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How to Get Paint Out of Carpet?

How to Get Paint Out of Carpet? 3 Things to Know for Rapid Cleaning

Rugs are undoubtedly one of the items in a home that get the most wear and tear. People walk over them regularly and occasionally even redecorate them with spills. However, while many of these stains are easy to remove, others, such as paint, may require a bit more work and elbow grease. But don’t panic just yet! Such accidents happen frequently, and people already know how to deal with such messes. It is not impossible to remove a paint stain from a carpet, and you can accomplish it with simple household items. Here, you will find all the steps you need to take to get paint out of a carpet and make it look new again. After you read this article, you might even consider opening a carpet cleaning business.

Things to know before you begin

Before you start cleaning up a paint spill from your carpet, there are some things you should do and know. First, you must determine what type of paint is making a mess on your carpet. That is essential information since you will need different items for different spills. Acrylic, oil-based, water-based, and latex are the four types of paint you might have in your house. Next, you will need to remove the excess paint from the carpet, especially if it’s a fresh spill. Use a spoon to gather the excess or a dry towel to bolt gently. Under no circumstances should you ever scrub! If you do so, the paint will travel deeper into the fibers and become harder to remove.

If the paint stain is dry, use a dull knife to scrape off the excess from the fibers. Do this gently so that you don’t damage the carpet, then use a vacuum to clean off the paint flakes. After you finish this step, it’s time to deal with the remaining paint. Here are the steps for cleaning a carpet, depending on the type of paint.

Paint in different colors dripping down a wall.
The first step to getting a paint stain out of your carpet is to know which type of paint it is.


Get an oil-based paint stain out of your carpet

Again, you must first follow the two steps from the beginning, then gather all the items you will use for cleaning. You will need hot water, dishwashing detergent, a towel or cloth, paint solvent, a steam cleaner, pins or paper clips, and a vacuum. Also, because you will be using a paint solvent such as turpentine, you should equip yourself with gloves and a face mask.

First, apply some paint thinner to the stain using a dry towel or cloth. You can use turpentine, acetone, or white spirit to dampen the stain. Then dab the dented area to ensure the solution goes through the fibers. After applying the paint thinner to the whole area of the spill:

  • Blot it with dry cloths repeatedly until it is gone. If there are big chunks of paint, try to remove them using a paper clip or pin to break them.
  • Continue by preparing the water-detergent solution and applying it to the spot using a towel.
  • Use dry towels to remove the excess moisture, and finish by vacuuming the carpet to remove any debris.

If you are renovating the house because you are moving away and that is how you damaged the carpet, now you will have it clean and ready for the move. This is an excellent thing to do before packing carpets for relocation. You can now place them in cleaned moving boxes and secure them for transport. That way, you won’t have to clean the carpets again when you arrive at your new home.

Person vacuuming a carpet.
The cleaning process ends with a thorough vacuuming for each type of paint.

Get a water-based or latex paint spill out of your carpet

If you are dealing with a water-based paint stain, follow the two steps mentioned above. Then, get some hot water, dishwasher detergent, a dull knife, white cloth or towel, a wet vacuum cleaner, or a carpet steamer. Begin the cleaning process by making a 1:1 water-detergent solution in which you soak the towel or cloth. You can even use eco-carpet cleaning products such as organic shampoos or vinegar. With the towel soaked in the solution, bolt the stain without rubbing it. Start from the exterior and work your way to the center of the spot, but be careful not to create excess moisture. The paint can travel further through the carpet fibers if it’s moist enough. After you cover the whole stain with the water solution, let it sit for around fifteen minutes.

After the time passes, take a dull knife and scrape off the excess and now softened paint. Pull the knife gently from down to up, taking care not to harm the strands. If you have a stubborn stain, use the carpet steamer to heat the spot and scrape right after you steamed. If that doesn’t help, you can use an alcohol-based solution like rubbing alcohol and blot with a clean and dry towel. However, if you use alcohol on the carpet, first test it in a small hidden area to see if it reacts OK to it. After cleaning the stain, vacuum the carpet using a wet vacuum to pick up any residue.

Get acrylic paint out of your carpet

As in prior situations, you must first remove any excess paint from the carpet. Then, you can begin working on what is left by gathering the necessary items. You will need rags or towels, a soft brush, pliers, detergent, a solution containing acetone, a carpet cleaner, and a vacuum cleaner. And because you will work with acetone, you will again need gloves and a face mask.

If the spill is fresh, remove the excess with towels or rags. If dry, break the chunks with pliers and scrub using the brush to remove the surplus. To loosen up the paint, damp it with a water and detergent solution by patting and blotting as many times as needed. Next, you need to dissolve the paint using an acetone-based solution. It can be nail polish, an acetone-based dissolving agent, or isopropyl alcohol. Blot the spill with a towel dampened in acetone until the spot breaks down. Then use the water-detergent solution again and clean it until there is no more spillage. Clean the carpet with a carpet cleaner, let the carpet air dry, and finish by vacuuming.

These tips for cleaning an acrylic paint stain from the carpet can be handy if you have kids. Most of the paints kids use are acrylic, so you probably have them on your carpets, walls, furniture, and all over the house. However, now that you know the basics of cleaning such stains, if you have to move out of your old home and into a new one, you can leave it spotless. Moreover, don’t forget to clean the house from top to bottom and focus on the kitchen and bathroom. Because those two rooms are the most important in a home, they will be the first checked out by potential buyers or landlords.

Child painting while sitting on the floor.
If your children love playing on the carpets, you will have to clean them more often, especially if they contain deeper stains.

Final words

As you can see, getting a paint stain out of your carpet is not as complicated as you might have thought. Cleaning a carpet, like cleaning leather furniture, has tricks that can help you work ten times faster and more efficiently. So bookmark this article, and if you ever splatter paint on your carpets, you’ll have all the information you need to clean them.

Metadata Description: You will find many helpful tips in this article if you ever need to know how to get a paint stain out of a carpet.

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