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housekeeping trick…learned the hard way

No Friday Funnies today. In their place a “Not At All Funny!”

About this time last year, I bought a housewarming gift for Marissa and Jeff, a beautiful 8×10 Persian-Style Rug from Pottery Barn for their new place.

If I recall correctly, we bought it the first week of June 2013, it was on back-order, so it arrived the last week of June.

franklin rug

Nearly a full year goes by and they are enjoying the rug, all is well. Until the evening of May 4, 2014 (my wedding anniversary, by the way) when I receive a text from Marissa at 9 PM,

“I spilled nail polish on the rug & I don’t know what to do!”

Not yet realizing the rug she was speaking of was The Rug, I reply,

“Reminds me of when I had to replace the carpet in your bedroom with wood floors – I honestly don’t know – you should probably look it up on the internet.”

At this point, I’m really thinking, WTH? This is the 4th time that my otherwise intelligent daughter has spilled (or dropped a full bottle) of nail polish in her short life! When is she going to learn?!? Oh, and Happy Anniversary!

I should mention here that Marissa did call us to wish us a Happy Anniversary, earlier that day and that she had sent a beautiful card. She also went to great lengths to try not to text me about this crisis on my special day, by texting others first, but since they aren’t her mom…they, of course, were no help!

Then she responds, “I did. It said the rug is ruined. 

At that very second, it dawns on me…and I reply, “Exactly where in the house did you do this?”

I get the reply I most dreaded, “The living room. The nice rug.”

“Seriously??? Start blotting it with paper towels. Do Not Rub! Blot!!!”

“I did that.”

“Keep Blotting Until Nothing shows up on the paper towels, then send me a photo. Plus you better lift up the rug and make sure it isn’t seeping through to the wood floors.”

Then I get the next text, with a photo. “Not seeping through. Didn’t want to tell you, but it’s on the leather couch too. I might also need help with that.”

nail polish

If you have kids, of any age, you know what I was thinking and feeling.

“I’m gonna wring her neck!”

“She drives me to drink!”

and basically, just…


I call her and we agree that she will leave it alone and I will try to take care of it when I visit over Mother’s Day weekend, a short 5 days from then. In other words, Mom To The Rescue. (We agree that the couch is a non-issue because it’s a piece of cr@p that they bought on Craig’s List. It’s not really even leather, more like pleather, so I’m not wasting my time and energy on it.)

We research more and find several sites that suggest using aerosol hairspray or rubbing alcohol to lift out the polish, without lifting out or fading the dyes in the rug. She buys both.

13 to 15

After the full day of Amazing Race San Francisco, the proposal, and dinner with the engaged couple, I give them my hotel suite and I sleep at their place. That evening I get to it and do my best to get the nail polish out without lifting out the dyes on the rug.

tools of the trade

Turns out the thing that worked best was the rubbing alcohol. I tried using a rag, paper towels, cotton balls, and cotton facial cleaning pads. The cotton balls worked pretty well, but the cotton facial cleaning pads worked best.

polish mostly out

I would saturate the pad with the alcohol and then blot and rub the stain until the pad was pink with color and then do it again and again and again with clean pads.

before and after

It came up, with a lot of elbow grease and patience. It’s not quite perfect. I told the kids to do it again after it dried and to keep at it until it was all up. But the before and after photos show a big improvement.

barely noticed

In conclusion, my tip when it comes to nail polish is to put down rags and towels when using it, so you don’t end up with this problem in the first place! But if that fails, or if someone you love doesn’t learn from their repeated mistakes – rubbing alcohol and cotton pads should do the trick.

Still love you, Sweet Pea! If you need money for a mani/pedi, just ask, and in the meantime, please throw out your polish! xoxo

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1 Tram Mai { 05.23.14 at 8:00 AM }

You are SO hilarious!!!! I will remember this if and when my daughter does the same!! 😉

2 Marissa { 05.23.14 at 8:51 AM }

To my credit… I hadn’t spilled nail polish in like 5 years.

3 Peggy { 05.23.14 at 10:13 AM }

Laughing my A** off reading this post Linda! Thanks for the tip!

4 Linda Hopkins { 05.23.14 at 10:27 AM }

Five years? Wow, that’s like a world record or something. Oh no, wait, I’ve lived for 50+ years and I’ve NEVER spilled nail polish! Winning!

5 Pat { 05.24.14 at 10:50 AM }

What a Mom!! Is there anything you can’t do or at least give it your all?

6 Sheila { 05.25.14 at 9:10 PM }

You are a fabulous chef BUT…. I really think you missed your calling ; writing! Glad it all ended well cuz it was hilarious reading! 😀

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