How to Remove Face Paint from Clothes? A Guide

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By CleanersWithLove

As fun as it is to have our faces painted during parties or special occasions like Halloween, it can be messy. After all, sporting a painted face all day leads to sweaty beads riddled with dye. And all that goes into our clothes leaving them stained and unsightly. Thus, learning how to remove face paint from clothes is crucial!

Once you get the proper techniques to remove face paint from your clothes, you don’t need to worry about getting your clothing stained anymore. Read on to see which stain-removing method works best for your messy situation.

Is it Possible to Remove Face Paint from Clothes?

a woman having her face painted

As intense and messy face paint stains can look on your clothes, removing them is still possible!

But as easy as it is to remove these unsightly spots, it still depends on the kind of body paint you use and your clothing’s fabric.

Generally, the face paint stain should come off once you wash your clothes regularly using laundry detergent. But if it doesn’t, you can try handwashing the piece of clothing to scrub off the face paint.

Remember, you aren’t limited to store-bought stain removers, as alternatives like rubbing alcohol and baking soda work wonders on face paint. Looking for the most suitable options for your specific face paint issue would be best.

Aside from that, removing face paint from your clothes while the dye is still drying is a must! After all, once the color settles on your clothing, removing it’ll be more challenging.

What Type of Face Paint Do You Want to Remove From Your Clothes?

Before delving into how to remove face paint from clothes, it pays to know what type of paint made the stains. After all, remedies that work for water-based face paint won’t be as effective for oil-based ones. 

Here’s a brief overview of how to remove face paint stains made from each formula:

Removing Water-Soluble Face Paint Stains from Clothes

The best product for water-soluble face paint stains is regular laundry bar soap. As long as you wash off the dyes fast, your normal washing routine should be enough to wipe them off the fabric. 

For a better insight into removing water-soluble face paint stains on clothes, here’s a step-by-step guide you can follow:

  1. Scrape the water-soluble face paint. Scrape off as much face paint as you can from your clothing using a dull blade or soft-bristled brush. 
  2. Soak the face paint stains. Place the stained clothes under warm running water on their backsides to prevent damage. Scrub off the remaining stains with a clean cloth.
  3. Wash the clothes as you would typically do. Mix half a cup of warm water and your preferred laundry detergent and wash the fabric. I recommend rinsing the clothing until you’ve removed all the face paint stains.

If the face paint stains remain on your clothes despite these steps, repeat the entire process! And if it still doesn’t work, blot the affected areas with a cloth soaked with a non-acetone nail polish remover, rubbing alcohol, or hair spray. 

But if you’ve done everything you can but the face paint stains remain, your next best bet will be bringing your clothing to a dry cleaner. But avoid putting your stained clothing in the drier as it can set in the stains faster! And remember, let your stained clothing air dry to prevent the dye from spreading throughout the fabric. 

Removing Oil-Based Face Paint from Clothes

If you’ve used oil-based face paint on a washable piece of clothing, you can remove it using a hand cleaner. I suggest using a light-colored grit-free variation to avoid damaging your clothes further. Either way, you must work the hand cleaner into the face paint stains and let the fabric absorb the solution. 

Once done, wash your clothing stained with oil-based face paint as you’d typically do. But avoid chucking your clothes into the drier as it can worsen the stains. So, instead, hang up the affected pieces of clothing and let them air dry. 

Plus, perform a spot check to see if your chosen stain removal products won’t damage your clothes further. Once confirmed safe, proceed to treat the oil-based face paint stains. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide on removing oil-based face paint from clothes for your convenience: 

  1. Spot treatment. Turn your stained clothing inside out and put it on a stack of clean, dry paper towels or rags. Once set, blot oil-based face paint stains from the backside with turpentine or paint thinner. 
  2. Rinse the stained clothes. Grab the fabric and rinse it under warm running water. 
  3. Soak it. Grab your preferred detergent and apply it to the face paint stains. Once covered, soak the piece of clothing in a container filled with hot, soapy water overnight.
  4. Re-rinse the clothing. In the morning, rinse the formerly-stained fabric and wash it as you usually would. 

