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How To Get Nail Polish Out of Carpet

So, you’re painting your nails with the nail polish precariously balancing on the arm of your couch or on the edge of the coffee table. Your arm jerks, and suddenly the bottle has fallen to the floor, leaving a spill of nail polish splayed on the carpet. It’s a colorful crime scene. 

Getting stains out of a carpet is never a fun activity. Whether it’s a wine stain, paint stain, makeup stain, glue stain, or food stain – you need to know exactly how to remove these specific stains without damaging the carpet itself. 

How To Get Nail Polish Out of Carpet

Nail polish is notorious for staining everything from clothing to skin. While it might seem impossible to remove nail polish out of a carpet, it’s doable. You’ve just got to know what cleaning equipment to use to keep your carpet in top condition. 

Here is how to get nail polish out of carpet! 

Wet vs Dry Nail Polish

The easiest and fastest way to get nail polish out of your carpet is when the nail polish is wet. This is because the polish hasn’t had enough time to dry and adhere to the carpet, which will inevitably make it harder to remove the stain. 

If you spot a stain where the nail polish is still wet, dab the nail polish with a dry paper towel until no more of the wet polish comes off. Make sure to use a blotting motion rather than a scrubbing one, because this will spread the stain. You can also use a spoon to scoop up as much of the liquid as you can. 

If the nail polish has dried on the carpet, try to scrape as much of the dry polish away with a dull knife (such as a butter knife). Don’t use anything too sharp, as this can affect the texture of the carpet. 

Method 1: Nail Polish Remover

You use nail polish remover to remove nail polish on your nails, so the same applies to a stain on your carpet! 

You will need:

  • Nail polish remover
  • Toothbrush
  • Paper towels
  • Clean water
  • Sponge 
  • Rubber gloves

After you have removed as much of the stain as possible (preferably wet nail polish), pour a small amount of nail polish remover directly on the affected area. Wearing a pair of rubber gloves, use a toothbrush to scrub the remover into the carpet. You may need to rinse the toothbrush in clean water to prevent spreading the color. 

Move the toothbrush in small circular motions, and keep adding small amounts of nail polish remover to the area until the stain is removed. 

Once the stain has gone, dip a sponge into clean water and scrub the nail polish remover out of the carpet. Acetone will bleach the carpet if it’s not removed properly. 

Method 2: White Vinegar 

This method is the same as method 1, except it calls for white vinegar rather than nail polish remover! Use this method if the first method didn’t work, or if you’re out of nail polish remover. 

You will need:

  • White vinegar
  • Paper towels
  • Sponge
  • Toothbrush
  • Clean water
  • Rubber gloves

This method works best on fresh nail polish stains. Remove as much of the wet liquid as possible, then pour a nice amount of undiluted white vinegar into the carpet. Lay one sheet of paper towel on the area and leave for 10 minutes.  

Then, remove the paper towel and scrub the area with a toothbrush in small circular motions. Complete the process again if the stain is particularly stubborn. 

Make sure to scrub the area with a sponge and clean water once the stain has been removed to get rid of the white vinegar smell. 

Method 3: Rubbing alcohol

If the nail polish color was a light shade, you might not need to use such harsh chemicals as with the previous methods. Instead, use rubbing alcohol!

You will need:

  • Rubbing alcohol 
  • Toothbrush
  • Sponge
  • Clean water
  • Rubber gloves

After removing as much of the stain as possible, apply some rubbing alcohol to the affected area. Scrub a toothbrush into the surface using circular motions, and rinse the toothbrush regularly to prevent spreading the stain. Repeat this process until the stain has gone. 

Then, rinse the area with a sponge and clean water and allow it to air dry. 

Method 4: Hairspray

While the previous methods were best suited for wet nail polish stains, this one is suitable for dry ones, too. 

You will need:

  • Hairspray
  • Paper towels
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Toothbrush
  • Sponge
  • Clean water
  • Rubber gloves 

After removing as much of the stain as possible, wet the affected area with water before spraying the stain completely with hairspray. The area should be soaked through. Then, use a toothbrush to scrub away the stain in small circular motions. If necessary, add more hairspray for the tougher stains. 

If the stain is particularly stubborn, add a small amount of rubbing alcohol to the area and continue scrubbing away. The nail polish will begin to loosen and stick to the toothbrush, so make sure to rinse the color away to prevent spreading it further. 

Once the stain has gone, clean the carpet with a sponge and clean, warm water. While hairspray won’t bleach the carpet, it will leave a permanent sticky or hard residue and potent scent. 

Final Step – Cleaning The Carpet

Regardless of what method you use, it’s imperative that you properly clean your carpet after removing a nail polish stain. Acetone-based removers, hairspray, and white vinegar can leave long-lasting damage to a carpet if not thoroughly cleaned away. 

The best thing you can do after scrubbing the area with a sponge and warm, clean water is to apply carpet cleaner to the affected area. This will ensure that not only has the original stain gone, but the area should now be free from the harsh chemicals that you use to remove the stain. 

Conclusion

Turns out, it’s quite easy to get nail polish out of carpet using chemicals already found in your kitchen cupboard or makeup drawer. As long as you thoroughly clean the carpet after removing the stain, your carpet will be left as good as new!

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