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How to Wash Paint Out of Your Hair and Off Your Skin: It’s NOT Complicated

Latex Paints:


Don’t use soap! (not yet)

Soak in water for a long time (a bath might be best) and gently keep rubbing. Let the goo absorb water and it will get very soft.

Too much rubbing and you’ll irritate your skin.

Let water do the work. Why do you think scientists call water ‘the universal solvent’?


Follow the same as for latex paint on the skin above. It’s easy. Just keep combing your hair under the shower. Be patient. Don’t use soap!

Oil-based paints:

Don’t use soap! (not yet)

Don’t put turpentine on your body as some idiotic websites suggest. Last resort only.

If the info below does not help, keep trying different oily solvents.

Start with the least toxic:

  • mayonnaise
  • cooking oil, baby oil

This post on spray paint removal may help.

This post is how to get spray paint off skin.


Best: citrus hand cleaner. Very gentle. Another citrus product here.

The next best is an auto-mechanic hand cleaner. Not free of bad stuff, but very effective.

Worst: paint thinner or turps: ick. This stuff goes into your blood via your skin, so it’s never advised, but it is fast. If you do it, wash RIGHT AWAY with soap and WARM water.


Do not wash your hair with soap. Not yet.

You want your hair to stay oily.

Hopefully, your hair is oily, as that will make the stickiness less, but in any case, just keep combing under a shower: water only.

If that does not work, use the hand cleaners above. It’s going to work, but just a big mess.



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