In Rug Stain Removal Solutions

Get nail polish out of your rug or carpet in 6 easy DIY steps

We've all been there. You're in a rush to get ready and you knock your bottle of nail polish over onto the carpet. Or, you have kids who are painting their nails and let's just say they don't always know where to paint them. While these kinds of mishaps can be super frustrating, they're far from unfixable! If you're looking at a nail polish stain on your rug or carpet and feeling panicked, relax—we've got your back with this step-by-step guide for getting that polish out!


  1. Blot or scrape off as much of the stain as possible.
    It's important to soak up as much of the nail polish as possible with paper towels or a cloth. Use a toothpick or other small tool to get rid of any excess that remains once you've done this. A damp cloth can be used to clean the area if there is still some color present (remember: do not rub!). Finally, use a dry towel or rag to remove any excess water from your rug before it dries completely.
  2. Dab the stain with a solution of rubbing alcohol (1-part) and water (1-part).
    If you want to get nail polish out of your carpet or rug, try a solution of 1 part rubbing alcohol and 1 part water. Rubbing alcohol is a solvent that will dissolve the polish, but it evaporates quickly, so it won't damage your carpet like other solvents might. A mixture of this strength is safe to use on most materials (including wool and silk), though check the label if you aren't quite sure what your rug or carpet is made out of. Another advantage: rubbing alcohol won't burn if it gets in your eyes—a nice bonus when dealing with such an unpleasant task!
  3. Dab on a drop of denatured alcohol, which is available at hardware stores.
    Denatured alcohol is a solvent and cleaning agent, so it will help get the polish out of your rug or carpet. It's also safe to use on most fabrics, including carpeting and upholstery. You'll want to go with a clear or colorless version as opposed to ones that have added scents.
  4. Apply acetone to the stain -- which is often used as a nail polish remover -- in a well-ventilated area.
    Acetone is a solvent and is flammable, so you need to take care when using it. If the acetone is not properly vented, it can cause an explosion. Acetone also dissolves most plastics and rubber products, so be very careful if you're using any kind of furniture or carpet that contains these types of materials. Acetone can damage skin and even cause blindness, so wear gloves when handling this liquid and make sure that your eyes are protected with goggles or glasses when working outdoors or in unventilated areas where fumes may build up around you. Also keep clothing away from spills because they will soak into fibers quickly causing permanent stains on anything they touch (including human flesh!).
  5. Flush the area with cold water.
    If you can't wash the rug immediately, try blotting up as much of the fluid as possible. Place a clean cloth over the affected area and press down firmly for several seconds to absorb as much liquid as possible; then let it dry completely before attempting to launder the item.
  6. If you've lifted up all you can, rinse the area well with cold water.
    If you've removed as much nail polish as possible, and you're still having trouble, try this trick: Rinse the area with cold water. The acetone in the polish remover will react with the hot water to create a chemical reaction that causes it to separate from your carpet. If it's not working, try again in an hour.

Things to remember when removing a stain from a rug


🚨 If the stain is hard to handle or you have more important things to do 🚨

All you have to do is Request a Free Quote on our website, and one of our professional carpet cleaners will contact you as soon as possible to schedule a free pick up.

If you ever need to reach us, just call 201-282-2028 (NJ, NY) or 434-995-9141 (VA)


You can also remove the stains below following the same procedure:

Nail PolishSee all stain types ⟶
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Rug Cleaning Guide • 2022