How to Remove Nail Polish From Carpet (Step by Step)

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Have you ever had a manicure, and then suddenly, your nail polish falls over and spills on your carpet? The thick, bright, and glossy polish start seeping over the carpet.

Although every person understands that it’s not always a good idea to paint nails and other related manicure stuffs on a carpet or rug without any protection, our careless nature usually overpowers this caution.

We end up making big messes that cost us a lot.

Nail Polish Spills

Cleaning nail polish spills is not such an easy task. They can alter the carpet’s appearance, and thus, knowing how to clean it is crucial.

There are several ways carpet cleaners employ to give their carpets an original look. They all do the task the best way if all steps are followed to the end.

Below is a useful guide on some ways to clean up the polish stains on the carpet. You won’t worry again about getting your carpet clean. They are approved methods professionals employ to get carpets to their original states.

Deal with the nail polish spill as quickly as possible

Fresh nail paints are comparatively easier to clean than old dried-up spills. If a nail spill occurs, act fast because the longer you delay, the stain will worsen.

Get a clean cloth or paper towels, and blot up as much polish from the carpet as possible before it dries up, ensuring that you do not spread the stain in the process.

You can start by trying to remove as much of the polish spilled on the carpet by scooping it using a spoon or a dull knife.

Deal with the nail polish spill as quickly as possible

If you are dealing with minor spills, you can get a clean paper towel and blot the affected area. Ensure you don’t rub the spill as you can only worsen it.

Always keep the place moist and prevent it from drying. Do not allow the paint set as this will make your task difficult.

Keep the polish wet by blotting the area well with water. To prevent the stain from spreading, change to fresh portions of the cloth frequently.

Use nail polish remover to help remove the carpet stain

Once you have removed the excess liquid, the next step is to gather nail polish remover, an eyedropper, and clean white cloths to clean the carpet.

However, before you do this, you must ensure that the polish remover is safe to use on your carpet and will not add more damage to your carpet.

Apply a small drop of remover onto an inconspicuous area of the carpet to confirm that it will not harm or discolor your carpet.

Use nail polish remover to help remove the carpet stain

If it passes this test, apply a few drops of the remover with the eyedropper onto the carpet’s stained area and immediately blot with a white cloth.

Polish should transfer from the carpet onto the white cloth. It is best to use an eyedropper because it regulates the remover’s amount to be used since removers can easily ruin your carpet.

If there is any discoloration or damage to your carpet, try using a different carpet cleaning solution. If it does nothing, then you are safe to use it.

Continue blotting at the polish until there is no more transfer

Continue blotting by changing the cloth frequently until you remove the spot completely. If the stain is water-based, blot it using a damp towel.

Add water from all through to prevent the polish from drying while still using the remover. You can also rub alcohol or hair spray containing alcohol to eliminate the stains, especially if the stain is greasy of oil-based.

continue blotting at the nail polish on carpet

This process will take quite a bit of time because you are using a tiny amount of remover to get rid of the carpet’s polish.

You will also need to keep using a new section of the white towel to avoid re-transferring polish back onto the carpet as you blot.

Don’t keep blotting with a dirty towel. Also, be careful not to saturate the area with too much article.

Eventually, you will remove all the stain with this method, or more polish will transfer onto the white cloth. When it is completely removed, rinse the carpet of the remover and allow it to dry thoroughly.

If there is an additional stain left, continue to the next step. If you have pets or kids, keep them away from the area to avoid contact and transfer of the remaining stains throughout your carpet.

Use hydrogen peroxide to help remove the carpet stain 

Suppose you particularly have a tough stain on your carpet from the polish spill. In that case, you can also try applying hydrogen peroxide using an eyedropper to the stain and blotting just as you did with the nail polish remover.

After a while, you will see that the stain is transferring from the carpet and onto the cloth. Do this until the nail polish stain is completely removed.

Hydrogen peroxide can damage your carpet; ensure you test in an inconspicuous area before you use it.

Use hydrogen peroxide to help remove the carpet stain

Hydrogen peroxide can be effectively used for light-colored carpets since they usually act as a bleaching element.

For this reason, hydrogen peroxide should not be applied on dark colored carpets without sample testing; otherwise, it may lead to some devastating results and more damages on the carpet.

You will also need to rinse the hydrogen peroxide out of the carpet after finished and allow it to dry thoroughly.

Rinse the area with clean water and dry it thoroughly

After you have successfully removed the stain, clean the area with mild soap and water. Carpet shampoo is the best option to remove any left out spots on your carpet.

Ensure to dry the area thoroughly using clean rags by pressing out the excess moisture to prevent complications like molds’ growth.

After draining out all the moisture, you can place your carpet outside to dry or allow the rest of the moisture to dry out.

The two best and most common substances to remove polish stains and available at the stores everywhere are the nail polish remover and acetone.

However, acetone may damage or discolor some carpets, for example, acetate fiber and other artificial carpets since it is a chemical that can bleach. If you are worried about discoloration, an acetone-free remover can be your best choice.

Knowing the kind of material your carpet is made of is crucial in preventing chemical reactions when using commercially-prepared cleaning agents.

If unsure, you can always contact the carpet manufacturers before purchasing or applying any chemicals.

A mix of a little, bit of white vinegar and mild detergent in lukewarm water will do the trick in getting out any remaining stain, especially if these chemicals are not currently available.

Protect yourself from the effects of handling chemicals

When handling these chemicals, use gloves when applying cleaning agents as some of them are usually skin-reactants. Always read the directions in every cleaning solution you purchase before using them.

Using these agents, haphazardly might lead to more damage to your health and on your carpet. If you are not certain about being skin reactant to the chemical, you can place a small drop on your skin and observe how you react to it within a certain period.

However, instructions are always provided with every industrially manufactured chemical, and you need not worry about these tests.

Before purchasing a carpet, it is best to arm yourself with stain management information for proper preparations in the future.

Ask the manufacturer about it and get the general tips and steps of cleaning it. General precautions should be minded big as nothing is important as your health.

Professional help

If you have tried and tested every stain removal procedure, but the stain remains, it is advisable to try out professional help from companies offering quality carpet cleaning.

These companies make use of special techniques and advanced tools to take proper care of your carpets to bring them back into perfect condition as before.

They may also incorporate commercial solutions whereby they purchase chemical-based solutions for carpet cleaning that you might not have been aware of.

Hard spills should be left to professionals who have skills to get them out to give your carpet a new look.


Nail polish can enhance a woman’s fingers and toes. It can be a great accent to a beautiful dress or simply something that you can have fun with and customize to fit your mood.

But while it can have an impact on your appearance, it can also be a cause for concern if you accidentally spill some of that nail polish on your carpet.

Despite the above-listed ways of dealing with spilled nail polish, the success of completely removing the stain is usually not guaranteed. Also, these methods can cause damage to your carpet.

Ensure you are careful when getting that manicure and practice this activity in an outdoor setting to avoid damaging your carpet because seriously, why go through all the trouble?

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