Most women love to apply nail polish. Getting your nails done can really brighten up your mood. Something so simple can do wonders to your sentiments. Nail polish is applied by women almost anywhere around the house. Whether it’s in the bedroom, living room, bathroom or even kitchen! The need to apply nail polish every now and then leads to some pretty tough stains that are unwanted and an extra hassle to clean. Keep reading to find out how you can get rid of nail polish stains on surfaces such as on clothing, wood or carpets.

What you will need:

  • Sugar or table salt
  • Paper towels
  • Ice cubes
  • Nail polish remover
  • Rubbing alcohol

Cleaning spilled nail polish

Is the stain still wet? The easiest way to get rid of nail polish that is freshly spilled is to sprinkle a good amount of sugar or table salt on it. The crystals in the sugar or table salt will help to absorb the wet nail polish, which makes it a lot easier to clean. Put a good amount over the area, let it stay for a few minutes and scoop it out. Avoid using a vacuum cleaner to pick up the sugar or table salt as it may end up clogging your vacuum. Once you are done getting the wet polish off, continue to the following steps.

On clothing: For wet spills, get paper towels and blotch the spill, keep rotating the cloth so that you can work with a spot that is polish-free. Make sure not to smear the polish further by wiping the area you are trying to clean.

If the spill is dry, use an ice cube on it for a minute in order to make the polish brittle. Then mildly plight away as much of it as you can. Once done with this, vacuum the area in order to get rid of any flakes before moving on to deal with the stain.

Natural fabrics: For clothing such as cotton or linen. Put a heavy layer of paper towels under the stain then put on acetone nail polish remover and clean with a white cloth. It’s essential that the nail polish remover is clear in color, fragrance, and moisturizer free because otherwise, you may end up leaving another stain. Rinse the spot properly and put it aside for laundry as usual.

Manmade or non-colorfast fabrics such as batik or acetate: take such clothing to a dry cleaner as they have solvents that can remove the stain without causing any damage.

On Wood: For wood, do NOT use nail-polish remover. This will ruin the wood’s finish. Simply place paper towels on top of the spill and let it sit for 10 seconds.  Don’t let it sit any longer otherwise the towel and wood will bind together!

Use rubbing alcohol for woods. This will get rid of the stain easily. Apply liberally using a clean cloth that is lint-free. Repeat the step using a clean cloth until the stain is removed.


On Hard Floors: For wood, vinyl or laminate floors, wipe up as much as possible with a paper towel. Lightly spray the area with rubbing alcohol or surgical spirits and wipe it up immediately with a clean, lint-free cloth. Repeat the same step until the stain is removed. For ceramic or cement spills, once the spill is removed with a towel, clean the area with acetone-based nail polish. Rinse thoroughly and dry.


On Carpet: For light colored carpeting use clear, straight acetone and a cleaning cloth that is white. At first, remove the extra amount of spill. Get the cloth damp with acetone then rotate the cloth on the spill, making sure you are working with the clean spot of the cloth to prevent yourself from re-staining the area. Do not put the acetone directly on the carpet.  Put it on the damp cloth and use the cloth to wipe it off.

As for dark colored carpeting, do not use acetone as acetone may damage the carpet’s color. Try doing a spot test first. If the dye does not come off, use the acetone method mentioned above. If the carpet dye comes off, follow the directions above but make sure to use rubbing alcohol or surgical spirits instead of the acetone.