How can I remove these stains from my ladder? Do I need some sort of special cleaner or would some regular household cleaner work as well? enter image description here

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    What kind of paint is it? Also - does this matter? Ladders are tools and get dirty. I mean as a "how do I remove paint" question it's good but it seems like a bit of excess trouble to go to - cleaning the tread of a ladder... Jun 18, 2017 at 13:49

2 Answers 2


Don't waste your time. Trying to prevent a ladder from being covered in paint is like trying to keep a war hero's uniform from getting covered in medals. Exactly like that, in fact.

Paint stains means the ladder has been doing useful work. When did that fall out of fashion?

Assuming it is latex paint, your best bet is to catch it right away with soap and water. Soaking it in water helps soften the latex paint if it's fairly new. For oils and 2-part paints, fuggedaboutit.

  • I was tempted to write virtually the same answer. I'll just add that latex paint dissolves in alcohol, so if it's latex, put some rubbing alcohol on a rag and it should clean up.
    – fixer1234
    Jun 18, 2017 at 18:17
  • Oh thank you, you just saved me a fortune. My $75/gal urethane reducer also dissolves latex, and I've been using that! Jun 18, 2017 at 18:56
  • Naw, I'll bet your ladder has all of its medals. :-)
    – fixer1234
    Jun 18, 2017 at 19:00

Use warm water with floor cleaning detergent and a stiff scrub brush to scrub paint out of the grooves. If you can't get it all out, just accept it.

Do not use paint remover or solvents. These will damage the rubber treads.

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