If you are like me, it doesn’t matter how careful you are when painting your toenails because a rogue blob of nail varnish almost always finds its way onto the carpet!
Oh, and the splodge in question is only ever in one vivid shade, too – red! And to cap it off, the carpet is usually light-coloured, so the blob-infested zone is glaringly obvious…
But instead of racing around the house, hopping from one back foot to another, trying to find a solution to the problem, check out the cleaning tips below. They’ve been a lifesaver for me.
You’ll also be surprised to learn how easy it is to remove nail polish from a carpet!
Note: You must do a patch test with all of the products below before you use them to clean nail polish off a carpet.
Some chemicals listed below may discolour a carpet, especially dark-coloured ones. Avoid acetone and bleach, as they will damage the carpeted surface.
Getting Fresh Nail Polish Off a Carpet
Option 1: Hairspray (for dark carpets)
Steps to follow:
- Grab a teaspoon and some kitchen roll.
- Scoop up as much nail varnish as you can off the carpet – be careful when doing this because you don’t want to drive the varnish deeper into the carpet’s fibres.
- Scrape the varnish off the surface, and wipe the excess off your tool with a piece of kitchen roll.
- Repeat Step 3 so you’re only left with a colourful stain on the carpet.
- Grab a piece of kitchen roll and blot the stained patch to absorb even more varnish from the surface – do this gently.
- Repeat Step 5 multiple times – remember to use a new patch of kitchen roll each time you blot.
- Stop blotting when the kitchen roll doesn’t lift any more varnish off the floor.
- Press a damp cloth onto the stained area to moisten it a little.
- Spray a generous amount of hairspray onto the stained patch (you must use one with a high alcohol content).
- Wait a minute or two.
- Grab a neutral-coloured microfibre cloth – squirt some cold water onto it to moisten it if need be.
- Blot at the area.
- Repeat Steps 8-12 until the stain has been removed from the surface – use a new patch of cloth each time you blot so that you don’t reapply the dirt.
Tip: Always wear gloves when handling/using cleaning products!
Option 2: Rubbing alcohol (may discolour some dark carpets)
Need something stronger? Just follow the steps outlined in Option 1 above, but dab the stain with rubbing alcohol instead of squirting it with hairspray.
- Dab a little rubbing alcohol onto the stained area and continuously blot at it/use a soft toothbrush to work the solution in.
- Repeat Step 1 until the stain vanishes.
- Rinse the area clean with a new neutral-coloured cloth that’s been dipped in some soapy water (washing-up liquid and water).
- Open the window to allow plenty of fresh air into the room and to dry the carpet.
Option 3: Acetone-free nail varnish remover (for light carpets)
Steps to follow:
- Scrape as much nail polish as you can off the carpeted surface – use a blunt tool to do this.
- Blot the stained patch with some kitchen towels to soak up any wet polish.
- Pour a small amount of acetone-free nail varnish onto a neutral-coloured cloth.
- Gently blot the cloth onto the varnished area.
- Repeat Steps 3 to 4 until the stain has been removed from the surface.
- Blot the area with a damp, soapy cloth to remove excess product from the surface.
- Grab a dry towel and use it to remove excess liquid from the carpeted surface.
- Allow the area to dry naturally.
Option 4: Distilled white vinegar (for light carpets)
Steps to follow:
- Open some windows to leave fresh air into the room.
- Remove as much polish as you can from the carpet using a blunt tool like a teaspoon.
- Pat the carpet with some kitchen roll to remove wet varnish from it.
- Pop some white vinegar directly onto the stain.
- Soak a cloth in some white vinegar and rest this on top of the polish stain.
- Wait about 10 minutes.
- Grab the cloth off the floor and repeatedly blot the stain with it – use a new patch of cloth each time you blot.
- If you need to, rub the area with a soft toothbrush and a blob of washing-up liquid.
- When the stain has gone, rinse the area clean using a cloth that’s been soaked in some warm water.
- Blot the surface with a dry towel to remove excess moisture from it.
- Allow the surface to air dry naturally.
Option 5: Ginger ale and bicarbonate of soda (for dark carpets)
Steps to follow:
- Remove as much nail polish as you can from the carpeted surface – use a teaspoon or plastic spatula.
- Dab the area with some kitchen roll to remove the excess varnish.
- Grab your bicarbonate of soda and pour an even layer of powder over the stained area.
- Pop a little ginger ale in a spray bottle.
- Squirt the ginger ale onto the bicarb.
- Wait about ten minutes.
- Grab a neutral-coloured cloth.
- Soak it in cool water and wring it out.
- Blot the stained area clean – continuously rinse the cloth to remove grime from it.
- Repeat Steps 8 and 9 until the stain disappears.
- Grab a dry neutral-coloured towel and blot the wet patch of carpet with it – extract moisture from the floor.
- Leave the carpet to air dry naturally.
Note: Don’t soak your carpet because it’ll take ages to dry! Always pat your carpet with a neutral-coloured cloth to remove excess liquid from it when you’re done treating it.
Option 6: Professional carpet cleaning (all types of carpet)
If you’re not having much luck with the methods above, or you’ve got a major varnish issue on your hands, perhaps you’d better call a professional carpet cleaner in to wash the carpet for you.
You can find a carpet cleaner in your local area by doing an online search.
- Choose a reputable company.
- Read reviews.
- Check price lists (look out for hidden costs, for example).
- Ask questions (“What cleaning products will be used?” for example).
- Find out if you need to do anything beforehand (move furniture, for example).
Getting Dried Nail Polish Off a Carpet
Getting dried nail varnish off a carpet can be tricky and may take a little longer. But it’s not impossible to remove the blemish from your carpeted surface!
Follow the advice below:
- You’ll need to scrape off as much nail varnish as possible from the surface. To do this, you can use blunt tools like teaspoons and spatulas. But for longer piled carpets, a nit comb might come in handy.
- The hairspray method above generally works well. But you may have to repeat the process multiple times. This, of course, does bring about some issues, including wear and tear-related trouble, and the surface may start to discolour. So use it with caution!
- Rubbing alcohol also works well when it comes to old nail varnish stains on a carpet. But as with hairspray, you may need to apply this treatment multiple times to see significant results. So, you might notice some discolouration on your carpet.
- If you have several blobs of nail varnish on your carpet, perhaps it would be easier to call a professional out to help you. In addition to cleaning the polish-related blemishes, they’ll also be able to clean the rest of the carpet for you as a bonus.
Does Nail Polish Stain?
If you act really quickly, you should be able to remove nail varnish from your carpet.
However, nail polish is quick drying and comes in a bunch of fanciful colours that can stain carpets, especially light ones.
So, there is always a risk that you’ll end up with a nail varnish blemish on your carpeted surface.
Old nail polish, in particular, loves to leave marks on carpets and rugs and is normally quite difficult to remove.
Tip: Don’t paint your nails near a carpet if you’re concerned about getting nail varnish on the surface. Or, at the very least, cover the surface so if you drop a blob of polish, it won’t matter as much.
Bethan has a passion for exploring, reading, cooking and gardening! When she’s not creating culinary delights for her family, she’s concocting potions to keep her house clean!