I dropped a brush while painting my office. We have brand new carpet and of course, I dropped the paint brush in a spot where there was no drop cloth >:(

I thought since it's latex based paint I could let it dry and then peel it off but it doesn't seem that I can do that.

I was thinking about a solvent but I don't know what I can use and if it will affect the carpet fibers. I read that certain solvents will eat away the latex backing on the carpet causing the fibers to release from the mesh. I read that there is a product called "Goof off 2" that isn't a solvent that will harm the carpet. But I have no idea.

What I can use to remove the paint?

The carpet is brand new. I'm not sure what kind of fibers they are.

  • 5
    A potted plant in the right spot can do wonders.
    – DA01
    Oct 9, 2012 at 16:20

9 Answers 9


Depending on when this happened you might be able to just use water, or soap and water. Before it cures, latex paint is water soluble (so the absolute best time to clean it up is before it dries at all). I've had good luck using a couple of sponges and warm water - one to apply fresh clean water to the paint, and the other to blot up dissolved paint/water. You can continue this until the spot is gone.

If the paint is cured (i.e. the water isn't breaking it down) then there is a cleaner called "Oops!" that works well on paint, ink, tar etc on carpets. I would try some of that as I've heard it works wonders. It should be available at your local hardware store.

  • It's already dried for a week or more. Like I said, I thought I could peel it off. Pretty much on the same thought process as you, I'll have to go find a cleaner/solvent. Oct 9, 2012 at 17:09
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    Make sure you try the cleaning solution on some carpet that you can't see, e.g. in a closet or under a bookshelf. I don't know "Oops!", but some strong solvents will take the color out of the carpet. You may still decide it's worth it, but at least you'll know what you're dealing with.
    – Hank
    Oct 9, 2012 at 18:44
  • Got some goof off. It works and doesn't hurt the carpet. However, it removes most of it but still leaves some discoloration. I'll have to use alcohol and/or warm water and soap or possibly steam cleaner. Oct 11, 2012 at 21:34

I used some goof off to get paint off a cushion. After applying, and sitting a few minutes, the paint peeled off. Try to scrape it vs dissove it and wipe it off. I used a plastic putty knife. You could check the store for other products.


If the above methods leave any residual paint, I have found rubbing alcohol will often work as a solvent for well dried latex paint. The first time I tried it was in desperation. A wool jacket of my husband's had well dried latex paint that neither of us had been able to remove. For some reason I tried rubbing alcohol. It worked. I have since removed a number of latex paint splashes with alcohol. But one time, it did not seem to work. No idea why.

  • 1
    I tried rubbing alcohol (only 50% I'll try 91% later) on my clothes but it kind of smeared the paint. It dissolved it, but I was left with discolored cloth. I think I could use a dry cloth to soak it up though, that might work. Oct 9, 2012 at 20:32

Alcohol and paint removers can discolor your carpet so I'd try gentler things first.

If it's water-based latex paint then your best bet is simply a scrub brush and a bucket of soapy water. Get the painted areas of carpet nice and wet, let it soak for a few minutes, then scrub away. Should get it off no problem.

In the future don't let paint dry before you try and clean it, it's an order of magnitude harder to remove when it dries!


I was able to remove from my white carpeting a drop of bright blue latex paint that had dried for over 48 hours using a solvent called Goof Off. I soaked the spot as suggested earlier, then rubbed it in with a stiff brush, which seemed to smear the stain (but hey, it was loosening the paint!) at first. Then I followed up with my steam cleaner using the hand attachment with the detergent and water rinse. I repeated this cycle until the paint drop was no longer visible (about five times).


I have found that many times the paint sits up on the nap of the carpet. Simply snipping of the paint leaves the rug like new!


As soon as the spill occurs, generously pour water over the spill and use a shop vac to clean it all up. When I do this within a few minutes of spilling, the paint hasn't dried at all and it completely comes up with the first vacuuming.

After 10–15 minutes, the edges have dried, but are still soft. Water + vacuum gets most of it, but some scrubbing is needed to get the drier parts loose. Then soaking water and vacuuming usually gets 97+% of it. The rest wears away after a few months, though I have concentrated vacuuming there more.


Use dry towels and put vinegar on them and then use soap and water to clean it up


Try white vinegar. Then use hot water and dishwashing soap to remove the vinegar smell.

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