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Frugal Paint Remover Recipe

Wirnani Garner

Buying paint remover can be expensive, especially if you want only a small amount but have to buy in bulk. You can save a lot of money by making your own paint remover from a few common household cleaning items. This homemade product can remove paint from anything, including fabrics and hardware.

Borax and Ammonia

One household paint remover that you can usually cobble together relatively quickly involves mixing a cup of borax, a cup of household ammonia and a cup of washing soda into two cups of room-temperature water until it makes a thick paste. This paste can then be applied to anything with paint that you want to remove. This mixture works best on clothing on which paint has accidentally been spilled. Allow the paste to sit on the affected fabric for about 20 minutes, allowing it to penetrate the material before rinsing it off with water. You can help remove the paint by brushing the area with steel wool while you rinse it.

Washing Soda

Washing soda is the primary ingredient in this homemade paint remover recipe. It is very similar to baking soda, but for purposes of this recipe, they are not interchangeable. Washing soda can be found in any grocery store’s laundry detergent aisle.

One cup of cold water should be mixed with four spoonfuls of washing soda and enough flour to form a thick cream. This cream can then be applied to the area where you want to remove the paint (usually on fabric) and allowed to sit for about a half hour while the paste goes to work. You can then scrape off the solution with a brush while rinsing the affected area under a steady stream of water, which should remove the paint.


Removing paint from hardware can sometimes be more tricky than removing paint from fabrics. An easy way to remove paint from hardware is to dissolve one to two cups of baking soda in a pot of boiling water. Ensure that the water in the pot is deep enough in which to submerge the hardware. The quantity of baking soda used should form a white film on the surface of the water before dissolving.

Put the hardware object into the pot and allow it to sit for about 15 minutes while the pot simmers. Remove the object and rinse it under cold water. Wipe away the paint. If the process doesn’t remove all the paint the first time, you can repeat.