How to Get Nail Polish Out of Carpet: Effective & Easy Fixes

How to Get Nail Polish Out of Carpet: Best Tips for Quick Removal

Dec 22, 2023
Girls love to do manicures, especially teenagers. This is one of the most favorite activities of their sleepover party. But that is also the cause of nail polish spills on the carpet. No matter what the situation is, knowing how to get nail polish out of carpet can help you avoid a lot of trouble.

Nail polish on the carpet is a nightmare for many people 

Nail polish on the carpet is a nightmare for many people 

In this post, I will help you answer two questions about maintaining carpet that is super helpful to keep your house looking top-notch all the time:  

  • How to get nail polish out of carpet, both wet and dried
  • How to take care of carpet to make it last as long as possible 

I also have a Frequently Asked Questions corner at the end of the post to satisfy your curiosity about this topic. So don’t forget to check that out!

But for now, let’s jump into our main topic! 

How to get nail polish out of carpet, both wet and dried

First of all, there are two types of nail polish stains on your carpet: wet and dry. You have to use different methods to deal with each type. Let’s start with the wet nail polish stain first.

Nail polish has a sticky texture and contains pigment, which is why once it touches your carpet, it is super hard to not smear it all over the place while trying to remove it. That can create a bigger mess and I bet you do not want that scenario to happen to your carpet.

Nail polish has a sticky texture that makes it hard to clean from the carpet

Nail polish has a sticky texture that makes it hard to clean from the carpet

So let’s learn how to remove nail polish from carpet right after it is spilled. Forget your manicures for the moment because if you do not treat the stain right away, it will be harder to remove once it dried. You can always re-do your nails later.

Here are 5 steps you need to follow to save your carpet from wet nail polish:

  • Step 1: Remove the excess nail polish

To prevent smearing the stain further, you need to remove the excess nail polish on your carpet. A spoon or a butter knife can help you scoop the nail polish out without spreading it everywhere. Remember to wipe the paint after each scoop before moving on to the next. Get them out of your carpet as much as possible.

  • Step 2: Blot the nail polish stain area

You can either use an old towel or a paper towel to blot the stain area. Just gently dab the area to get the nail polish out bit by bit. NEVER rub the area since it will only make the stain embedded deeper into your carpet.

Of course, you will need to use a clean area of the towel/paper tower each time you blot the stain. Also, check to see how much nail polish it absorbed after each dab. Do this until you can’t get any more paint out by blotting.

  • Step 3: Test your carpet cleaner

Depending on your carpet color, there are various choices for removing the stain even without nail polish remover. However, it is not recommended to use bleach acetone on your carpet because these two can discolor and damage the carpet fibers. Window cleaner is not a choice either because the chemical is pretty harsh.

So what options do you have? Here are four things you can easily find at home that can help remove nail polish on your carpet.

  • Hair spray
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Plain vinegar

And before applying one of these cleaners on the stains, you should test them on a small corner of your corner first. To make it easier, don’t use acidic cleaner on a dark-colored carpet. Hydrogen peroxide is perfect for removing nail polish on a light-colored carpet.

  • Step 4: Get nail polish out of the carpet

Once you have the suitable cleaner, apply it by dipping it or spraying it on a clean cloth. Use a gentle dabbing motion to slowly get the rest of the nail polish out of your carpet. And that is everything you need to do until there is no trace of nail polish left on the carpet surface.

  • Step 5: Clean the area

When you are done removing nail polish, use a clean cloth to wipe away the residue cleaner. Now you can process normal carpet maintenance to make it fresh.

And that is how to get fingernail polish out of carpet when it is still wet. What about the stubborn dried ones? The good news is, there are only three steps in doing this task. But it will take more effort. Let’s see how to do it in the tutorial below:

  • Step 1: Scrap and vacuum the dried nail polish stains

Get a butter knife, an old plastic card, or a rubber blade to scrap the dried nail polish out of your carpet. Remember to go along with the direction of the fibers so that you won’t damage the carpet surface. Be patient and don’t use too much force in this process to prevent ruining your carpet.

If the nail polish is not coming off no matter how hard you try to scrape it out, you can always use a scissor to snip it off. By doing this, you might create a noticeable path on your carpet so only choose this method to get rid of tiny bits of dried nail polish.

After that, use a vacuum cleaner with the upholstery attachment equipped to take out the loose flecks and pieces of dried nail polish on your carpet. There will be some visible pigment stains on your carpet at this point. But don’t worry, you can try removing them in the next two steps.

  • Step 2: Do a spot removal test

Using the same cleaners I mentioned in the other tutorial is how to get nail polish out of carpet when it is dried. But don’t forget to test the cleaner before applying it to the real stain.

