How to Remove White-Out from Clothing


Sherrie asked: How do you remove white-out (liquid paper) from clothing? When trying to put white out on some paper, I dripped some of it on my shirt (100% multi-colored cotton).

White out is convenient for fixing all kinds of errors in our work, but when it spills on your clothing it becomes a mistake that’s hard to forget. Though this white paint seems to bond to the fibers in the fabric and turn to a plaster of sorts, it can be removed when made like a fresh stain again. Follow these directions to soften the white-out and remove it for good.

You Will Need:

  • Spoon or dull knife
  • WD-40
  • Windex
  • Acetone (nail polish remover)
  • Mild soap
  • Water
  • Sponge
  • Soft cloths

Steps to Remove the White-Out:


  1. Begin by scraping away as much of the white out as possible using the spoon.
  2. Next, apply some WD-40 or Windex to both sides of the stained area and rub it in with your fingers.
  3. Allow it to set for a few minutes and then scrub it gently with a sponge or soft cloth. Keep the area moistened as you scrub. It may take a little bit of scrubbing to remove the stain entirely.
  4. Rinse the area completely with clean water.
  5. If the stain remains, place a clean cloth under the stained area and blot both sides with acetone or acetone nail polish remover.
  6. When stain is removed, clean the area with a mild soap and water or launder as usual to remove any residue from the cleaning products. If any spot remains where the white-out was, treat it with a laundry stain remover prior to washing.

Additional Tips and Ideas

  • Goo Gone is a commercial remover that can be helpful in removing white-out stains. Test a small, hidden area first as this cleaner can cause discoloration on certain fabrics.
  • Rubbing alcohol is also effective for removing lighter stains.



  1. WD40 works! I removed it from a black dress. Had to rinse the dress twice because WD40 is oily, but it really works!

  2. Dear Wendy, Does it matter if the stain has been on the blouse a long time? Also, does the blouse need to be dry when applying this? This is a satin-like fabric. Thank you for any help you offer.

  3. Thanks! I got the Wite-Out out with Windex, Goo Gone and a toothbrush. I thought I’d try that before I got out the WD-40!

  4. Rubbing alcohol, nail polish remover, and then Goo Gone did not help. I hope the Windex or WD-40 will do the trick. If not, maybe turpentine or paint thinner. I do not want to toss the knit top or suit pants!

  5. WD-40 works!!!

  6. WD-40 and then Fels Naptha bar soap worked!

  7. I read that sunscreen works and was desperate enough to give it a go. It worked and was effortless! White-Out on a dark blue school sport shirt; gone in sixty seconds!

  8. WD-40! What a miracle! I removed a 5″ spot out of a leather chair with no stains or residue from the WD-40!

  9. I googled something obscure, like how to remove Wite-Out, and here is the answer; gotta love the net.
    Thank you to this site.

  10. Here goes nothing! I’ll report back soon. : }

  11. Goo Gone works like a charm!

  12. I went through the steps you gave; using Windex instead of WD-40 (because I didn’t have any), and nail polish remover. When the stain didn’t come out, I put stain remover on it and washed it, and it still didn’t go away. Should I try WD-40, or is the stain permanent because I washed it?

  13. How do I remove White Out from a pleather jacket. My son has a nice, black, pleather jacket that he has never worn and a bottle of white out busted and I need to know what to use to get it out.

  14. WD-40 worked! Thank you! Now I don’t have to throw out a brand new cardigan after my first time wearing it.

  15. Please advise how to get rid of hand wash powder from blue cotton knit pants.

  16. It didn’t work. Why is that? I got it on the shirt, but it didn’t help. Any other suggestions?

  17. ?,
    There are many possible options listed here, so I’m not sure what you tried. Even though a cleaner may work great most of the time, sometimes the combination just doesn’t match up – perhaps the shirt is an unusual fiber make up or perhaps you did not scrub as long as someone else would. If a cleaner isn’t working on your stain, simply try something else. The recommendations listed here include WD-40, Windex and acetone nail polish remover. With warnings, Goo Gone and rubbing alcohol are also listed as possibilities for removing the Wite-out.

  18. Katie,
    It could definitely still work. The point of using the WD-40 is to liquefy the white out. If you are hesitant to spend however much on WD-40, try asking a neighbor before heading to the store.

  19. It worked like a treat! $6-worth of WD-40 just saved me from buying a brand new $35 pair of navy school shorts. Since we now have to wear that color for the next five years, I’m thrilled to have an inexpensive solution!

  20. I got White Out on my black yoga pants. One stain has been there for a couple weeks but is faint (since I put it through the washer many times). In class on Thursday, I got another stain that is bigger than the previous one. Will this work to remove both stains, or just the newer one, or either of them?

  21. Alaina,
    WD-40 or Windex are used to remove White Out because they will liquefy the solid White Out. So, it is possible that your old White Out stain could be removed with this method. If the new stain is from White Out, then this method should work. If the second stain is something other than White Out, consider using a stain remover for that particular type of stain before removing the White Out.

  22. Joasbet says:

    I will try.

  23. Will the WD-40 stain polyester clothing?

  24. Ally,
    The WD-40 residue can simply be washed away with soap and water. If by some chance is does leave a stain, it would be an oil stain, which can usually be easily removed.

    Source: WD-40 – Car Clean-Up is Easy With WD-40
    Source: HowToCleanStuff – How to Clean Oil Stains From Polyester

  25. I tried the Windex on a pair of dark jeans, but it didn’t work? Was it because the jeans have been through the wash a couple of times? Anything else that would work without damaging them?

  26. I just love WD-40 as a product
    …it works yet again. :)

  27. My daughter just came home with liquid paper on her school dress. I never realized that WD-40 was that useful. Didn’t have to go beyond WD-40; got it out completely.

  28. Can wite-out be removed from paper? I messed up with stuff. It’s a document that can’t be copied.

  29. Would it have to be WD-40 or any car oil?

  30. Hi!!! I am 12 years old and I got White Out on my new leggings. I thought when my mom came home she was going to kill me!!!! The Windex did a little, but the Goo Gone did the trick! All I have to do now is put it through the washer to get the smell out. Thank you so much! My mom will never know !!!!!!!!!

  31. Thank you. My kids got white out on my grandmother’s blanket. She passed away in October…I have coveted it since she purchased it. :-) I’m hoping this will work. Again, thank you for the advice.

  32. I thought this wouldn’t work, but it was completely effective. I removed White-Out from black denim; no trace of it. I used WD-40, an old toothbrush, and a rag to wipe away the results of scrubbing.

  33. I got several spots of white out all over my favorite black pants leggings. I tried everything. Thanks to this website’s tips it came off completely with WD-40. Thank you so much!

  34. For all of you reading…WD-40 works!! Thank you, thank you so much!!

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