How to Remove Nail Polish from Carpet and Wood Surfaces

April 30, 2018

Removing nail polish from carpet or wood can seem daunting. We know acetone can destroy a varnish and, well, nail polish in carpet? EEK! There are ways to get the job done without replacing the carpet or furniture, however.

There are some things to consider depending on the spill. On what surface is the spill? How long has it been sitting? Cleaning it up sooner is best, but we know things happen and that isn’t always practical.

Carpet Spills

Like we said, the sooner it’s cleaned up the easier it is to deal with. Furthermore, if you have nail polish, you probably have acetone. Acetone is the main ingredient in polish remover and using it is a great way to clean glue and other paints out of carpets too.

  1. You’ll want to spot check a small part of your carpet to make sure the acetone doesn’t weaken the fabric or change the pigment.
  2. If the paint is wet, dab up as much as possible softly and carefully with an old towel without pressing excess polish in deeper.
  3. If it is dry, use a spoon, or similar tool, to gently scrape as much off as possible without damaging the carpet.
  4. Use a cotton ball to soak up some acetone. This allows you to control the amount used — a couple drops on the area is fine. Rub gently, releasing the paint.
  5. Mix some soapy water and apply, letting it soak in. Then, use your towel to move the suds and clean the area thoroughly, blotting up any extra water when done.

Wood Surfaces

Extra caution is required when cleaning nail polish off of wood. Different types of wood have different porosities, and varnish can easily be removed from furniture. You also have to use soft pressure with wood to avoid damaging it. Use blunt plastic items to remove dried polish, and felt fabric or cotton to wipe up a mess.

  1. If the polish is wet, it should be fairly easy to wipe with a cotton ball or rag. Just apply soft, even pressure and always wipe with the grain.
  2. With dried polish, you will use a blunt plastic object to GENTLY scrape as much as possible without damaging the surface.
  3. Once satisfactory, apply denatured or rubbing alcohol to the surface spill. NO NAIL POLISH REMOVER ON WOOD!
  4. Rub lightly with the grain, removing as much color as possible.
  5. Low-grade steel wool can be used very carefully to buff the area as well. Be very careful and know when to stop.

Knowing when to stop is important. Sometimes with expensive wood, you may want to get professional help. Nevertheless, If you do remove the varnish, there are wood pens available for spot treating. And remember, never use nail polish remover on wood.

If you are looking for a little extra affordable house cleaning, the friendly cleaning ladies at Fabulously Clean House Cleaning would love to help. Give us a call at (208) 608-4648 and schedule an estimate to help make your home a mess-free zone.

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