How to Get Fingernail Polish Out of Carpet

By Laura Parker
April 23, 2021

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If you’ve just spilled nail polish on your carpet and are in a frenzy, don’t worry. Your carpet, we’re happy to report, is completely salvageable.

It’s important to act quickly, though, before your brightly colored nail polish soaks into the carpet. Luckily, there are plenty of household products that can do the trick!


In this article we’ll learn how to get nail polish out of carpets and make sure that unseemly splotch on your carpet goes away.

Remove Nail Polish from Carpet with these Products

Before you get started, it’s important to know what kinds of products can actually remove nail polish without damaging the carpet. You should always test your materials on an inconspicuous spot first to see if they cause any damage or discoloration.

Here are some common household items that will help you remove nail polish from carpets.

Non-Acetone Nail Polish Remover

Nail polish remover works great, as long as it doesn’t contain any acetone, which will discolor your carpet. 

Rubbing Alcohol or Hairspray

Products that contain alcohol do a great job of dissolving nail polish, preventing it from sinking into your carpet.

Carpet Stain Remover 

It might be a more niche product to have in the house, but if you have it it’s finally time for it to do its job!

Hydrogen Peroxide 

Sometimes strong hydrogen peroxide solutions will discolor carpets, so make sure you only use a light solution.

Window Cleaning Solutions 

It might seem odd but window cleaner does wonders in breaking down the nail polish in your carpet.

How to Remove Nail Polish from Carpet, Step-by-Step

    1. Manually remove as much as possible by scooping up the wet nail polish with just your hands and fingers, so that there’s less work for the cleaning products.
    2. Use a clean towel to lightly dab the stain until no more color is coming off of the spot. Make sure to go lightly to avoid rubbing the stain deeper into the carpet.
    3. Test your products on an inconspicuous area before going to town on the actual stain, just to make sure you won’t be making an even bigger stain.
    4. Pour a small amount of your cleaning product onto a clean cloth and blot out the nail polish stain. Blotting is key, as scrubbing can inadvertently spread the wet stain. Do this until no more color is coming off.
    5. Get a sponge and fill a bowl with warm water and a bit of dishwashing liquid. Scrub the carpet vigorously and rinse regularly. Do this until all of your product is out of the carpet.
    6. Wash the spot again with a fresh bowl of warm water. Then, soak the excess water up with paper towels and dry the area with a fan. If you don’t have a fan, put a heavy object on top of your paper towels and wait an hour.

How do you get dried nail polish out of fabric or carpet?

Dried nail polish is a little bit trickier. First, you’ll want to pick off as much as possible before you throw down any product. Next you’ll use the same method we described above, with a preference for slightly stronger products like non-acetone nail polish remover. Pour your product and start scrubbing, working from the outer edge toward the center.  

Removing Nail Polish From Carpets FAQs

How does vinegar remove nail polish from carpet? 

Vinegar’s acidity helps to break down nail polish. Apply enough vinegar to wet the stain, and then place a sponge or paper towel wetted with vinegar on top and let it sit for about 10-15 minutes. After that, you’ll scrub at it in a circular motion until the stain is removed. 

How do you get nail polish out of carpet without acetone? 

It’s actually a good idea to avoid products containing acetone. If you don’t have non-acetone nail polish remover on hand, rubbing alcohol will work as well, and you could even try hydrogen peroxide or window cleaning solutions.

Does window cleaner remove nail polish from carpet? 

Absolutely! Spray a small amount of window cleaner solution onto your stain (about 1-3 sprays depending on the size) and then use a sponge or cloth to rub at the stain in a circular motion. Rinse with cold water and let it dry.

Final Thoughts on Removing Fingernail Polish from Your Carpets


By the time you’re done with this process, you should have saved your carpet from an unseemly splotch. Now that you know how to remove nail polish from carpets, there’s no need to cry over spilled nail polish in the future. Thanks for reading, and we hope you get that stain out quickly and completely!

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