How to Remove Nail Polish from Carpets

Your nails might look great after your DIY mani-pedi, but one wrong move could leave your carpet horribly stained. You might be surprised to find how often this actually occurs. Clumsy, drying fingers and fiddly little bottles just aren’t a good combination.

So if you’ve gone and spilled nail polish all over your lovely rug, you might be freaking out a little. But before you start scrubbing frantically at the stain, take a moment to approach the problem strategically. In most cases, you can get nail polish out of your carpet.

Don’t Wait

Nail polish is made to be tough stuff. If you let it dry out, you’re going to have a very difficult time removing it. When nail polish spills on your carpet, it’s important to attack it immediately, because the fresher it is, the easier it will be removed.

That means that you probably don’t want to wait around for a professional cleaner either. A cleaner may take hours or even days to show up, and by the time they arrive, the stain will have settled in for good.

Successful Solvents

The good news is that you probably have a number of effective stain-removal products lying around your home. Here are a few that we’ve been pretty successful with:

  • Nail Polish Remover – Makes sense, huh? If you’re painting your nails, you’ve likely got some clear, non-acetone nail polish remover lying around. Pour some nail polish remover on a white cloth and blot (don’t rub!) at the spot. Be patient because it might take a while; but keep pouring and blotting and you should see the stain slowly come out.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide – Many folks prefer this approach because it’s much milder than nail polish remover, and less likely to damage a carpet further. Blot up as much of the spill as you can, then apply a little peroxide and slowly blot the stain out of the rug with a white cloth.
  • Hair Spray – If gentler approaches don’t work, you might have to bring out the big guns. Hair spray has proven to be pretty effective; however, it can be harsh on carpet fabrics, so be careful. Blast the stain with a few good shots of hair spray and scrub very gently with an old toothbrush. Blot with a cloth or paper towel, and repeat until the stain is gone.

Sometimes we’ve found that a combination of these techniques will work where one on its own fails. If you’re dealing with a brand new stain, you should be able to get it out quite easily this way.

What About Old Stains?

If you’ve just discovered a stain that’s been sitting for days or weeks, don’t fret. There are a few options here too:

– Trim – If the stain is only on the tips of the fibers, you can carefully trim the stained tips.

– Scrub – Tackle it with one (or all) of the products above. It’ll often work!

– Replace – If all else fails, you can replace the one carpet tile or create a small “cookie-cutter” patch for the spot.