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Removing water-color paint stains from fabric

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hi mamas, I never did have any luck getting the red and yellow stains out of my son's sweatshirt and now my daughter has come home from kindy with huge orange watercolor paint stains on her chest and one arm of her favorite shirt. Can anyone please help me on how to remove them safely from a pale pink shirt without damaging it irreparably?

Warmly,
Michelle in NY
post #2 of 5
Yikes Michelle!

I don't know the full facts on this, but since we watercolor a lot at home, I would probably recommmend just dying the outfit the same color as the darkest stain - sorry.

My experience is that if you rinse it out immediately, you can avoid a stain sometimes, but otherwise it is fairly hopeless after the stain is set. Watercolors are permanent.

The only other trick that has ever worked for me was vinegar soak and then pouring lots of cornstarch on it and letting it sit for a couple of days. If the stain is not fully set, then there's some hope of drawing it out into the cornstarch (as it absorbs the vinegar)...and I have even drastically faded some old stains with this method.

A while back, somebody sold aprons for kids that had sleeves - like a chef's apron. They were pricey but I would consider them worth it if my kids were "dressed" for school when painting - as opposed to having them actually change clothes at home into ancient, torn t-shirts.

After a full afternoon of drying on, you are at a disadvantage to get them out, but let's hope that someone else has a miracle remedy for this and I will be watching this thread too!

Warm regards,

Lucie
who has plenty of already-painted t-shirts if you want meto send one to NY!
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Got it out!

Hi Lucie, just quickly wanted to let you know that it's gone!!!

I soaked it overnight in OXYCLEAN and the stain came out the next day with vigorous rubbing under cold water. I was so relieved.

Warmly,
Michelle
post #4 of 5
So......I was gazing at Ezra tonight while he crawled on the floor at my work getting his wonderful organic britches all dirty. I started thinking about all my money that has gone down the drain due to stains, when this post popped into my mind.
Could I dye his clothes with watercolors?!
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hi Jill, I guess so... if you're not too fussy about the evenness of tone / color saturation, but would think that a fabric dye would be more effective in hiding stains. You can always add more or less fabric dye to create a lighter or darker shade depending on your stain/s. I imagine watercolor pigment would fade over time (it certainly has in my experience, although never completely, except this one recent - and very lucky! - time when I put in the necessary scrubbing time) and would certainly not cover up dark stains.

Warmly,
Michelle
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