How to Remove Nail Polish from Carpet

Removing nail polish from a carpet , tile or marble floor can to some extent be a headache especially if it has dried. There are quite a number of techniques you use to get rid of the dried out lacquer such as use of acetone and none-acetone removers, windex, hair spray, vinegar and more. If nail polished has accidentally spilled on your floor or carpet, this article is for you.

Steps to Remove Nail Polish from Carpet Fast

The first thing to check out in the course of removal of nail polish from the carpet is the color of the carpet. If the carpet is light or white, then use of non-acetone polish remover is the best bet.

If it is dark, then you may choose hair spray or rubbing alcohol and then blotting up the polish with a sponge or paper towel. This is because you might not be sure whether the dye might interact with it. Carry on the process repeatedly as it is not as easy to pull out the polish.

1# Use Acetone and None Acetone Nail Polish Removers

The use of acetone or none acetone polish removers to deal with nail polish on your carpet depends on the type of fabric that constitutes the carpet. Always be careful not to use acetone on fabric containing acetate. This is because the acetone will melt the acetate fibers. Acetone should also be used with a lot of caution when handling carpets with silk wool and rayon. Most nail polish removers contain acetone as an ingredient.

There is heated debate about the use of acetone containing and none acetone containing nail polish removers on carpets. It should be noted that both acetone and none acetone nail polish removers can be harmful to your fabrics. You should always be careful by testing the remover in an inconspicuous area of the fabric or fibers before applying it on the stained area.

Acetone Remover for polish on carpet

The use of acetone containing nail polish removers can be done in steps:

The first step is to blot up as much of the nail polish spill as you can. To do this, ensure you use an upholstery.  Take care while blotting not to spread the nail polish further onto the upholstery.

Next, apply the acetone using an eye dropper to the stain. Acetone is harmful at times to the stain and therefore spot test using acetone on the upholstery in an inconspicuous area before you go on is very important. The eye dropper is used because you will be able to use as little acetone as possible. Always do not just splash the acetone onto the upholstery fabric. This is because it will most certainly do more harm than good.

As soon as the acetone gets in touch with the fabric, blot the fabric with a white cloth or paper towel and the nail polish will get transferred from the upholstery onto the cloth. After that repeat the second to third step until no more nail polish transfers onto the cloth.

In case the stain has disappeared, stop the process. If not, blot at the stain, this time round using a dry cleaning solvent. Continue blotting until no more nail polish gets transferred from the upholstery onto the cloth using the dry cleaning solvent. You should be aware that all these stains removal solutions can damage some types of upholstery. Therefore, all of them should be tested in an inconspicuous area first before the application to ensure that it is safe.

You could stop at the above step if the stain is gone. If not, you can proceed using 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide to stay once again using an eye dropper. Afterwards, remove the hydrogen peroxide using cold water blotted onto the upholstery fabric with a clean white cloth and thereafter blot dry.

remove dry nail polish stains from carpet
Nail varnish on Carpet removal

Acetone-free Remover for polish on carpet

On the other hand, none acetone approach can also be good. To do this, first dip a white cloth in clear fragrance free non-acetone nail polish remover.

Thereafter, test to ensure that the remover does not bleach your carpet simply by blotting a small amount on a less visible portion of your carpet. In the event that your carpet color transfers to the cloth or the carpet is changed by the cleaner, immediately stop the process.

Finally, blot the white cloth on the stained area. Be careful in blotting and don’t rub it. Keep doing this until the stain is completely gone. This requires that you give it time as it might take a bit long.

