How to Get Acrylic Paint out of Carpets: Useful Cleaning Hacks

Painting is a very fulfilling pursuit since it allows you to express yourself and flex your muscles of creativity. However, with all the paint and other art materials, it can also be effortless to make a mess while painting.

This can be especially challenging when it comes in contact with your plush new rug.

Hence, we will teach you great cleaning hacks on how to get acrylic paint out of carpets.

How to Get Acrylic Paint out of Carpets

Before we move on, we just want to say that we have tried and tested these methods ourselves, but their efficiency relies on one main factor: the state of the acrylic paint on your carpet.

The more moisture it has, and recent the deed was done, the easier it will be to remove, while the drier it is and older the stain is, the more difficult it will be to remove.

Don’t worry, though; with perseverance, we believe that no stain is permanent.

With that said, let’s get started in beating those stains!

Using Rubbing Alcohol

The first technique that we will share with you has got to be our favorite for a couple of reasons.

First, most of us already have rubbing alcohol at home, so there’s no need to buy any fancy cleaning solution.

Second, it works even with dried acrylic paint, which, as we mentioned above, can be very tricky to remove.

Another good thing is that alcohol is quick to dry.

What to Do

To succeed in removing carpet stains using alcohol, here are the steps you need to follow:

1. Remove Any Dried Bits

While dried paint can be difficult to remove, what’s good about it is that if the stains are big enough, you can simply brush some of them off.

Make sure, though, that you use a soft brush to prevent damaging the carpet.

You can vacuum these bits after or lift them off with a clean cloth; in fact, if you’re feeling particularly diligent that day, you can even lift them off with tweezers.

2. Soak the Spot With Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol

The next thing that you need to do is to soften up the paint.

You can do so with a clean cloth dipped in isopropyl alcohol.

We like the cloth to be completely wet with alcohol since it will make the cloth heavier and more effective in seeping into the fibers of your carpet.

Here’s a pro tip: The more concentrated your isopropyl alcohol solution is, the more effective it will be against acrylic paint stains.

You can identify your alcohol’s concentration by the percentage label on your rubbing alcohol packaging.

3. Blot the Stain Off

With another cloth, carefully blot the stain off, and continue doing so until you completely wiped off the stain.

It shouldn’t be too hard since the paint will be wet now and softened up by the alcohol.

We understand, though, that there are simply stains that are too stubborn to budge even with high-concentrate alcohol.

That’s why we’ll also share with you other cleaning hacks that we’ve learned along the way.

How Do You Get Dried Acrylic Paint out of Carpet?

The main problem really is reintroducing moisture to dried acrylic paint. That, or melting it.

That’s why the next technique that we will share with you is how to melt acrylic paint.

There are two ways:

Using Warm Water

Sometimes, warm water is more than enough to melt acrylic paint.

This technique can work with stubborn paint tubes, as well.

However, if you are using this technique for paint that you want to reuse, then you can start with a few drops first to avoid thinning out your paint too much.

Utilizing a Flow Improver

Also known as flow aid, a flow improver is a solution specifically formulated to soften up dried paint.

This is NOT the same as medium. Flow aid and flow improver will instantly thin and increase transparency in paint, so don’t use it as a pouring medium. Here’s a couple brands you could try:

You can apply it directly to the problem area or mix it with warm water.

Just make sure that it won’t ruin the fibers of your carpet, depending on the type of carpet you own and the ingredients of your chosen flow improver.

Does Nail Polish Remover Ruin Carpet?

Here’s a solution that we’ve stumbled upon from our other artist friends.

Apparently, nail polish remover or acetone also works well in removing acrylic paint.

We have personally found it effective in removing paint from other surfaces.

The problem with using it on your carpet, though, is that it works like bleach. It can strip the color off of the dyed fibers of your carpet.

If you’re not careful, you might cause a discoloration that will never go away.

Hence, we recommend trying a non-acetone nail polish remover solution instead.

Or, if you’re confident that your carpet is not dyed, and your rug is not that expensive, then go ahead and try this solution at your own risk.

how to get acrylic paint out of carpet

What Home Remedy Will Remove Paint From Carpet?

We know what you’re thinking.

Is there any other solution or a home remedy that you can whip up with natural ingredients that will work just as efficiently as chemical cleaners out there?

Yes, there is, and here are the steps you should follow:

1. Prepare the Stain

One of the secrets on how to get acrylic paint out of carpets is preparing the stain first.

What to Do

As we discussed above, you should soften it up first.

In this technique, we’re going to do that with warm water and a mild liquid detergent.

The formula is that for every cup of warm water, you will need to mix it with a teaspoon of your chosen detergent.

Then, do any or both of the following:

  • Spray

We recommend putting it in a spray bottle for more convenience, and then you can simply spritz it to your problem area as needed.

  • Dab

Aside from spraying it directly, you can also spray it to a clean cloth and dab this cloth to the spot.

  • Brush

You can also use a toothbrush that is, by the way, our preferred method since it activates the cleaning capacity of the detergent and stirs up some bubbles.

We find it very satisfying.

