Cleaning and Laundry

How to Remove Face Paint from Fabric

How to Remove Face Paint Stains from Any Fabric

For Your Clothing 


Face paint comes in two formulations: water-soluble and oil-based. If you accidentally get face paint on clothing, first read the clothing labels. If it says to dry clean, then take clothes to the dry cleaner; if they are washable you will need to remove the stain before washing. As with all types of stains, you will achieve best results if you tackle it as soon as possible.  With dried stains, you might need to treat the stain multiple times to get the best results and some stains will set as they dry, making them nearly impossible to remove.   


To remove water-soluble face paint, gently work in Sunlight Laundry Bar Soap or another laundry stain remover and warm water and then wash as indicated on the care label. Avoid placing stained clothing in the drier which will set the stain. Hang it to dry and check the stain to see if it remains.  If you need to, repeat the stain treatment a second time and wash again.   


If it is oil-based face paint on washable clothing, remove it by applying a light-coloured grit-free hand cleaner, like a mechanic uses. Work the hand cleaner into the stain and let it sit for a few minutes. Then work in liquid dish detergent or Sunlight Laundry Bar Soap and rinse thoroughly. Hang up the garments to allow them to dry and look at the stained area when it is dry. If a stain is still there, use the same treatment again and rinse again. Once the stain is gone, wash as usual. Remember to always test stain removal products on a hidden area of the garments before proceeding with treating the stain.  


Fake blood is an excellent addition to your vampire or zombie costume, but it can also leave behind scary stains on your clothing! Most fake blood solutions use red dye as a main ingredient which can permanently stain clothing if not treated quickly and they are often oil-based which makes it even more difficult to remove. Start by covering stained area with talc (baby powder) to absorb as much of the oil as possible.  Then, soak the stain in a solution of cold water and vinegar overnight.  This will remove much of the colour.  If there is still a lot of colour remaining, treat stain with an oxygen-based stain removal product and wash in cold water. Hang up the clothing to dry to see if the stain has been removed. If stain remains, repeat stain treatment and washing.  As a last resort, you may have success removing the stain by dabbing with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol.  However, always test the fabric in a hidden area as rubbing alcohol may remove the colour of the fabric in addition to the stain, leaving the garment permanently faded.   


For Your Car 


If face paint gets on a car seat, whether it is water-soluble or oil-based, it is often best to use an upholstery spot cleaner, which can be purchased in most hardware or grocery stores. First, do a test in an inconspicuous area before proceeding. Apply stain remover following manufacturer’s instructions and blot with a clean light-coloured towel. Rinse with water and blot again. A hair dryer on low heat can help to dry upholstery and prevent watermarks. 


 For Your Furniture 


Removing face paint from furniture is more complicated due to the variety of fabrics and finishes, some of which cannot be successfully spot cleaned without creating watermark stains. Generally, for best results, contact a professional upholstery cleaning company.