ThatPainter is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn More
Getting anything on your carpet can fill you with worry, especially if it is new, light in color, or a bit on the fluffy side. So, what do you do when you get liquid latex paint on your carpet, or on your rug? Well, the first answer is not to panic.
Do not worry, because you can return your carpets and rugs to their original condition even if they have had a run in with liquid latex paint. You can easily salvage everything, while you may think that your carpet has had it the minute paint spills, it is not the end.
That is why we are here today, in our guide we will teach you exactly how to bring your carpet back to life after it has come face to face with liquid latex paint.
We want to tell you about the supplies you will need, the best way to remove the liquid latex paint, the proper way to dispose of any excess liquid latex paint, and even more so that you can be prepared for any situation.
So, before you worry about the carpet, frantically assessing the costs of having it replaced, or trying to figure out in what way you can artfully hide this spillage, take a look at our guide and watch as your problem becomes less dire and more of a problem that you can magic away.
Liquid Latex Paint: All you need to know
Latex paint is a water-based paint that is often used today as a replacement to older, oil based paints. This is so because latex paint dries faster, which is certainly an improvement on oil paints, it also has fewer harsh fumes, and it is also much easier to remove from surfaces, unlike the painstaking oil alternative.
Due to it being a water-based paint, it can usually be entirely removed simply by using water, so easy right? This means that a soapy solution is more than enough to draw out that pesky stain from your carpet with such utter ease.
So you can forget a bottle of wine, rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or whatever other super-harsh detergent solution that you were thinking you would need to get the stain out of the carpet.
How to safely remove liquid latex from the carpet
So, you are probably bouncing to get that stain out of your carpet as soon as you can aren’t you? Before you do anything, let’s talk about safety a little, safety is imperative, even in situations like this where you do not need to use harsh chemicals.
You see, all paints are chockablock full of toxic chemicals, and you do not want to absorb or inhale these in any excess. So you need to make sure that you limit any direct contact with the latex paint as you are cleaning it up.
You need to use proper paint handling precautions, such as wearing gloves, and probably a mask too to prevent you from inhaling any fumes, or letting that paint sit on your skin. It may seem harmless, but it is always better to be safe than sorry.
What do you need to do the job?
Before you start cleaning, make sure that you have everything you require to get the job done.
Here is a handy checklist for you;
- Dish soap.
- Cleaning cloth.
- Carpet stain remover.
- Bucket, or a spray bottle.
- Paper towels.
- Scrub brush.
Step-by-step: removing latex from carpet
Let’s get onto the step-by-step guide on how to remove latex paint from your carpet.
1. Target any remaining wet patches first
If you can catch a paint stain while it is still wet, then you are one step ahead of the game. Catching it early means that you can clean it up before it sets, saving your carpet faster and preventing you from arm-aching scrubbing.
However, if you didn’t catch it fast enough, then you can still save it. Now, you may want to take a moment before you break out the soap to slot the spot dry if possible. Get whatever paint you can up with a paper towel or cloth if you can, then go in with the cleaning solution.
Do your best to avoid scrubbing or spreading the paint about and just stick with dabbing and blotting at this point.
2. Bring in the soapy water
It’s time to bring in the big guns, and by big guns we mean, the soap and water. Grab yourself a bucket, bowl or spray bottle, whatever you have on hand that you do not mind possibly discoloring, and fill it up with warm water. The hotter you can make the water the better, just do not burn yourself in the process.
Now, add in a few drops of dish soap. Make up a slight lather and get your scrubbing brush into that water until it is saturated.
Time to scrub up. Scrub the paint stain firming with the soap, you could alternate between vertical or horizontal scrubbing, this will attack that pesky stain from all angles. Just try to stay in the stained area as much as you can to avoid from spreading it further than it already is.
Once you have completely soaked the stain with soap water, go in for a second attack with the scrub brush. By now, you should notice the stain lightening up a bit, even if it is not completely gone, you can complete this process over as many times as you want to, to get as much of it out as you can before you proceed to the next step of the cleaning process.
3. Carpet Cleaner
If your stain has not completely faded away into nothingness yet, then you can still make it disappear. Why not bring out the carpet cleaning solution and a microfiber cloth (although a paper towel will work, microfiber cloths are just easier).
Saturate the stain with the carpet cleaner, following the directions shown on the bottle. Then scrub the stain again, this time using your cloth until you notice it starting to fade. If the cloth is not working as well as you would like, why not try the scrub brush again.
If your stain is a tough one, you can let the cleaning solution dry between rounds and repeat it over as much as you need to until the carpet stain is nothing more than a memory.
If you continue to see the stain after you have completed this step, you may want to consider renting out a carpet cleaning machine to go over the carpet and pull up the remaining stain that have hunkered its way down into the carpet fibers, this will often completely remove the stain as well as any other marks you may have in the carpet.
How should I dispose of it?
Since we are talking about removing latex paint from carpets, we should also probably take a moment to discuss how to properly dispose of any leftover paint that you have, this means any old paint buckets and excess paint that you need to get rid of.
You can’t simply throw away your old paint buckets willy-nilly, especially full of wet paint, this is considered to be hazardous waste. So you need to be aware of a few things that you should do before you can dispose of your old paints.
First of all, you will need to dry out the existing paint completely, this can be easily done by opening up the paint and just letting it air out and dry naturally. This should be done far out of the reach of animals and children as not to affect their health or put them in any risks. It works the best if there is little paint left, it is not so easy to do with a large bucket of paint where you have around ¼ or even ½ left.
If you do have more paint remaining, you can dry this out yourself, cat litter and sawdust will do this for you. Put some cat litter or sawdust into the paint and let it absorb the moisture from the paint. Doing so will eventually dry it out.
Once your paint is completely dried out, you can place the paint can, minus the lid, into the trash. You need to leave the lid off because the garbage hauler needs to be able to see that the paint has fully hardened to be able to accept this and take it to the trash facility. So remember to leave it off.
A Final Word
It really is easy to remove liquid latex paint from carpet. Bigger spills will always be a challenge, but you can still take up those worst stains.
There is always a fix for these issues, so if you spill, do not go covering it up or looking at new carpets, get out the hot soapy water and scrub, scrub, scrub.