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5 Easy Ways To Get Nail Polish Off Carpet

by | Mar 29, 2021 | Cleaning Tips

Had a little accident with your home salon adventure? It happens! Most of us are sent into a panic when we find out we’ve spilled brightly-coloured gooey nail polish on our pristine carpet. We’re pleased to tell you that you have nothing to worry about. With a few tips and tricks, you can get that spill out in no time!

To help you out, we’ve come up with a list of ways to remove nail polish from your carpet (that actually work!). 



What Do You Have To Do? 

There are two main rules when it comes to fingernail polish on carpets. The first rule is not to panic. The second rule is not to rub. Rubbing will always make any spill, especially fingernail polish, worse. 

Start out by putting either an old towel or paper towels on the spill. You want to press and blot, not rub, to soak up any excess fingernail polish that hasn’t been absorbed. Now for the hard part, let the fingernail polish air-dry. Yes, leave it alone. Walk away – as hard as this is – and let the stain dry. Never rub or try to scrub the stain. 



How To Remove Nail Polish From Your Carpet

Once the fingernail polish has dried onto the carpet, you can choose from the following trusted methods to get rid of the stain.


1. Hairspray and Rubbing Alcohol

A concoction of hairspray and rubbing alcohol works wonders! It doesn’t smell that great, but it is a small price to pay for the miracle it will work on your carpet. 


What To Do:

  1. Wet the stain with cold water. Do not use warm water, as it can further the fusion of the nail polish to the carpet fibres. 
  2. Spray hairspray on the stain. It’s hard to find aerosol cans of hairspray these days but, if you can, this type of spray works the best. 
  3. Dab a cotton ball full of rubbing alcohol or eight proof (or higher) vodka on the stain.
  4. Grab yourself an old toothbrush or tiny scrubbing brush. You can now rub and scrub the stain. 
  5. If you need to, add more water to the stain as you’re rubbing it until the stain is lifted. 


Good To Remember: Keep pets and small children away from this area as it air dries. Pets tend to walk on and smell new or wet areas of the carpet. You don’t want them licking the area or their paws after they walk on it.



2. Non-Acetone Nail Polish Remover

Another surefire way to remove nail polish from the carpet is with nail polish remover. It makes sense, right? But before you get started, do a patch test by trying it out first on a small and hidden part of the carpet. If you see any discolouration or signs of damage, try out other methods instead.


What To Do:

  1. Dab the dried stain with a plain and old towel. 
  2. Pour a small amount of nail polish remover directly on the stain and continue to dab until the stain fades. 
  3. Rinse the carpet thoroughly with water and soap once the stain is lifted. 
  4. Let it air-dry completely.


Good To Remember: Do this method with caution especially if you’re cleaning a darker carpet. Don’t forget to always do a patch test when cleaning your carpet with chemicals. Although we assure you that using a nail polish remover will surely help, it can still leave a discoloured mark on the area.



3. Window Cleaner 

Using a window cleaner is a great option, especially if you don’t have a lighter coloured carpet. Window cleaners have a chemical compound mix that is equivalent to that of acetone nail polish remover, hairspray, and alcohol. That said, never mix those three components together. It will cause a reaction and you can end up in the hospital. (Yikes!) Instead, be safe and use the only window cleaner powerhouse on your carpet instead. 


What To Do:

  1. Spray the window cleaner directly on the stain. 
  2. Dab it with an old towel or cloth until the stain starts to break up. 
  3. Repeat Step 2 several times until the stain is removed. 
  4. Let the carpet air-dry. 
  5. Vacuum up the dried residue from the window cleaner. 


Good To Remember: Make sure you are using the blue-coloured window cleaner on dark coloured carpet only. Otherwise, the blue cleaner will stain your light coloured carpet and you will end up with a bigger problem. 



4. Vinegar Solution

Vinegar is a pantry staple in every household which makes this method one of the easiest ways to get rid of stains. You can make your own homemade carpet cleaner by mixing vinegar and water. If you have a synthetic carpet, mix 1 cup vinegar and 2 cups water. On the other hand, use 1 cup vinegar and 1 cup water if you have a natural-fibre carpet.


What To Do:

  1. Apply a small amount of vinegar solution to a clean white cloth. 
  2. Dab the cloth repeatedly on the stain.
  3. Press the cloth on the area with nail polish for a few seconds.
  4. Rinse the solution by blotting with a different cloth soaked in lukewarm water.
  5. Wait and let the carpet air-dry.
  6. Repeat until the stain is completely removed.


Good To Remember: If the stain is proving to be difficult, you can place a vinegar-soaked paper towel on top of the stain after wetting it thoroughly with plain vinegar beforehand. Leave the paper tower on top for approximately 10 minutes. Afterwards, simply blot the stain until it is removed.



5. Cutting The Stain Loose


For some people with higher-pile carpets, this is both a blessing and a curse. Depending on how deep the stain is, cutting the carpet may cause an uneven shift in its height. If the stain isn’t too deep, then cutting a small area away from the carpet isn’t going to be too noticeable and it presents an easy and cost-effective solution.

Good To Remember: Carpets can be shaggy with a wide variety of textures and fibres. If you can separate the threads by hand and limit what you cut to only the stained area, you can get away with a perfect-looking carpet by using just a pair of scissors. 

Some people swear that certain canned carpet cleaning products work wonders. We have not found this to be the case. In fact, they tend to really let the nail polish stain set within the carpet. We’re sure there are a few good products out there, but we are really hesitant to recommend this as an option. If you don’t want to attempt to use any of our recommendations, which all really do work, then you can always seek the assistance of a professional cleaning service.


If you want to let a professional handle the cleaning, go for the service that you can trust. Try out Australia’s favourite house cleaning service by booking with Maid2Match today!



About Author

Sophie Franklin

Sophie is the subject matter expert within Maid2Match. Most importantly though she is our biggest fan girl and generous in sharing what she knows.


About Author

Sophie Franklin

Sophie is the subject matter expert within Maid2Match. Most importantly though she is our biggest fan girl and generous in sharing what she knows.