It does not seem to matter how careful you are, your carpet just attracts stains. From ketchup to soft drinks and even shoe polish. One of the worst things about shoe polish is the colorant, which is usually some shade of carbon black. It also has gum, wax, lanolin, and naphtha in it.
The first thing to try is a dry-cleaning solvent. That usually does the trick. If not, you can try nail polish remover. And if that fails, there are other things to try like vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, prewash stain remover, and laundry detergent.
Because the shoe polish is a waxy colloidal emulsion, it can be difficult to remove. Whichever cleaning solution you decide to use on your carpet, be sure to test it on an inconspicuous spot first to make sure it will not damage or discolor the carpet. Most of these solutions are not as harmful as the shoe polish but some carpets can be delicate.
How to Get Shoe Polish Out of Carpet with Dry-Cleaning Solvent
- First, you will need to scrape up as much shoe polish off the carpet as you can. Use a dull knife, paint scraper, or even a credit card.
- Put on protective clothing (long sleeves and pants), eye protection, a mask, and gloves. A dry-cleaning solvent is not good to breathe and it can cause irritation to your skin, eyes, and lungs.
- Take a clean cloth and place it on the spot. Apply gentle pressure to get as much moisture as you can out of the carpet. Be careful not to rub it or it will get set in even more.
- Apply a few drops of dry-cleaning solvent to a different clean washcloth and dab it on the spot. Continue doing this, using more solvent and washcloths as needed.
- If the stain is still there, mix two cups of water with one tablespoon of mild dish soap in a spray bottle. Spray the spot and let it sit for two minutes.
- Use another clean cloth to remove the rest of the shoe polish.
- Apply cold water to the spot to remove the solvent and dish soap and then blot it until it is almost dry.
- Once it is completely dry, you can vacuum as normal.
How to Get Shoe Polish Out of Carpet with Nail Polish Remover
- Remove as much of the shoe polish as you can with a scraper or dull knife.
- Be sure to put on a mask and gloves. Nail polish is not good for your lungs and can irritate your skin.
- Using a clean towel or washcloth, press gently on the spot to get the excess moisture out. Do not rub or scrub it.
- Pour enough nail polish remover on the spot to cover the area and let it sit for several minutes.
- Blot the area with a clean napkin or paper towel. Continue to do this until the polish is gone using as many napkins or paper towels as needed.
- Use a solution of one tablespoon dish soap and one cup of water to remove the nail polish remover.
- Blot with a clean towel and then wait for it to dry before vacuuming.
How to Get Shoe Polish Out of Carpet with Vinegar
- Use a spoon or a dull knife to remove as much as the shoe polish as you can.
- Put on gloves to protect your hands. Vinegar can irritate your skin.
- Pour a capful of vinegar on the spot. Let it sit for one minute.
- Using a clean paper towel, put pressure on the spot for about 30 seconds. Lift the towel and see if any of the shoe polish came off on to the carpet. If so, move to a different spot on the towel and put pressure on the spot again.
- Continue repeating steps 3 and 4 until the spot is gone.
- Use a clean dry paper towel or dishcloth to soak up the excess moisture and wait for it to dry before vacuuming it.
How to Get Shoe Polish Out of Carpet with Hydrogen Peroxide
- First, you should use a knife or spoon to get up as much shoe polish as you can.
- Wear gloves to protect your hands because peroxide is irritating to your skin.
- Pour a capful of peroxide onto the spot and let it soak in for five minutes.
- Using a clean dishcloth or paper towel, apply pressure to the area. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until the stain is gone.
- Spray cold water on the spot to dilute the peroxide and blot it gently.
- Vacuum the carpet after the spot dries completely.
How to Get Shoe Polish Out of Carpet with Rubbing Alcohol
- Try to get as much of the shoe polish off the carpet as you can with a knife, spoon, or credit card.
- Put on some gloves and a mask to protect you from the fumes and the irritation from the alcohol.
- Using a sponge soaked in alcohol press gently on the spot for 30 seconds. Then press a paper towel on the spot to soak up the polish.
- Repeat step 3 until the spot is gone.
- If the stain is not coming off, add a few drops of dish soap to the sponge and press on the spot.
- Rinse the spot with clean water and a sponge.
- Use a dry cloth to blot up the excess moisture and wait until it dries before vacuuming.
How to Get Shoe Polish Out of Carpet with Prewash Stain Remover and Laundry Detergent
- Remove as much of the shoe polish as you can with a spoon or knife.
- Put on gloves and a mask. Laundry detergent can be harsh on your skin and lungs.
- Follow the instructions on the prewash stain remover.
- After it soaks for the required time, rinse it out and add a bit of liquid laundry detergent.
- Use a white cloth to apply pressure for one minute. Continue to repeat steps 4 and 5 until the stain is gone.
- Blot with a wet sponge to remove the detergent and vacuum once it is dry.
How to Get Shoe Polish Out of Carpet with Paint Thinner
- Get as much shoe polish off of the carpet as you can with a dull knife, paint scraper, or a spoon. You can even use a credit card.
- Paint thinner is volatile and toxic to breathe so open the windows and turn on some fans.
- Put on protective clothing, goggles, gloves, and a mask.
- Sprinkle a few drops of paint thinner onto a clean cloth and press down on the spot for about 30 seconds.
- Look at the cloth to see if the shoe polish is coming off. If so, repeat step 4 until it is gone.
- Rinse the spot with a clean wet towel to remove the excess paint thinner.
- Blot dry and wait about an hour for it to be completely dry before you vacuum the spot.
Should I just cut out the spot and patch it?
Patching a spot on your carpet is not difficult and it does not cost much at all. In fact, if you have carpet adhesive or carpet tape at home, it may not cost you a penny. Just follow these steps.
- Use a cup or bowl (depending on the size of the stain) to cover the area. Press firmly so the cup or bowl will leave an indention in the carpet.
- Following the indentions on the carpet, carefully cut the spot but be careful not to cut the carpet padding underneath.
- Use the spot you cut to make a patch by cutting out a piece in a closet or other inconspicuous area.
- Put carpet adhesive or tape in the spot and apply the patch.
- Cover the patch with something heavy for several hours to make sure it adheres well.
How much does it cost to get a professional to clean it for me?
You can get a professional carpet cleaning for under $50 in most cases. However, if the stain is large or has set in, it may be a bit more. But they will probably go ahead and clean the rest of the carpet for you too.