Yesterday, I dropped a whole bin of nail polish on the carpet and one broke! At the bottom of the pile, there was the broken bottle on its side, oozing a stream of hot pink, creating a nail polish stain. There was an additional stained area where the cap had landed. I stood there in disbelief, horrified. Fortunately, this was an older bottle of polish that should have been tossed long ago. It had separated a bit, but was mostly thick in consistency, which prevented more from spilling out!
Then I suddenly remembered that I had to deal with this once before! Years ago, my two year old decided to polish her feet and my brand new carpet a lovely shade of brown, while I was feeding the baby! After removing the other bottles and broken glass, I grabbed a white cloth and a bottle of acetone. If you aren’t familiar with acetone, it is basically nail polish remover. Non-acetone nail polish remover will not likely be as effective as regular acetone remover. Before you get started, open the windows and ventilate!!!
*** Before you attempt to remove the nail polish stain, I highly recommend testing this in a small inconspicuous area to make sure the acetone does not damage your carpet or fabric! ***
Begin by pouring small amounts of acetone on the nail polish stain. Carefully dab and blot the stained area with a white cotton cloth. (I have never tried using a dyed cloth and have no idea whether the dye from a cloth would run or transfer onto the carpet.) DO NOT SCRUB! This may result in spreading the stain further. Continue to add more acetone and blot with clean parts of the cloth until the nail polish stain lifts completely.
Once the stain is removed to your satisfaction, you’ll want to rinse the area where the acetone was used. The odor will be pretty strong, so I like to dilute and remove as much as possible. If you have a small carpet cleaner, then you should use it to suck up the acetone and continue rinsing with water until the odor is reduced. If not, then use clean towels to press down and soak up as much water as possible.
Here is my end result. I rinsed a few times and allowed it to dry overnight. This photo is from this morning. The stain lifted and the odor is gone! (I’d like to be happier about this but I really want to replace this carpet and it just won’t wear out enough to justify it!)
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