5 Ways To Get Nail Polish Out Of Clothes (Step-by-Step Guide)

If you are putting nail polish on yourself, you most likely understand the frustration of getting wet nail polish on your clothes. It will make you panic, especially if it is your favorite garment you got stained on. Therefore, you must learn how to get nail polish out of clothes

Do not worry if you got nail polish stains on your clothes, do not throw it just yet as there are many ways to salvage it. 

1. Make use of the acetone-based and dish soap to eliminate polish stains

how to get nail polish out of fabric

The most commonly used and people’s choice in removing nail polish is acetone. It is a liquid-based nail varnish remover applied on a cotton ball before scratching it onto your nails and terminating the nail polish. 

It is accessible as it is available to almost all drug stores nearby. It is not only an efficient nail polish remover onto your nails, but it is also effective in removing stains out of your clothes. 

With this method, you will need acetone, a toothbrush, a towel, at least two tablespoons of a dishwashing liquid, and a cup of hot water. If you have all of these, then follow the instructions provided: 

  • Step 1 – You directly pour out the acetone right onto the stain. Put an ample amount that is enough to drench the stained area. 
  • Step 2 – Continuously pat the stained area with a wet towel while simultaneously spilling more acetone. Through this, the nail varnish will be transmitted onto the towel. 
  • Step 3 – Pour onto the stained cloth the mixed hot water and dish soap.
  • Step 4 – You can remove the residual stain with the help of the toothbrush’s bristles. Scrub it gently back and forth until you no longer see any traces of the stain.
  • Step 5 – Once there is none and you are already happy with the outcome, apply cold water onto the stained area to cleanse it.
  • Step 6 – To finish it off, wash your stained clothes either by hand or using a washing machine.

2. Make use of a bug spray to eliminate nail varnish stains

remove nail polish from clothes

This may sound unconventional, but you should reconsider bug spray as one of your options for polish stain removal for clothes. 

You can opt to create your own if you do not have an available one at home. Ingredients for Do-It-Yourself bug spray include rubbing alcohol, essential oil, a soft-bristled toothbrush, and hot water, but it usually varies depending on your preference.

Once you are done preparing your DIY bug spray, you may follow the following steps to eliminate nail polish stains on your clothes.

  • Step 1 – Spray the bug spray onto the stained area and scrub it using the soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Step 2 –  Continue spraying while simultaneously scrubbing the stained area until it gets lighter and until you reach your desired result.
  • Step 3 – Afterward, rinse the stain with hot water and wash it in the laundry machine.

Learn how to make DIY bug spray by watching the video below

3. Make use of hair spray to remove nail polish stains

removing nailpolish from fabric

As the name implies, hair spray is often used to do hairstyles and hold the hair still. Not all people know, but it can also be considered a nail polish remover for your clothes and works well with carpets too. 

It doubles as acetone, however, hairspray alone will not completely remove the stain. It still needs the help of the dish soap ingredients.

You need to prepare hair spray, dish soap, a soft-bristled toothbrush, and hot water for this method. Once everything is ready, do these easy steps to remove the nail varnish spot on your clothes.

  • Step 1 – Sprinkle the hair spray on the tainted area, then directly pour the dishwashing soap succeeded by warm water.
  • Step 2 – Do this constantly and simultaneously while scrubbing the stain delicately until the nail polish stain loosens.
  • Step 3 –  Continue doing the steps until the polish ultimately comes off, or you may opt to use a pair of nippers or tweezers to scrape off the dried nail polish residue off the clothes. 
  • Step 4 – Lastly, rinse with hot water and throw it in the laundry machine. 

4. 3-in-1 stain remover: Make use of a dishwashing liquid, lemon juice paste, and a baking soda

how to get fingernail polish out of clothes

You can also make your DIY nail polish stain remover using dish soap, baking soda, and a lemon juice paste. When these three are combined, you will not have to worry about the nail polish stain on your clothes.

They all have their own characteristics, such as dish soap is primarily used for cleaning, baking soda being abrasive, and lemon juice paste as an organic whitener. 

When your DIY nail polish stain remover is ready, follow these easy steps:

  • Step 1 – Pour the mixture directly on the wet-stained area and gently scrub it with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Step 2 – Afterward, allow the mixture to sit for at least an hour to help it fully absorb.
  • Step 3 – Lastly, cleanse it either by hand or in the laundry machine.

Watch the video to learn more about baking soda cleaning hacks for your home

5. Make use of hydrogen peroxide to remove nail polish stains

nail polish out of clothes

Oftentimes, people use Hydrogen Peroxide as an antiseptic treatment for wounds. Not everyone is aware that it is considered to be an efficient nail polish stain remover for clothes.

