How to Get White Paint Out of Jeans

by Kurt Erickson ; Updated September 28, 2017

Use rubbing alcohol or mineral spirits to remove paint from jeans.

jeans image by Westa Zikas from

Don't discard a good pair of jeans just because you've gotten white paint on them. Luckily, the sturdy cotton material used to make jeans is typically able to withstand the process used to remove paint. If you notice the paint on your jeans before it dries, your chances of completely removing it are greatly enhanced. But, even if it is dried by the time you figure it out, there are techniques that can prove effective in restoring your pants to their previous state.

Treat a latex paint stain while it is still wet by soaking the jeans in cold water for 15 minutes. If this fails to dissolve the paint, cover the stain with a liquid dish detergent such as Dawn and rub the stain. Apply rubbing alcohol to the stain if the paint still has not dissolved.

Treat an oil-based stain while it is still wet by spot-treating it with paint thinner or turpentine. Saturate the fabric and then rinse the area in cold water. If there is still paint on the jeans, rub dish detergent onto the area until the paint dissolves.

Wash the jeans as usual in cool water with a heavy-duty laundry detergent. Do not dry in the dryer. Allow the jeans to line dry. If the paint stain remains, repeat the process.


  • Wash the pants in cold water. Hot water can cause them to fade and wear out faster.

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About the Author

Kurt Erickson has more than 20 years of experience writing for newspapers in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri and Indiana. He is a 1987 graduate of Carroll College with a Bachelor of Science in communications. Erickson currently resides in Springfield, Ill., where he covers Illinois state government and politics for daily newspapers in Bloomington, Decatur, the Quad-Cities, Carbondale, Mattoon and Charleston.