If you’ve ever spilled shoe polish on your carpet, you know that the black stain can be tough to get out. Shoe polish can easily drip down your leg when putting on or taking off shoes and socks, or if the cap on the bottle isn’t properly closed. However, with a little time and effort, and as long as you act quickly, it’s easy to clean the mess once you know how to do it correctly.
Steps to Clean Shoe Polish From Carpet
Step 1: Use Paper Towels or an Absorbent Cloth
Grab a couple of paper towels or absorbent cloths, lay them on top of each other, and blot up as much of the excess ink as possible. Repeat with more paper towels until you’ve gotten most of it up.
If you’re able to clean away all of the excess shoe polish before proceeding to step 2, you may save yourself some time and effort. Once it looks like you’ve blotted up all there is to be blotted, turn your attention to the next step.
Step 2: Pour Cold Water on the Stain
Once you’ve lifted as much excess polish as possible, set a large bucket filled with cold water. Soak your carpet and allow it to sit for a few minutes. The water will act as a solvent, breaking down old polish residue in your carpet fibers and making them easier to clean.
Step 3: Apply stain remover on the Stain
You can find many products online that can help you remove shoe polish from your carpet. While most of these commercial products are great at dissolving spilled polish, they will require some elbow grease.
Luckily, there are a few things you can try before resorting to chemicals. The combination of baking soda and white vinegar has been touted as a miracle stain remover. Make sure you use baking soda, not baking powder.
For best results, apply an even layer of baking soda before sprinkling vinegar on top. Let it sit for at least one hour before blotting with a cloth dampened with hot water.
Step 4: Repeat Steps 2-4 Until Stain is Gone
If you’re really lucky, you’ll be able to blot up all of your spilled shoe polish with an absorbent cloth in just one pass. If that’s not possible, grab some more wipes and go for it again.
Repeat until all evidence of stain is gone. You might have to repeat several times before you see any results—this isn’t a race anyway!
What Will Dissolve Shoe Polish?
First, baking soda and white vinegar are renowned stain removers not just for shoe polish but also may other stubborn stains. A mixture of ammonia and washing liquid is also said to be good for breaking down stubborn stains.
If you have access to these ingredients, it’s worth trying them on a small spot in an inconspicuous area first. But if you don’t notice any color change after letting it sit for 15 minutes or so, go ahead and apply it liberally over the rest of your carpet.
As with other stains, shoe polish stains on the carpet can be intimidating at first, especially if you don’t know how to handle them. With the right approach as explained above, you should be able to get your carpet stain-free in a while.