Spilled Paint in the Interior of the Car: What to Do?

This article is all about the paints spilled on your car’s interior and have ruined your car from the inside, and what are the possible solutions for your little accident. It is difficult to imagine what it would feel like to be on your way with a can of paint in your backseat and you suddenly hit a bump, causing the paint to spill out all over your upholstery, as you go by. Even though the vision of a tragic event is improbable, it does not mean it is impossible.

Any one of us may come across this problem at some point, and it is also one of the most common problems that anyone may come across. A thorough cleanup strategy is required for any paint spill that happens inside a car to avoid stains caused by wet paint inside the vehicle.

A paint spill might permanently harm your car’s interior if it is not cleaned up. Let’s look at how you may save your car’s interior from this disastrous predicament. Spilled paint can, at best, lower the market value of your automobile and, at worst, poison your passengers.

Things you need to Remove Spilled Paint in the Interior of the Car

Be sure to have the following items before starting:

A free space

The working area of your car, regardless of whether it is a monster truck or a city car suitable for a young driver will probably be quite small if you own one. While cleaning, we recommend following these steps to keep your environment safe:

  • Place your automobile such that the spill may be seen from several different car doors.
  • As far as you can, move the chairs away from the spill.
  • Anyone without the proper PPE kit should be removed from the area.

Adequate airflow

You must already know that the paint’s smells are not very healthy for your health and breathing the air filled with the Volatile Organic Compound in the paint’s smell is enough to damage your health.

Without proper ventilation and fresh air, the indigenous paint compound could seriously damage your lungs and you could feel even dizzy and runny nose Driving with it is not advisable at all.

The step you need to take:

The following steps should be taken to ensure the spill area is properly ventilated:

  • If you are driving then take the next stop cause driving with that harmful gas is even more dangerous.
  • To ventilate the space open all the windows and doors of the vehicle
  • Always wear a mask, dust mask, or respirator while performing the cleaning.
  • While you clean, turn on the air conditioning in your car or use a portable air conditioner for fresh breathable air.
  • Take regular pauses, and if you start to feel ill, stop cleaning.

We advise pregnant ladies and children not to touch the paint if they are in the vicinity. It has been demonstrated that exposure to paint’s VOCs increases both groups’ risk of birth abnormalities and other health consequences. 

Removing the Paint-can

Even in a hot, dry environment, it will take some time for the paint to cure, so you should stop more leaks before you begin cleaning up a spill.

Remove the leaky paint can from the car. Whenever you notice dripping paint from the base or edges of the paint can place it in something that will catch it, such as a bucket packed with newspaper or polythene can be a wise choice.

Store your paint tin away from the sun and extreme heat, and keep in mind that paint thins out and spreads more quickly as temperatures rise. It is therefore best if it is gently removed as soon as the carnage is over, so as to limit the possibility of further damage to your car’s interior.

How to Remove the Spilled Paint from Car Interior?

Cleaning up a paint spill starts by removing as much excess paint as possible, regardless of whether you spilled spray paint, acrylic paint, or water-based paint.

Removing wet paints

No matter what kind of paint you are cleaning, you will need a variety of products for cleaning up spilled paint inside your car. You need to gather the following things to get started with the cleaning:

  • A water supply is the first thing you need.
  • A clean cloth or sponge that is used to soak up the raw paint on the seat.
  • Plastic bags are used to store old clothing.
  • A cleaning or detergent solution. 

You will need a different cleaner if you have leather seats than someone with polyester seats. The interior of your automobile can be irreparably damaged if you choose to use bleach or cleansers containing alcohol-based cleaners.

Even though they are excellent for use at home, cleaning solutions like these can cause harm to your car’s upholstery and cause it to discolor as well.

Additional note:

Experts recommend the following three methods for removing wet paint:-

  • Soaking the wet paint
  • Assembling or gathering the paint for easy removal.
  • Vacuuming the paint.

You may want to try a combination of these methods, and the primary aim of this is not to remove all paint, but simply to remove 90% of the paint so you can clean the upholstery underneath.

Soaking paints with rags or sponge

Since paint contain volatile substances, towels and rags used to mop up spills cannot be reused after they have been used to soak up spills, and it is recommended to use a towel or rag for soaking the paint prior to use.

A towel that has not been regularly laundered, such as one that has been exposed to laundry detergent frequently, may lose its ability to absorb and become useless.

The rags can be used to absorb paint while wearing gloves, and then be put in a clean bag for disposal, and if you decide to use plastic bags, double-layer them in order to prevent paint spills. Do not forget to wear gloves while handling these rags.

Since this bag is likely to catch fire if exposed to excessive heat or sunlight, it should never be exposed to these environments. In order to prevent prolonged exposure to paint fumes, we recommend wearing a mask and personal protective equipment while soaking up paint.


You will need a sealed paint bottle and equipment to scoop up wet paint for this method since wet paint is thick enough at room temperature to remove easily.

It is important to keep in mind that any material you choose cannot be reused and that paint contains many volatile liquid components that can ignite and cause serious injury or death. Due to dust and grime mingling with the paint, experts advise against using it again.


You may want to vacuum up the wet paint with an old vacuum you have around the house. Vacuuming paint is one of the most effective ways to remove paint spills since it’s fast and keeps you safe. 

Some recommended ways:-

  • The painting should be the only use for an old vacuum since it should be thrown away as soon as possible.

Despite your best efforts, paint vapors will still remain, so the vacuum might release toxic fumes or cause a fire even after you have removed all visible paint.

  • Put the paint in a sealed container and dispose of it after vacuuming it, and while cleaning paintbrushes is completely safe, washing excessive volumes of paint down the drain can be risky.

Paint may harm your plumbing and block your drains, so if at all feasible, dispose of it at a nearby hazardous waste disposal facility.

Determining the type of paint

Whenever you remove the majority of paint spills from your pride and joy, you will be left with an extremely difficult stain. That is the time you need to know whether acrylic paint or oil-based paint spilled before trying to remove it.

Oil-Based Paint removal

Almost all oil-based paints are made using linseed oil, which is derived from the seeds of flax plants and is a natural binding agent for pigments that are used in oil-based paints, in order to hold the pigments together.

The removal of oil-based paint can be achieved with mineral spirits, a cleaning agent derived from petroleum.

Ways to remove  

  • Add one to two spoonfuls of white vinegar to four cups of warm water after mixing two spoons of liquid soap into it.
  • After that, cover the whole surface of the paint spots with a rug or a sponge that has been dipped in the solution.
  • Use a sponge or paper towel to remove the excess mixture from the stain after a few minutes have elapsed.
  • Work the mixture into the stain with your sponge, being careful to rinse it off between each application to make sure all paint is removed.

Acrylic Paint removal

During the cleaning process, keep the paint stain wet as acrylic paint dries very quickly. Besides two buckets, sponges, globes, and a mask, you’ll need a paint cleaning solution, a paint cleaning solution, and a paint cleaning solution.

Ways to remove

  • Five cups of warm water should be combined with two teaspoons of dishwashing liquid and one spoonful of white vinegar to make a solution.
  • The mixture can be applied to the paint stain using a sponge and acrylic paint cleaner. Keep an eye on the stain every two minutes, and keep adding more mixture to keep it from drying.
  • Once the stain has soaked for a while, use your sponge to remove any remaining paint, then use an acrylic paint cleanser to wash it off.


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