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Cleaning watercolors from different surfaces

When it comes to bulk watercolors and kids there’s an inevitability – they will make a mess! It isn’t the end of the world if a little (or not so little) one gets watercolor paints on their clothes or even carpet. Let’s look at how to clean it from different surfaces.

Washable fabrics

#1 Move quickly if you can. If the paint is wet you have your best chance. Simply dab a sponge or blotting paper on the stain.

#2 Do not leave the washing machine to clean the stain and leave it to dry. The fact is if the stain is dry and has been laundered you will never get rid of the stain.

#3 If dry, on washable fabrics the University of Illinois suggest you scrape the stain off with a blunt knife. Once the surface has gone, to get the stain from inside the fabric, “Soak for 15 minutes in mixture of 1 quart lukewarm water, one-half teaspoon liquid hand dishwashing detergent and one tablespoon ammonia.” You then rub it to loosen the stain and then soak for another 15 minutes before rinsing again. You then leave the clothing in a quart of warm water and a tablespoon of wine vinegar for another 15 minutes before laundering.

But unwashable fabrics are different.

#1 Sponge the stain with water.

#2 Sponge the stained area with water and ammonia (a few drops). Let it sit until the stain is mostly or fully removed

#3 Soak a paper towel in the water and ammonia solutin and press it to the fabric.

#4 Same as above - but with vinegar (if needed).

#5 Same as above - but with alcohol (if needed). Absorb the stain with cloth or an absorbent pad.

Ultimately it’s better to make sure they are wearing aprons to catch the mess and not worry about their clothes!

While watercolors are messy, they are fun and educational. Art is a fundamentally important part of life and always worth letting kids explore.

Come and buy your bulk watercolor sets from Colorswell – the best value bulk watercolors you can buy online!