The Things You Can Wash Acrylic Paint Off Of (A Quick Guide)

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I don’t know about you but I get acrylic paint everywhere and on everything! This isn’t ideal if you want to keep your home in good shape or be able to get your security deposit back on your apartment.

The good news is with a little elbow grease you can wash acrylic paint off of the following:

  • Carpet
  • Glass, Mirrors, and Windows
  • Skin
  • Walls
  • Clothes & Fabric
  • Wood

There are techniques, tools and solvents for getting acrylic paint out of some of these surfaces. Now that we know it CAN be done the next thing we need to do is figure out what product is right for what you need.

You will see there are a lot of common elements to cleaning acrylic paint off of a variety of surfaces. Knowing these properties will help to wash paint off of not just any of your surfaces in your home but your household members too!

You just never know where paint is going to end up!

How To Wash Acrylic Paint Off The Surfaces In Your Home

When it comes to washing acrylic paint off of the surface you’re concerned with there are many ways to approach it.

What chemicals and products you may want to have on hand all depends on the surface you are looking to remove acrylic paint from.

For most things you’ll already have what you need on hand. There are a few though that will require you to pick up some extra chemicals.

Here is a quick guide to what you will need to know to get started!

  • Carpet- For carpet, you can use things like rubbing alcohol and glycerin, vinegar and warm water, or even acetone and spot cleaner. The combo here seems to work best. (tips courtesy of
  • Glass, Mirrors, and Windows – All it really takes is soapy water or glass cleaner! Maybe a bit of both. Get the paint wet and let it sit for a few minutes. Then you should be able to slide it right off with a razor blade!
  • Skin – Again, soap and water usually do just fine. If you happen to have some dried paint on your skin that isn’t coming off try a bit of baby oil, rubbing alcohol, or even acetone. (
  • Walls – All it will take is to apply a bit of dawn liquid soap and use a warm washcloth to scrub that paint right off.
  • Jeans and Clothes – You will want isopropyl alcohol. Scrape off any excess paint first and then soak the spot down in alcohol. Then scrape it again before washing.
  • Wood or Plastic – For wood or plastic use a bit of vegetable oil to help soften the paint. Then it can then be scraped off. Denatured alcohol is good for anything leftover afterwards. (

Luckily for the vast majority of things that we might get acrylic paint on water and soap seem to do the trick just fine. Acrylic paint doesn’t like oily substances and starts to break down in their presence.

One thing to think about for things like fabrics and carpets is to test any chemicals you might be using on a small spot to see how the fabric reacts.

This would be something you might want to do on a couch, upholstery, or carpet before you start soaking it with the stuff.

This way you can be sure whatever chemical you are using doesn’t ruin the fabric of what you are working to fix.

Can You Wash Acrylic Paint Out of Your Hair?

If you happen to have hair that just seems to have a gravitational pull on paint then there are a few things you will want to know to keep your hair paint free.

There are two basic methods to removing paint from your hair. Like with some of the previous things we have discussed soaking the paint in soap and water is a good place to start.

Well, in this case shampoo and water.

Once you let is soak for a few minutes then try to comb the paint out of your hair. Just like on other surfaces, once it has softened up that should help it slide right off.

Another suggestion I found that will help if that doesn’t work is using oil.

Just like with your skin, try using some baby oil or petroleum jelly to get it out. Once you’ve soaked your paint encrusted helmet head in oil and softened the paint try that comb one more time!

Now it should be lose enough to remove easily. Who even knows how these things happen anyways?

I have found paint in places that shall never be named!

Can You Wash Acrylic Paint Out of Pet Hair?

If you have pets with a flare of Picasso in them then it may be wise to know how to wash acrylic paint out of pet hair!

Heck, if they got paint in their hair and on their paws then you may want to scroll back up and reread the first sections again!

The first thing to do is start with a sudsy bath of course! If we’ve learned one thing in this article so far it’s that water and soap are always a good place to start.

Next, if that doesn’t do the trick oily substances like the ones previously mentioned will help too!

Things like baby oil, cooking oil, mineral oil, or even petroleum jelly can all help soften the paint safely. Are we beginning to notice a pattern yet?

Once it has soaked for some time you can use some starch powder to help clean up the area further and make it easier to comb off. This little trick might even be useful when trying to clean paint off of other things too.

After that, another bath is in order!

If none of this works then the next best solution is cut as much of the hair out as you can. You can do just the affected area and let it grow back or opt for a professional job.

Can You Wash Acrylic Paint Off Brushes With Water?

If you’re asking this question I’m going to assume one of two things. That you are either asking because you are concerned that you might need some special solvent or that you have a paintbrush with dried paint on it.

The good news is that you do not need anything extra to wash acrylic paint off of your brushes. Water and hand soap will do the trick just fine.

You do want to avoid using dish soap as it has chemicals in it that will break down the bristles of your brushes.

There are also special soaps made just for cleaning paintbrushes that you can pick up as well.

Oil paints on the other hand are a whole different story.

For acrylic paints, no extra solvents or chemicals are needed to clean off your brush. There are some environmental aspects to consider but acrylic paint water disposal is a separate subject to discuss.

While washing it all down the sink may not be the most environmentally friendly option, I wouldn’t let that concern be the thing that keeps me from painting. We can always add more environmentally friendly habits to our routine once we have built the habit of creating art regularly.

Now, if you want to know the answer to how to clean a paintbrush because you have dried paint on your brush then that is a different story. This will require more than just water and soap.

I’ve never heard of anybody using any of the methods mentioned in this article to removed dried paint from a paintbrush but I’d be willing to bet that some sort of oily substance may just work.

It really depends on how much paint is dried in the brush.

We would approach it like hair and use baby oil or petroleum jelly to help soften the dried paint. Once you’ve let it soak for a while then try to scrub it out with hand soap and water.

There have been times where I didn’t properly wash my brush out in the sink when I was done painting and didn’t discover my mistake until the next day. Thankfully since I had cleaned it out half way decently with my water on my painting station all it took was a good soapy scrub under warm water to remove what had dried into the bristles over night.

The best way to keep your brushes in good shape is to develop better cleaning habits while you are painting. For tips and techniques on “How To Clean Acrylic Paint Brushes While Painting” check out this page here!

Marc Spagnuolo

Hey there! Thanks for reading my article! I'm Marc the creator of this website. I'm a growing artist and web creator seeking to share what I'm learning in the hopes that it helps someone out there like you. I hope you found this information useful. If you're interested in learning more about me and my story click on my name or on my picture!

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