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How To Get Nail Polish Out Of Carpet – Tips And Techniques

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Nail polish is to humans like wall paint is to houses. It is the quickest way to update your look and get you looking chic in a flash. Nail polish used to be a girl thing, but boys are getting in on the nail polish trend too. But that is not the only thing that has changed in the last few years.


As the times evolve, the chemical composition of the regular nail polish used now is designed to make it look better for longer; this is excellent news for your nails but bad news for your carpet if you ever get nail polish stains on them.


Since nail polish remover can get polish stains off your nails, you would be right in assuming that it can do the same for your carpet so that should be problem solved, right? Wrong. Carpets are made from different kinds of materials and fabrics, and not all of them can handle the chemicals present in the polish remover.


 Now even if your carpet can handle acetone which is prevalent in most nail polish, there is a process to it that you must follow or else, you would end up removing nail polish from the carpet but end up weakening the fabric; this, in turn, would mean your carpet can get damaged long before the projected time.

Video Explainer

what to expect


This article teaches you how to get fingernail polish out of carpet in quick and easy steps. We are looking at two likely scenarios; when you have wet polish stain and when you have a dry polish stain. You would also find a lot of pro tips along the way. The pro tips are from experts with a lot of experience on the subject. To start of this project here is your first pro tip.

Pro Tip

Act fast. As soon as you notice the spill, get out your tools and get to work.

If you start working on the nail polish stain as soon as you notice it, unless it is the fast-dry kind, the chances are that it would still be very wet. There is a method you can use. And even if the nail polish does dry up before you finished reading this article, have no worries, this step by step guide would show you how to get nail polish out of carpet in no time.


removing wet polish from your carpet


The second you spill the polish, you have very little time to dilly dally here. Snap up your tools and put them to use.

What You Will Need

  1. Paper Towel or Clean dishcloth
  2. Stain Remover
  3. Sponge
  4. Warm water
  5. Dishwashing soap or detergent
  6. Bowl (for mixing)
  7. Fan (optional)

How to Get Fingernail Polish Out of Carpet


Step One: Dab the stain


  • Grab a dry paper towel or dish clot and make stabbing dabs at the stain.
  • Do not rub it in as you only make the nail polish sink deeper into the carpet fabric.
  • Change towels/cloth if you have to until you notice that the nail polish is no longer transferring from carpet to towel.

Step Two: Do a quick test run.


There are so many carpet stain remover options in the market. It may be hard to tell which one would work best with your carpet without damaging it.


  • Pick a spot that is not easily visible.
  • Spray the stain remover on a tiny surface.
  • Observe the changes.
  • If it looks like nothing is happening, it means you can proceed to the next step.
  • If not, switch product until you find the one that works.

Pro Tip

Don’t wait until a stain emergency to try out a stain remover product. Do this product test until you find one that works for you and have it handy at home.

Step Three: Apply carpet stain remover


  • Pour the carpet stain remover of your choice on a towel or paper cloth
  • Blot the nail polish stain gently.
  • You should see a transference of stain if the product you are using is very effective.
  • For more significant stains, pour or spray the cleaner directly on the stain and blot with the clot.
  • Keep at this until the stain transference stops.

Step Four: Create a detergent mix and wash the stained spot


  • Pour warm water in a bowl of detergent or dishwashing soap.
  • Mix well and then dip the sponge in this mix.
  • Squeeze out excess water and then rub the spot with the stain.
  • At this point, the nail polish stain should be barely visible.
  • Repeat the dip, wring and rub process until the stain is completely gone.

Step Five: Rinse the detergent out of carpet


  • Empty bowl with soap and water mix and then refill with clean, warm water.
  • Rinse the sponge you used earlier to remove any detergent in it.
  • Now, dip the sponge in the water, wring it and then dab the area until the soap is out entirely.

Step Six: Mop up water and allow carpet to dry


  • If the carpet is in an aerated area, leave the wet spot to dry.
  • If not, you can set a fan directly over the spot to speed up the drying process.
  • Your carpet at the end of this should be dry and spot-free.

Pro Tip

To get your carpet to dry up fast without a fan, stack up paper towels or regular dish towels on the wet spot, place a heavy object on the top and leave for a few minutes. The towels would absorb the water and make your carpet dry faster.


removing nail polish from carpet with windex


Just because you snoozed doesn’t mean you have to lose. Dry nail polish stains on the carpet are tougher to remove, but they are not an impossible task

What You Will Need

  1. Spoon, butter knife or anything you can use to scrape stains off a carpet
  2. Warm Water
  3. Sponge
  4. Clean Dry Cloth
  5. Detergent
  6. Windex
  7. Old toothbrush

How to Get Dry Nail Polish Out of Carpet


Step One: Remove coated nail polish


  • Start by scraping off the nail polish with the spoon, butter knife or any other tool you can find to do the job.
  • It is tedious, but it makes all the next steps that follow a lot less tasking and more effective.

Step Two: Apply preferred stain remover


  • Spray stain remover on the spot you are working on
  • Then use the old toothbrush to work the remover into the stain.
  • You should see the stain gradually coming off as the brush loosens the dry polish up.
  • Continue doing this until you find that the stain is no longer coming off.

Pro Tip

For white carpets, you can use a clear non-acetone nail polish remover instead of a stain remover to work the nail polish stain on the carpet. And instead of using an old toothbrush, use a white cloth. For darker carpets, rubbing alcohol or hairspray (they contain alcohol) is more suitable. If you are going to use hairspray, don’t forget to do a spot test.

Step Three: Create soapy mix and wash the spot


  • Fill a bowl with warm water and detergent.
  • Dip your sponge into this soapy mix, wring it out and then rub the spot gently with this.
  • More stains should continue to come off at this point.
  • Repeat this process until the stain is either entirely clear or you are confident that the sponge and detergent are no longer working.
  • The next step should help you determine the action that would follow.

Step Four: Rinse out the detergents


  • Dispose of the water and detergent mix, then refill the bowl with cold water.
  • Dip sponge in this water, squeeze out excess water and then dab the spot.
  • If the stain is still visible, move to the next step. If not, skip it to step six.

Step Five: Soak stained spot in windex


  • Spray Windex (or any product similar to this) on the stained spot
  • Allow this to sit for about fifteen minutes and then repeat steps three and four until you have the results that you want.

Pro Tip

If the stain is terrible and you think your carpet can handle bleaching agents, use hydrogen peroxide instead of Windex. Using an eyedropper, put a few drops directly on the stain and then blot to w​​​​​ork it into the stain.

Step Six: Leave the carpet to dry out


Read step six and the pro tip in the wet polish removal section for what to do here.

Pro Tip

After cleaning, your carpet can develop a damp smell even after drying out. To prevent this, get a carpet freshener in a fragrance that you like (there are many options in the market). Sprinkle it on your carpet when it is dry and then, enjoy.

other carpet cleaning options


Nail polish stain is one of those things that you can quickly get rid off without much hassle. If you follow the steps listed out, you should be able to get the stain out completely. However, if you prefer, you can hire the services of a professional cleaning agency.


Of course, you might end of spending more than you would have if you decided to handle the cleaning yourself, but this way, you are guaranteed of getting a nice and clean carpet at the end of the day.


However you choose to go with this, your carpet will become stain free. You just have to decide how you want to pay for getting that stain removed; with cash or with a little sweat on your brows.

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