How to remove nail polish stains from carpet

Updated February 21, 2017

When receiving a pedicure or manicure, a nail polish spill may happen. As soon as you notice the spill, it is important to clean up right away. While the liquid nail polish is still moist, it will be less of a chore to remove from the carpet. After nail polish sets into the carpet, it becomes hard and unmanageable. However, you can still get rid of nail polish stains from carpet when the liquid has dried.

Blot the fresh polish stain with a paper towel. Draw as much liquid up as possible. Use another paper towel when the first is soaked. Repeat the process until most of the polish has lifted. If the nail polish is set in, continue to Step 2.

Fill a spray bottle with steaming hot water. Squirt the water on the polish stain approximately 10 times to saturate. Let the water soak in for roughly three minutes, then saturate the stain again.

Pour a capful of vinegar on the nail polish stain. Allow the solution to saturate the area for about four minutes. Spray the water onto the polish, and blot with the sponge.

Apply another capful of vinegar to the area. Repeat Step 3. Remember to blot the carpet and never rub, as this can damage the carpet fibres.

Spray the nail polish again with the water bottle. Keeping the polish moist will assist in removing the stain. Use five squirts of the window cleaner, such as Formula 409 window cleaner or Ace Glass Cleaner, on the carpet stain. Let the formula soak in about five minutes.

Use the squirt bottle to moisten the area. Push on the stain with the sponge. Spray the area again, and blot with the sponge.

Repeat the entire process until you have successfully removed the nail polish stain from the carpet. Two or three applications may be required. Dab the area with the towel to dry when the polish is gone.


Always test an area of the carpet in a hidden location when using cleaning products. Most carpets are resistant to changes in colours; however, it is important to test the vinegar and window cleaner before pouring onto the carpet.


Do not scrape the nail polish off the carpet. This can cause irreversible damage to the fibres.

Things You'll Need

  • Spray bottle
  • Paper towel
  • Sponge
  • Vinegar
  • Window cleaner
  • Towel
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Randall Shatto is a professional writer with 10 years of experience. Shatto maintains a focus in internet freelance ghost writing. His expertise includes medical writing, college paper composition and SEO-rich content writing. With only a high school education, Shatto's opportunities continue to grow. Shatto resides in the beautiful state of Oregon.