How to remove nail polish from clothes? The complete guide

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Colored nail polish is the perfect way to style your hands and express your creativity with designs and embellishments that represent each person’s personality.

However, if you decide to do a manicure at home, you run the risk of dirtying your clothes and staining your jeans, t-shirts or even your furniture.

So, in this article, we are going to show you how to quickly and easily remove nail polish stains from fabrics with the products you have at home; if you follow our handy tips, you can remove nail polish stains without damaging fabrics.

How to remove nail polish from clothes?

It’s happened to everyone sooner or later: you paint your nails and suddenly a huge drop of nail polish falls on your jeans or your favorite blouse.

The first thing to do is not to panic. Trying to remove the nail polish by rubbing with a piece of paper will only spread the stain, making it worse. Instead, if it’s still fresh, take an absorbent wipe and try to remove the excess by patting gently, without applying too much pressure or rubbing.

On the other hand, if the varnish is already dry, try to remove the excess with a small spatula or a blunt knife. Try not to pull on the threads of your clothes to avoid damaging them.

Later, you can apply one of the solutions we provide. However, before I show you how to remove nail polish remover from fabrics, it’s important to keep the following in mind:

  • Be patient: depending on the size of the stain and the quality of the glaze, it may be necessary to repeat the application several times to remove the stains.
  • Try it before you start: not all fabrics react to chemicals in the same way. Thus, to avoid damaging your clothes, jeans or blouses, we recommend that you test the solution on a hidden area and observe its effect. If you see the fabric is discolored or distorted, try another method.

Acetone, the basic solution

How do we remove nail polish from fabrics if we don’t use the product we use to remove it from the nails themselves? Indeed, acetone is a very powerful product used to remove acrylic paint stains.

However, more concentrated options can damage delicate fabrics, so trial before use is essential. In particular, make sure the cloth is free of acetate or triacetate, chemicals that are affected by nail polish remover, whether or not it contains acetone.

In this sense, if you are wondering how to remove nail polish from clothes using acetone, just follow these steps:

  1. Move to a ventilated area to prevent odors from affecting your airways.
  2. Place the stained part of the dress on paper towels or a napkin that you don’t mind staining. If necessary, turn the garment inside out.
  3. Dip a cotton ball in acetone or nail polish remover.
  4. Pass the ball through the back of the fabric.
  5. Rinse the garment and place it on clean paper towel.
  6. Repeat the process until the stain is removed.
  7. Wash the fabric as you normally would, applying your usual stain remover to where the nail polish has fallen off.

This procedure is effective for removing nail polish from most fabrics, including cotton, jeans, and other denims.

Ether for wool or silk fabrics

Each fabric has its own needs, whether it’s a shirt, sweater or jeans. And especially woolen or silk garments are very delicate, so you need to take extra care not to damage them when spot cleaning.

In this case, it is better to use ether, a chemical widely used as a solvent. The procedure is quite similar:

  1. Place a rag on the back of the garment with the stain side up.
  2. Dip a cotton ball in the ether and rub it gently in the nail polish.
  3. If it is not completely eliminated, apply an alcohol wipe at 90°.
  4. Soak the garment in lukewarm water with mild soap and a little ammonia.

REMARK: Remember that ammonia can also damage tissue, so don’t exceed one tablespoon per liter of water.

Insect repellent, an unknown solution

It sounds strange, but the components of insect repellents will help you figure out how to remove nail polish from fabrics.

You can use any product you have around the house, but we recommend using skin sprays. This reduces the risk of an allergic reaction. In addition, their smell is more delicate and easier to eliminate.

To remove stains with this product, there are four steps to follow:

  1. Apply the spray directly to the stain.
  2. Let stand for three minutes.
  3. Scrub your clothes with a toothbrush.
  4. Rinse with lukewarm water.

Alternative methods

At this point, you already know how to remove nail polish stains from fabrics with the most common methods. However, the number of tricks to perform at home is almost endless, so here are some other options you could try.

These solutions are the best alternative if you have already tried to remove nail polish from fabrics but did not get good results or if the chemicals are not suitable for the fabrics you need to remove stains from.

Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is another great option for removing enamel. However, it can also have a lightening or whitening effect that causes irreversible blemishes.

For this reason, it is recommended to use this alternative only on light-colored clothing and, likewise, to test it on an inconspicuous area.

If you have already decided to try this option, simply put hydrogen peroxide on the stain and rub with a towel. Repeat this until the nail polish is removed, then wash the fabric.

Dry solvent

It never hurts to take extra care with delicate clothes. In these cases, acetone and hydrogen peroxide can be too abrasive, so you can try using a dry solvent.

Here we show you an option that improves fabric care. Just follow these instructions:

  1. Prepare the solution: mix eight parts dry solvent with one part coconut oil. You can also use mineral oil.
  2. Application: put a little preparation directly on the stain and leave to act for a few minutes. Then press gently with a cloth to absorb the varnish.
  3. Delete the solution: repeat this process until the stain is removed and allow to dry. Finally, wash your garment.

If you don’t have a dry solvent on hand, you can try talc. In this case, apply it to the stain and let it act overnight. The next morning, scrub the enamel with a toothbrush in circular motions. The last step is to wash the garment.

Lemon and white vinegar

Lemon and white vinegar are two ingredients that we all probably have in our kitchens that can help us get rid of that annoying nail polish stain.

Want to know how to remove nail polish from clothes the natural way? Well, the procedure is as simple as in the previous cases:

  1. Mix the two ingredients.
  2. Apply a small amount to the stain and leave for 30 minutes.
  3. Proceed with washing.

Other solutions to try

If you have already tried all the solutions to remove nail polish stains from fabrics without success, as explained in the previous topics, there is still hope. Here are three other alternatives you can try:

  • Ice: if the frosting is still fresh, put ice on the stain to harden it. Then remove the pieces of nail polish with tweezers.
  • Ammonia and soda: mix the two components and apply the solution to the nail polish using a cotton swab.
  • Detergent and soda: as in the previous case, mix the ingredients and apply them to the stain. Let it sit for five to eight minutes, then wash the garment.

Key points to take care of your clothes

We hope our tips on how to remove nail polish from fabrics were helpful. Before saying goodbye, we would like to remind you of some methods to avoid damaging your clothes:

  • When painting your nails, lay a towel on the table or on your clothes to avoid staining them.
  • If it is a high-value garment, it is advisable to go directly to a professional to help you remove the stain. Although effective, these methods may have unintended consequences for certain tissues.
  • The sooner you act, the better. A stain that is several days old is more difficult to remove than a fresh stain.

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