How to Get Tempera Paint Out of Clothes Like a Pro!

We’ve all been there – a burst of creative energy results in a delightful masterpiece, but oops, a spill on your clothes!

Fear not, as I embark on a journey to demystify the art of removing tempera paint stains from your favourite garments.

Whether you’re a budding artist or a parent of one, these practical and quick solutions will save your wardrobe and sanity.

Understanding Tempera Paint

How to Get Tempera Paint Out of Clothes

Before we embark on our stain-busting adventure, let’s familiarize ourselves with our colourful foe – tempera paint.

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Known for its water-soluble nature, this artistic medium is a delight to work with but can pose a cleaning challenge when it meets your cherished fabrics.

Whether it’s an unintentional flick of the brush or a spontaneous burst of creativity, we’ve got the remedy.

Immediate Steps After a Spill

How to Get Tempera Paint Out of Clothes: Immediate Steps After a Spill

When the paint meets the fabric, quick action is your best friend. Follow these swift steps:

  • Blot, Don’t Rub: Gently blot the stain with a clean cloth or paper towel. Avoid rubbing, as it can push the paint deeper into the fabric fibres.
  • Scrape Excess Paint: Use a spoon or a blunt knife to carefully scrape off any excess paint. Work from the outer edges of the stain towards the centre.
  • Avoid Heat: Keep it cool. Hot water can set the paint, so resist the temptation to use warm water at this stage.

Materials Needed for Removal

Materials Needed for Removal

Now, let’s assemble your arsenal of stain-fighting tools. Raid your household for:

  • Cold Water: A trusty ally in the battle against tempera stains.
  • Mild Detergent: Opt for a gentle detergent to preserve both colour and fabric.
  • White Vinegar: A secret weapon against stubborn stains.
  • Soft Bristle Brush: For delicate yet effective scrubbing.

Pre-Removal Precautions

How to Get Tempera Paint Out of Clothes: Pre-Removal Precautions

Before you embark on the stain-removal journey, take a moment for these precautions:

  • Check the Label: Always read the care label on your clothes for any specific instructions.
  • Test in an Inconspicuous Area: Before applying any cleaning solution, test it on a small, hidden part of the fabric to ensure it won’t cause further damage.
  • Act Fast: The sooner you tackle the stain, the better the chances of complete removal.

See Also: How to Remove Screen Printing from Shirt?

Step-by-Step Removal Methods: How to Get Tempera Paint Out of Clothes?

1. Water-Based Method

How to Get Tempera Paint Out of Clothes: Water-Based Method
  1. Flush with Cold Water: Rinse the stained area with cold water, letting the paint wash away.
  2. Soak and Blot: Submerge the garment in cold water, allowing the paint to loosen. Blot the stain periodically.
  3. Repeat if Necessary: For stubborn stains, repeat the process until the paint is no more than a distant memory.

2. Detergent Approach

How to Get Tempera Paint Out of Clothes: Detergent Approach
  1. Create a Soapy Solution: Mix cold water with a small amount of mild detergent.
  2. Gentle Rubbing: Gently rub the stain with a soft brush or cloth soaked in the soapy solution.
  3. Rinse and Assess: Rinse the garment thoroughly and assess the stain’s status. Repeat if needed.

3. Commercial Stain Removers

How to Get Tempera Paint Out of Clothes: Commercial Stain Removers
  1. Read the Instructions: Follow the instructions on your chosen stain remover product.
  2. Apply and Wait: Apply the remover to the stain and allow it to sit for the recommended time.
  3. Wash as Usual: Launder the garment as usual, checking for the stain’s disappearance before drying.

4. Natural Remedies

How to Get Tempera Paint Out of Clothes: Natural Remedies
  1. Vinegar Magic: Mix equal parts white vinegar and water. Apply the solution to the stain, letting it sit for a few minutes.
  2. Gentle Scrubbing: Use a soft brush to gently scrub the stained area.
  3. Rinse and Rejoice: Rinse the garment and revel in the vanishing act. Repeat if necessary.

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Advanced Stain Removal Techniques

How to Get Tempera Paint Out of Clothes: Advanced Stain Removal Techniques

1. Hot vs. Cold Water Methods

Understanding when to use hot or cold water is crucial:

  • Hot Water: Effective for fresh stains, but avoid it for dried or set stains.
  • Cold Water: Ideal for dried or set stains, preventing the paint from setting further.

2. Enzymatic Cleaners

For those persistent stains, consider enzymatic cleaners:

  • Apply: Follow the product instructions, applying the cleaner to the stain.
  • Wait: Allow the enzymes to work their magic for the recommended duration.
  • Wash: Launder the garment as usual.

3. Steam Cleaning

  1. Steam Away: Use a garment steamer or the steam setting on your iron to loosen the paint.
  2. Blot and Repeat: Blot the stain with a clean cloth, repeating until the paint surrenders.

Tips for Tempera Paint Out of Clothes

How to Get Tempera Paint Out of Clothes: Tips for Tempera Paint Out of Clothes
  • Act Swiftly: Time is of the essence. Tackle the stain as soon as it occurs for the best results.
  • Inside Out: Turn the garment inside out before treating the stain to prevent colour fading.
  • Patience is a Virtue: Some stains may require multiple attempts. Be patient and persistent.
  • Avoid Heat: Steer clear of hot water and high heat settings to prevent setting the stain.

Testimonials and Success Stories

How to Get Tempera Paint Out of Clothes: Testimonials and Success Stories

Before you embark on your stain-fighting journey, draw inspiration from these tales of triumphant paint removal:

  • Sarah from Seattle: “I thought my favourite blouse was a goner, but the vinegar trick worked like a charm!”
  • Mike’s DIY Disaster: “Cold water and a bit of elbow grease saved my jeans from a rainbow catastrophe.”


In the grand tapestry of life, a little tempera paint mishap is but a minor wrinkle.

Armed with these tried-and-true removal methods, bid farewell to stained clothes and embrace the canvas of possibilities that lie ahead. May your garments be forever free of unintentional splashes and strokes.


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