How to Get Acrylic Paint off Carpet [5 East Methods]

The right carpet can have a transformative effect even on the blandest floors. You also get to keep your feet toasty – The benefits of owning a carpet keep rolling in, but so do the risks. Carpets require constant cleaning and maintenance to keep them in pristine condition. This involves sweeping, vacuuming, and occasional washing. However, one of the most challenging bits of care is getting paint out of carpet fibers.

Acrylic paint is water-soluble and hypoallergenic. This makes it the perfect medium for household renovations or touch-ups. Sure, you can wipe acrylic paint off most surfaces with water. But, its chemical structure makes it bond more effectively to fabrics and carpeted surfaces. This means may have a hard time getting acrylic paint off carpets. However, complicated doesn’t always mean impossible! 

You’ll be surprised to learn that you can do it with standard household tools and products that you use every day. Of course, you’ll also need some time, ingenuity, and an extra ounce of elbow grease wouldn’t hurt!  

We spent some time researching the most practical DIY methods of removing acrylic paint from carpets. It was exciting to see how well they work on wet and dried acrylic paint carpet stains. So, you can put the phone down if you’re about to call a professional carpet cleaning service. We have all the information you need to deal with the problem. So, buckle down and keep a pad and pen handy as we go over 5 of the most effective ways to get acrylic paint off a carpet.

how to get acrylic paint out of carpet

How Hard is it To Remove Acrylic Paint Off Carpet?

Acrylic paint offers a less harmful and fast drying alternative to oil-based paints. That’s why most people prefer using it for home renovation projects. However, you can still get this paint on your carpet despite your best intentions.

While you can easily wipe off wet acrylic paint from a surface, acrylic paint dries quickly. So it helps to act fast whenever there’s a spill. It’s more challenging once the paint dries and thickens – but not impossible!

What’s the science behind this? Water-based acrylic paints bind pigments into an emulation instead of a solution. This means that acrylic resin doesn’t dissolve entirely but remains suspended while mixed with water. The water adds to the volume of the paint. It also makes it easier to apply it with a paintbrush or a paint roller. Once the water evaporates from the surface, all that’s left is an impermeable layer of acrylic paint. This also means acrylic paint cannot dissolve in water once it dries.

But, there is hope! You need a solvent (cleaning solution) that can dissolve the acrylic resin. Even something that can reduce the paint-to-fabric bonding can work. However, some cleaning solutions don’t work for specific surfaces. But, fret not! Every DIY trick in this piece will get paint off your carpet without damaging it. Let’s see how you can get the desired results in the next section. 

Can You Get Dried Acrylic Paint Stain out of Carpet?

Before we proceed, it makes sense to understand the ground rules. This can help make removing acrylic paint from carpets a stress-free experience.

Some of these rules include:

  • Avoid rubbing the paint or cleaning solution into the carpet as this only make things worse
  • Test the cleaning solution on a small area or a different carpet swatch before settling on it
  • Acetone and glycerine are practical floor mats and other stiff types of carpets
  • Always deal with the large chunks of dried acrylic paint or stains first
  • Don’t start by cleaning the middle of a paint stain, as this only expands it
  • Focus on the stains on the edge of the carpet and work your way to the middle
  • Warm (not hot) water can help you loosen the stain
  • Rinsing a cleaned area with cold water prevents the carpet fibers from getting damaged or stretched stiff
  • Safety first – use gloves and other PPE when handling cleaning products.
  • Some cleaning products are not only toxic but harmful to your lungs, so open a door or window to let fresh air in so you don’t pass out
  • You can also use a steamer to soften the fibers and weaken the paint bonds
  • Deploy industrial strength cleaning solution only if milder methods don’t work and not as a first response

Household Items That Remove Acrylic Paint from Carpet

Today, we’ll go through how you can effectively remove acrylic paint stains from carpets with the following Items:

Cleaning Solutions

  • Liquid Dish Soap
  • White Distilled Vinegar
  • Acetone
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Warm Water
  • Glycerine        
  • Nail polish remover (as a substitute for acetone solution)


