How to Clean Paint Off of Jeans

Melynda Sorrels

It's practically impossible to do any extensive painting without paint finding its way onto unwanted surfaces, such as clothing. Removing paint from jeans can seem like an impossible chore. Fortunately, there are several simple methods for removing paint from your jeans.


Test each method on an inconspicuous area of the jeans to ensure colorfastness before using it to remove the paint.


Wear gloves and ventilate the area well when using chemicals to clean the jeans.

  1. Fill a bathtub or sink with warm water. Add 1 tbsp. of salt, vinegar and ammonia. Dip a medium-bristle brush in the solution and scrub the paint with it to loosen the stain. Set the jeans into the solution and allow it to soak overnight. In the morning, remove the jeans and launder them immediately.

  2. Saturate the affected area with Goof Off and allow it to soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Scrub the area with a clean cloth to lift the paint. Repeat, if needed, before laundering.

  3. Soak the stained area with mineral spirits. The stain should begin to disappear. Add more mineral spirits, as needed. Scrub the area gently with a clean cloth and launder in cold water.

  4. Apply isopropyl alcohol to the stain and allow it to soak for at least five minutes before scrubbing with an old toothbrush. Once you have lifted as much of the stain as possible, pour dish soap onto a clean cloth and work it into the area by scrubbing gently. Launder the jeans immediately.

  5. Mix together equal parts hand sanitizer and isopropyl alcohol. Apply the solution to the stained area with a Q-Tip or clean cloth by gently rubbing it in. Use a butter knife to gently scrape away the paint and launder immediately.