How to Remove Airbrush Paint from Clothing

  • By: Richard
  • Time to read: 11 min.

It is common for airbrush artists to end up with their medium on their clothing. This can happen in a few ways – the medium can be spilled on the clothes, or the artist can smear the medium onto their clothes without realizing it.

It’s not desirable to forget that you’re wearing nice clothes until it’s too late.

Today I’m going to share with you some tricks I’ve used over the years to get airbrush paint and other airbrush mediums out of my clothes.

It is a good idea to know what product you got on your clothing. For example, many airbrush-ready paints and makeup products are water-based or alcohol-based. But some airbrush paints are solvent based. So you can usually use a chemically similar product to remove the medium.

Note: Before trying any of these methods, it is recommended that you test them out on a small corner of your clothing. This will help to ensure that your clothing will not react strangely to the cleaners or paint removal methods.

How to Remove Paint From Clothing [20 Methods]

How to Remove Paint From Clothing [20 Methods]

The complexity of removing paint from your clothing will vary depending on the state of the paint and the base product.

If you can, try to get the paint off your clothes as soon as possible. This is because removing wet paint is much easier than drying paint. So if you can, try to get the paint off your clothes before it dries.

If the paint has already dried, start picking at it and trying to remove as much of it as possible. Not all paints will flake or peel off when they dry, but some will.

Okay, that’s done; let’s move on to methods:

Method 1: Warm Water & Dish Soap

First, fill a sink or basin with warm water and dish soap. You’ll want to use mild dish soap, like Ivory or Dove, since stronger options could damage the fabric of your clothing. Once the soap is added, gently agitate the water to create suds. Then, carefully place your airbrush paint-stained clothing item into the soapy water. Allow it to soak for at least 15 minutes.

Next, you’ll need to rinse your clothing item in clean, warm water. You can do this by running it through a cycle in your washing machine if it’s small enough. If not, you can rinse it in your sink or basin once again.

You’ll need:

  • Washing machine
  • Dish soap
  • Hot water

Steps:

  1. Begin by mixing together warm water and dish soap in a bowl or bucket.
  2. Next, submerge the stained fabric in the mixture and allow it to soak for several minutes.
  3. Then, use a brush or your hands to work the suds into the fabric, making sure to agitate the stain well.
  4. Finally, rinse the fabric thoroughly under running water and allow it to air dry.

Method 2: Laundry Detergent

If you’re looking for a more gentle solution, laundry detergent may do the trick. Check the garment’s care label first and spot test on an inconspicuous clothing area. If it looks like it will work, mix one part laundry detergent with two parts water in a bowl or bucket. Submerge the stained area of the clothing in the mixture and let it soak for about 30 minutes before rinsing thoroughly. You can then launder as usual.

You’ll need:

  • Bowl or Bucket
  • Laundry Detergent

Steps:

  1. Add one part laundry detergent to two parts water in a bowl or bucket.
  2. Soak the stained area of the clothing in the mixture for about 30 minutes.
  3. Rinse thoroughly.
  4. Launder as usual.

Method 3: Paint Thinner

Paint thinner is a very effective solvent for airbrush paint. It will quickly remove the paint from your clothing without damaging the fabric. However, you should use caution when using paint thinner. It is highly flammable and can be toxic if inhaled. Always use paint thinner in a well-ventilated area and wear protective clothing, such as gloves and a respirator, when using it.

To remove airbrush paint from clothing with paint thinner, simply soak a cotton ball or cloth in the solvent and scrub at the stain until it disappears. You may need to repeat this process several times to completely remove the paint. Once the stain is gone, wash your clothing as usual.

You’ll need:

  • Paint thinner
  • Cotton balls or cloth
  • Protective clothing, such as gloves and respirator
  • Clothing to be stained

Steps:

  1. Pour paint thinner into a glass or plastic container.
  2. Soak a cotton ball or cloth in the solvent.
  3. Scrub at the stain until it disappears.
  4. Repeat this process as necessary.
  5. Once the stain is gone, wash your clothing as usual.

Method 4: Hair Spray

If you don’t have any rubbing alcohol on hand, hairspray is another option that can help remove airbrush paint from clothing. Spray the affected area with hairspray and then rub it with a clean cloth. You may need to repeat this process a few times to get all of the paint out.

Hairspray is a good option to have on hand if you’re doing any type of painting or crafting that could potentially get messy. It’s also great for removing stains on clothing that might be difficult to wash out otherwise.

You’ll need:

  • Hairspray
  • Clean cloth

Steps:

  1. Spray the affected area with hairspray.
  2. Rub it with a clean cloth.
  3. Repeat as necessary.

Method 5: Hand Sanitizer

This is another method that is effective for removing airbrush paint from clothing. All you need is a little hand sanitizer and a cotton ball. Simply apply the hand sanitizer to the stained area and then use the cotton ball to scrub at the stain. This should help to remove most of the airbrush paint from your clothing. Repeat this process as necessary until the stain is gone. You may also consider using a laundry pre-treater on particularly stubborn stains.

