, hairspray or Windex. Try all three separately if necessary. Using a toothbrush or other scrubbing device available, scrub at the stain until the paint is removed.

  3. 3

    Rinse the paint stain with warm water to remove the rubbing alcohol, hairspray and/or Windex from the shirt. Let the shirt dry completely and assess your work. At this point, the stain should be removed, but if need be, apply a warm water and a chemical and scrub again.

Tips and warnings

  • If all else fails try Coca Cola. Empty some cola onto the stain and scrub, or add a can to a washing machine cycle.
  • Don't use these paint removal methods on other types of fabric besides cotton, such as satin or velvet. The scrubbing and chemicals will end up damaging and discolouring the fabric.
  • If you experiment with other chemicals to remove the paint stain, read the labels to make sure the combination isn't harmful to your skin, eyes, or shirt. Wear gloves whenever you work with potentially harmful cleaning chemicals.

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