How to get nail polish out of carpet

Nail polish is a great way to express yourself, feel pulled together and complement your look. However, applying it can become messy. Spills are easy, either by knocking the bottle over or dripping some polish from the brush onto the floor. It can pretty tough to get nail polish out of certain surfaces, especially carpet. It’s best to remove the nail polish when the spill is still fresh and it’s wet, but it is possible to clean up dried nail polish, too. Here are a few ways to get nail polish out of your rug.

When the Spill is Fresh and the Polish is Wet

The first thing you want to do is remove as much of the polish as you can. Take a spoon and scoop up any polish you can, but try to not spread it around. You need to work quick because you don’t want the polish to dry! Don’t forget to quickly wipe the spoon clean, too, so that the nail polish doesn’t spread that way.

Now that you’ve removed some of the nail polish, it’s time to absorb the rest. Take a cloth, rag or towel, preferably one that you don’t mind ruining, and dab the polish with the cloth to try to absorb it. To make this easy, wrap the cloth around your fingers. Make sure to not rub the nail polish, which will make it spread or push the stain farther into the berber carpet. Also, continually change the section of towel you use to absorb the polish – you don’t want to reuse the same portion. Keep dabbing the polish until no more comes off on the cloth.

It’s time now to use a cleaning agent. There are a lot to choose from: rubbing alcohol, hair spray, window cleaner or hydrogen peroxide. Note that you only want to use hydrogen peroxide if the color of your carpet is light. Don’t use anything that has acetone or bleach, because these products will damage the rug or remove its color.

Test the cleaner on a small bit of rug to make sure it won’t damage it. It’s best to test a part of the rug that’s usually under furniture. That way, if something does happen to it, you can cover it up. After a few minutes, check the test area to see if the cleaner did any damage. If it didn’t, move to the next step. If it did, try another cleaner to see if it will work okay on the carpet.

Now that you have a cleaner chosen, put some of the cleaner on a new cloth and blot the nail polish with the cleaner. Blot in the same way you did with the dry cloth, using a new piece of cloth each time you blot. Note that you don’t want to pour the cleaner directly onto the rug, even if you know it’s not going to damage it.

When the Nail Polish is Dry

Your first step is to try to pick out the nail polish using your fingers, a knife or a spoon. Gently scrape at the polish to flick off as much as you can. Try to get as much off this way as possible before moving to the next step. It’s also an option to trim the polish away using scissors, just make sure to not cut too far down on the rug fibers, which will leave an obvious gap.

Next, vacuum up the area where you just scraped away the polish. This will remove any leftover polish flakes. Choose a cleaner, preferably a nail polish remover that doesn’t contain acetone. If you don’t have acetone-free nail polish remover at home, you can use hair spray, window cleaner, rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide (if the carpet is light). Get a cotton swab wet with the nail polish remover or cleaner and then test a small area of the rug with it. After two minutes, make sure that it didn’t discolor or damage the rug. If the rug is fine, put the cleaner on a cloth and blot the stain, using a different section of cloth each time you blot. If you need to get the cleaner into the stain better, use a soft toothbrush to gently work it in. Stay right on top of the stain, though, so that it doesn’t spread.

Finishing Up

Whether the stain was wet or dry to begin with, you’ll want to get rid of the cleaner once you’re finished removing as much of the stain as possible. Take another clean cloth and firmly press it into the spot you worked on to soak up the cleaner. Continue to do this until the towel no longer soaks up any of the cleaner.

Next, clean the area with soap and water. You can use laundry soap or dish detergent. Dissolve the soap in the water, then take a clean sponge, get it wet, ring it out and scrub the carpet. Get clean, non-soapy water, dip the sponge into it, wring it out and then blot up the soap. Lastly, you’ll want to get the area dry by taking a clean towel and absorbing the water. To help it dry out completely, point a fan at the wet spot.

If you simply can’t remove the stain and your rug is ruined, you can always head to carpet stores to get a new one!