This has a decolorizing feature that wipes out stains promptly. All you have to do is to pour the hydrogen peroxide directly onto the stained area and dampen it with a cloth while waiting for the stain to be transmitted onto the wet cloth.

What is nail polish?

Nail polish is a type of coating that is tagged as safe for humans and is used to beautify toenails and fingernails regardless of gender. It could be just a plain design, but some people will prefer it with art. Although, you often see women have their nails done. 

It may contain several chemicals as it has to be flexible and must resist chipping off. It is graded as safe to use by humans. 

Frequently, the majority of nail polishes comprise vast ingredients specifications. It is mainly made of nitrocellulose dissolved in a solvent, whether ethyl acetate or butyl acetate. As the solvent evaporates, the nitrocellulose composition forms a lustrous film to decorate each nail. 


The solvent evaporates once the nail polish is being applied to the nail. It is a liquid used to blend with all the other ingredients to achieve a consistent result. 

The size of the solvent will define the window time of the drying process of the polish and how thick it will be. There are different varieties of solvents, including alcohol, water, methyl acetate, acetone, butyl acetate, methanol, and a lot more. 

However, nail polish manufacturers tended to use toxic chemicals as an ingredient for nail polish during the old days. These are xylene, formalin, and toluene. Do not worry, as solvents these days do not contain these toxic chemicals. 

how to remove nail polish from fabric

Film Formers

There are a lot of film formers that can be used in almost everything, such as ethylcellulose and vinyl polymers. However, the most commonly used film former is nitrocellulose.


The film formers cling to the nails with the help of resin. Some key features of the resin ingredient added to nail polish composition are the film’s depth, hardness, and glossiness. One among many polymers that serve as a resin for nail varnish is the tosylamide-formaldehyde resin. 


Both the film formers and resins create a fragile lacquer even though they make the nail polish solid and lustrous. Therefore, to make the nail polish more flexible to avoid chippings, plasticizers are added. The most common plasticizer for nail polish composition is Camphor


Pigments are chemicals that are added to the chemistry of nail polish to provide color. Though there may be a variety of chemicals that can be used as pigments for nail polish, the most common one is iron oxide. 

how do you get nail polish out of clothes


Some people would prefer a basic plain pigmented nail polish to make it look casual, but people would prefer it shiny, shimmering, and glittery. Therefore, most nail polish that has a glitter effect contains pearlescent minerals. 

Ground mica or titanium dioxide are the minerals added. Still, some manufacturers would add tiny shreds of plastic glitters or some other additives that will produce other special effects. 


Additives are added to some nail polishes to improve their composition. Some additives include:

Stearalkonium – a thickening agent that helps in keeping all the other ingredients together and for easier application.

Benzophenone-1 – is an ultraviolet filter that prohibits discoloration from happening, especially when it is exposed to ultraviolet lights. 

How to eliminate the nail polish stains from “dry-clean” only clothes?

how to get nail polish off clothes

Removing nail polish stains on dry-clean clothes can be challenging. The best way to address the problem is to bring it to a professional cleaner. However, if you want to give it a try, you will need a dry-cleaning solvent.

1. Dab the dry-cleaning solvent onto the fabric slowly to check for a chemical reaction.

2. Use a soft-bristled brush or a dull knife, or anything with edges to remove the remaining nail polish stain.

3. Apply a dry-cleaning solvent onto the cotton swab or a paper towel and let it absorb the nail polish stain.

How to remove nail polish stain: Wet vs. Dry?

how to take nail polish off clothes

The process of removing the nail polish varies depending on if the splashed nail polish is still wet or has completely dried up.

Make use of a paper towel to soak up the nail polish. Place an ice pack on the stained area until you see the nail polish becomes brittle and ready to be scraped off.
Use nail polish remover Make use of a tweezer or soft-bristled toothbrush and use acetone to finish it off.

Make use of a paper towel to soak up the nail polish.

Place an ice pack on the stained area until you see the nail polish becomes brittle and ready to be scraped off. 

Use nail polish remover 

Make use of a tweezer or soft-bristled toothbrush and use acetone to finish it off.

Take note not to use a nail polish remover to fabrics made of acetate or any other lab-created material. It is best to leave it to the experts, which are the dry cleaners. 


It is necessary that you know how to get nail polish out of clothes. Regardless if you are the one putting on the nail polish or you are having it done at a nail salon, splashing nail polish onto your clothes is inevitable. Do not panic if this happens to you.


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