How to Get Fingernail Polish out of Carpet?

How to Get Fingernail Polish out of Carpet?

Fingernail polish spills on carpets are a nightmare! It’s not just the stain from the polish color but also the fact that it’s a plastic coating. It’s designed to penetrate, adhere, and endure. However, it’s not impossible to get fingernail polish out of carpet. Let’s talk about how to do it.

Immediate Steps for Cleaning up a Wet Fingernail Polish Spill

How to Get Fingernail Polish out of Carpet?


The first step in cleaning up wet fingernail polish on carpets is to act quickly.

As soon as you notice the spill, grab a clean cloth or paper towel and start blotting up as much of the polish as possible.

Do not rub the stain, as this will only spread it further!

Continue blotting until you have removed as much of the polish as you can. Then round up the rest of the things you need to get the rest of the fingernail polish out of the rug. Keep reading to find out what’s required.

How to Clean an Old Fingernail Polish Stain?

With the right steps and materials, you can remove a fingernail polish spill and get your carpet looking as good as new. The process usually takes anywhere from a few minutes to half an hour.

If the polish has already dried, you’ll need a few tools to clean up the spot. Begin by gently scraping off the polish with a butter knife. (However, if you’re worried about frizzing the fibers, skip this part.) Then you’ll need to use liquids to dissolve the polish. See the next section below.

Materials Needed for Removing a Fingernail Polish Stain from Carpet

Once you have physically removed as much of the polish as possible, it's time to tackle the stain.

To clean fresh or dried fingernail polish out of carpet, you’ll need a few materials:

  • rubbing alcohol and/or hair spray.
  • non-acetone nail polish remover.
  • cold water – optional.
  • dish soap – optional.
  • a clean cloth, preferably white.
  • an old toothbrush – optional.

Regarding fingernail polish remover with acetone: Don’t use it! It may fade or damage the carpet. We’ll talk more about that in a moment.

Step-by-step Guide to Removing Fingernail Polish Stains from Carpets

How to Get Fingernail Polish out of Carpet?


The first thing to do is to test your cleaning method on a hidden part of the carpet. For example, saturate part of a white cloth with rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover. Then rub the carpet gently a few times to see if the rug color comes off on the cloth. If the dye bleeds, you might be better off hiring a professional carpet cleaner to remove the fingernail polish.

Next, if you have dark-colored carpet we suggest using rubbing alcohol. Or if you have light-colored carpet, try a clear non-acetone polish remover. May we suggest this one:

Blossom Nail Polish Remover (Acetone-free)

How to Get Fingernail Polish out of Carpet?


Steer clear of stinky acetone and harsh chemicals! You don’t need them to take off your nail polish. This organic formula is plant-based and non-toxic. It’s non-drying and effective and even comes with a lovely scent. Choose from mint, spring bouquet, or lavender.

Never use acetone to clean a carpet! If your rug contains acetate, modacrylic, or triacetate fibers, the acetone will dissolve them. If you aren’t sure what your carpet is made of, don’t risk it. Get a professional carpet service to help.

Summary of Steps to Remove Fingernail Polish from Carpet

In a nutshell, this is what you need to do to clean up fingernail polish on a rug:

  • Begin by pouring a small amount of rubbing alcohol onto the stain and let it sit for a minute.
  • Next, using a clean cloth, gently blot the stain until it starts to lift. Use the old toothbrush to gently work the residue free. Repeat this process until the stain is gone.
  • If the stain is particularly stubborn, you may need to use a non-acetone polish remover. Apply a small amount of polish remover to the stain and let it sit for a few minutes before blotting it up with a clean cloth.

If the carpet starts to change color or the stain won’t come out, stop what you’re doing. Consult with a professional carpet cleaner about solutions.

Additional Tips and Tricks for Removing Tough Stains

Everyone wants to use baking soda and vinegar for cleaning everything these days. Nevertheless, as effective as they are on food stains, they aren't as good for cleaning up nail polish. Instead, check with the carpet manufacturer, the hardware store, or a professional carpet cleaning service to see what they recommend. They may have a spot treatment or detergent that will work.

If you don’t have rubbing alcohol or acetone-free polish remover, hair spray with alcohol will work. But then you’ll need dish soap and water to clean up the sticky residue from the hair spray. Otherwise, if you leave it, it will attract dirt and make a new stain on the rug.

Also, be sparing and cautious with non-acetone polish remover because most contain oil. The oil can create a new stain on the carpet. Then you’ll have to use this soap and water or a commercial spot treatment to finish the job.

Is There a Difference When Cleaning up Carpet with Gel Polish Versus Nail Lacquer Spills?

The good news is that gel polish doesn’t cure unless it’s exposed to UV light. It takes quite a while in the sunshine to cure. Therefore, it’s generally easier to remove. Lacquer air dries so it quickly forms a crust on the carpet fibers.

Treat both kinds of polish the same when you clean the carpet. Follow the steps above for fingernail polish removal.

Prevention Methods to Avoid Future Nail Polish Spills

If polish spills become a frequent problem, ask yourself if you have adequate room to work when doing nails. Maybe you need a different workspace or a better setup.

You could protect the carpet with a plastic floor mat like those sold for putting underneath office chairs. A more decorative alternative would be a colorful throw rug or even a beach towel or old sheet.


We hope these tips help you get fingernail polish out of the carpet successfully. Then you can congratulate yourself with a new manicure! Check out our new arrivals to see what’s trending.

Previous post
Next post