  • Spray Bottle
  • Paper Towels
  • Sponge
  • Eyedropper
  • Syringe
  • Putty Knife
  • Toothbrush
  • Old Rag or Dish Towel
  • A vacuum cleaner with a Steam attachment 

PPE (Personal Protection Equipment)

  • Latex gloves
  • Gas mask
  • Safety goggles (optional)

5 Easy Ways of Removing Acrylic Paint from Carpet Effectively

Method 1: Using Dish Soap to Remove Wet Acrylic Paint from a Carpet

Dawn Dish Soap Ultra Dishwashing Liquid, Dish Soap Refill, Original Scent, 56 Fl Oz (Pack of 2) - Packaging May Vary

Liquid dish soap offers an effective way to remove wet paint stains before they congeal into dry paint stains. Brands like Pride and Dawn can also help. They contain compounds that dissolve grease and oil. Dish soap is readily available in your home.  So, it’s the perfect cleaning solution to try before resorting to more aggressive means.

Things You’ll Need

  1. A cup or bowl of warm water
  2. 2 -3 teaspoons of dish soap
  3. A spray bottle
  4. Dry Paper towels
Step 1: Prepare the Water/Dish Soap Solution

Add one teaspoon of liquid soap to every cup of warm water. We highly recommend two teaspoons of dish soap for 2 cups of water as this is adequate even for a wide surface area. Then put this solution into a spray bottle and shake it till they mix.

 Here you’ll give wet paint stains a priority over the dry paint stain. later you can use a more effective method to remove dry acrylic paint.

Step 2: Spray the Affected Area

Start by spraying a specific spot before moving to another. It helps if you can avoid spraying unblemished areas and if you start from the edge as you work your way to the middle.

Step 3: Wet Bloating the Stained Area 

This solution needs to soak for a while. But, since time is of the essence, you can cut down on this by wet blotting the stain. You can do so by dapping it with your figures: a sponge or a piece of dry cloth. 

Step 4: Dry it

Now you can dap the cleaned area with a dry paper towel until dry. This also helps to remove paint flakes and other debris from the carpet.

NB: This method should work in 10 minutes. You can move to another method if you don’t get the desired results. It’s also worth noting that water and soap work when acrylic paint hasn’t dried for too long. So, it may be wise to consider another method if your stain is ancient.

Method 2: Using Vinegar to Remove Acrylic Paint from a Carpet

75% Pure Vinegar - Concentrated Industrial Grade 32oz

Vinegar is diluted acetic acid. Oil, grease, and even paint dissolve with more ease in such an acid compared to water. It’s also safe to use with your hands and environmentally friendly making it ideal for our following DIY cleaning procedure.

Things You’ll Need

  1. Cold and warm water
  2. White vinegar
  3. Sponge
  4. Plastic Spray bottle
  5. Dry paper towels
Step 1: Prepare the Cleaning Agent

Start by creating a 1-part vinegar and 10-part. Put it in a spray bottle and gently shake to ensure the vinegar dissolves in the water.

Step 2: Spray and Blot the Affected Area 

Spray the mixture onto the affected area as we did in “Method 1.” Then blot the stain to ensure it gets a fair dousing of the cleaning solution. Resist the temptation to rub on the area, as this can make the stain permanent.

Step 3: Keep Blotting With a Sponge

Take a sponge and dip it into some cold water. Now, blot over the area to lift the carpet’s fibers’ acrylic paint chips, pigment, and other stains.

Step 4: Rinse and Repeat

Repeat steps 2 and 3 until the stain is gone or you’re ready to try another method.

Method 3: Using Rubbing Alcohol to Remove Acrylic Paint from Carpet

Amazon Brand - Solimo 99% Isopropyl Alcohol For Technical Use,16 Fl Oz

It pays to have some rubbing alcohol around the home when you have large dried acrylic paint stains. This is because alcohol is an emulsifying agent, which turns dried-up acrylic resin from a solid into a liquid.

