If you notice shoe polish on the carpet, you don't have to cover it with another rug, or buy another carpet. Shoe polish is made from wax, which means it can harden easily on a carpet. The secret is to treat the spot immediately before it sets in the carpet. It is possible to remove dried or fresh polish from your carpet by following these tips.
Prepare to Remove the Shoe Polish
To remove shoe polish, gather:
- latex gloves
- white cloths
- white paper towels
- vacuum with hose attachment
- dull spoon or knife
- container or bucket
- mild non-bleaching liquid dish soap
- dry cleaning kit
Check your carpet label to determine safe cleaning methods. If you have a natural fiber carpet, consider professional carpet cleaning services.
Gently scrape dried polish remnants from the carpet using the knife or spoon, working from top to the bottom. Clean the knife or spoon after each scrape, so you won't spread polish. Discard scraped remnants in a plastic bag, and vacuum the carpet.
Apply Dish Soap or Vinegar
Mix one cup of warm water with one-fourth cup of dish soap in a bucket or container. Test for color reaction on a hidden spot on the carpet. Only use white cloths and paper towels, since colored cloths or paper towels may transfer dyes.
Dampen a cloth or paper towels in the mixture, and blot moving from the middle to the outer edges, but don't rub the stain. Rubbing the stain will push it further into the fibers. Let the mixture stand several minutes, then blot it again with a fresh cloth, folding it to a clean half as needed.
Dampen a fresh cloth in cold water, and blot the area to rinse. Spread paper towels over the area, and set a heavy object over them to help the carpet dry, then vacuum. Alternately mix equal parts of warm water and vinegar, and apply in the same manner.
Dampen a cloth in a generous amount of acetone, or nail polish remover, and gently blot the area. Dab a cotton ball in the liquid from the dry cleaning kit, and blot the stain. Don't pour dry cleaning liquid straight on the carpet, since it could destroy the carpet backing.
Combine two cups of water and eight teaspoons of liquid soap, then blot. Rinse and dry the spot, and vacuum. If the stain still remains, mix a tablespoon of ammonia in one cup of warm water, but keep the room ventilated.