You’ll need:

  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Cotton Balls

Steps:

  1. Pour a small amount of hand sanitizer onto a cotton ball.
  2. Rub the hand sanitizer into the airbrush paint stain.
  3. Repeat as necessary until the stain is gone.

Method 6: Shaving Cream

Simply apply the shaving cream to the affected area and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, use a damp cloth to wipe away the shaving cream and paint. Repeat this process until the paint is completely gone.

You’ll need:

  • Shaving cream
  • A cloth

Steps:

  1. Apply shaving cream to the affected area.
  2. Let the shaving cream sit for a few minutes.
  3. Use a damp cloth to wipe away the shaving cream and paint.
  4. Repeat this process until the paint is completely gone.

Method 7: Baking Soda Shaving Cream

This is another method that works well for removing airbrush paint from clothing. All you need is a can of shaving cream and some baking soda. First, spray the shaving cream onto the affected area. Then, sprinkle the baking soda over the top of the shaving cream. Let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing it off with a sponge or brush. This should remove most of the airbrush paint from your clothing. Repeat this process if necessary.

You’ll need:

  • Can of shaving cream
  • Baking soda

Steps:

  1. Spray the affected area with a can of shaving cream.
  2. Sprinkle baking soda over the shaving cream.
  3. Let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing it off with a sponge or brush.

Method 8: Nail Polish Remover (Acetone)

Nail polish remover typically contains between 60-100% acetone, so it’s very effective at removing paint. However, it’s also very harsh and can damage some fabrics, so test it on an inconspicuous area first.

You’ll need:

  • Cotton balls or pads
  • Nail polish remover (acetone)
  • Clean cloths

Steps:

  1. Soak a cotton ball or pad in the nail polish remover and dab it onto the stained area.
  2. Let it sit for a few minutes to allow the acetone to break down the paint, then blot away with a clean cloth.
  3. You may need to repeat this process a few times.

Method 9: Bleach

Although bleach can be harsh on fabric, it will quickly break down the molecules in airbrush paint, making it easy to remove. Just be sure to use caution when using bleach and always test it on a small area of fabric first to ensure it won’t damage your clothing.

You’ll need:

  • Clothing to be treated
  • Bleach
  • Water
  • Bucket or container large enough to soak the clothing in
  • Something to stir the mixture with

Steps:

  1. Fill a bucket or container with cold water and add bleach.
  2. Soak the clothing in the mixture for about 30 minutes.
  3. Rinse the clothing well with cold water.
  4. Wash the clothing as usual.

Method 10: WD-40

That’s right, the same stuff you use to lubricate door hinges and remove rust can also be used to remove airbrush paint from clothing. Just spray some WD-40 onto the affected area and let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing with a brush or sponge. Rinse with warm water and repeat as necessary. You should see the paint start to come off with each application.

You’ll need:

  • WD-40
  • Brush
  • Sponge

Steps:

  1. Make sure the area is clean and free of dirt or debris.
  2. Spray WD-40 onto the affected area and let it sit for a few minutes.
  3. Scrub with a brush or sponge.
  4. Rinse with warm water.
  5. Repeat as necessary.

Method 11: Vegetable Oil

Simply apply a small amount of vegetable oil to the affected area and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, use a clean cloth to blot the area and remove the paint.

Repeat this process until all the paint is removed from your clothing. If the stain is particularly stubborn, you may need to pre-treat the area with laundry detergent before using this method.

You’ll need:

  • Vegetable oil
  • Clean cloth
  • Laundry detergent (optional)

Steps:

  1. Apply a small amount of vegetable oil to the affected area.
  2. Let it sit for a few minutes.
  3. Use a clean cloth to blot the area and remove the paint.

Method 12: Goo Gone

This product is specifically designed to remove adhesive residue, which makes it perfect for removing airbrush paint from clothing. Simply apply the Goo Gone to a cloth and rub it onto the affected area. Then, wash the clothing as usual.

You’ll need:

  • Goo Gone
  • cloth

Steps:

  1. Pour a small amount of Goo Gone onto a cloth.
  2. Rub the Goo Gone onto the affected area of the clothing.
  3. Wash the clothing as usual.

Method 13: Commercial Grade Paint Removal Products

Commercial-grade paint removal products are available if you’re looking for a more heavy-duty solution. Professionals typically use these, so they may be a bit more expensive than some of the other methods on this list. However, they will definitely get the job done and remove airbrush paint from clothing quickly and easily.