If you’ve done all steps, but the oil-based face paint stains are still present, re-wash it with a stain remover.

Before you remove the stains, read your clothing’s label. For instance, if it indicates it’s washable, remove the face paint stains before washing. As with all stains, you’ll only achieve the cleanest results if you address them ASAP. After all, dealing with dried face paint stains may force you to treat them several times. Or worse, some dyes can set in clothing as soon as they dry — making them complicated to remove!

Removing “Fake Blood” Face Paint from Clothes

A popular specialized face paint notorious for staining clothes is fake blood. Fake blood stains can be a pain to deal with, considering they contain a lot of oil. And worse, most store-bought formulas use F&DC #40 red dye, an intense chemical that’s difficult to wash off. 

So, as excellent of an addition fake blood can be to your next Halloween look, prepare for the stains! Once you spot fake blood face paint stains on your clothing, act fast, and do the following steps:

Cover the fake blood face paint stains with talcum powder. Doing this lets you absorb much of the fake blood’s oil as possible. 

  1. Soak the clothing in a vinegar-water solution. Mix half a cup of cold water and half a cup of white vinegar into a container and soak in the affected fabric. Leave the piece of clothing to absorb the mixture overnight.
  2. Spot treatment. In the morning, spot-treat all remnants of the fake blood stains using an oxygen-based stain removal product. 
  3. Rinse and hang the stained clothing. Once the stains have faded, rinse the fabric and hang it up to air dry. 

If you still spot fake blood stains on your clothes, repeat the mentioned steps and add extra washing. And if this still doesn’t work, dab the affected areas with a cotton ball soaked with rubbing alcohol. 

How to Remove Face Paint from Clothes?

how to remove face paint from clothes (infographic)

Now that you know the different face paints available, it’s time to deal with their stains! See how to remove face paint from clothes using rubbing alcohol, baking soda, and hair spray:

Removing Face Paint Stains from Clothing with 70% Rubbing Alcohol

Before treating the face paint stains, test color safeness on your clothes first. After all, rubbing alcohol is incredibly acidic and can damage weak fibers. So, sprinkle a bit of the cleaning solution onto a cotton ball and dab it on a hidden spot. Once dried, check for any changes in its fabric. 

If the rubbing alcohol causes discoloration, try the other methods instead. After all, it might leave more stains — adding to your paint face issues. But if nothing changes on your clothing’s fabric, proceed with the steps below:

  1. Saturate the face paint stains. Dab a cotton ball or paper towel soaked with rubbing alcohol to the stained areas on your clothes. Continue blotting until the cotton ball isn’t picking up the dyes.
  2. Treat the stained areas on the clothing with your preferred stain remover. Once the face paint stains fade, treat them with your chosen stain remover. 
  3. Rinse your clothes. After removing most of the stains, wash your clothes as you’d typically do.

Removing Face Paint Stains from Clothing with Baking Soda

Baking soda is an excellent alternative to those without rubbing alcohol at home. And here’s how you can combat face paint stains with this kitchen essential:

  1. Apply the baking soda. Cover the face paint stains with baking soda and brush with a soft-bristled brush. Continue until you’ve let the baking soda set into the stained areas in your clothes.
  2. Spray the faint stains with hair spray. Release the remaining stains from your clothing with hair spray.
  3. Pre-treat the stained areas on your clothes with your chosen solution. Saturate the face paint stains with your preferred pre-treat solution. Let the stained fabric absorb the pre-treatment solution for 10 to 15 minutes. 
  4. Wash the fabric as you typically would. Wash the previously-stained clothing in your standard washing cycle.

Removing Face Paint Stains from Clothing with Hair Spray

Hair spray does wonders on face paint stains, especially on clothing! And here’s how you can use it to combat the stained spots on your clothes:

  1. Soak the face paint stains. Lay your clothing flat and soak the stained spots with hair spray.
  2. Pre-treat the stains on the fabric with your chosen solution. Saturate the face paint stains with your preferred pre-treatment product and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Make the “pre-wash” solution. While waiting for the pre-treatment, make a pre-wash solution for easier stain removal. Mix a quarter cup of all-purpose bleach solution with one gallon of cold water.
  4. Continue to pre-wash. Soak your clothes for half an hour and rub them together to remove the stained remnants.

