How to Remove a Watercolor Stain

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Watercolor paints are often used by children, who tend to create messes.
Watercolor paints are often used by children, who tend to create messes. (Image: watercolor palettes and brush image by egal from Fotolia.com)

Children and adults use watercolors to create paintings on paper. Children tend to make a little more of a mess. The watercolor paints might spill on to the child's clothing or the carpeting below. Because watercolor paints are water-soluble, they are easier to remove than many other types of paints.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper towels
  • Spray bottle
  • 1/8 cup ammonia
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon dish soap
  • 2 cups water
  • Towel
  • Laundry stain pretreater
  • Laundry detergent

Watercolor Stains on Carpets

Lay some paper towels over the watercolor spill and press gently to draw up as much of the paint as you can. Throw the paper towels away.

Pour 1/8 cup of ammonia in a spray bottle and add 1 cup of cold water.

Spray the ammonia/water solution over the watercolor stain and let it sit for two to three minutes.

Blot up more of the watercolor stain with some fresh paper towels and throw them in the trash.

Mix 1 tablespoon of dish soap and 2 cups of water in a spray bottle and spray the watercolor stain with it.

Blot up the final traces of the watercolor paint with some fresh paper towels.

Rinse the soap out of the carpet with clean water and use a white towel to dry the area.

Watercolor Stains on Clothing

Spray the stained clothing with a laundry stain pretreater. Wait 30 minutes for the pretreater to set in to the fibers of the clothing.

Turn your washing machine on and add your regular laundry detergent. If the clothing is white, you can also add some bleach.

Add the stained clothing. Once the clothing comes out of the wash, check that the stain is gone. If not, repeat each step. Drying the clothing without first removing the stain will set the stain in.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can also pour club soda on the carpet or clothing with the watercolor stain on it. Blot up the club soda and stain with some paper towels.

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