How To Remove Fingerpaint from Carpet

If you have a budding Leonardo da Vinci, but they’ve been budding where there is carpet, and some of their fingerpaint is now on the floor, don’t panic. A piece of priceless artwork is well worth the little work it will take to clean up the mess.

First, use white paper towels to blot up the excess. Do not rub. Depending on whether you suspect a strong dye or not, you can add an extra ingredient to your removal tools. Remember that they are water-based paints, and if there was a guarantee of staining, they’d never be made for children.

If you wish, you can start out with dry cleaning fluid, available at your local hardware store. However, in most cases it won’t be needed, and you’re just as well off to wait and see if there is any residual staining and treat it afterwards. So it’s either the fluid, or a mixture of 1/2 liquid dish detergent (without lanolin or additives) and 1/2 water. Use a clean white cloth soaked in this solution, and blot it into the stain. Alternatively, you can put the solution in a spray bottle, and apply generously.

Blot with a white cloth, continuously folding the cloth over with each blot, to ensure you don’t deposit it back on the stain. Do not rub. If you choose to use a toothbrush to loosen the pigment, brush in towards the center, and never outwards.

Use a spray bottle of plain warm water and soak the spot, blotting as above. Repeat the soap/blot and water/blot once more. Replace cloth with fresh one as needed. If there is still a bit of coloring left, but it is being removed, repeat the soap and water blots a third time.

If, at the end of this, you still have color, you can try a hand or regular carpet cleaner to deep clean the rest of the color out, or a formula such as Goo Gone or Goof Off.

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