Oriental rugs are famous for their intricate designs and delicate fibers, which require special care to maintain their elegance and longevity. While dealing with everyday stains is quite easy, nail polish spills present a particular challenge.

Removing nail polish from your beloved oriental rug may seem intimidating, but with a few household ingredients that are likely already in your home, you can address the issue quite easily. 

In this blog, we will walk you through simple yet effective methods to safely remove nail paint stains from your oriental rug, ensuring you can reverse the damage before it becomes permanent. 

Tackle Nail Paint Stains From Oriental Rugs: 7 Household Remedies  


First, try using a hairspray. The alcohol content in hair sprays helps in loosening and lifting nail polish stains, but before applying the hairspray directly to the stain, test it on a hidden section of the rug to ensure it won’t cause color fading.

If the test goes well, generously spray it onto the stain. Use a clean, absorbent towel to blot the area and remove excess polish, being careful not to rub. Repeat this process until the stain vanishes, applying small amounts of hairspray each time.

After removing the stain, rinse the area with clean water to remove any hairspray residue and blot dry with a clean cloth.

Rubbing Alcohol 

Rubbing alcohol acts as a solvent, dissolving substances like nail polish and making it effective for most types of rugs. It evaporates quickly, minimizing the risk of damage to the rug fibers and reducing the likelihood of moisture being trapped in the rug.

  • First, gently blot the stain with a clean white cloth or absorbent towel to remove excess polish. 
  • Then, dampen a clean white cloth with rubbing alcohol and start blotting the stain from the outer edge, working your way inward to prevent spreading. (You can use a cotton swab for more precise application)
  • Next, dampen another clean cloth with plain water and blot the area to remove the solution, allowing the rug to air dry completely later. 

White Vinegar 

White vinegar is a mild acid that can help break down the chemical components of nail polish, making it easier to remove from the rugs. Moreover, compared to harsh chemical removers, vinegar is a safer option, especially if you have pets or children around.

  • Before using white vinegar, try to remove excess nail polish by scraping it off with a spoon or dull knife. Then, dab the area with a dry cloth to absorb any remaining polish.
  • Now that you’ve gotten rid of the bulk, dampen a clean cloth with white vinegar and apply it generously to the stained area. Let it sit for about 10 minutes to dissolve the nail paint.
  • Once the waiting period is over, blot the stain with a clean, damp cloth. Use a blotting motion to lift the loosened nail polish stain. After that, rinse the stained area with cool water to remove any leftover vinegar residue and clean your oriented rug

(If the paint is too stubborn to banish, repeat the process and make sure to sprinkle a good amount of baking soda over the stained area, assuming vinegar leaves a strong odor that bothers you

Baking Soda And Ginger Ale

The combination of baking soda and ginger ale is yet an effective option to remove nail paint stains from the rug. The carbonation in ginger ale loosens the grip of the nail on the fibers, while baking soda lifts it. 

  • So what you need to do is first, blot as much spilled nail paint as possible and cover the stained area with baking soda. Pour enough ginger ale over the baking soda to create a paste, allowing it to sit for some 10-15 minutes. 
  • After waiting, use a clean, damp cloth to gently blot and scrub the area before rinsing it with clean water and a fresh cloth to remove any baking soda residue. 

Ammonia-Based Cleaner 

Similar to rubbing alcohol, ammonia is a strong solvent that can break down nail polish, making it easier to remove from the rug fibers. 

  • Therefore, apply a small amount of ammonia to a clean white cloth and blot the stain gently. Avoid rubbing, which can spread the stain. 
  • Next, use another clean cloth dampened with warm water to blot the area and remove the cleaning solution. Continue this process with fresh clothes until the stain vanishes.

Note: It’s crucial to bear in mind that ammonia can be harsh on the rug fibers and may lead to discoloration, particularly on delicate or dark-colored rugs, so always perform a patch test before directly applying it.

Dry Cleaning Solvent 

Nail polish marks are often oil-based, and dry cleaning chemicals are specially designed to effectively dissolve oil-based stains. Besides, they are generally mild on delicate fabrics and help preserve the integrity and appearance of the rug. 

  • Dampen a clean white cloth with the dry cleaning solvent. Avoid soaking the cloth; it should be damp but not dripping. Carefully dab the stain with the solvent-dampened cloth. Start from the outer edge of the stain and work your way inward to prevent the stain from spreading.
  • Continue blotting the stain with the solvent, using a fresh part of the cloth each time, making sure the paint transfers from the rug to the cloth. Finally, dampen another clean cloth with plain water (do not soak it) and blot the area to remove any residual solvent.

Non-Acetone Polish Remover 

Non-acetone polish remover is preferred because it is less harsh than acetone, reducing the risk of damage to the rug’s fibers and dyes. Moisten a white cloth with a non-acetone nail polish remover and dab the stain softly.

Keep blotting with the moistened cloth until the nail stain comes off the rug onto the fabric, use a clean section of the cloth as necessary to prevent spreading the polish on the rug.

After removing as much nail polish as possible, dampen another cloth with cold water and blot the area to remove any remaining polish remover. Once the rug is dry, use a soft-bristled brush to gently lift the rug fibers and restore their texture.

Let’s Wrap It 

Unlike typical spills, nail polish stains are uncommon but should not be overlooked. Neglecting them can lead to permanent damage to your rug. However, with easily accessible household items, you can effectively remove nail paint stains before they cause lasting damage. The key is to know the right method to apply them. 


Author Bio- 

Bhavin Kundalia is a Computer Science Engineer; Currently working at a Branding Marketing Agency as a Content Marketing Strategist. A passionate writer, blogger, and content marketer. He primarily focuses on writing blogs on digital marketing and carpet cleaning niches. He enjoys going on long bike rides in his free time.