How to Clean Smeared Puffy Paint

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Children enjoy watching puffy paint as it expands.
Children enjoy watching puffy paint as it expands. (Image: Ableimages/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Puffy paint is bright, colorful and adds textured designs to your clothing. After being squeezed out of the tube or bottle, puffy paint puffs up, giving your design a three-dimensional quality. If a squirt of puffy paint gets smeared or ends up somewhere on the fabric where you don't want it, you can remove the paint, if you act fast. With the combination of effective pigment removers and a quick response time, you can successfully remove the smeared puffy paint.

Things You'll Need

  • Metal spatula
  • Paper towels
  • Bowl
  • 1 teaspoon dishwashing detergent
  • Spoon
  • Sponge
  • Cotton swabs
  • Nail polish remover
  • Laundry detergent
  • Dry cleaning solvent

Lay the fabric on a flat work surface. Carefully scrape as much of the smeared puffy paint off the fabric with a metal spatula or scraper. Dispose of the removed paint on a paper towel.

Pour 1 teaspoon of water into a bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of dishwashing detergent. Stir the two ingredients to make a soapy solution.

Dip a dry sponge into the diluted dishwashing detergent. Sponge the remaining smeared puffy paint stain on the fabric.

Dishwashing detergent is effective for removing paint stains.
Dishwashing detergent is effective for removing paint stains. (Image: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Turn the fabric inside-out. Rinse it with cool water to wash away loosened puffy paint and the detergent solution. Repeat the process to remove as much of the puffy paint as possible.

Wet the sponge with nail polish remover. If the remaining puffy paint stain is small you can use a cotton swab in place of the sponge. Dab at the rest of the puffy paint stain with the nail polish remover to lift the paint.

Cover any remaining puffy paint stain with laundry detergent. Wash the fabric in warm water and detergent. Before placing the garment in the dryer, make sure the entire puffy paint stain has been removed. Sponge any last trace of paint with dry cleaning solvent. Allow the fabric to dry, and then wash it a second time.

Tips & Warnings

  • Cover the areas of fabric you do not want to paint with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. If any puffy paint splatters or smears it won't stain your garment.
  • Scrape off dried puffy paint then proceed with these steps to remove the rest of the paint residue.
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