How to Remove Latex Paint on Jeans

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Latex paint is water-based and if it's still wet, you can simply wash it out of fabrics with detergent and water. If the paint has already dried, you'll have to work on the stain before placing the item in a washing machine. You won't need strong solvents as you would for an oil-based paint, but you will need something stronger than simple detergent. If you take the proper steps, you can easily save your jeans from being discarded.

Things You'll Need

  • Thin piece of plastic (credit card, for example)
  • Rubber gloves
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Paper towels
  • Hot water
  • Detergent
  • Lay the jeans flat on a table. Use a credit card or similar stiff piece of plastic to scrape the latex off. A plastic putty knife will work, too; be careful not to tear the denim.

  • Put on rubber gloves and place a towel under the latex-stained area of the jeans. The towel will protect the surface beneath the fabric. Pour rubbing alcohol over the latex paint residue.

  • Dab the stain with paper towels. The rubbing alcohol should start to dissolve it. Keep dabbing with the paper towels to get more paint off.

  • Soak the area with more rubbing alcohol, allowing it to remain undisturbed for 15 minutes. Put the jeans in the washing machine. Wash them in warm water with regular detergent.

  • Remove the jeans from the washing machine and hang to dry. Rewash the jeans in the machine if traces of latex paint are left.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you don't have a suitable plastic card for scraping, use a pocket comb or a brush to loosen the dried latex.
  • Alcohol may fade the color in black or other dark-colored jeans. If this is a concern, try scrubbing the paint with a brush and soap and water instead. You'll have to work at it longer than you would with rubbing alcohol, but it should work. Rubbing alcohol is flammable. Avoid doing this type of cleaning around any open flame or cigarettes.

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