Home

How to remove nail polish from your clothes, upholstery and carpet

At home DIY manis and pedis are lots of fun until that that blazing shade of red nail polish accidentally spills on your clothes, upholstery or carpet. So what's one to do? We asked cleaning experts Meg Roberts, president of Molly Maid cleaning service, and Jack White, vice-president of technical service for Rainbow International, to tell us how to eradicate these enamel errors. Read on!

Closed Captioning
apply | reset x
font
size
T
T
T
T
color

See the most surprising uses for mouthwash (and freshen your washing machine!)

Play Video - 0:49

See the most surprising uses for mouthwash (and freshen your washing machine!)

Play Video - 0:49

How to remove nail polish from clothing

The following advice is for fabrics that are specifically cotton or man-made. For silk, wool and other fine natural fibers, have the stain professionally removed as soon as possible.

“If the stain is fresh, gently remove as much excess nail polish as possible,” advises Roberts. “Don’t rub, but gently dab the nail polish stain with a clean white cloth. Check if the fabric contains acetate, triacetate or modacrylic. If so, don’t attempt to use an acetone nail polish remover as the acetone in it will deteriorate the fabric. Instead, opt for non-acetone nail polish remover for these fabrics."

If the fabric is washable, gently apply a small amount of nail polish remover to the stain with a clean sponge or white cloth. Carefully dab in a blotting motion to prevent the nail polish from embedding itself deeper. Work from the outside in, continually moving to a clean area of the towel underneath as it absorbs the stain. Repeat until the stain is no longer transferring. Rinse the fabric in cool water, and machine wash as usual.

RELATED: The 1 trick to know for removing chewing gum from your clothes or carpet

How to remove nail polish from upholstery

First, mix one tablespoon of liquid dish soap with two cups of cool water. Using a clean white cloth, sponge the stain with the detergent solution. Blot until the liquid is absorbed. Repeat these steps until the stain disappears. Then, sponge with cool water and blot dry.

If the stain remains, contact a cleaning professional as soon as possible.

How to remove nail polish from the carpet

Rainbow International offers the following basic rules for removing polish stains from a rug:

Whatever you do, don't rub the stain. It can not only cause the stain to be driven further into the carpet, but it also could cause damage to the carpet's fibers.

Don't start at the center of the stain. Instead, wipe or blot from the outside in.

Don't use hot water. It will cause the stain's structure to change, which can result in it bonding with the surface of your carpet. This will make stain removal so much more difficult. Why create more work?

RELATED: How to remove lipstick stains from clothes, upholstery and carpet

Pre-test the solvent in an inconspicuous place by applying several drops of it with a cotton swab to the predominate colors of the fabric. Allow it to sit on this area for 30 minutes to an hour. If the color transfers to the cotton or a color change occurs, then a professional cleaner should be considered.

In the case of nail polish, the solvent to test is non-acetone nail polish remover. If the fabric is color-safe, apply several drops of non-acetone based nail polish remover with a cotton swab and, working from the outer edge toward the center, gently agitate to remove nail polish. Change swabs as needed. Do not over-wet or you’ll spread the stain. Blot with a clean white cloth and repeat as needed.

If the stain remains, it’s time to call a cleaning professional like Rainbow International.

TOP