2# Use Hairspray

The moment you discover the stain on your carpet, follow the following procedure to get rid of it very fast:

  1. Wet the stain with a lot of cold water.
  2. Then spray about 15 to 20 pumps of hair spray then follow with three to five small splashes of rubbing alcohol. This is the best approach that you can ever think of employing at home to clear the mess.
  3. Use a small scrub brush to get the off the stain directly for around a minute. In the course of scrubbing, keep adding clean, cold water on the stain throughout the entire process.
  4. Carry on with the process four to five times or until the stain is not visible any longer.
  5. After you are done with the above, apply soap or a carpet cleaner to the area to wash away the very harsh chemicals
  6. In case your carpet is a weak one, try adding hydrogen peroxide since will have a bleaching effect that will toughly handle the dark stains.

3# Windex Method

This method is very simple and straight forward. Take a bottle of Windex and then generously spray on the portion of the carpet that has the nail polish. Ensure the spray is sufficient but not excess.

Allow the Windex to soak for about one minute. Afterwards, get a white wash cloth, make it dump with cold water and wipe the Windex away. The polish should come out of the carpet with the Windex.

4# Use Vinegar

The use of white vinegar is the best choice of a product to give you impressive results. The solution works well when mixed with lemon juice. This is because vinegar is an acid and all-purpose all natural cleaner in most of our houses. It is therefore sensible that it could be used to get rid of nail polish dried on surfaces at homes.

To produce the best effects and results, squeeze in half a lemon or some orange juice to obtain powerful citrus acid for cleaning the surface. Soak an old cloth in the mixture for about 10 to 15 minutes. After that, scrub the surface with the soaked cloth until the polish is removed.

5# Use window cleaner

Immediately after realizing the nail polish stain on your carpet, blot as much as you can to remove any excess nail polish. Use a sponge or dish clothe to apply a small amount of window cleaner to the stain, then scrub the place in a circular motion. Rinse the affected area with water. After that, let it dry after which the stain should disappear.

6# With baking soda

Baking soda is a great ingredient to remove these stains. Mix it with warm water to form a paste and apply on the stained area. After some time, you can scrub it with a scrubbing brush and finish by drying with a damp cloth.

7# With rubbing alcohol

The use of alcohol is also very effective in dealing with carpet stained with nail polish. The stronger the alcohol, the better the likely results. The first and easiest to find option is the isopropyl alcohol or simply known as rubbing alcohol although there are other products that contain alcohol, that include ethyl glycol.

In as much as alcohol products are not the best choice, when you choose to use, you have to soak an old cloth in a rubbing alcohol solution. Thereafter, scrub the soaked clothe on the stain thoroughly to get the stain off. Repeat the process to achieve the best results.

8# Use Sugar

This approach involves very simple few steps to deal with the stain. Just follow the procedure below:

  1. Get a bowl full of sugar on your hand
  2. Pour the sugar over the spilt nail polish
  3. Give the sugar some time on the stain. This gives the sugar time to interact with the stain and get rid of it in due course
  4. Use a paper towel to get the polish off the spillage point. If the stain does not come off, let the sugar interact with the stain a little longer to take off any excesses
  5. Get rid of the excess sugar from your carpet to restore the initial look of your carpet.

Note: this method works best when the nail varnish is still fresh.

Other ways to get dried Nail Polish out of Carpet

Use of basic toothpaste and an old toothbrush.

Use some basic toothpaste to scrub away polish. You only need to use a dollop of toothpaste. After that, start scrubbing with an old toothbrush or a paper towel. Generally, the best toothpaste to use are the white toothpastes as they lift and pull the color off the carpet. The use of toothpaste with baking soda are the most well-known natural methods that work well to give the best results.

Dish-washing detergent and warm water

Use a very watery mixture with hardly any soap. Just ensure that the dish-washing detergent used does not contain lanolin or a bleach.

Detergent solution

It removes any nail polish and any bits of finger nail polish. Just dab the area dry with a paper towel. Repeat the process until you can no longer see the spot.

Pile a bunch of paper towels over the area.

Just weigh down the paper towels with something heavy, like a stack of books. This will help absorb the moisture. It takes about an hour and the stain will be no more. Alternatively, you can decide to scrub the dry nail polish from the carpet using an edged object. You could try using a blunt knife.