2. Lift the Solution

Now that your cleaning solution is activated and you see it do its magic already, you can now start lifting it off your carpet by blotting it off with a dry paper towel.

You might notice that there’s still a hint of stain left, but don’t worry; we’re not done yet.

3. Mix Your Second Cleaning Solution Using Vinegar and Water

Before you do this, though, we recommend testing how your carpet reacts with your chosen vinegar by putting a few drops of it on an inconspicuous area of your rug.

Wait for a few minutes and wipe off the vinegar.

Did it change color? If it didn’t, then you’re good to go.

Let’s now prepare the second solution by mixing ten parts of warm water with every part of vinegar.

You can also put this in an empty spray bottle.

4. Gently Dab or Scrub the Stain Off

You can use a clean cloth or your soft brush again to do this.

5. Dry off the Area

You can do so with a paper towel or a clean, dry sponge. If needed, you can rinse off the area with cold water to finish and let your carpet dry.

So, how is the stain looking now? If you’ve followed all the tips we shared with you so far, then it’s probably gone by now.

For really terrible stains, though, we still have one last hack to share with you!

Steam Vacuuming

Doing any of the methods shared above and combining it with steam vacuuming will make them twice more effective.

This is not a requirement, though; only a suggestion if you already have one at home.

In fact, you can also combine most of our cleaning hacks. For instance, you can soften the stain with rubbing alcohol first before cleaning it up with a vinegar solution.

How to Avoid Staining Your Carpet with Paint

Now that we are done sharing our cleaning hacks, you probably understand by now how hard it is to get stains off.

They are not impossible to remove, true, but they can surely be a pain.

Hence, the best way to remove them is to prevent them from happening in the first place.

That’s why we will also share with you some tips on how to do that:

1. Paint in a Room With Easy-to-Clean Flooring

Tiles and linoleum are generally easier to clean when it comes to painting spills.

You can even use strong cleaning solutions without any worries of ruining them.

2. Paint Where You Won’t Worry Making a Mess

The next obvious solution is to paint outdoors.

You won’t worry about making a mess, plus the open air is great when you’re working with paint other than acrylics.

Oil, for instance, requires the use of strong solvents that can be toxic when exposed to it in a prolonged period.

You can also dedicate a room as your art studio, preferably a place where you won’t need to worry about clean floors.

In fact, there’s something satisfying with a Pollock-inspired floor.

It shows how long you’ve been working on your creative pursuits. There’s history. There are memories.

3. Use a Smaller Rug

If you find the fuzzy feeling of a carpet relevant to your creative process, try using a smaller rug dedicated to your feet.

Not only are they cheaper and easy to replace, but they’re also easier to throw into a washing machine if needed.

4. If You Really Have No Choice, Lay Down a Tarpaulin

Other artists suggest laying down sheets of newspaper, but heavy spills will seep into them and penetrate through the surface that you were protecting beneath it.

That’s why we recommend using a tarpaulin or a big sheet of plastic instead.

5. Avoid Distractions

It doesn’t matter how careful you are. With curious kids and pets, it’s sure that there’ll be a big spill sooner or later.

As such, paint in a quiet, calm, and distraction-free environment. In this way, you’ll be able to minimize spills and other accidents from happening.

Also, don’t leave your work station unattended.

That is, if you don’t want your three-year-old to check how much creativity they got from you by adding their clouds to your painting.

Getting your carpet stained is one thing, but a cloud with a smiley face on your masterpiece is another.

Believe us. We know.


That’s it! By keeping the tips we shared with you in mind, we’re sure you won’t have any issues removing paint stains from your carpets later on.

To sum up our guide, once again, here are our tips on how to get acrylic paint out of carpet:

  • Use Rubbing Alcohol

High-concentrate isopropyl alcohol works best on acrylic paint stains on fiber.

Allow it to soak for half an hour before wiping off.

  • Warm Water Can Melt Your Acrylic Paint

Increase the temperature if needed, but don’t add more than a few drops if you’re using this technique to awaken dried up paint from your paint shelf.

This will avoid thinning out the colors and ruining your paint altogether.

  • Use a Flow Improver

Another method of melting acrylic paint is by using a flow improver.

You can mix it with warm water if you need it diluted.

  • Nail Polish Remover Can Also Remove Acrylic Paint

However, acetone can ruin the dye of your carpet, so be sure to test it out in an unnoticeable corner of your rug before using it.

Better yet, use acetone-free nail polish remover instead.

  • You Can Use a Solution of Vinegar and Warm Water

This is our go-to home remedy for cleaning up acrylic stains, especially if the paint is still wet.

  • Protect Your Carpet

Finally, prevent the stain from happening by not painting near a priceless rug, or by laying down a sheet of tarpaulin to protect it from paint drips and spills.

Thank you so much for reading our article all the way through.

Stay creative!

1 thought on “How to Get Acrylic Paint out of Carpets: Useful Cleaning Hacks”

  1. I have found mixing powder oxyclean and warm water takes paint out . My daughter spilled a huge bottle of red tempera paint on my beige carpet. Not sure why but the color “disappeared “! The entire 1 foot stain was gone in seconds. The paint was still wet, not sure if that makes a difference.

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