For light-colored carpets, you can try removing the pigment stain with baking soda. However, since this chemical is not strong, it will take more time to work compared to the other cleaners.

  • Step 3: Blot the nail polish stains

Just like step 4 of the last tutorial, use a clean cloth soaked in the cleaner you choose to dab the nail polish pigment stain away. Repeat the step until the stain is completely gone from your carpet.

You need to be patient when cleaning dried nail polish stains on the carpet 

You need to be patient when cleaning dried nail polish stains on the carpet 

It’s essential to use a clean area of the cloth for each dab. Since the cleaner will loosen the pigment it will soak into the cloth, if you are not careful you may smear the stain around while blotting.

Finish things off by removing the residue cleaner with a dry towel/paper towel.

You may want to know: what is the fastest way to get nail polish out of carpet? As you can see in both tutorials, it is essential to be patient and go slow when getting the stain out. So do not rush removing nail polish on your carpet to prevent making the situation worse.

How to take care of carpet to make it last as long as possible

How long does a carpet last? The lifespan of a carpet goes between 5 to 15  years. Why is there such a big gap? The way you take care of your carpet will determine how long your carpet lasts. Here are 8 tips to efficiently maintain this piece of furniture in your home like a pro:

  • Tip 1: Stop dirt at the door

The less dirt you bring to your carpet, the less you have to clean it which will maintain the original color of your carpet longer. This method also prevents damaging your carpet while removing stains. Keep your shoes at the threshold and place mats at all entrances to wipe off as much dirt as possible.

  • Tip 2: Frequent vacuuming

Another way to keep debris from your carpet is to vacuum frequently. If there is not much dirt on your carpet, then even the heavy foot traffic can’t make the situation worse. So keep a tight vacuum schedule for your carpet to prevent dirt from embedding too deep into your carpet.

  • Tip 3: Dusting daily

Cleaning dust from your carpet is not enough to do the trick. You should also dust your furniture, especially those near the carpet area, to keep dust from falling on your carpet.

Dusting daily can help reduce dust accumulating on your carpet

Dusting daily can help reduce dust accumulating on your carpet

  • Tip 4: Remove the carpet stain as soon as possible

It is always recommended to remove stains on your carpet ASAP so that they don’t stick to the fiber which makes them hard to deal with later. Learning how to remove common stains on carpets in case of emergencies will save you a lot of effort in maintaining this piece of furniture in the long run.

  • Tip 5: Clean the air ducts

Dust, bacteria, and allergens can get inside your home, and end up in your carpet if you forget to clean the air ducts frequently. But if you keep a tight cleaning schedule for this matter, not only the carpet will benefited but also the air quality of your home.

  • Tip 6: Rotate furniture

Try to move the furniture around the room to cover those parts of your carpet that have been under heavy foot traffic. This method will make the carpet look less shabby and slow down the worn-out process.

  • Tip 7: Carpet stretching

Wrinkles are not only not appealing but also make it harder to clean your carpet. They create more tricky spots for the dirt to easily accumulate, so make the wrinkles on your carpet disappear by stretching it every once in a while.

  • Tip 8: Use a professional tool to clean your carpet

The Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Washer Fh50150 is one of those amazing products that help you take care of your carpet like a pro. This machine can help you remove stains easily and wash the carpet with each use to keep it clean and fresh without using a professional carpet cleaning service.


Once you know this guide, I’m sure you can keep your carpet safe from nail polish stains and make it last for a long time. If there are more you want to learn about maintaining carpet, check out the Frequently Asked Questions below. 

We also have other informative posts about homecare on the website, so remember to check in with us frequently to update your knowledge about this aspect. People would be jealous of how your home looks top-notch all the time by knowing these tips from us.


  • 01. Is hot water extraction cleaning effective for carpets?
  • Hot water is a great and natural way to disinfect your carpet. In most cases, it helps loosen tough stains so you can remove them easier. So using hot water extraction is a good way to clean your carpet.

  • 02. What is the average time of drying carpets after washing?
  • It usually takes 6 to 12 hours for a carpet to completely dry after washing. You can try opening the windows or using fans, especially ceiling fans to make the process happen faster.

  • 03. What is the ideal temperature for drying carpets?
  • It takes 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit to dry a carpet indoors.

  • 04. What should I prepare when using a carpet cleaning service?
  • Try to put away as many obstacles as possible like furniture, toys, decorations… You should also prevent pets and kids from going to the cleaning area before, during, and after the service is done. In shorts, keep the cleaning area clear so that the professional has the best working condition.

  • 05. How often should I use a carpet cleaning service?
  • Depending on the foot traffic in your house, you adjust the recommended schedule which is twice a year to fit your needs.

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