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How to Remove Spilled Paint From a Car Carpet

Updated February 21, 2017

Cleaning up spilt paint can be a time-consuming process, and it may seem impossible. However, a little bit of elbow grease can go a long way in making a huge difference in removing spilt paint from your car's carpet. It is best to clean up spilt paint as soon as the spill occurs. While cleaning up wet paint can be messier than cleaning dried paint, the success rate of getting all of the paint out is significantly higher. It is important to know what kind of paint has spilt--but because most household paints are latex-based, cleaning them requires little more than water, towels and soap.

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  1. Blot up all excess paint with clean towels until all loose paint has been removed.

  2. Surround the spill with crumpled or rolled-up towels.

  3. Douse the spill with water and immediately soak up the water with clean towels. Repeat until the paint does not easily come up.

  4. Combine 1 cup of warm water with 1 tsp of dish soap in the bucket. Make at least one gallon of the soap mixture depending on the size of the spill.

  5. Saturate the spill with the soap mixture.

  6. Scrub the spill with the toothbrush.

  7. Continue to blot the soap mixture and re-saturate and scrub with the soap mixture until the stain is removed.

  8. Saturate the stain with clean water and blot with a clean towel until the soap mixture has been removed from the carpet.

  9. Tip

    You may remove an oil-based paint with white spirit and a towel. Dampen the area with white spirit and blot with a towel until the paint has been removed. Check an inconspicuous part of the carpet for colour fastness with the white spirit before saturating the stain. If paint will not come off a few fibres, you may carefully snip the paint off with a pair of scissors.


    Do not use hot water, as it could set the stain instead of removing it.

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Things You'll Need

  • Towels
  • Water
  • Dish soap
  • Bucket
  • Toothbrush

About the Author

Rachael Lingerfelt has been writing since 2009 and occasionally publishes in Bozeman Montana's Community Food Co-Op's online newsletter about food and nutritional topics. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Montana State University.

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