How To Remove Nail Polish From Carpet with WD-40 (Easy Guide)

Almost everyone has a can of WD-40 tucked away in a cupboard and it has so many uses. But did you know that WD-40 can also remove nail polish from your carpet? What a win! In this article, we’ll show you just how to remove those pesky stains.

Woman removing red polish from her fingernails.

What Is WD-40?

WD-40 is a mixture of lubricants and the name is an abbreviation of “water displacement” and is the 40th formula.

Its main purpose is to:

  • Prevents rust
  • Provide lubrication
  • Displace water

It’s most often used as a lubricant, but it can also be used to prevent metal from rusting or corroding. 

Although it is not designed as a cleaning agent, it can sometimes be used for this purpose as well. 

Certain WD-40 products, such as WD-40 Specialist, can be used to clean electronics for example. 

However, the Multi-Use WD-40 will work best for our purpose which is to remove nail polish from carpet.

Does WD-40 Remove Nail Polish?

A person wearing pink gloves is removing stains from carpet. A white bottle is seen next to the hand.

Yes, WD-40 can remove nail polish and the good news is that it doesn’t have to be a hard surface for WD-40 to work. The lubricant can help remove nail polish from a variety of surfaces.

Overall, nail polish can be very tough to remove and simple water and scrubbing won’t do much more than spreading the stain around. 

This is where WD-40 and its multi-use abilities come in as it is great at removing hard-to-clean stains. 

Wet or dry, with a little bit of effort and WD-40 you can get rid of any polish-related accident.

Does The Type Of Nail Polish Matter?

In general, there is not much difference when cleaning different nail polish types. 

Gel nail polishes will be a little more stubborn than traditional polishes. Despite this, the cleaning process will be quite similar. 

The only major difference will be that you will need to repeat the process more. 

Can WD-40 Remove Nail Polish Out Of Carpet?

WD-40 can remove wet nail polish from the carpet. Here’s how:

  1. Grab a can of WD-40 and a cleaning rag.
  2. Spray the stain with a generous amount of WD-40.
  3. Let it rest for 20 to 30 seconds.
  4. Blot the stain with the cleaning rag. 
  5. Continue spraying and blotting until clean.

It is important to blot the stain instead of scrubbing. Scrubbing will spread the stain around, making your work harder. 

If the stain is rather large you may need to grab another rag so that you aren’t trying to clean with a dirty rag.

Can WD-40 Remove Dried Nail Polish From Carpet?

WD-40 will remove dried nail polish from your carpet. That said, it will be a little more stubborn. You will likely need to use more of the lubricant and let it sit for a bit longer. Aside from those minor changes, the process will be the same as above.

Alternatively, you can simply repeat the cleaning steps several more times instead of letting the WD-40 sit on the carpet longer.

Will WD-40 Damage My Carpet?

women's feel with yellow painted toenails and a white flower between her feet.

Naturally, there is some concern about using a product typically used for maintenance purposes on carpets. It wouldn’t make much sense to clean a stain with something that will just leave another. 

In most cases, you will not need to worry about WD-40 damaging your carpet.

It is usually safe for carpets, especially off-white and other light colors. That said, it is difficult to account for every carpet material and color.

This is why it is always a good idea to do a patch test. Since WD-40 will still work on dried nail polish you won’t lose the window to remove the stain by taking the time to test. 

To do a patch test you just need to find a corner of the carpet that you can test without it being immediately apparent. 

Spray a little WD-40 and let it sit for a bit before using a towel to dab it up. If you have an old carpet similar to the carpet or sample patches they would be ideal for testing.

Where Can I Buy WD-40?

Hardware stores will be the most likely place to find WD-40. In addition to hardware stores, you may find it in some convenience stations, drug stores, tool shops, and department stores.

You can also find WD-40 online at Amazon and other major retailers.

3 Alternative Ways To Remove Nail Polish From Carpet

If you don’t have WD-40 at hand, there are a few other ways to get nail polish out of your carpet. 

These other solutions include using Windex, rubbing alcohol, baking soda, and ginger ale.

1. Remove Nail Polish With Windex

This method may take some extra effort but will work given time.

  1. Spray a generous amount of Windex on the stain.
  2. Let sit for a minute or two.
  3. Scrub the Windex-soaked stain with a toothbrush or similar brush.
  4. Blot the stain with a rag.
  5. Repeat the above steps as needed.

2. Remove Nail Polish With Rubbing Alcohol

This solution is great for removing dried and wet nail polish.

  1. Soak the stained area with a high percentage rubbing alcohol.
  2. Scrub the stain with a toothbrush.
  3. Use a sponge to blot the stain.
  4. Repeat as needed.

3. Remove Nail Polish with Baking Soda and Ginger Ale

This solution may sound a bit odd but still works very well.

  1. Sprinkle enough baking soda on the stain to cover it completely.
  2. Pour the ginger ale on the baking soda covering the stain.
  3. Let the ginger ale-soaked baking soda sit for 15 minutes.
  4. Scrub the stain with a toothbrush.
  5. Soak a rag in cold soapy water.
  6. Scrub the stain with the soapy rag.
  7. Rinse the stained area with a clean rag.
  8. Repeat as needed.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What can you clean with WD-40?

There are a surprising number of cleaning applications for WD-40 in addition to nail polish. You can also use it to clean crayon marks on the wall, glue on the carpet, stickers from metal, and ink from jeans to name a few.

Can a professional carpet cleaner remove nail polish?

If you don’t want to clean nail polish from your carpet yourself, professional cleaning companies can do it for you. They will use methods they know work well. Some may even be the ones listed above. However, not all professional cleaners will offer this service. Be sure to check.

Will WD-40 remove nail polish from hardwood floors?

WD-40 will also remove nail polish stains from hardwood floors. To do this, simply spray a rag with WD-40 and scrub the nail polish with the rag in a circular motion. When you’re done just clean the floor as normal.