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How To Remove Nail Polish From Carpets & Couches

Updated: Aug 28, 2023

Accidentally spilling nail polish on your carpet or upholstery can be a cause for panic. The vibrant colour and sticky texture of nail polish make it a challenging stain to remove.

Like many makeup stains, nail polish remover can be a pain to remove and impossible without the right products.

However, fear not! In this blog post, we will provide you with effective methods to remove nail polish stains from both carpets and upholstery, helping you restore the beauty of your surfaces.

We previously tackled the dreaded red lipstick stain, but now let's venture into removing nail polish from your carpets and upholstery including wool carpets, silk carpets, and suede & velvet couches.

So, let's dive in and tackle this colourful challenge!

Removing Nail Polish from Carpets and Upholstery

Here's the quick guide on how to remove nail polish from your carpets & upholstery:

  1. Protect the surrounding areas with cloths to prevent spreading

  2. For synthetic carpets, use acetone or nail polish remover, apply it to a cotton bud and dab away

  3. If you have natural fibres like wool, use tepid water and a baking soda mix to tackle the stain

  4. Afterwards, use warm soapy water with a cloth and dab the stained area to lift the nail polish. Rinse frequently to avoid transfer

  5. Once you're confident the stain has gone, rinse the area with cold water and a clean cloth until the soap has gone

  6. Allow the area to air dry naturally

Step 1: Act Quickly

nail polish stain on carpet

Time is of the essence when it comes to nail polish stains. As soon as the spill occurs, grab a clean cloth or paper towel and gently blot the area to remove any excess nail polish.

Be careful not to spread the stain further by rubbing. If the nail polish has been on your carpets for a while, don't worry. These steps still work, just more slowly!

Step 2: Protect the Surrounding Area

To prevent the nail polish from spreading, place a clean cloth or paper towels around the stained area, creating a boundary.

This will help contain the stain and prevent it from spreading to unaffected parts of the carpet or upholstery. if it's on the armrest of a couch or chair, you will need to hold the cloth at the bottom of the stain in order for it not to run down.

Step 3: Test a Hidden Area

Before proceeding with any cleaning solutions, it's essential to test them in an inconspicuous area of the carpet or upholstery. This will ensure that the cleaning agent doesn't cause any discoloration or damage.

Step 4: Acetone or Nail Polish Remover

For synthetic carpets and upholstery, acetone or a non-acetone nail polish remover can be effective in removing nail polish stains.

Apply a small amount of acetone or nail polish remover to a clean cloth or cotton ball and gently blot the stained area. Work from the outside of the stain towards the centre, continuously blotting and lifting the nail polish.

Step 5: Blot with Warm Soapy Water

Once you have removed as much nail polish as possible with the acetone or nail polish remover, dampen a clean cloth with warm soapy water. Gently blot the stained area, repeating the process until no more nail polish transfers onto the cloth. Rinse the cloth frequently to avoid spreading the nail polish.

Step 6: Rinse and Blot

Using a separate cloth or sponge dampened with plain water, gently rinse the area to remove any soapy residue. Blot the area with a clean cloth to absorb excess moisture. Continue blotting until the carpet or upholstery feels clean and free of soap.

Step 7: Patience and Air Dry

Allow the treated area to air dry completely. Open windows or use fans to expedite the drying process. Avoid using heat sources, as they may cause damage to the fabric. Once dry, assess the stain. If any residue remains, repeat the process or try an alternative method.

Alternative Method for Delicate Fabrics

For delicate or natural fibre fabrics, such as silk or wool, let's look at 2 methods for stain removal:

Wool carpets: You can use a mixture of tepid water and baking soda. to safely tackle stains from wool. Mix the water in with a teaspoon on baking soda and allow it to turn into a paste. Then apply the mixture to your wool carpet and let sit for 30 minutes. Gently dab the mixture away afterwards.

Silk carpets: Get a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar or lemon juice and mix with warm water. Apply this mixture to your stain and let sit for 20-30 minutes. Afterwards, gently dab the nail polish away. You may need to repeat the process.

Suede & Velvet Couches: While you can use nail polish remover, non acetone is highly recommended. Don't apply too much as this can damage the fibres. A better way to clean these materials is with the baking soda paste mentioned earlier.

Preventing Future Nail Polish Stains

To minimize the risk of nail polish stains on your carpets and upholstery, consider the following preventive measures:

  1. Use protective covers or drop cloths when applying nail polish.

  2. Apply nail polish in well-ventilated areas, away from carpets and upholstery.

  3. Keep nail polish remover or acetone on hand for immediate stain treatment.


Nail polish stains on carpets and upholstery may seem daunting, but with prompt action and the right techniques, you can successfully remove them. Act quickly, protect the surrounding area, and use appropriate cleaning agents. By following the steps provided in this blog post, you'll be well-equipped to tackle nail polish stains and restore the beauty of your surfaces. Remember, when dealing with delicate fabrics, seek professional assistance. Enjoy a nail polish mishap-free environment!

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