Nail polish and carpet do not mix. Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop the two from meeting far too often. Perhaps you were giving yourself an at-home manicure and had a mishap, or your child accidentally spilled a bottle of nail polish, and now you’re staring at an unmistakable splotch of color on the carpet. 

Fortunately, you’re not stuck with it forever. You don’t need to cut away the carpet and start all over again. Instead, try the methods listed in this article to get rid of that nail polish for good. 

Nail Polish Remover

Nail polish remover gets rid of the polish on your nails, and it may do the same for your carpet. Dip a cotton ball in non-acetone polish remover and lightly move it over the stain. Swap between your cotton ball and a clean cloth. Repeat as necessary until the stain is gone. Avoid using acetone removers.  

This method works best with fresh, wet nail polish, so it’s the go-to choice if you catch the spill when it happens. Nail polish remover can help with older stains, too, but works more as a pretreatment option. Apply it to the old stain and let it sit, then swap to one of the other methods below. 


Hairspray is the best method for removing old, dried nail polish stains. Grab a bottle that contains alcohol (alcohol-free hairsprays won’t help with this problem) and spray a generous amount onto the stain. 

Once you have the spot saturated, grab a clean cloth or even an old toothbrush and get to work. You can use a small amount of rubbing alcohol to supplement what the hairspray already contains, too. For stubborn stains, it might take a few rounds of hairspray, alcohol, and rubbing with a clean cloth. 

Baking Soda and Ginger Ale

This is another great trick for removing nail polish, and it doesn’t come with the strong (sometimes overpowering) smell of nail polish remover or hairspray. Cover the offending area in baking soda and wet it with ginger ale. After letting it sit for ten to fifteen minutes, clean it up with a clean cloth and let it dry. 

Commercial Cleaners

A few commercial products help with nail polish, although they’re made for other purposes. 

  • Ammonia-Based Cleaners 
  • Adhesive Removers
  • Dry Cleaning Solvents 


Spilled nail polish isn’t the end for your carpet. There are plenty of affordable, easy-to-access solutions for stain removal. If one of the methods above doesn’t work, move on to the next one! You’re sure to have your carpet as good as new. Contact Green-Gen Carpet and Fine Rug Cleaning if you need any help!

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