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How to Remove Nail Polish Stains from Your Carpet?

Cleaning Advice / May 28, 2024


It is a painful task to remove nail polish stains from carpets. These bright and colourful stains have adhesive and get stuck to the carpet. Immediate household cleaning hacks can save you from further hurdles. Once it dries, it becomes much more difficult to remove the stain. Sometimes, it becomes too difficult to remove them on your own. In that case, you can call Eco Cleaning Brisbane for non-toxic solutions to clean your carpets and make them stain-free.

nail polish stains

How to Remove Wet Nail Polish from the Carpet?

You need to act promptly if nail polish gets spilled on your carpet. If you take quick action, different spot-cleaning methods can be applied. 

Use Hairspray

Hairsprays contain alcohol and resins or film-forming polymers. While alcohol can dissolve the adhesive, the resin can solidify the dissolved polish into a clump. It makes it easy to scrape or wipe off the stain without spreading it further.

First, use some water to wet the stained area. Then, spray the hairspray on the stain. Take a soft toothbrush to scrub the stain in a circle. Rinse the area frequently with cold water, and use paper towels to soak up excess water. You may need to do it a few times until the stain is gone. Then dab the area with paper towels and let it air dry. 

It’s better to do a patch test on the carpet to see if it is safe for the colour. Also, ensure the room has good air circulation to avoid inhaling fumes. 

Non-Acetone Remover

Acetone is a harsh chemical that can bleach the carpet fibres. That’s why you need to use non-acetone polish removers. They rather contain gentler solvents like ethyl acetate. They work great to remove stains from natural fibre carpets. Here is what you need to do:

  • Put some nail polish remover on a cotton ball. Then, gently tap the stain with the cotton ball. This helps loosen the polish and makes it easier to remove. 
  • Use a clean paper towel or white cleaning cloth to dab the stain with the towel. You should avoid rubbing, as it can spread the stain further. The stain will disappear completely after a few repetitions of the process. 

You should try to stick to safer options like non-acetone removers. They are less harsh and less likely to cause any damage to the carpet. It’s safe for indoor air quality and gentler on your skin.  

Ammonia-based Window Cleaners

If you have no nail polish removers, then search for window cleaners. They often contain ammonia, which can help remove nail polish stains. It breaks down the nail polish and makes it easier to lift from the carpet fibres. You can use the cleaner directly on the stain and rinse frequently with clean water. 

Though ammonia-based window cleaners are effective, they need to be used with caution. Ammonia fumes can be strong and irritating. So, make sure the room is well-ventilated. Additionally, test the cleaner on a small area of the carpet first. If it has a discolouration effect, then you had better not use the cleaner. 

Use Alcohol Directly

If you already have alcohol at home, then why waste time using other products? Alcohol dissolves nail polish by breaking down its molecular structure. It makes it easier to lift and remove the stain from the carpet fibres. However, you must not use more than a few drops. Excessive alcohol is harmful to the carpets. 

  • Blot the stain gently with a paper towel to remove as much wet polish as possible. Avoid rubbing. 
  • Use a few drops of rubbing alcohol directly on the stain. With a clean cloth or cotton ball, dab the area. Work from the outside in. It will prevent the stain from spreading. 
  • To remove the alcohol and polish, blot the discolouration with a clean paper towel. Until the stain disappears, you can keep doing these instructions.

Like non-acetone removers, alcohol is also safe for carpets if used in a measured amount. They are widely available, affordable, and safe for use in homes. It’s indeed a convenient and practical solution for taking care of stubborn stains. 

Vinegar and Dish Soap

Vinegar and mild dish soap are eco-friendly cleaning solutions as they are non-toxic. Their biodegradable quality makes them safe to use around children. You can take your carpet care without worrying about health. 

Prepare a solution using white vinegar and dish soap. Stir the solution properly to mix the items. Use a clean cloth, dip it into the vinegar and soap solution, and dab the stained area. The rest of the tasks are similar to the previous methods. Keep dabbing and rinsing with water and repeat the process till the stain is gone. 

