Once a piece of cloth is stained, we hardly ever see it restored to its former glory. Therefore, I won't be exaggerating if I say I actually dread repainting my house as not only does it cause an upheaval in my domestic life, but also one or two pieces of my garments are sacrificed to the Paint deity. If the paint is oil based, then you can bid goodbye to your stained garment. But if it's latex paint that has ruined your clothes, then you might actually be lucky because it's not that difficult to rescue these clothes from a disastrous fate. I happened to learn from my neighbor a few laundry tips which come handy whenever a paint job is being done in my house.
Getting Rid of Latex Paint Stains from Fabrics
Tip 1: As latex paint is water based, it is easier to wash it off with water. As soon as your clothes get stained, bring it near a tap of water and hold its wrong end there for a few minutes. Try to do it before the paint dries off. Gently brush the stained spot so as to break the paint. Do not rub vehemently when brushing as it might damage the cloth.
Tip 2: You can use isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol. Moreover, it can also be done using hair spray available in most bathrooms as it also contains rubbing alcohol. After spraying the dried paint on the cloth, gently rub it with another piece of cloth. Continue this process of spraying and rubbing until the paint loosens and comes off.
Tip 4: If the stain is too stubborn and you have tried your luck with most other techniques of removing paint stains, then buying a paint thinner can be your next option. There are different types of paint thinners available in the market, like turpentine, acetone, toluene, etc. But before trying your hands at them, please read the manufacturer's guidelines in order to escape from any of its acute side effects. Exercise utmost caution when handling these paint thinners.
Tip 5: White spirit, also known as Stoddard solvent, can be used for this purpose. It is an organic solvent commonly used in painting and decorating. It act as a solvent for paints, varnishes, wood preservatives, lacquers, aerosol and asphalt products.
Tip 7: If it's a white cloth which had the misfortune of getting stained, then enzyme presoak products would prove to be of great help in removing these tough stains. These products are basically bleaches which contain enzymes as ingredients. However, they have to be used in cold or normal temperature only as hot water deactivates the enzymes present in them. Similarly, chlorine bleached water also hampers the activity of the enzymes.
Tip 8: The stain removal remedy depends on the state of the stain. If it is a relatively recent stain, that is, if it has not dried yet, then you can use ivory soap on it. First, rinse the stained garment under cold water. Try to remove the dried paint with a plastic putty without damaging the cloth. Then, apply a bar of Ivory soap on the stain and rub it rigorously to make the stain disappear. If it does not work, repeat the same procedure and soak the cloth in cold water. Put a bit of detergent in it. Now rinse the cloth again till you get the desired results.
Tip 9: Once the paint has dried up, the chances are that the stain is going to be too stubborn to remove. Latex paint dries up pretty quickly compared to other paints. You may need to find a water source as soon as you happen to see a stain on your fabric. However, if you have noticed the stain too late, there are still one or two tricks that can help you in this regard. You can make use of paint brush restoring products in such a case. For instance, Sav-a-Brush is a good product that can help you get rid of caked stains. Make sure you avoid skin contact with it and follow manufacturer's instructions carefully. Do not use this product on a delicate garment.
Tip 10: Another cleaning agent that has got positive reviews is OOPS. It's an all-purpose stain remover that is effective on different types of surfaces including fabric. However, using this product on a cloth might damage its fibers to some extent. That's why, it is suggested that to apply this product first on a dampened cloth and then rub this cloth on the stained garment. Read the instruction provide with the product carefully as it is high in toxicity and should be handled with utmost care.
You may use maximum strength cleaning agents only as last-ditch effort to save your favorite pair of jeans or shirt. Generally, most products that claim to dissolve the latex paint might prove to be bad for the fabric as well. That's why, try to get rid of the paint while it is wet.