Before you proceed with the hair spray method:

  1. Put a tiny drop of bleach solution on a hidden spot on your clothing.
  2. Allow it to the drop of bleach solution for at least 10 minutes and blot it.
  3. If discoloration occurs, do not use this method, as it can lead to more stains on your clothes!

How to Remove Face Paint from Other Things?

a child getting a face paint

Although our clothes are the ones that suffer the most from face paint stains, they can still find their way to other things. Here’s a brief overview of how to remove face paint on different objects, including furniture, shoes, and cars:

For Your Furniture

Removing face paint stains on your furniture will be more challenging as they can come in varying finishes and fabrics. And because of this, not all can get spot cleaned without leaving watermark stains. So, though you can try to treat your furniture from stains, it’s better to leave it to the professionals over at an upholstery cleaning company.

For Your Vehicle 

If you get face paint on your vehicle’s seat, whether oil-based or water-soluble, you can use an upholstery spot cleaner to remove the stains. But before proceeding, do a spot test on a hidden area in your car to check for discoloration. Once ready, apply your preferred stain remover onto the stained spots and blot with a paper towel. 

Remove the face paint stain remnants by rinsing the car seat upholstery with water and blotting it again. And you can prevent leaving watermarks by blowdrying the affected spots. 

For Your Shoes

As unbelievable as it might sound, some individuals still manage to get face paint stains on their shoes. And if you’re one of these individuals, here’s how you can remove face paint from your kicks:

  1. Grab a dull knife or clean spoon to scrape excess face paint from your shoes. 
  2. Clean the affected spots with a damp cloth, making stain removal easier from your shoes. 
  3. Behind the stained areas, apply a drop of turpentine. Scrub it with a sponge or rag on the interior of the shoes.
  4. Do the same for the stained spots, but use a cloth soaked in detergent to scrub off the remnants. 

If you’ve done all the steps and face paint stains remain, add hot water and scrub them off. Once gone, rinse your kicks — and they should be good as new and stain-free!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How to remove face paint from clothes with soap?

A: Soap only works with stains made from water-soluble paint. Use that alongside warm water and wash your clothes as directed on the care label. Avoid putting your stained clothing inside the drier, as it can let the face paint set in. Instead, let the fabric air dry to avoid spreading the dye.

Q: How to remove black face paint from clothes?

A: As intense as black face paint may look, it isn’t very different from other face paints. You can use your preferred laundry detergent and follow your usual washing routine, and the black face paint stains should be no more.

Q: Can using vinegar remove face paint from clothing?

A: Distilled white vinegar is an excellent way to remove intense face paint stains from clothing. But only use this for serious staining situations, as regular use can damage your clothes. Applying too much of this acidic kitchen essential can loosen your clothing’s fiber, ruining it over time. So, use it scarcely and only let the vinegar set into your clothes for 10 to 15 minutes.

Q: How will hair spray remove face paint from clothes?

A: Since hair spray is an alcohol-based product, you’ll be able to remove face paint from clothing in no time. It’s an excellent alternative to regular detergent, as sometimes, it can’t handle widespread or intense face paint stains. If frequent washing can’t dissolve the face paint, consider the hair spray method for more effortless execution.

Q: How can I prevent face paint stains on my clothes?

A: You can use a barrier spray to protect your clothes from face paint stray. Before painting your face, use a barrier spray for quick removal and stop staining. Aside from that, be careful not to touch your face paint and clothes.

Final Words

How to remove face paint from clothes? The best ways to remove face paint from clothes are using hair spray, rubbing alcohol, and baking soda. Each has robust dissolving properties, penetrating your clothing’s fibers for easy stain removal. So, no matter how severe your face paint stain issues are, you’ll be able to resolve them in no time!

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