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Carpet in any home comes with its own set of risks and rewards, but nearly no risk is as great as the threat of staining. And among stains, paint is one of the worst offenders. Today’s 4-1-1 is going to walk you through how to get acrylic paint out of carpet.
Acrylic paint is commonplace for hobby painters and kids alike, but it’s no play thing. A paint stain can ruin your carpet in a matter of minutes if you don’t know the proper technique or have the right tools to clean it.
Don’t be caught off guard if the time comes and you suddenly need to clean acrylic paint from carpet. You can follow the steps below to quickly clean acrylic paint and restore your carpet.
What is the state of the paint?
If you’re caught the spill while it’s still wet, you’re in luck. Wet paint is much easier to clean than dried paint, but even dried paint can be removed.
How to Remove Wet Acrylic Paint from Carpet
To clean up wet paint, you’ll need the following materials:
- Paper towels
- Warm water
- Mild liquid soap
- Spray bottle
Method #1: Mild Soap + Warm Water
Time needed: 10 minutes.
How to remove acrylic paint (that’s still wet) from carpet
- Dry Blot the Stain
Blot the stain with dry paper towels to clean up any excess wet paint sitting on top of the carpet.
- Spray the Stain
Using a plastic spray bottle, mix 1 teaspoon of mild liquid soap for every cup of warm water. Shake to combine and spray directly on the stain.
- Wet Blot the Stain
You can also dip a paper towel directly into the soapy solution and blot the stain to help clean it.
- Blot with Dry Paper Towels
Blot with a dry paper towel until the stain is removed.
Still not clean?
If the soapy water solution doesn’t effectively clean the stain, you can also try a vinegar solution.
Method #2: White Vinegar + Cold Water
For this method, here’s what you’ll need.
- Distilled white vinegar
- Warm water
- Cold water
- Spray bottle
Follow these basic steps:
- Using the same spray bottle approach, combine 1 part distilled white vinegar for every 10 parts of warm water. Shake to mix.
- Spray directly onto the stain and blot with a paper towel or sponge.
- Afterwards, use a sponge with cold water to blot the stain.
- Continue using these methods alternatively until the stain has been lifted.
Need an extra boost?
For extra difficult stains, consider renting a carpet cleaner or a steaming vacuum attachment.
The warm water from the steamer or cleaning action from the carpet cleaner can help to apply some elbow grease for even difficult spots.
How to Get Rid of Dry Acrylic Paint Off Carpet
Cleaning dried paint from carpet is a little more challenging than cleaning wet paint, but it’s not impossible. You will need something that packs a little more of a punch than warm soapy water. You may need to go shopping for this.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Method #3: Rubbing Alcohol
- Use the putty knife and needle-nose pliers to remove dried pieces of paint from the carpet. Slowly work at the stain to flake away as much paint as you can. While dried paint isn’t impossible to remove, it helps to make the problem smaller by flaking away as much paint as you can, before activating the remaining paint.
- Soak a dry cloth in rubbing alcohol until it is fully saturated. Blot the stain as needed and let soak for 15-20 minutes.
- After the time has elapsed, use a dry cloth to blot the area and help soak up the rubbing alcohol.
Stain still remains?
No problem, let’s keep going.
Method #4: Glycerin
- Moisten another cloth with liquid glycerin and blot the stain. This solution can remain on the paint stain for a matter of minutes or a couple of hours.
Last ditch attempt? Let’s go.
Method #5: Acetone
- If the stain is still there, try blotting the area with acetone and let it sit for a few minutes.
Tips for How to Get Acrylic Paint Out of Carpet
Using the methods above, any stain by acrylic paint should eventually lift up, with a little elbow grease. Here are a coupe expert tips to help make your efforts a success.
Blot, don’t scrub.
Blotting helps to lift the stain, scrubbing can force the paint into the carpet fibers and make it harder to clean.
Work your way from the outside.
Start blotting on the outside edge of the spill to help contain it and prevent yourself from spreading the spill to a larger area.
Use warm water.
Warm water, versus cold, helps to dissolve the acrylic paint and loosen it from the carpet fibers. Cold water helps to set it.
Vacuum steam it.
Use a streamer attachment for a vacuum (see our vacuum reviews here) to help loosen the stain as you work.
Ventilate the area.
As you’re working through cleaning the paint stain, you may be trying a number of different solutions. Be sure to ventilate the area and take regular breaks as needed. Give time for the fumes to dissipate between each method before trying a new solution.
The Quick Version: How to Remove Paint from Carpet
Following these tips above, you should be armed with all of the information you need to know how to get acrylic paint out of carpet. As a recap, here are the main methods listed again below.
Method 1: Warm water and mild soap
Mix 1 teaspoon mild soap + 1 cup warm water. Blot until clean.
Method 2: Warm water and distilled white vinegar
Mix 1 part distilled white vinegar with 10 parts warm water. Blot the stain. Alternate between blotting with vinegar mixture and with cool water. Alternate blotting until clean.
Method 3: Rubbing alcohol
Use concentrated isopropyl alcohol (aka: rubbing alcohol) to saturate the stain. Let soak for 15-20 minutes. Blot until clean.
Method 4: Glycerin
Use concentrated glycerin to saturate the stain. Let soak for 30 minutes up to a couple hours (as needed). Blot until clean.
Method 5: Acetone
Use concentrated acetone to saturate the stain. Let soak for 15-20 minutes. Blot until clean.
Note: Acetone has a very strong smell. Be sure to ventilate the area and use caution when using acetone in confined spaces.