8 Easiest Ways To Get Nail Polish Out Of Carpet

Maybe you were painting your nails on the couch and the plot twist in the latest episode of "The Bachelorette" sent your nail polish bottle flying, or maybe the kids got ahold of your nail supplies and had a field day on the new rug. No matter who's at fault, every amateur, at-home manicurist has experienced the horror that is a spilled bottle of nail polish. It may have been the perfect summer shade of red for this week's mani, but for your brand new carpet? Not so much.

Fortunately, there are plenty of different DIY options that can take the stain right out of any shag rug or wall-to-wall carpet (and yes — even that summer red), according to HGTV. But with so many solutions, it's crucial that you pick the right one to avoid any further damage to your carpet. That's why we've broken it down to the eight best nail polish fiasco fixes, no matter the type of spill or carpet that you're fighting to save!

1. Start with a spoon to remove nail polish from your carpet

Whether you're lucky enough to catch the spill the second it happens or you sadly stumble upon it long after it's dried, the best way to start mitigating the damage is with a spoon. Reader's Digest suggests grabbing a spoon while the stain is still wet to try and scoop up any excess polish so that it doesn't seep any further into the carpet. You can also use a small putty knife or a paper towel to blot away at the liquid, but a spoon will definitely help lessen the impact.

If the polish has already dried, All Kleen Carpets also recommends using a spoon, plus a little extra help in the form of an ice cube. Gently rub the ice cube over the stain, which should harden it enough to be scraped off of the carpet with the spoon. There may be a lighter, stained patch remaining, but following up with a carpet cleaner or one of the subsequent methods should do the trick.

2. Blot your carpet with nail polish remover

Nail polish remover may seem like an obvious answer, and that's fair — the solution is actually a great option for removing stubborn polish from a carpet. However, it's important to double check the details of your carpet before you start scrubbing away at the stain.

Jennifer Ahoni, a scientist for Tide, shared some tips with Reader's Digest, and advised that you should skip the DIY attempt and call a cleaning service if your carpet contains "acetate, triacetate, or modacrylic." If your rug doesn't contain any of those materials, you can blot the spot with a paper towel soaked in pure acetone or acetone-based remover. Ahoni warns that non-acetone polish removers could contain colorful dyes or oils that could make the stain far worse.

However, there's still a risk of physical carpet damage when using acetone remover, notes HGTV. In any case, always perform a spot check on a hidden part of the carpet before proceeding — even if it means letting the spill dry up a bit while you wait.

3. Coat the nail polish spill with hairspray

Any good manicure calls for an even better hair day to accompany it, so we're willing to bet you have some hairspray at the ready! Believe it or not, but the popular spray is also a great help when it comes to removing nail polish spills out of a carpet — who knew?

Country Living explains that this method is best used on dried up, older stains, so don't go spraying a fresh spill. Instead, wait for the area to completely dry over, then wet it with some cold water or an ice cube. Follow that with a generous dozen or so pumps of hairspray directly on the spot, and then a dash of rubbing alcohol to really seal the deal. Then, use a brush to gently scrub at the area, and add more water as needed. Watch as the summer red slowly turns into a lighter, spring pink — and then, a bright white carpet once again!

4. Let the nail polish stain soak in baking soda and ginger ale

Baking soda does wonders on its own when it comes to treating stains, and ginger ale is a key tool when it comes to common home remedies. If you're facing a nail polish spill on your carpet, this unlikely duo is more than enough to restore your carpet back to spotless. It sounds a bit like a science experiment gone rogue, but trust us on this one: Ginger ale and baking soda is an effortless and successful nail polish stain-lifting combo.

The Maids even recommend this duo as one of their top go-to fixes for clumsy moments like this. It's best to blot the area first, but once any excess polish has been sopped up, sprinkle a decent layer of baking soda over the spot in question. Pour some ginger ale directly over the baking soda and let the mixture do its thing for about 10 minutes (and whatever you do, don't swap the ginger ale for another soda, since you may end up with a bigger stain than before). After things bubble for a bit, go back in with a brush or cloth and work the solution into the stain. The polish should be lifted in no time, leaving you wondering: what can't ginger ale fix, after all?

5. Dab the spot of nail polish in your carpet with dish soap

This option can get seriously sudsy seriously pretty quickly, so it's best to reserve this for after you've tried a few other classic methods to remove your nail polish mishap, like the ones mentioned above. However, if the typical spritz of hairspray and ginger ale soak didn't quite lift the stain, this may be the next best step.

Applying dish soap directly to the nail polish stain on its own likely won't resolve the issue, so it's key to combine it with one of the other methods, notes Country Living. For instance, you can try blotting at the spot with some nail polish remover, then add a dish soap solution into the mix. Squirt a few drops of dish soap into some warm water and stir, then pour it onto the spill. Once it's fully worked in, you can begin to wipe away any leftover bubbles with some more water, and then let the area dry. The main purpose of this is to help eliminate the harsh odor of the remover, but the soap may still help attack any leftover grease or missed marks.

6. Get nail polish out of your carpet with Goo Gone

True to its name, Goo Gone is always there in any sticky situation — and a nail polish spill on your carpet is no exception. This store-bought option may be hiding in the back of your cleaning cabinet, but if you're scratching your head wondering how to restore your carpet after a nail polish mishap, it's worth a shot! Simply dab a tiny bit of the cleaner over the affected area, and then go to town on the spot with a wet rag. This should loosen up any of that caked-on residue, and hopefully save some of your carpet before you have to look into professional repair or cleaning options, per Apartment Therapy.

Just remember: Because Goo Gone a commercial cleaner, you should absolutely spot check it before moving onto the area of the stain, especially if it's a larger spill. Also, Goo Gone may cause a reaction on the skin, so wear the proper eyewear and gloves if this is the route you take to tackle a stain.

7. Spray the nail polish on your carpet with window cleaner

If you're looking for a heavy duty solution to take out the nail polish in your rug and none of the DIY options have made the cut, you don't need to spring for a specific carpet cleaner. Instead, grab a bottle of Windex, or any generic window cleaner.

In COIT's expansive spot removal guide, one of their top recommendations for pesky polish stains is any old window cleaner. As with most of these options, you should start by fully blotting away any excess pools of liquid, and get the stain as dry as possible. Then, spray some of the window cleaner onto a sponge and start scrubbing. This method works best when you use small, circular motions, which should help unstick any stubborn polish. Once the stain looks to have been fully lifted (or just about), go over the area with a fresh cloth and some water. After the spot has completely dried, the stain should be gone, and the only evidence left of your manicure should be on your hands themselves!

8. Use scissors to trim your carpet as needed

It's a hard call to make, but depending on the type of carpet that's been affected by the nail polish spill, you may have the most success with a pair of scissors (and a whole lot of faith). Of course, this option should be reserved for after all else has failed — the last thing you want is a stained and half-shredded carpet, after all.

Shag carpets are particularly hard to get a nail polish stain out of, but stains are also less noticeable, since the height of the rug can mask some of the color left behind. In cases like this, HGTV says it's perfectly safe to give your carpet a "haircut," or lightly trim away at the affected area. Make sure the scissors you're using aren't dull, as that could cause more pulls and loose threads (which is a carpet problem that's significantly harder to fix without replacing a portion of it). You don't want to do this on shorter carpets where a bald spot or uneven fibers will be noticeable, but if you can get away with it, it's a solid option — and one that will save you a whole lot of scrubbing.