Ginger Ale and Baking Soda

Ginger ale is a ginger-flavoured carbonated drink. It contains water, sugar, ginger extract, and carbonation. The combination is a useful household cleaning hack that can help you get rid of the stain on your carpet.

The carbonation in ginger ale creates bubbles. It helps lift and loosen stains from the surface of the carpet. On the other hand, baking soda acts as a mild abrasive. It helps to loosen the nail polish from the carpet. Baking soda can also absorb moisture and lift the polish particles. Follow these steps to use them for the best result:

  • Scatter baking soda over the carpet’s soiled area.
  • Pour a small amount of ginger ale directly onto the baking soda-covered stain. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes.
  • Now, gently blot the area with a clean cloth to remove the stain and absorb the liquid. 
  • If the stain is already drying or too tough, you can use a soft toothbrush. Use the brush in a circular motion for scrubbing. 
  • Rinse the affected area with paper towels. Make sure no residue remains and dry them properly. 

Ready-Made Cleaning Products

Instead of using homemade solutions, you can also use ready-made cleaning products. They are quite effective in removing nail polish stains from carpets. However, you have to be careful while choosing such products. 

You should look for brands that are both powerful and easy to use. Simply follow the instructions on the label for the best results. Some of these products are not safe for children and pets. Avoid them for safety purposes. You had better stick to natural options, such as baking soda and vinegar. 

Commercially sold ready-made cleaning solutions often contain hydrogen peroxide. It’s a common ingredient that acts as a bleaching agent and disinfectant. 

Carpet maintenance tips

How to Remove Dried Nail Polish Stain from Carpets?

Dried nail polish carpet stain removal is a difficult task. Most nail polish contains resins and plasticisers that harden upon drying. They bond strongly with carpet fibres and become difficult to remove. 

You can try DIY stain removal, but it becomes really difficult when nail polish dries. Hiring professional carpet cleaning experts can reduce the pressure on you. They have the tools needed to remove tough stains

At Eco Cleaning Brisbane, we only use products with no toxic elements in them. Our cleaning solutions are safe for both your family and the environment. We ensure effective stain removal without compromising health or ecological well-being. If you are confident about DIY cleaning, then you can try the following methods:

You need to remove the dried part of the stain first using a butter knife. Be cautious while doing this to ensure no damage is done to the carpet. Cautiously work in the direction of the carpet fibres to avoid tugging out. Finally, attach a cleaning upholstery with a vacuum cleaner to remove stary polish residue. 

Cleaning Approach for Different Carpet Types

Yes, the type of your carpet matters when you are removing nail polish stains. You must check the label before cleaning it. You had better avoid using acidic cleaners on the dark carpet as it can cause discolouration. 

If your carpet is dry-clean only, it’s not safe to try to clean it yourself. You need professional assistance. These carpets can get damaged by water or cleaning solutions. Professional cleaners use specialised methods to ensure the carpet’s fibres and colours are not harmed. It can be using dry-cleaning solvents, or low-moisture cleaning techniques. 

These methods clean your carpet without causing any water damage. You need specialised equipment and expertise to perform these methods. Therefore, dry-clean carpets should only be handled by professionals. 

Cleaning Tips After Nail Polish Removal

Once the nail polish stain is removed, you may need to do some after-cleaning. Follow these steps to restore the carpet to its completely stainless form:

  • Pour a little amount of dish soap or liquid carpet cleaner into a bowl of warm water and mix them thoroughly. 
  • Dip a clean sponge into the water and squeeze out excess liquid so it’s just slightly damp. 
  • Wipe the recently cleaned area once again to make sure no residue remains. 


You can follow any of the above-mentioned carpet cleaning tips to remove nail polish stains. Nonetheless, we always suggest using natural and green carpet cleaning solutions instead of harsh commercial stain removers. They are safe and support your carpet maintenance. 

If the spill is large or too stubborn, you should consider getting professional help. Eco Cleaning Brisbane offers different green stain removal techniques that are safe for your carpet and your health. 

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