Nail Polish + Carpet = FAIL

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I am sure you can guess where this is going…

My girls are girly girls. One of their favorite past times includes dressing up and acting out elaborate scenes worthy of an Oscar. This may or may not include painted nails.

Now, under Mommy’s rules, nail polish is done at the table or in the bathroom over newspaper on special occasions. Ahem. But my free-spirited younger sister, aka Auntie, is not always aware of the rules. And she happens to live with us for the time being.

Apparently during one of their recent dress up sessions, complete with hair, makeup, and jewelry, some hot pink nail polish found it’s way onto the carpet upstairs. In two different spots. On the beautiful carpet of this house that is going on the market. next. week. This was brought to my attention days later.

After much nashing of teeth elbow grease, googling and scrubbing, we determined there was no way to get the stain out ourselves. Seriously, no matter what google Swag search results tell you about removing nail polish from carpet, nothing really works. So we finally called a highly recommended expert in stain removal.

“Yes, ma’am, I can pretty much get any stain out of carpet… except nail polish. {Insert complete panic}

But I can patch it!”

Huh? You can patch carpet?

“Yep, I’ll just take a few pieces from the back of a closet and replace the stains”.

Alrighty, let’s try it. I had serious doubts.

Before he arrived, my husband remembered some remnant carpet up in the attic. Score! No closet cutting would be necessary. The blogger in me should have snapped a “before” picture at this point. But I forgot. ;)

The expert arrived and went right to work. I was too nervous to watch.

nail-polish-carpetHere are the two stains he cut out of the carpet, atop the remnant from which he took the replacement patches. It looks a bit… startling.

But check out the results!

after-carpetCan you tell where the patches are?

Neither can I. Disaster averted!

The incredibly helpful carpet expert charged us only $50 for the work. Not exactly frugal, but way less than I anticipated for such quality.

So, the moral of the story?

Kids, carpet, and nail polish do not mix. And should this unfortunate incident occur in your home, don’t bother googling. Call an expert!

This post is linked to Friday Fails. For more frugal ways, visit Life As Mom.


  1. Marlo says

    Wow, you can’t even tell where the patch was.
    Oh my gosh… this just happened to me last week. Bright green nail polish on beige carpet. It was done by my 16 year old step daughter. She claims the dog knocked over the bottle. ha !
    Lucky for her, the carpets needs to be replaced soon :). Thanks for the tip! I love your blog with all it’s wonderful tips, tricks and goodies.

  2. Kimber says

    You and my mom could swap stories. When I was four, I decided to paint my little cousin’s nails. On my mom’s bedspread. She was 8 months pregnant. Oooooh, my poor mother.

  3. Chrissy MacCEO says

    Yikes! Glad to see the you can’t “see” the results!!

    lease do me a favor and stop by my site––I switched to WP last weekend and all of my subscribers lost my feed in their reader! Bummer. Please re-subscribe or re-friend me on google friend. THANKS!!

  4. Bobbi Janay says

    I don’t know if Swag told you hairspray but it works miracles on mail polish even dried in. I would know, I was/still am messy with it.
    .-= Bobbi Janay ´s last blog ..Snark, Love, and Pseudo Celebrities =-.

  5. Karen says

    Wow! Thankfully my daughter hasn’t hit the nail polish stage! And as a not-so girly mom, I have my own anxiety about that.
    Have a blessed weekend

  6. says

    We have been there too! It just comes with little ones, I think! ha ha By the way, there is an all natural company called Melaleuca, and they carry a product (SoluMel) that will actually take nail polish out of carpet without any remaining stain. I use it alot… for everything! :) Sharpie off walls, nail polish out of carpet, any stain on any surface!
    .-= Mandy Roberson´s last blog ..Happy Birthday, Swagbucks! =-.

  7. Sara @ Happy Brown House says

    Who knew you could patch carpet?!? Not me! So glad I learned this! Luckily, I got the permanent marker out of the carpet this week. 2 year old + black sharpie + Spot Shot cleaner =one lucky boy!!

  8. Ro says

    I have repatched carpet this way before. I learned about it on I believe design on a dime. My problem was a stain that was left from bleach! I cut out the shape of the stain and went under my staircase and cut a piece out to match. No one was the wiser.

  9. Jo Riddle says

    Great! Aren’t you glad you saved those remnants! I have rid my entire house of carpet now and I love it. It’s laminate flooring for me and it feels so clean and light.

  10. kathy says

    I recently spilled a whole bottle of red nail polish on my carpet in the family room. Is sat there for months. I tried and tried but couldn’t get it off. Then my mom came over and she said to put a mixture of peroxide and vinegar and try it. I did and with much elbow grease I got it off! I can’t believe it. She uses this on everything and I think I will too.

  11. says

    funny you post this…..I dropped the nail polish not once but TWICE in my master bathroom area yesterday. I have never in my life dropped the nail polish….until yesterday!

  12. Rosenda says

    Oh my, I finally found someone who had this problem too.
    When my four year old daughter was two, she spilled the whole bottle of hot pink nail polish in my Home office/studio.
    Yes, I tried everything and nothing worked good enough.
    I didn’t even think of calling in a expert. The house was on the market at the time too. Thank you for sharing and happy you got it fixed.

    Great story.

  13. Molly says

    Yes this technique is a LIVESAVER – as we know first hand after having a houseguest (old college buddy) & his not so well mannered dog stay with us! Needless to say it works for spots that may have been scratched or torn up by puppies – thank goodness!

  14. rene says

    Wow, that is awesome!! I didn’t even realize that could be done. Thank you so much for sharing!!!
    .-= rene´s last blog ..Coconut Pound Cake =-.

  15. TD says

    Have a daughter and nieces and have had two different nail polish and carpet fiascos that we discovered while the polish was still wet. The first time my two year old niece had decided to paint her own toe nails with my teenagers fire red polish on the cream carpet of our home. My sister-in-law knew to get oxiclean. We ran water as hot as we could from the tap and added oxiclean to it and then poured it on the carpet and wiped it up. Repeated applications and you couldn’t even tell where it was. I should have taken before and after pictures. I thought we would have to put a throw rug over that area.

  16. Erika says

    Thats great, I was renting when one of my daughters spilled nail polish and I tried nail polish remover in a hurry.. yeah I know, good thing it was close to a wall. (Dark brown carpet too.)

  17. Shirley says

    Haha, oh the memories! After my mom learned the hard way, my sister and I always had to paint our nails outside on the porch or lawn. In the winter we had to paint our nails in the garage.
    .-= Shirley´s last blog ..Review of a Book that Hurts: Disrupting Grace =-.

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