You’ll need:

  • Commercial grade paint removal product
  • Bucket or container for soaking
  • Washing machine
  • Hot water
  • Mild detergent

Steps:

  1. Pour a commercial-grade paint removal product into a bucket or container.
  2. Soak the affected area in the solution for the time specified on the label.
  3. Wash the area with hot water and mild detergent.
  4. Repeat as necessary.

Method 14: Ammonia

Ammonia is your best bet if you’re looking for a strong cleaning agent. However, be careful when using it, as it can be quite harsh on fabric and skin. To remove airbrush paint from clothing with ammonia, simply soak the item in a solution of one part ammonia to ten parts water. Let it sit for a few hours before washing as usual. You may need to repeat this process a few times for tough stains.

You’ll need:

  • Ammonia
  • Water
  • Soap
  • Bucket
  • Clothing items with paint stain

Steps:

  1. Soak the clothing item in a bucket of water mixed with ammonia.
  2. Let it sit for a few hours.
  3. Wash the clothing as usual.
  4. Repeat if necessary.

Method 15: Rubbing Alcohol

Quick and easy way to remove airbrush paint from clothing, rubbing alcohol is your best bet. Simply apply to rub alcohol to a cotton ball or cloth and rub it over the affected area. The paint should come right off! Just be sure to rinse the area with water afterward to remove any residue.

You’ll need:

  • Cotton balls or cloth
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Water

Steps:

  1. Apply some rubbing alcohol to a cotton ball or cloth.
  2. Rub it over the affected area.
  3. The paint should come right off!
  4. Rinse the area with water afterward to remove any residue.

Method 16: Dish Soap and Vinegar

Natural way to remove airbrush paint from clothing, look no further than dish soap and vinegar. Simply combine equal parts in a bowl and apply the mixture to the affected area with a sponge or cloth. Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing with warm water. Repeat as necessary until the paint is gone. You may want to pretreat stains with dish soap before washing as usual.

You’ll need:

  • Dish soap
  • Vinegar

Steps:

  1. Combine equal parts dish soap and vinegar in a bowl.
  2. Apply the mixture to the affected area with a sponge or cloth.
  3. Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing with warm water.
  4. Repeat as necessary until the paint is gone.

Method 17: Toothpaste

One of the most surprising ways to remove airbrush paint from clothing is with toothpaste! All you need to do is apply a generous amount of toothpaste to the stain and then rub it in with a cloth. Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing it with cold water. You may need to repeat this process a few times for tough stains, but it’s worth a try!

You’ll need:

  • Toothpaste
  • Soft toothbrush
  • Warm water

Steps:

  1. Apply toothpaste to the stained area.
  2. Use a soft toothbrush to scrub the stain.
  3. Rinse with warm water.

Method 18: Baking Soda

Baking soda is another effective method for removing airbrush paint from clothing. All you need to do is make a paste out of baking soda and water, apply it to the stained area, and then wash the item as usual. You may need to repeat this process a few times for tough stains.

Baking soda is a great option if you’re looking for a more natural way to remove airbrush paint from clothing.

You’ll need:

  • Baking Soda
  • Water
  • Toothbrush

Steps:

  1. Combine baking soda and water in a bowl to form a paste.
  2. Apply the paste to the stained area and let it sit for a few minutes.
  3. Use a toothbrush to scrub the stain until it comes out.
  4. Rinse the item with cold water and let it air dry.

Method 19: White Vinegar

White vinegar is an inexpensive and effective way to remove airbrush paint from clothing. All you need to do is soak the affected area in white vinegar for a few minutes, then wash as normal. You may need to repeat this process a few times for tough stains.

If you don’t have white vinegar on hand, you can also use apple cider vinegar or regular distilled vinegar. Just ensure not to use too much, or it could damage your clothes.

You’ll need:

  • White Vinegar
  • Soaking container (bowl, bucket, sink, etc.)
  • Washing machine

Steps:

  1. Pour a small amount of white vinegar into a soaking container.
  2. Soak the affected area in the vinegar for a few minutes.
  3. Wash as normal in the washing machine.
  4. Repeat as necessary for tough stains.

Method 20: Coca-Cola

All you need is a can of Coca-Cola and a clean cloth. First, soak the stained area of the clothing in Coca-Cola for about 30 minutes. After that, use a clean cloth to scrub the area gently. You should see the paint coming off easily. Repeat this process until all the paint is removed.

You’ll need:

  • A can of Coca-Cola
  • A clean cloth

Steps:

  1. Soak the stained area of the clothing in Coca-Cola for about 30 minutes.
  2. Use a clean cloth to scrub the area gently.
  3. You should see the paint coming off easily.
  4. Repeat this process until all the paint is removed.

Conclusion

There you have it! These are 20 methods that you can use to remove airbrush paint from clothing. I hope that you find these tips helpful.

Hi! I'm Richard Baker, a miniature painter who has been painting for about ten years. My website is packed with great advice that I've learned from both books and personal experience on building and painting miniatures.

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