Oh no! There's nail polish on the carpet!

How to Remove Nail Polish


The job of nail polish is to go onto the appropriate surface (fingernails, toenails) and stick. The problem is when nail polish gets onto unintended surfaces, especially on carpet, upholstery, or clothing. It can be nearly impossible to remove. Aggressive efforts on your part, rubbing or scrubbing, and using harsh chemicals can damage the surface while the nail polish still lingers.


Removing nail polish, while one of the toughest cleaning chores, can be made easier with these tips. Let’s assume the nail polish has dried, since very fresh nail polish is fairly easy to remove with a typical nail polish removal product and white disposable towels.

What Products/Chemicals Can I Use

Obviously, nail polish remover is the best choice for a cleaning solution.

Using a non-acetone solvent product is safer for some fibers and less aggressive, but your results may be limited. Using an acetone-based fingernail polish remover will have more noticeable effect, but also will dry out your fingertips. This type of product will evaporate very quickly, so when using it realize the contact time must be limited.

You can also use other solvents to remove nail polish, and most professional cleaning companies have an arsenal at their disposal. You may be limited to what you can get at the grocery store. That being said, pure acetone is usually the best solvent choice for the impact it has on dried nail polish.

When applying your solvent, put it on a disposable white paper towel or cotton towel, and dab at the nail polish. You should see transfer to the towel. Keep at it, but don’t rub or scrub, and don’t spread the stain.
Do your research on the type of surface you are working on. Acetone will dissolve some fibers. It will also remove paint, furniture finish, and many other finishes.

What About the Remaining Color?

After you have removed as much of the nail polish as possible, you will probably notice some remaining color. This is where you have to be careful about your next product. Using some regular household hydrogen peroxide is safe on most surfaces, but there are no guarantees. After all, if it removes color from nail polish, it can remove other colors as well.

But it is a last resort way to continue to work on the stain after other attempts.

Call a Professional!

Delta Carpet Cleaning has removed many tough stains just like nail polish. If you want the very best results, do the right thing. Give us a call 216-939-8741. After all, it pays to call a pro!

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