Removing Dried Latex Paint from Denim

I’m an artist and I greatly overestimated my ability to perform my craft “neatly.” Well, after ruining 3 pairs of denim jeans with blobs of latex paint – which, of course, I let dry as opposed to grabbing a damp cloth and trying to rid myself of the problem immediately, I knew something had to be done. So I did a little investigating and these jeans that had been ruined about 3 years ago are now clean as a whistle.

I do try to use natural products as much as possible, but this “recipe” requires a manufactured cleansing agent. Here goes:

1. Dampen the spot (now I’ve ONLY done this with jeans) with Goof Off – a product easily found in hardware stores. It does have an odor, so remember to work in a well-ventilated area. Put enough on so that it has soaked through to the other side of the fabric.

2. Let sit for about 2 minutes.

3. Then – and here’s the KEY – use a fabric stain removal PUMICE STICK and gently begin wiping over the paint spot. Now, NO HEAVY pressure – we’re not trying to make holes in our clothes! Just a gentle “massaging” action will IMMEDIATELY demonstrate that the paint is moving around the fabric and you can begin to rinse it off with plain old water.

Question: Could you use heavy sand paper instead of the pumice stone? Well, I experimented and had the same great luck with 80 grade sand paper – but, again, just “sand” enough to remove the paint. It won’t take long and before you know it, another pair of jeans returns to the closet!

4. Launder your jeans after you’ve removed all of the little splatters.

The Author:

Barb Calfee

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