How to Remove Nail Polish Stains

Pink nail polish spilled on carpet
Enjoy playing manicurist at your home? It can be a fun way to pamper yourself — until the bottle goes over or your less-than-dry nails unexpectedly crash and smear into your carpet or other home surfaces. Made to last permanently on your nails for weeks, will you ever be able to get those nail polish stains off?

Relax: Nail Polish Stains Can be Removed

How? The same way professional manicurists remove polish from your finger and toenails. With a little help from acetone, the main ingredient in nail polish remover. A chemical comprised of a combination of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, acetone is both naturally occurring in the environment and manmade in factories worldwide in the creation of plastics, fibers, and more. Acetone is great at dissolving not only stubborn polish, but also paint and glue. Even if nail polish stains has slightly dried, acetone can get between the chains of the polymers that make up nail polish, separating them and allowing them to be wiped away.

What’s the safest way to remove nail polish stains from carpet with acetone?

Act fast.

The sooner you address the spill, the less time it has to seep into your carpet fibers and establish permanent residence.

Check for compatibility.

Always test acetone on a small, inconspicuous area of your carpet before attempting to remove nail polish stains. It could damage the pigment — and in some cases quickly deteriorate the fibers themselves.

First, gently remove excess polish.

For wet polish, gently blot as much as possible from the carpet before continuing with an old towel. For dry polish, scrape lightly to remove with the end of a blunt object, like a spoon. Don’t overdo it — you don’t want to rub the stain deeper into the carpet.

Protect yourself.

It is always best to utilize eye protection when working with chemicals. Ventilation is also essential, so if you didn’t open a window when working on your nails, do so now.

Apply acetone sparingly.

Using an eyedropper, a cotton ball, or the lid to your nail polish remover bottle, gently apply a few drops of acetone to the stone. Too much acetone can corrode your carpet and its backing.

Soak up the residue.

Soak up the acetone/polish residue with an old towel to absorb the liquid.

Cleanse your carpet to remove acetone.

In a spray bottle, make a solution of one tablespoon bleach-free laundry detergent with water. Dampen the stained, acetone-treated area of your carpet, soaking up the soapy solution and cleaning and drying away the remaining acetone and nail polish stain with a clean, dry towel. Though tempting, avoid the use of paper towels which can rapidly breakdown, creating a fiber-laden mess.

Let us handle your chores so you can spend time getting your nails done at a salon! Contact your local Molly Maid or call to discuss a custom cleaning plan that works for you.