Rule number one of at-home manicures: never apply nail polish while on or near a carpet. Accidents do happen, though, so it’s nothing to worry about. Fortunately, removing wet and even dried nail polish from your carpet is not difficult.

Plus, our guide is here to help! We’ve taken it upon ourselves to show you how to get nail polish out of the carpet using 9 simple and easy methods. Let’s get to them.

1. Use Non-Acetone Nail Polish Remover

Nail polish remover that’s non-acetone and dye-free is the surest and safest way to get the nail product out of your carpet. This option works exceptionally better if you have a light-coloured rug. Why? Because some nail polish removers can alter the colour of dark-coloured carpets.

Remember to dab non-acetone remover when the polish stain is still relatively wet. Once it dries out, the nail polish remover will be rather useless. Before using the remover, soak the damp polish with paper towels. Additionally, don’t apply the product directly onto your carpet but rather onto a cloth first.

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2. Pick Up Your Hairspray


Hairspray is an innovative yet effective way to get nail polish out of carpeted flooring. It works better with dried-up stains since it has a reverse effect on fresh ones. It also does well to use hairspray with concentrated amounts of alcohol, or the product won’t be able to saturate the spilt polish.

When using hairspray, wet the stain with cold water first. Then, spray about ten to 15 pumps of the product on the area. Repeat this process until the stain is entirely out. 

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3. Mix a Homemade Cleaning Solution

A homemade cleaning solution will help remove nail polish and other stubborn stains that won’t come out from your carpets or cushions.

So, with that in mind, mix the following ingredients in a container of your choosing:

  • One tablespoon of dishwashing detergent
  • Another tablespoon of white vinegar
  • Two cups of warm, filtered water

Shake the mixture well before spraying it onto the spilt nail polish. The active ingredient in vinegar will pull the colour out of your carpet. On the other hand, dishwashing soap will help you quickly wipe it away with water.

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4. Consider a Window Cleaner

Window cleaning products effectively remove wet or dried stains from various fabrics. They’re just as great at improving the condition of your greasy pipes.

One thing to remember is to use an ammonia-based window cleaner. Before spraying the cleaner onto the stain, blot the area with paper towels or a cloth firer. Spray and rub in a circular motion. Make sure you don’t overuse the window cleaner. 

Once most of the nail polish is out, dip a sponge in cold water to wipe off the rest of the colour.

5. Find a Dry Cleaning Solvent

A dry cleaning solvent is your best option for dealing with a dried nail polish stain. Using an old toothbrush to properly mix the powdery cleaning agent is also better.

Additionally, let the product sit on the stain for at least ten minutes before you scrub it with your bristles.

You can then clean the area with some water and wipe it off dry using a clean cloth. Afterwards, vacuum the carpet to remove leftover polish residue.

Read more: How to Clean Carpet by Hand

6. Use Rubbing Alcohol

If you have a dark-coloured rug, rubbing alcohol is your safest bet to get nail polish out of that carpet without ruining it. As a disinfectant, rubbing alcohol can quickly remove fresh stains, including tough ones like coffee and oily foods.

Wear a mask when spraying the stained area with alcohol, and let the product sit for at least ten minutes. Blot the nail polish away using fresh towels. Repeat this process until the colour is entirely removed. When it’s almost removed, use dishwashing soap and warm water to clear away the rest.

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7. Hydrogen Peroxide

hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a good investment because it has multiple cleaning purposes in the household. It can even effectively get rid of dog urine and ants. Put hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle and apply it to the fresh nail polish stain. Remove the product and colour residue with a paper towel once done.

Remember that hydrogen peroxide is quite a powerful substance. In other words, it can bleach your carpet dye if you’re not careful. It’s better to use hydrogen peroxide with light-coloured rugs only.

8. Apply Kitchen Products

As soon as you spill that nail polish, run to the kitchen and pick up one of the following products (depending on which is available):

  • White vinegar
  • Ginger ale
  • Baking soda

Don’t be afraid to apply generous amounts of the substances above, either fabric spray, to eliminate the overwhelming smell afterwards. Apply any of these products directly onto the stain and let it sit for a few minutes. You can clean up with dishwashing detergent and warm water once the stain is hard.

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9. Get a Butter Knife

A butter knife is mainly used with dried nail polish stains. To scoop up fresh ones, you can use a spoon instead. That said, butter knives work best in removing dried polish because they’re short and flat. After successfully clearing away the dried residue, you can easily use any of the methods above to eliminate the stain left behind. 

To Sum Up

Hopefully, our guide on how to get nail polish out of carpet helped you figure out the best way to quickly remove that horrible stain from your favourite carpet or rug. In our experience, the sure way to get rid of that spilt nail polish is to use a non-acetone remover. Hairspray and rubbing alcohol are other solid options when cleaning your carpet. We recommend going through our exhaustive guide on removing paint from carpet.