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How to Get Body Paint Out of a Costume

Clown costumes frequently require maintenance and cleaning.
Thomas Northcut/Lifesize/Getty Images

Costumes often get dirty or damaged through the course of a party or a performance. A costume can get torn or stained in seconds and need to be repaired or cleaned as soon as possible to keep it looking its best. Body paint is frequently used in conjunction with a costume to complete the aesthetic effect, and the paint will discolor the costume's fabric if you're not careful. Getting body paint out of a costume requires diligence and the proper supplies.

Things You'll Need:

  • Laundry Detergent
  • Nylon Brush
  • Spray Bottle
  • White Vinegar

Fill a sink with cold water and a few drops of laundry detergent. Submerge the affected portion of the costume into it and gently work at the stain with your thumbs to get it out of the fabric. You may need to leave the costume submerged for several hours for stubborn stains.

Pour equal amounts of water and white vinegar into a spray bottle. The acidity in the vinegar works well as a cleaning agent, and it should not damage the fabric.

Spritz the paint stain with the vinegar and water solution. Allow it to sit for a minute.

Apply a nylon brush to the paint to remove the stain from the fabric.

Dab a drop of dish soap into any remaining paint stain.

Use the nylon brush or a scrubbing sponge to remove the remaining paint.


A bleach-based stain stick will remove stubborn body paint stains, but it is also likely to take the color out of your costume. Test the stick on an inconspicuous part of the costume before trying it on the stain to see how it affects the fabric.

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