Stain Removal

Stain Removal Help


Even the most careful of students can leave art class with a paint smear or splatter on their clothes. We work hard to be responsible with our art supplies and keep a clean work environment, but accidents happen...frequently. Here are some tips to help preserve your child's wardrobe:

1. Help your child dress like an artist-  choose dark colors and machine washable fabrics. Think of them as the equivalent of "gym shoes" for PE class. Don't forgot to carefully consider shoe choice or any accessories you don't want to get paint on. Students can feel really bad about getting their clothes messy, but don't yet have the body awareness to avoid most stains. Even Mrs. Usadel goes home with stains on her clothes. If you wouldn't let you child eat a big plate of spaghetti in it, they probably shouldn't wear it to art class either. 

2. Identify the stain- ask your child what materials they were working with that day. (They should be able to tell you, but if not, feel free to email me for help.) Use the information below to treat a stain from art class. 

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Tempera Paint

1. Wet the stain with water and blot.
2. Apply liquid laundry detergent liberally and let sit for 1 hour, then rinse.
3. If the stain persists, try a color-safe bleach solution.

*special instruction for removing tempera paint from thick fabrics like wool: blot the stain, let it dry and scrape with a metal spoon, then blot residue with paper towel and white vinegar


1. Put a folded white paper towel under the stain and spray WD-40 on a clean white cloth. Dab the stain on both sides.
2. Rub some liquid dish detergent and let the paper towel absorb the stain.
3. Wash as normal


1. Soak garment in room temperature water for 24 hours or longer to soften. Then wash in a normal cycle and air dry. Repeat until completely removed. 

Sharpie Marker

1. Try blotting the stain with nail polish remover or alcohol based hand sanitizer.
2. Wash with a cup of salt instead of detergent.
3. If the stain persists, here are some options to try: blot with WD-40, treat with an equal mixture of Cream of Tartar and lemon juice and then wash, or scrub with toothpaste. 


Chalk Pastel

1. Shake out the fabric to remove any loose chalk.
2. Wrap your hands with tape so the sticky side faces out. Press the tape onto the chalk spots to remove. 
3. Spray with a laundry stain removal product on any remaining chalk. Wash in the hottest water allowed by the fabric. 
4. If needed: soak in a bucket with equal parts warm water and white vinegar for 5-10 minutes. Rinse and wash again. 

Oil Pastel

1. Use an ice cube to chill the stain and scrape off as much as possible with a metal spoon.
2. Blot with rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball.
3. If the stain persists: rub  liquid dish detergent (dawn or joy brand) on the stain and wash as normal. 


Watercolor Paint

1. Soak the garment in a bucket with  a solution of 1 quart warm water, 1/2 tsp dish detergent and 1 Tbsp ammonia. DO NOT USE BLEACH. Soak for 30 minutes.
2. Rinse thoroughly with clean water.
3. If needed: mix a solution of 1 quart warm water and 1 tbsp white vinegar. Soak for 1 hour. Rinse with warm water. 
4. Allow to dry. Blot any remaining color with rubbing alcohol and a paper towel until the stain is gone. 
5. Allow to dry, then wash as normal. 

Regular Marker

1. Place the stain face down on a clean paper towel. 
2. Sponge rubbing alcohol on the area around the stain, then apply directly to the stain. Transfer as much as you can to the paper towel. 
3. Rinse thoroughly and wash as normal.