Something that we are all very familiar with is the “hand sanitiser” thanks to the pesky coronavirus. It seems this little magic potion has more uses than just keeping germs at bay. Resourceful DIY’ers have been utilising it to remove old paint from various surfaces and even fabrics . This genius little hack applies to latex/water-based paint. (Please note – there are many hand sanitisers on the market, be sure to test a small area first with your sanitiser, as Universal Paints cannot be held responsible )

All you have to do is massage a little liquid or gel hand sanitiser on the unwanted splashes of paint on your carpet or clothes and rub the paint off using a dry cloth. The higher the % alcohol the more effective it will be.

It also cleans paint brushes, even hard dried paint. Just squirt some hand sanitiser on the brush and work it in to soften the dry paint. Hand sanitiser will also remove paint splatter on clothing items like your jeans or canvas shoes. You may have to repeat the process depending on how stubborn the stain is. Thank you Janette for publishing this clever hack on https://www.thriftyfun.com / or this useful article www.idealhome.co.uk/news

So if hand sanitiser is an effective paint remover it is obvious that rubbing alcohol is an excellent removal agent too. Professional painters like Richard Jenkins tell us that mixing the alcohol with lemon juice improves its power to remove paint stains https://thatpainter.com/

Rubbing alcohol is so versatile that it works on wood too. Latex-based paint on wooden furniture can be removed quite easily with rubbing alcohol. All you need is the alcohol, a cloth or sponge, and enough time to go over the painted object and wipe away all the unwanted paint bits. It also works like a charm on glass and mirrors no matter how old the paint is and if the paint isn’t completely gone after being treated with rubbing alcohol, it will at least be weakened and easily wiped away with traditional cleaning methods.

Alcohol isn’t useful however in removing oil-based paint so you can do the following test to see if your paint is oil-based or not:

  1. Pour rubbing alcohol into a container and dip a cloth into the solution.
  2. In an area that won’t be noticed, wipe the alcohol onto the surface in back and forth motions.
  3. After a few moments you will either see the paint colour rubbing off onto the cloth, along with the white layer of bottom coat beneath, or absolutely nothing will happen.
  4. If the paint comes off, that’s latex paint that can be removed using alcohol since it is water-based. If the paint does not come off, you know you have oil-based paint that will not be removed with alcohol.

Unfortunately, oil-based paint stains are a little more difficult to remove and require the use of a solvent like a paint thinner or paint stripper. Take care though because these products are highly flammable.

Read this article on the proper use of paint thinner: https://www.doityourself.com/stry/how-to-use-mineral-spirits

(DISCLAIMER: Products mentioned in this article, being alcohol based, please take precautions as prescribed on the product packaging, and apply common sense)

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