How to Get Liquid Latex Out of Clothes & Hair Easily

Author: Pat Freling | Updated: | Affiliate links may be present.

Liquid latex is a great way to add a fun effect by creating different textures and shapes on the skin. It can also wreak havoc if it gets on clothes or into your hair!  What’s the best way to remove liquid latex from clothes and hair?

Once liquid latex is dry, it bonds to hair and fabric. In order to remove liquid latex from fabric, apply a small amount of oil, then peel the latex away from the fabric. The latex and the oil may stain the fabric, so it is best to avoid contact with clothing. To remove latex from hair, use oil to loosen the latex, then comb it out.

What Is Liquid Latex?

Liquid latex is a compound made of latex, water, and a small amount of ammonia to increase shelf life. It is most commonly used for special effects makeup and body painting. It glides onto the skin, then dries to create a flexible, seamless covering.

How Do I Get Liquid Latex out of Clothing and Fabric?

While it may be fun to experiment with different looks, liquid latex can be tricky to remove from clothing and fabric. Not only does it adhere to fabric, but it can also stain the fabric if you manage to remove it.

It’s best to wear old clothing when you apply liquid latex, just in case the latex gets on your clothes. However, if it does get on your clothes, here is the best way to remove the latex with minimal damage to the fabric.

Materials Needed

Step by Step Instructions

  1. Peel away the latex – Try to peel off as much of the latex with your fingers as possible. The oil will remove the latex, but it may also stain the fabric.
  2. Apply a small amount of oil – Use the cotton swab to apply a tiny bit of baby oil or petroleum jelly to the latex where it is bonded to the fabric. Use the tweezers to carefully pull it away.
  3. Remove the latex – Apply more baby oil under the latex after you pull it away. Keep applying oil and peeling away the latex until all the latex is removed.
  4. Treat the fabric for stains – If the latex is dyed, it may stain the clothing. The oil will also leave a stain. Immediately apply the stain remover according to the bottle instructions.
  5. Launder immediately – Wash the clothing to remove the oil.

How Do I Get Liquid Latex out of Hair?

Peeling latex away from hair is a painful experience! If at all possible, shave hair, or keep it away from the latex before you apply it. If you are reading this article, it is probably too late, and you already have latex in your hair.

The key to this method is to go slow, be patient, and keep applying oil. If at all possible, get someone to help you.

Materials Needed

  • Shower
  • Shampoo
  • Baby Oil, or
  • WD-40
  • Comb
  • Tweezers

Step by Step Instructions

  1. Soak in warm water – Contrary to popular belief, liquid latex is not entirely waterproof. Try to soak your hair in warm water, first. It may loosen up the latex enough that you can pick it out of your hair.
  2. Apply the oil – For any remaining pieces of liquid latex, apply either the baby oil or WD-40 directly to the hair, thoroughly coating the strand. WD-40 works well because you can spray it easily on the hair.
  3. Leave the oil to soak – Allow the oil to soak into the paint for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Comb it out – Starting at the ends, and working your way up, gently work the comb through the strands, removing bits of latex as you go. Use the tweezers to pick bits of latex from your hair.
  5. Repeat, as needed – If there is still latex stuck in your hair, keep applying the oil and combing it out until all the latex is loosened up and combed out.
  6. Shampoo the hair – Once all the latex has been removed, wash hair with warm water and shampoo. This will remove the oil as well as any bits of latex you may have missed.

What’s the Best Way to Apply Liquid Latex?

Protective Clothing

Avoid ruined clothing with liquid latex by wearing old clothing during application. Pick something that you don’t mind ruining and throwing away later. Wait to change clothes until the latex is completely dry.

Another option is to wear a trash bag or plastic sheeting over your clothing while you apply the latex. Cut an opening for your head in the top of a plastic bag, and wear it like a cape or poncho. Use a clip to cinch the opening around your neck so that latex doesn’t drip inside the bag.

Protecting Hair

It is a little more tricky to keep latex out of hair! While you may end up with a little in your hair, there are methods to minimize the amount of hair pulled by the end of the process.

  1. Pin back hair – Get as much hair out of the way as possible before you start. Pin hair away from your face, put in a ponytail, or wear a cap.
  2. Shave first – If you are applying latex to an area with body hair, shave away as much hair as possible before applying the latex. Even if there is just baby hair or peach fuzz, the latex will pull that too, so shave everything!
  3. Apply moisturizer – The moisturizer will keep skin soft and provide a protective, oily layer between your hairs and the latex. This will make the latex easier to remove.
  4. Use oil to repel latex – Use a cotton swab to apply a little baby oil, almond oil, or another oil to eyebrows, eyelashes, facial hair, or your hairline. This will keep the latex from adhering to the hairs. Be careful not to get the oil on your skin if you want the latex to stick.

Final Thoughts

Remove liquid latex quickly and easily from clothes and hair with these easy steps and a few simple ingredients. Don’t let a little mess stop you from using liquid latex to create new looks!

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About Pat Freling

Pat has been into DIY painting since he was 14 years old. He's painted interior walls, decks, patio, and even the first car that he'd purchased at 18.

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