How To Get Wet And Dry Nail Polish Stains Out Of Your Carpet

Angie Verike LittleThings writer by Angie Verike
Angie is a writer that loves animals, travel and good food. She also loves discovering all things exciting as she globe-trots around the world.

It’s your day off, and you decide to pamper yourself. Accompanied by music and a nice glass of wine, you get all of your nail care products out and arrange them on your living room floor.

Just as you start on your toenails, someone calls your phone. You reach for it and accidentally tap a full bottle of nail polish. You then see the beautiful, bright color seeping right into your cream-colored carpet. You instantly panic as your deposit melts away before your eyes.

But don’t worry: More girls have been in this situation than you can imagine. And more importantly, there is a way to make all of this to go away.

We’ll tell you exactly how to get nail polish out of carpet, regardless of whether it is dry or still fresh and wet.

Just follow these steps, and your carpet will look as good as new!

Household Products You Can Use To Get Nail Polish Off Carpet

Cleaning products
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Check your cupboards, First Aid kit, and bathroom. Gather what you find from this list of products that will help you remove nail polish from your carpet.

Non-Acetone Nail Polish Remover – Make sure the fingernail polish remover is acetone free, as acetone can damage and discolor your carpet.
Hairspray – It contains alcohol, which can dissolve nail polish. Surprisingly, hairspray can be one of the most effective products to remove nail polish from the carpet!
Hydrogen Peroxide – Hydrogen peroxide acts similarly to bleach and can discolor darker-colored carpets, so only use it on lighter ones.
Rubbing Alcohol – It breaks down the nail polish.
Window Cleaner – It is proven to be one of the best ways to get the nail polish out of carpet.
Carpet Stain Remover – An obvious product to try if you have it in your cupboard.

Now that you have your weapons ready, let’s attack this spill.

How To Get Nail Polish Off Carpet When It’s Still Wet

The fresher the spill, the easier it is to clean. So let’s not waste any time and get to it.

1. Remove As Much Of The Nail Polish As Possible

Blotting nail polish stain
Johanna Silver for LittleThings

Scoop up as much of the nail polish as you can. Then grab a clean dishcloth or a paper towel and dab at the stain carefully until nothing seems to be coming off. Try not to rub, as this can push the fingernail polish even deeper into the carpet.

2. Do A Patch Test On Your Carpet

Someone pouring nail polish remover onto carpet
Johanna Silver for LittleThings

Grab your products and find an inconspicuous area of your carpet to do a patch test. This could be underneath your furniture, behind a door or in the farthest corner of the room. Pour a tiny amount of the preferred product onto the carpet, and leave it for a few minutes. If the carpet is not damaged or discolored when you come back, carry on to step 3.

3. Tackle The Nail Polish Stain Using The Products

Someone pouring the remover onto the stain
Johanna Silver for LittleThings

Pour some of your preferred product onto a clean cloth or towel and start blotting at the nail polish stain. Make sure you’re not spreading it by using different parts of the cloth. If that’s not doing much, or if the spill area is rather large, pour a little bit of the cleaning product straight onto the stain and blot. Blot, blot, and blot — until no color seems to come out anymore.

4. Wash The Carpet With Soapy Water

The stain being scrubbed my a sponge
Johanna Silver for LittleThings

Grab a clean bowl and fill it with warm water. Pour a little bit of dishwashing liquid, laundry soap, or carpet cleaner into the water and mix it well. Take a fresh cloth or sponge, dip it in the soapy water, wring it out, and start scrubbing the carpet. Put some elbow grease into it! Make sure to rinse the sponge out regularly. Continue until the cleaning products are out of the carpet.

5. Rinse The Carpet With Clean, Warm Water

Someone rinsing the sponge
Johanna Silver for LittleThings

Take a fresh bowl of warm water and a clean sponge or cloth. Gently rub the spill area to rinse the soap out. Carry on until it’s gone.

6. Dry Your Carpet

A mug placed on paper towels
Johanna Silver for LittleThings

To dry the carpet, soak up all of the water with a clean towel. Then, if you have a fan, set one up to blow directly at the wet patch. If you do not have a fan, no worries. Grab a bunch of paper towels, put them on the wet carpet, and place something heavy on top. Leave it for about half an hour.

How To Get Nail Polish Off Carpet When It’s Already Dried

If the nail polish has already dried on your carpet, don’t worry. We can still get it out by following these steps.

1. Pick Out As Much Of The Nail Polish As Possible

Picking at dried polish
Johanna Silver for LittleThings

Try to remove as much of the dried nail polish out of carpet as you can. You can use a spoon, a blunt knife, or just your fingers. When you’re done, sweep or vacuum the stained area to get rid of all the flecks.

2. Wet The Stain With Warm Water

Someone holding a sponge
Johanna Silver for LittleThings

Fill a bowl with lukewarm water and wet the stained carpet using a sponge or a cloth.

3. Do A Patch Test

Someone spraying hairspray on the carpet
Johanna Silver for LittleThings

Pick a spot on your carpet that is not really visible. This could be under a wardrobe, behind a door, or simply the furthest corner of the room. Choose a product you want to use, and pour a tiny amount onto the carpet. Leave it for a couple of minutes to see if the carpet gets damaged or discolored. If two minutes pass and it all looks well, carry on to step 4.

4. Attack The Nail Polish Stain With The Products

The spray on the stain
Johanna Silver for LittleThings

Take a clean cloth or an old toothbrush, put some of the chosen cleaning product on it, and start gently rubbing the dried nail polish. If that is not doing much, then pour a tiny amount of your chosen cleaning product straight onto the nail polish stain, and carry on gently scrubbing. Continue until you feel like no more polish is coming off.

5. Wash The Carpet With Warm, Soapy Water

Someone sponging the stain
Johanna Silver for LittleThings

Grab a clean bowl, fill it with warm water, and add a small amount of either dishwashing soap, laundry detergent, or carpet cleaner. Take a clean cloth or sponge, dip it in the bowl, and start gently scrubbing the stained area. Carry on until the cleaning product is gone and the fingernail polish stain is no longer visible.

6. Rinse Out The Carpet With Water

Someone rinsing the sponge
Johanna Silver for LittleThings

Fill a clean bowl with warm water and grab a fresh towel or sponge. Gently scrub the spill area, rinsing the sponge regularly, until you feel like all of the soap in the carpet is gone. Then blot the carpet with a clean towel to soak up as much of the water as you can.

7. Dry The Carpet

Before and after of the stain
Johanna Silver for LittleThings

If you own a fan — great! Set it up so it points right towards the wet patch of your carpet.

If you don’t own a fan — no big deal. Grab a bunch of paper towels, pile them on top of the wet carpet and put something heavy on top. Come back in half an hour to find a dry, clean carpet.

Congratulations! Your carpet looks great and you just saved your deposit.

If you succeeded in removing nail polish out of carpet using one of these methods, SHARE this article with your friends. We want to make sure we help as many clumsy people as we can!