How to clean oil paint, water based paint and latex paint out of carpet

Domestic dirt

Oh, paint on the carpet? We’ve all been there. Whether you were feeling inspired to paint a masterpiece, or just accidentally knocked over a can during a room makeover, the result is the same: panic mode! Don’t worry, my friend. This is your quick guide on how to remove oil paint, water-based paint, and latex paint from carpets. By the time you’re done here, you’ll be armed with not one, but TWO methods to tackle those stubborn stains.

Attention! Do not use aggressive solvents (acetone, white spirit, etc.). Their use may result in discoloration of the pile or even literal melting of the fibers.

What You Will Need:

  1. Glycerine: This is a magical substance when it comes to removing oil paint.
  2. Vinegar: Your trusty kitchen companion is more powerful than you think.
  3. A cloth or sponge: For blotting and scrubbing.
  4. Lukewarm water: To rinse the affected area.
  5. Dish soap: Helps in breaking down the paint particles.
  6. A soft brush or an old toothbrush: To scrub away the paint.
  7. Paper towels or clean rags: For drying purposes.

Method 1: Using Glycerine

  1. For Oil Paint: Begin by blotting up as much of the paint as possible using a cloth. Then, apply a few drops of glycerine directly onto the stain, letting it sit for a few minutes. Gently scrub the area with a soft brush or old toothbrush, then rinse with lukewarm water. Blot dry.
  2. For Water-Based & Latex Paint: The process is similar. First, blot up any excess paint. Apply glycerine, wait, then scrub. However, for stubborn spots, a mixture of dish soap and water can be applied after the glycerine treatment. This helps break down the paint particles further. Rinse and dry as usual.

Method 2: Using Vinegar

  1. For Oil Paint: Blot the paint first, then dampen the stained area with a mixture of one-part vinegar to two parts water. Gently scrub, rinse with water, and then blot dry.
  2. For Water-Based & Latex Paint: Directly apply white vinegar onto the stain and let it sit for 15 minutes. The vinegar will loosen the paint’s hold on the fibers. Gently scrub using a brush, rinse with water, and then dry.

Commercially Suitable Cleaning Products:

  1. Shaw R2X Carpet Stain & Soil Remover: Works wonders for tough paint stains.
  2. Folex Instant Carpet Spot Remover: Effective and safe for colorfast carpets.
  3. Tech Stain Remover: Non-toxic and boasts a versatile formula for various stains.


Whether you choose glycerine or vinegar, both methods are tried-and-true when it comes to saving your carpet from paint disasters. Remember, the faster you act, the easier it will be to remove the stain.

A silk or viscose carpet cannot be cleaned from dye at home – only dry cleaning. Cotton is hard to clean – it often leaves marks, while wool in about half of cases can be cleaned well from all types of dyes with improvised means. Most synthetics are easy to clean because the pigment does not penetrate as deeply into the synthetic fibers – these carpets are the least likely to need dry cleaning.

If the exact composition of the product is unknown or there is no confidence that you will be able to remove the stain yourself – this is a good reason to contact specialists.

Frequently Asked Questions
Is it safe to use glycerine on all carpet types?
While glycerine is generally safe for most carpet types, it's always a good idea to do a spot test in an inconspicuous area first.
Can I use apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar?
White vinegar is recommended because it doesn't leave a residue or stain. If using apple cider vinegar, make sure to rinse thoroughly.
How long should I let the vinegar sit on the stain?
For water-based and latex paints, let the vinegar sit for about 15 minutes.
Are there commercial cleaners specifically for paint on carpets?
Yes, many commercial cleaners target paint stains. Always read the label to ensure it's suitable for your specific carpet and paint type.
What if the stain doesn't come out completely after the first try?
It's okay! Some stubborn stains might require a couple of treatments. Just be patient and persistent.
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