Result? You have a much easier time lifting acrylic paint off carpet fibers. So, your only worry remains how to remove the pigmentation caused by paint.  

Things You Need

  1. Rubbing Alcohol
  2. Warm or soapy water
  3. Toothbrush
  4. Eyedropper or syringe
  5. A plastic spray bottle
  6. Putty knife
  7. Paper towels
Step 1: Try Prying the Paint Off

 Pick up your trusty putty knife and try dislodging the dried paint off the carpet. It also helps to run a vacuum cleaner or steamer over the entire surface before you begin. This small provision helps weaken the paint-to-fabric bond.

Step 2: Perform a Preliminary Test

Chemical reactions are unpredictable and can cause damage. So, it pays to test out the effect of alcohol on a small paint stain. Measure a few drops of alcohol with your syringe or eyedropper and place it on a paint spill.

That way, the alcohol won’t seep through the base of the carpet. Give it some time and try removing it with a sponge or paper towel. Move to the next step once you’re satisfied with the results of your preliminary test.

Step 3: Soak the Paint Stains

Now it’s time to soak every paint stain within your sights. Start from the edge and move to the center of the carpet. Resist the temptation to rub alcohol into the stain, as this may ingrain the paint into your carpet and make fibers stiff.

Allow the alcohol to sit for up to 10 minutes to emulsify the acrylic paint resin. Don’t worry if the spill looks like it’s spreading. This process turns solid acrylic resin into a liquid, thus making it easy to pick off fibers.

Step 4: Give It a Light Scrubbing

Next, you can give the stain a light scrubbing with your toothbrush. Be as gentle as possible as you work from the edge of the stain to the middle. Use your toothbrush to get as much gunk out of your carpet.

Step 5: Blot with a Paper Towel

Now you can use a paper towel to remove the remaining stain. You can do so by dipping it into some alcohol and gently blotting over the area.

Then you can use a wet sponge to neutralize the chemical reaction.

Step 6: Rinse

 Once you’re satisfied with the results, you can clean the area with soapy water to remove the remaining traces of the chemical. Start by spraying the area with soapy water. And keep blotting the area with a clean sponge until dry. This effectively removes any traces of alcohol, including its pungent aroma.

Method 4: Using Acetone and Spot Cleaner to Remove Acrylic Paint from Carpet

Super Nail Pure Acetone, 4 Fl Oz

Acetone doesn’t merely emulsify dried paint but splits it into its essential chemical components. So, it requires steady hands and a patient operator. You can inadvertently remove the dye from the carpet if you’re reckless.

On the other hand, spot cleaner acts as a lubricant that straightens out carpet fibers to make them soft after exposure to such corrosive elements. That’s why you need to combine both for faster and better results. 

Things You’ll Need

  1. Acetone or nail polish remover
  2. Spot cleaner
  3. A spray bottle
  4. Warm or soapy water
  5. Eyedropper or syringe
  6. Putty knife
  7. Toothbrush
  8. Paper towels
  9. Vacuum cleaner with a Steam attachment 
Step 1: Perform a Preliminary Test

Start by gently prying as many paint chips as you can from the carpet. Then pour a little nail polish remover or acetone solution on a small affected area to test the effects.

Spray a little spot cleaner next to the stain. Let the chemicals work their magic for about 6 minutes. Next, you can run your vacuum cleaner over the mess to clean it up. Assess the effects of the chemicals.

You can dilute them with a bit of water if the reaction is too harsh. Or move to the next step if you’re satisfied with the results.

Step 2: Use Acetone or Nail Polish Remover to Lift the Paint

Drop some acetone directly into the stain. Alternatively, you can dampen a sponge with the chemical and dap it over the stain. Take a clean dry cloth and blot the stain. Switch to a clean area of the dry cloth once it becomes paint-stained.

