Octopus Mom...help for moms who have their hands full

How to Remove Paint from Clothing











How to get Tempera Paint out of clothes


School time is here and all those cute art projects are coming home on a weekly basis. Not the ones on paper but the ones on your kid’s clothing! Somehow, paint shirts and smocks just don’t do the trick when the kids are wearing a special outfit to paint class. For a lot of moms, tempera paint on your child’s favorite tee shirt is a death sentence for that shirt. Here’s a solution we found that works! The sooner you start treatment, the better this option works to remove tempera paint from your child’s clothes.

Items needed: hand sanitizer, nailbrush or toothbrush, oxidizing agent, washing machine.

Removing Paint from Clothing Step by Step:

  1. Wet painted clothes with plain warm water to soften the paint.

  2. Squirt a healthy amount of hand sanitizer, like Germ-x, on the painted area.

  3. Scrub the painted section gently with a nailbrush or toothbrush to loosen the paint.

  4. Rinse and reapply sanitizer to the painted spot.

  5. Let sit for an hour or so, rinse and reapply if necessary.

  6. Soak tempera painted spot in hand sanitizer over night if any paint remains.

  7. Scrub gently again to loosen any remaining paint from the clothing.

  8. When the tempera paint ‘chunks’ are gone, launder as usual to remove any remaining residue. Adding something like Oyxclean or Borax to the wash has shown to be beneficial as well.

  9. Check the item before drying. If any paint residue remains, go back to the germ-x treatment.


While this may take several attempts and might leave a slightly faded area at the tempera paint site, it is certainly better than throwing the paint stained item away. We have also tried this remedy on other paint sources such as latex, acrylic, and paint pens. It even works well on nail polish!


Happy Laundering!


About the Author:

Debbie Kleinheider, Neonatal and Pediatric nurse, Childbirth Educator, labor and postpartum doula, mother of six, and grandmother of 4 (and growing). She writes from her vast experiences and extensive knowledge on the subject of children.


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