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My name is Anima and I'm an emerging artist living in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. My blog is on tips for artists, artist reviews and interviews, art business and marketing, art collecting, how to decorate with art, oil pastel painting tips, giclee print information, finding creativity and inspiration, my travels, works in progress, new paintings, personal revelations, and everything in between.

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You Got Oil Pastel Paint on Your Carpet! What Do You Do?

image by Makiyo

You may already have read about how, to my complete and utter dismay, oil pastel paint was tracked all over my cream colored carpets. Now, here’s what my husband and I did to get it out, along with a few lessons learned about what not to do next time.

Pick and Cut it Out

The strategy of picking and cutting the oil pastel out of the carpet may seem barbaric and ill advised on first glance. However, I’ve implement it successfully on a few different occasions.

Start by using tweezers to pick as much of the oil pastel off of the carpet as possible. This works because oil pastels are a solid combination of pigment, oil and wax. Then carefully separate out the stained fibres from the clean fibres and cut the oil pastel out.

I like this technique because it’s effective, fast and doesn’t cause a lot of wear and tear on the carpet. But if the stain is large, do not attempt or you’ll end up with a patch in your carpet and a migraine in your head.

Dawn Dishwashing Soap

The next strategy was to pour undiluted Dawn dishwashing soap on the stains and dab at them. The idea came from a Google search on cleaning oil pastel stains from carpet. Eventually, the stains are gone, but with circles of blue liquid soap in their place. Obviously, though, a blue polka dotted carpet is not the objective here.

I have to say, I wasn’t too happy with this technique. The lather from the soap took forever to come out, and I’d really like to emphasize forever. Only after using both a rug doctor and a wet vacuum were the blue dots and the lather finally indiscernible. And I’m still worried there’s some left in the carpet.

What To do Next Time

I’d like to think we’ll never get oil pastel paint on the carpet again, but who am I kidding? So when this happens again, I’m going to do the following:

  1. Use tweezers to pick the excess oil pastel out of the affected carpet fibres.

  2. Put odourless solvent on two cotton swabs and gently press each affected fibre between the swabs.

  3. Repeat step 2 using Mona Lisa pink brush cleaner instead of the odourless solvent.

  4. Add a tiny bit of water for rinsing and dab the spot until dry.

Hopefully, neither you nor I will have to test out this method any time soon, but if and when I do, I’ll let you know how it went. Hopefully it’s in the far far distant future. In the meantime, here are some more ideas for getting out your oil pastel stains and remember to share your experience in the comment box below:


Posted by Anima on April 7, 2008   3 Comments Links to this post


At July 7, 2008 9:59 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


i like the idea
sadly i have an issue - i painted some shoes with oil paint, and that, once dried, rubbed off onto the carpet

so picking isnt an option - it's just stained.

what do you think i can do?

At July 7, 2008 11:01 AM , Blogger Anima said...

I've never personally tried to clean an oil paint stain, only oil pastel. You might want to consider a solvent like turpentine. Try it first on a small section of your carpet in case it doesn't work out. Plus make sure you've got really good ventilation.

Maybe the following links will help you out:

Let me know how it works out and I wish you the best in getting rid of that stain!

At December 26, 2008 12:03 PM , Anonymous Kate B London said...

Hi, My daughter earlier today made a palm sized blue pastel stain on our NEW! carpet.. was contemplating using washing up liquid but had that heart sinking feeling of a washed out bigger stain :) However googled it and your advice to pick and cut out felt good!!! AND it worked !!!!!!!!!!!! so, thanks a million hundred times over for posting your remedy of pastel on carpet


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