How to remove liquid shoe polish from carpet

Written by corey m. mackenzie
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Liquid shoe polish contains dyes that stain carpet and other materials very easily. It’s best to remove the stain as soon as it occurs, while the polish is still wet. When dry, shoe polish adheres strongly to the carpet fibres and is more difficult to remove. Also, the sooner you treat the area, the less chance you’ll need to use strong chemicals, such as solvents, to remove the polish.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Rubber gloves
  • Clean rags
  • Plastic bags
  • Measuring cup
  • Liquid dish soap
  • White cloths
  • Solvent-based stain spray
  • Brush

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  1. 1

    Put on rubber gloves so you don’t get dye on your hands. Immediately use clean rags to pull as much shoe polish as you can up from the carpet. Do not press it down on the carpet at this point or you will simply force the shoe polish deeper into the fibres. Place soiled rags in plastic bags to keep them from soiling other areas until you dispose of them.

  2. 2

    Fill a measuring cup with a cup of warm water. Add ¼ tsp of liquid dish soap, as suggested by Wet a clean rag in this mixture.

  3. 3

    Dab the soapy rag on the stain, starting from the outer edges and moving towards the centre, covering the area with the soapy water. Dispose of the rag in a plastic bag because it is soiled. Use another clean rag dipped in the cleaning solution, and work the cleaner into the stain. Allow this to sit for 5 minutes, as directed by

  4. 4

    Press lightly on the area with a white cloth or paper towels to remove some of the polish. Switch the cloth over and blot the area again. Repeat with fresh cloths or paper towels until you can’t get anymore stain up.

  5. 5

    Wet a sponge in clean water, and squeeze this over the area to help rinse some of the soap. Blot again with cloths or paper towels. If any stain remains, either repeat this cleaning process or use a solvent-based stain remover for fabrics, as suggested by Spray it on, and blot with cloths until the stain is gone; Note, however that stain removers might fade the carpet in the area. If you are concerned about this, test it on a discrete area of carpeting first.

  6. 6

    Allow the carpet to air dry. When it has dried, use an upholstery brush or a regular hair brush to lift the nap.

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