Things will worsen before they improve, just as we noted in Method 4. So, take your time and resist the temptation to apply more elbow grease to the stain.

Using an eyedropper as a decanter may also be better than pouring the liquid directly from the bottle. This is because it may leak and seep into the padding. Lastly, wear latex gloves and a mask and work in a well-ventilated area for your safety.

Step 3: Lessen the Paint Stain with Some Spot Cleaner

Next, it’s time to work some spot cleaner deep into the paint stain. Start with a gentle spritzing of some spot carpet cleaner on the stain. Work the solution into the stain with a paintbrush. You can do so with soft, round, or side-to-side strokes. Keep scrubbing until foam forms. Let it seep in for 6 minutes. 

Step 4: A Final Steam Cleaning  

Set up your cleaner’s steam vacuum attachment per the manufacturer’s instructions. Run your vacuum cleaner over the stained area to cleanse them of any paint or debris.

Repeat steps one through four until your carpet is free of acrylic paint stains.

NB: Fabrics and dyes are highly reactive to chemical compounds. They can be damaged or removed in the cleaning process so work as gently as possible.

Acetone, nail polish remover, and spot citrus cleaner are a lethal combination. So it pays to work in a well-ventilated room to avoid asphyxiation. It may also be prudent to test this carpet cleaner on a fabric swatch or an area of your carpet concealed by furniture.

Method 5: Using Glycerine to Remove Acrylic Paint from Carpet

Vegetable Glycerin - 1 Gallon (128 oz.) - Pure USP Food and Pharmaceutical Grade - Non GMO - Vegan - Sustainable Palm Derived - Humectant, Crafts, DIY, Hypoallergenic Moisturizer, Extracts

Glycerine offers the least painful way to remove dried acrylic paint from carpet. It’s a lubricant. So, unlike other chemicals like alcohol, it creates an oily barrier between the paint and fabric fibers. This makes it easier for you to eliminate carpet fibers and you also needn’t worry about bleaching the dyes contained in the fabric.

Talk about a winning combination!

Things You’ll Need

  1. Glycerine
  2. Water
  3. Dish soap
  4. A spray bottle
  5. Putty knife
  6. Old rag or dish towel
  7. Paper towels 
Step 1: Pick at the Paint Chips

Try loosening the paint stains by picking as many paint chips off the carpet. You do so by scrubbing it with your trusty putty knife. Then you can vacuum the carpet to remove the resultant debris.

Step 2: Apply Glycerine to the Stain

Now you have a good idea of where you need to focus. Dip a rag into your glycerine and dap it over the stain until it’s soaked. This measure effectively lubricates the fibers making it easier to lift the paint off. Allow it to sit for 2 to 5 minutes, then move to the next step.

Step 3: Blot with a Paper Towel

Blot the stain with a paper towel to lift more paint off the carpet. Switch to a dry towel when it gets soaked in glycerine. Repeat this step until you’re satisfied. This may take a while, so patience is critical. Also, don’t smudge or rub the stain, as this spreads the mess and may also engrain acrylic paint resin deep into your carpet’s padding.

Step 4: Rinse the carpet

Once the worst is behind you, it’s time to remove the remaining traces of glycerine from the carpet. You can either use a spray bottle of soapy water or a steam cleaner. Some people like to skip this step, but it’s essential since latent traces of glycerine can attract dust. Eventually, this dirt congeals and becomes unsightly and more challenging to remove – So skip this step at your peril!


When dry, acrylic paint hardens into a resin and stops being soluble in water. So, the task of removing it for fabrics calls for a chemical compound like acetone that emulsifies it. You can also use a lubricant such as glycerine to lubricate it and make it easier to remove. As you can see, removing acrylic paint from carpets is possible. You don’t even need to go shopping for specialized tools or solutions –everything you need is right there, in your home!

These methods are so effective that you may start noticing the cleaned spots are brighter than the rest of your carpet. This means it’s time to burst out your cleaning tools and go over your entire carpet. Or call in a professional carpet cleaning service. 

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