It’s no secret that painting is a messy task. Next time you notice a paint splotch on your clothing, try out one of these simple solutions to remove it.

Not all paint is created equal

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The best solution for how to get paint out of clothes will depend on a couple of different things. Firstly, it depends on how quickly you notice the paint stain. If you notice the paint as soon as it hits your clothes, or while it’s still mostly wet, you’re best off using a spoon or a knife to try to scoop off as much as possible before it dries, and then break out your chosen stain remover to deal with whatever’s left. Dealing with a dry paint stain is a little tougher, but there are plenty of simple household hacks for tackling dry paint stains. Secondly, the best method for how to get paint out of clothes will depend on the type of paint it is. So before you start scrubbing at the stain, make sure you know which kind of paint you’re dealing with—it’ll help you choose the right solution to get it gone. You’ll also want to check out these simple ways to remove grease stains.

Dish detergent

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If the stain is from a water-based, latex paint—this is the kind of paint that’s best for large painting projects, like walls or ceilings—dish detergent should be your go-to stain remover. First, rinse the stained fabric with a little bit of warm water. Then dab the stain with a rag soaked with water and a little bit of dishwashing liquid. Let the solution sit for a few minutes, and then scrub and rinse with warm water. After repeating this treatment as needed, wash the garment in cold water. This method also works on acrylic paint, a glossy paint favored by crafters using surfaces like wood and canvas, especially if the paint is still slightly wet. One crucial thing to know before attempting this technique, though, is to make sure the clothes are color safe; otherwise, treating the clothing with dish soap may make it run.

Rubbing alcohol

blue ethyl alcohol liquid in plastic transparent bottle on green surgery backgroundVacharapong W/Shutterstock

Rubbing alcohol is another great solution for removing latex paint stains. This is a great solution to try right off the bat, and is also a good one to try if using dishwashing liquid doesn’t work. First, wet the stain with some warm water so that the stained spot is damp. Then soak a cotton ball or a toothbrush (that you’re finished using, of course!) in rubbing alcohol and scrub it on the stain. Rinse it with warm water and repeat the process as needed. Rubbing alcohol is also a tried-and-true method for removing acrylic paint stains. Once you’ve treated the stain, throw the garment in the wash to remove the final traces of the stain and the alcohol. Find out some super-simple ways to remove sweat stains from your clothes, too.