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How to Get Nail Polish Out of Carpet

Updated on May 21, 2015

How to Remove Nail Polish from Carpet

Whether at home or at the salon, spilling that hot pink nail polish on your cream-colored carpet is a dire moment. But don’t panic. There are some easy ways to remove nail polish from your carpet that you may never have thought of.

Wait! Before you do anything...

  • If the nail polish is still wet, first try to absorb as much of the polish as possible. Grab a rag or a paper towel and dab as much of the polish off as you can.
  • Don’t rub—you’ll make it worse!

First, scrape off as much of the dry polish as possible.
First, scrape off as much of the dry polish as possible.

1. Scrape, Cut, Scratch

If the nail polish is dry, before trying any of the below methods, your best bet is to scrape, cut, and scratch out as much of the flaky dried polish as possible.

Once you get all the excess dried polish out of the carpet, you can begin with the remedies below.

In the future, your best bet is to avoid using nail polish anywhere near carpeting or other fabric. Trust me, that hot pink color looks better on your hand.

Before using the methods below, test on a tiny spot of your carpet to make sure it doesn’t do any damage. (Since carpets are made of different materials, you'll want to do a test to check your carpet's reaction before treating the entire stain.)

2. Hairspray and Rubbing Alcohol

  • Wet the stain with cold water, then spray hairspray on the stain.
  • Add a few splashes of rubbing alcohol.
  • Using a scrub brush (if you don't have one, you could use an old toothbrush), scrub the stain for at least one minute.
  • While scrubbing, keep dribbling cold water on the stain. Keep working the stain until it disappears, and it will!

Hairspray has multiple uses: One is getting nail polish out of carpet.
Hairspray has multiple uses: One is getting nail polish out of carpet.

3. Acetone or Non-Acetone Polish Remover

If it removes polish off of your fingernails, it must remove nail polish from your carpeting.

  1. Dab the stain with a rag or towel.
  2. Pour a small amount of acetone directly on the stain and continue to dab until the stain fades.
  3. Rinse thoroughly with water and soap.

Proceed with caution: Acetone is a strong chemical and could damage your carpet.

Using Acetone to Remove Nail Polish from Carpet

4. Window Cleaner

If you need to clean your windows today too, you’re in luck! Window cleaner can get nail polish stains out of the carpet like magic.

After blotting the stain, pour window cleaner over it and scrub in a circular motion. Rinse thoroughly with soapy water.

5. Carpet Stain Remover

After dabbing up excess nail polish, spray the area with an intense stain remover (sometimes pet stain removers work the best) and let sit. Then rub and scrub until the stain disappears.

Another no-brainer: Use carpet cleaner to clean the nail polish off the carpet.
Another no-brainer: Use carpet cleaner to clean the nail polish off the carpet.

Which method do you prefer?

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    • profile image

      Grammy 3 months ago

      None of these work on Hard as Nails polish

    • profile image

      Sylvia 9 months ago

      None of these really worked for me! Not impressed.

    • profile image

      K champs 10 months ago

      Just used hair spray to get nail polish out of my new carpet. I wonder what it does to my hair? Worked great!

    • profile image

      Sherry 18 months ago

      Didn't have rubbing alcohol so had to use hairspray and clear moonshine. Worked liked a charm!

    • profile image

      mbisen 19 months ago

      Hair spray and rubbing alcohol worked! Unbelievable!

    • profile image

      LonelyKitten 20 months ago

      None really worked for my carpet~ the nail polish was there for about 2 days soaking in windex and nothing worked... I tried so hard but nothing really worked for me

    • profile image

      Amanda Henry 1 21 months ago

      Painting my toes a bright pink go to set the polish on my end table, and it spill's all down the side of my couch " which isn't a week old" and all over my light tan carpet. Needless to say I jump up tried everything you mention and nothing, then I grabbed a bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar and now it looks like new.

    • profile image

      Kp 2 years ago

      Holy crap that hair spray and alcohol works magic!! I have a shaggy style beige carpet and spilled red polish. It came out instantly, I would highly recommend this method!

    • profile image

      Prasert 2 years ago

      Thanks for information on How to get nail polish out of carpet.

      I'd recommend a good knowledge of these as well.


      Thanks ^_^

    • profile image

      How to clean 3 years ago

      These are some great tips. I found one video of ONLY 3 minutes and that is quite useful for it, have a look -

    • profile image

      Rebecca 3 years ago

      Hair spray worked really well for me thx!!

    • profile image

      sabrina 3 years ago

      I just used the hair spray/ alcohol method. It worked great to get bright pink glitter polish out of light beige carpet! Perfect!

    • NailSuperstore profile image

      NailSuperstore 4 years ago from Franklin Park, IL

      Thanks for the positive feedback, Hubbers. We will keep hubs like this coming.

    • profile image

      cbar77 4 years ago

      Great hub--this information will definitely be useful to me!

    • Ceres Schwarz profile image

      Ceres Schwarz 4 years ago

      Good hub on the ways to get nail polish stains out of the carpet. This will be useful for people who have accidentally spilled nail polish on their carpets so they can try any of these methods to remove the stains.

    • younghopes profile image

      Shadaan Alam 4 years ago from India

      Now this is something really interesting to read about, some worthy tips, voted up and shared.