Banish Nail Polish Stains From Carpet With An Item You Already Own

Doing and painting your nails at home isn't only cost-effective but also oddly satisfying. However, it comes with challenges, like finding a convenient spot for easy access to your nails and products. Many choose the living room floor for this task, which can, unfortunately, result in nail polish spills on the carpet. If you're out of nail polish remover, hydrogen peroxide from your first-aid kit can be an effective alternative for removing stains.

Hydrogen peroxide, a colorless liquid with the formula H2O2, essentially water with an additional oxygen molecule, is a strong oxidizing agent. Its extra oxygen molecule is what gives it the power to tackle tough stains and adhesive agents, like those in nail polish that bind the polymer to surfaces. In the context of nail polish spills, hydrogen peroxide helps detach the polish from the carpet fibers and acts as a bleaching agent, effectively removing stubborn nail polish stains. In fact, it's just one of the many stubborn household stains you can get rid of with hydrogen peroxide.

Remove nail polish stains using hydrogen peroxide

Dried nail polish is much harder to remove than fresh, wet nail polish. So be sure to deal with the drop or spill immediately. Blot them out with a paper towel, but don't wipe or rub them so that it doesn't spread or go deeper into the carpet. If the nail polish is already dry, get a dull knife to scrape off any excess nail polish. Be sure to work in the direction of the carpet fibers so as not to damage them. 

If the stain is limited to the top of the carpet fiber, sniping it off is one of the easiest ways to get nail polish out of carpet. Don't cut too much though, as this might leave a noticeable patch on your carpet. Then, get a vacuum to remove the loose debris from the carpet. Put a small amount of hydrogen peroxide on a cloth and dab it onto the area. Change sections of cloth so you don't spread removed nail polish back on your carpet. Do this until you remove the stain off the carpet. Once done, wash your carpet with water with dish soap and dry it well.

When not to use hydrogen peroxide to remove nail polish stains

As mentioned above, hydrogen peroxide might bleach your carpet, so use it only on light carpets. To be sure, do a spot test and apply a small amount of hydrogen peroxide onto an inconspicuous part of your carpet to see if it will cause bleaching or damage. Most of the hydrogen peroxide found in markets is medical-grade, consisting of a relatively mild concentration of 3% peroxide and 97% water. 

If the only one you have is the food grade peroxide, which has a strength of 35%, don't use it. Dr. Sarah Pickering Beers tells Cleveland Clinic, "Food-grade peroxide can be toxic if you inhale it or get it on your skin. And that high strength isn't necessary for cleaning and disinfecting." Additionally, if you're in a hurry to restore your carpet to its original state, hydrogen peroxide might not be the best choice. Its cleaning action is slower compared to acetone and non-acetone nail polish removers.