Shaving Foam

In order to perform this take the white shaving foam, it is very good for pulling out nail polish. Always don’t opt for the gel kind, go for the plain white foamy kind. Put it over the stain and rub the stain in a circular motion with a scrubbing brush or a nail brush. After you finish, rub it with a damp cloth.

Amyl Acetate

Apply amyl acetate on the nail polish stain. Dampen an absorbent pad with amyl acetate and use it to cover the stain. After 15 minutes, loosen this stain by scratching it repeatedly. Don’t be too harsh while carrying out this, it may damage the carpet. Having done that, clean it with a dry-cleaning solvent.

Warm Water

Take warm water in a bowl and a wiping cloth. First blot the excess polish and then rub the remaining with the damp cloth. In this case you need to act quickly, don’t wait for the stain to dry. This should work well if the polish is light in color and the layer is not much thick.

Using Goo-Be-Gone

This is a specialized cleaner that can be used to get rid of the stain. When you are prepared, go ahead and pour some of the solution onto the stain.

Grab a rag and scrub the solution into the stain. Get a small container and fill it with water. Just keep scrubbing and wiping the stain with a dry washcloth until it’s gone.

When the stain first occurs, make sure to gently soak up as much of it as possible onto a paper towel. This will reduce the amount of nail polish that you’ll have to remove. You should be aware that the longer the stain is allowed to sit on the carpet the harder it will be to remove.

Using Pet Stain Removers

In as much as products for pet stain removal work well for nasty stains left behind by the pet, they can also work well on nail polish. This method is basically the same as the others. Just spray the product on the stain, rub it in with a washcloth then wipe it up with a paper towel.

Likely Causes of Spilled and Dried Nail Polish on Carpet

The process of doing polish on the nails requires a lot of investment in terms of time, caution and the materials to be used in the process. Despite the efforts above, nail polish is likely to find its way to the carpet in the salon or your living room. The causes are so many and they may include:

Interference of storage areas of the polish

There are events where bottles of nail polish are likely to fall from shelves or storage cabins. The fall can be brought about by maybe children playing in the house, rodents in shelves of storage among others.

Natural occurrences can also interfere with storage of the polish in the house; they include earth tremors and earthquakes. In that event, the carpets may end up stained and then dry up forming permanent impressions.


This is likely to occur when you are not cautious when you store the polishes. You are likely to leave polish bottles open and in case of children playing around or in the course of carrying out house activities, the polish might be pushed leading to its fall and spilling in the long run.

Carelessness might also occur when you are applying the polish. You are likely to get more than enough polish on the brush and as a result, the polish is likely to spill on your carpet.

Faulty storage bottles for the polish

Soring nail polish in bottles is likely to lead to their spillage when they are in the storage wardrobes, shelves or cabins. You should therefore ensure that the polish is stored in bottles that are void of cracks and the seal is intact.


It is likely to occur that when you are picking polish from shelves, it falls, spills and stains the carpet. Accidents also are likely to occur when you are applying polish on your nails. The good thing is that when you realize the spillage early enough, it is easy to remove. However, if you delay and give it time, it becomes hard to deal with because the polish dries on the carpet.

how to remove dried/stained nail polish from carpet marble and tiles floor
Spilled Nail Varnish on Carpet

Tips to prevent spilled and dried nail polish on Carpet

Nail polish can be prevented from finding its way to the carpet or floor if:

Storage containers for nail polish are kept sealed and without any crack on the bottle. This prevents any likelihoods of the polish from leaking

Nail polish should be kept out of reach of children as they are likely to tamper with the storage lead to probable accidents which might result to pouring of the polish to the floor or carpet.

The moment the nail polish lands on the floor, always ensure that you as soon as possible clean it because when it dries, it becomes hard to get rid.

See also

Originally posted 2021-01-03 03:41:00.

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