The Best Tips on How to Get Nail Polish out of a Carpet

You know how it goes… you start an evening of pampering, maybe with a glass of wine, a face pack, some relaxing music, when suddenly, mid manicure, disaster strikes. Somehow, more nail polish has managed to get on the carpet than on your fingernails. Glass of wine or no glass of wine, accidents sometimes happen. And providing you know what to do, that nail polish spill doesn’t need to be the end of the world… or your carpet. But what DO you do? First of all, put away the wine. Second of all, grab some clean clothes, some sponges, a bucket of water and some cleaning supplies (more on which coming up) and get to work with our ‘Best Tips on How to Get Nail Polish out of a Carpet.’

As notes, cleaning a nail polish spill as soon as it happens is going to be your best bet of avoiding any permanent damage. The longer you leave it hanging around, the harder it’ll settle into the carpet fibers – and the harder it’ll be to remove.

How To Get Wet Nail Varnish Out Of A Carpet

If the nail varnish is still wet, then great – you’ll find it a breeze to remove with these handy tips:

  • Step 1 – Remove as much of the nail polish as possible by simply scooping it up with a spoon. It may help to have a small bowl to hand to dump the scooped up polish into, along with a cloth to clean off the spoon between rounds.
  • Step 2 – Next, grab a clean, white dishcloth or a similarly clean, white paper towel and dap away at the stain. Keep dapping until as much of the polish has lifted as you think is going to. Rotate the cloth or towel as you go to avoid pushing any removed nail polish back into the carpet. Tip: don’t rub the cloth into the stain. All you’ll do is drive the polish deeper into the carpet. Use a gentle, blotting motion instead.
  • Step 3 – Now, grab your cleaning supplies. If your carpet is dark, you’re going to want to use rubbing alcohol or hairspray to remove the polish. If your carpet is light, a clear non-acetone nail polish remover will be best. Little things recommends and patch test your chosen remover on a small, inconspicuous patch of carpet. If nothing untoward happens, you’re ready to start on the stain.
  • Step 4 – Add some of the remover to a clean white cloth (if you’re wondering why we keep specifying a ‘white’ cloth, it’s because colored cloths have a tendency to leak their dyes when wet. Use one, and you risk making that small nail polish stain a whole lot worse) and begin dotting at the stain from the outside in (again remembering to use a blotting rather than a scrubbing action). If nothing seems to be happening, apply a small amount of the remover directly to the stain. Then keep blotting.
  • Step 5 – Once you’ve blotted up as much of the polish as possible, create a cleaning solution out of water and a teaspoon of dishwashing detergent or carpet cleaner. Soak another clean, white cloth into the solution, and then start scrubbing (and yes, this time, we really want you to scrub, not blot). Keep scrubbing (wringing the cloth out in the cleaning solution every now and again) until there’s no trace of polish left.
  • Step 6 – Wring out a fresh cloth in clean, warm water and use it to soak up any remaining cleaning solution from the carpet.
  • Step 7 – To finish up, blot up any excess water with an old towel. If you’ve gone a little overboard with the water, stick a towel over it, pop a weight on top, and leave overnight.

How To Get Of Dried Nail Varnish Out Of A Carpet

If the nail polish has been allowed to dry, it’s going to be slightly more challenging to remove from the carpet than it would be otherwise… but not impossible. Once the polish dries and settles into the carpet, you’ll need to break it down using either a mechanical method or a chemical one. If the stain is particularly tough, you’ll probably have to use a combination of the two, as per the following:

  • Step 1 – As recommends, use a combination of brute force and a butter knife to lift as much of the hard nail polish from the carpet as possible. Go carefully, being sure not to remove as much carpet as you do nail polish.
  • Step 2 – Once you’ve dislodged as much of the polish as possible, vacuum up the debris.
  • Step 3 – Blot the stain with a wet sponge – the aim is to make it damp, but not soaked.
  • Step 4 – Patch test your removal product on a small area of the carpet that’s well out of sight. Which supply you use will depend on your carpet color – use rubbing alcohol or hairspray on a dark carpet, and a clear non-acetone nail polish remover on a pale one.
  • Step 5 – Spray the head of an old toothbrush with the removal product, then start rubbing at the stain. If nothing seems to be happening, pour a small amount of the product directly onto the stain, being careful not to let it spread beyond the perimeters of the stain (which could inadvertently lead to the stain spreading out). Keep scrubbing away at the stain until you’ve removed all the polish you’re going to.
  • Step 6 – Using a sponge soaked in warm, soapy water, scrub the affected area. Keep scrubbing away until there’s no trace of polish left.
  • Step 7 – Take a clean cloth and a bowl of clean water, then blot the area until you’ve removed the last of the cleaning solution.
  • Step 8 – Finish by sticking a towel or a pile of paper towels over the damp patch, place a weight on top, and leave to dry. When you remove the towel, you should find the carpet as good as new.

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