Nail Polish Stain Removal Guide

Nail polish stain removal is something we don't want to have to think about when getting ourselves all prettied up, but unfortunately accidents happen and that nail polish can spill everywhere.

Nail polish stain removal guide for clothing, upholstery, carpet, and more {on Stain Removal 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

In fact, true story, the day of my wedding one of my bridesmaids spilled a whole bottle of bright red nail polish all over my mother's yellow carpet.

These things happen, and of course it didn't ruin my wedding or anything like that, but I still remember it because the first thought in everyone's mind was, "oh crap!"

(Well, maybe another word than crap, but this is a family friendly website!)

So, don't let nail polish stains ruin your day either.

Nail polish stain removal guide for clothing, upholstery, carpet, and more {on Stain Removal 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

Instead, below are step by step instructions for removing stains caused by nail polish from your clothing, upholstery and carpet.

Nail Polish Stain Removal From Clothing And Washable Fabric

Step 1: Take the stained fabric and place it, stain face down, onto a couple of sheets of white paper towels or a clean white cloth and blot the fabric with acetone. The nail polish should transfer onto the paper towels or cloth from the fabric.

Hint 1: Do not use acetone on fabric containing acetate, because the acetone will melt the acetate fibers. Further, use acetone with extreme caution with silk, wool, and rayon.

Hint 2: You want the acetone to flow through the fibers of the fabric, to flush the fibers, so that is why the fabric must be face down, with the stain face down.

Hint 3: Where can you find acetone? Acetone is the main ingredient in many nail polish removers. There are also a bunch of nail polish removers that are called non-acetone removers, because they do not contain acetone.

There is a lot of debate about whether you should use nail polish remover containing acetone, or not, when removing nail polish stains from any fabrics, including clothing, upholstery or carpet.

spilled pink nail polish

Both nail polish removers containing acetone, and non-acetone ingredients can be harmful to your fabrics, so you should always test the remover in an inconspicuous area of the fabric or fibers before applying it onto the stained area.

Step 2: Rinse the stained area with cool water.

Step 3: Repeat steps 1-2, moving to a clean area of paper towel or cloth every time to blot the stain so you don't re-transfer the stain back onto the fabric. Keep repeating these nail polish stain removal steps until no more nail polish transfers from the fabric to the cloth or paper towels.

Here are some tips and a video demonstrating this stain removal technique for removing nail polish, and also giving some more hints for removing nail polish stains from clothing.

Step 4: Pretreat the stain with a laundry prewash stain remover.

Step 5: Launder as usual.

Hint: Make sure the stain is gone after washing, but before you place in the dryer or you may set the stain. Repeat if necessary.

How To Remove A Nail Polish Stain From Upholstery

How to remove nail polish stains from clothing, upholstery and fabric, with step by step instructions {on Stain Removal 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

Step 1: Blot up as much of the nail polish spill as possible.

Hint: Be very careful while blotting not to spread the nail polish stain further onto the upholstery.

Step 2: Apply acetone, using an eye dropper, to the stain.

Hint 1: Acetone can harm certain fabrics so spot test using acetone on the upholstery in an inconspicuous area before you proceed further.

Hint 2: The reason for using the eye dropper is because you want to use as little acetone as possible during the nail polish stain removal process.

Definitely do not just pour or splash the acetone onto the upholstery fabric, as this will most certainly do more harm than good.

Step 3: As soon as the acetone touches the fabric, immediately blot with a white cloth or paper towel, and the nail polish will transfer from the upholstery onto the cloth.

Step 4: Repeat steps 2-3 until no more nail polish transfers onto the cloth.

Step 5: If the stain is gone, stop. If not, next blot at the stain, this time using dry cleaning solvent. Keep blotting until no more nail polish transfers from the upholstery onto the cloth using the dry cleaning solvent.

Hint: All of these stain removal solutions suggested can damage some types of upholstery, so for all of them test first in an inconspicuous area of the upholstery first to make sure it is safe.

Step 6: If the stain is gone, stop. If not, next apply 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide to the stain, again with an eye dropper.

Step 7: Remove the hydrogen peroxide with cold water blotted onto the upholstery fabric with a clean white cloth, and then blot dry.

Hint: Be sure to get the upholstery only as wet as necessary for nail polish stain removal.

You can get more information on how to clean upholstery here.

spilling nail polish bottles

Removing Nail Polish Stains From Carpet

The instructions for nail polish stain removal from carpet is the same as for upholstery.

In addition, here's some additional collected tips on removing nail polish on carpet.

Submit Your Own Stain Removal Tip For Nail Polish

nail polish stain

Do you have your own stain removal tip for removing stains from nail polish? If so, submit your tip about removing stains caused by nail polish here.

top 10 Halloween stains

In addition, as you may have guessed, this is one of the top Halloween spots and spills. You can check out my article for removing the top 10 Halloween stains here, if you're a victim of such a scary problem!

Get Even More Stain And Spot Removal Help Here

Are you a stain magnet like me? If so, check out the A to Z Stain Removal Guide which gives directions for how to remove over 100 types of stains from all kinds of surfaces.

A to Z stain removal guide: Step by step instructions to remove 100+ different stains

Fourth photo by 1Happysnapper (photography)

Thanks For Visiting My Website: Grab Your Free Gift!


Hi, I'm Taylor, a busy mom with 3 kids, so I have lots of hands on experience with house cleaning, laundry and my fair share of spots, spills and other messy catastrophes. Thanks for visiting my site.

I update the website all the time with tips, tutorials, cleaning recipes, reviews of products from readers like you, and tests I've done on various cleaners, removers and laundry supplies.

I'd love to give you a gift! When you subscribe to my free weekly newsletter you will receive a free printable laundry stain removal chart that you can reference as needed.

I hope you enjoy this gift, and stop by again soon!

Subscribe To The Out Darn Spot Newsletter

* indicates required

Share Your Comments, Tips & Ideas

Related Pages You May Enjoy

A-Z Guide: Instructions For Removing Over 100 Types Of Stains

Go From Nail Polish Stain Removal To Home Page

CAUTION: This website is provided for informational purposes only. It is provided as is, without warranties or guarantees. Some stains and messes just won't come out, and are permanent. Further, some cleaning methods can harm your item, so if what you want to clean or launder is sentimental or expensive call a professional. See disclaimer of liability for more information.