How to Get Nail Polish Out of Clothes  

If you like manicured and painted nails, then it’s possible you might smear your clothes with nail polish during one of your sessions. There are also other scenarios where you can get nail polish on your clothes, like your kid giving you a forced makeover. The bright side is that there are different methods to get nail polish out of clothes, and this article goes through them. 

10 Ways to Get Nail Polish Out of Clothes 

With the proper treatment and care, it’s easy to get nail polish out of clothes. However; there are three tips to keep in mind when treating your clothes off nail polish stains:

1: Perform a Color Test

It’s best to perform a test before applying any product to your clothes. To do this, apply a product drop to a hidden part of the cloth. Leave for some minutes and check to see if the product left a mark or discoloration. 

2: Read the Fabric Care Label

Fabric Care Label

Also, it’s essential to read the care label of your clothes before proceeding with your laundry steps. If your fabric needs warm water, then ensure you use it. If the fabric is dry clean only, ensure you follow the instructions. 

Also, synthetic fabrics that contain acetate, modacrylic, and triacetate should be left alone if stained with nail polish. This is because applying acetone to a fabric containing acetate can dissolve or bleach the garment rendering it useless. For this reason, it’s best to consult a professional dry cleaner if the garment label shows that it has any of the ingredients. 

3: Remove Excess Nail Polish

A tip for caring for your stained cloth is ensuring you don’t spread the stain to other parts of the clothes. Use a dull knife or credit card to lift excess nail polish before treating the stains. 

Now, here are 10 methods to remove nail polish from your clothes:

1: Laundry Detergent 

Of course, it’s a bad idea to wash your clothes with detergent without treating the stain. Instead, apply the detergent directly over the stain, especially if dealing with fresh stains. 

Step 1: Use a blunt object like a credit card to scrape wet polish without smearing the fabric. 

Step 2: Use a paper towel to blot the stained area and apply a laundry detergent drop. 

Step 3: Dab the stained area using a paper towel or clean rag until it starts soaking the varnish. 

Step 4: Rinse the stained area with water until the polish gets out completely. If the stain persists, consider repeating the process or try another method. 

2: Nail Polish Remover/Acetone

Natural Nail Polish Remover

Your nail polish remover or acetone is the easiest way to nail polish stains on any surface, including fabrics. There’s only one problem with the method: It may not suit all fabrics, as acetone can damage some materials.

Acetone can dissolve or bleach out some fabric that has acetate, so always check your garment label to confirm. Also, you can consider performing a spot test on your clothes before trying out the method. 

Step 1: Soak a cotton ball in acetone and blot the back of the stain to transfer to the cotton. 

Step 2: Rinse the garment and keep blotting with paper towels until it no longer has the color of the stain. 

Step 3: Consider applying more acetone and blotting the stains until there’s no trace of varnish left. 

Step 4: Launder the cloth as normal once stains disappear. 

3: Hairspray 

Hairspray isn’t just for your hair but also for stubborn stains like nail varnish. If you have a can of hairspray at home, you can use it to deal with nail polish stains on your clothes. Hairspray contains some amount of alcohol that can break down nail polish. 

Step 1: Apply hairspray over the stain and leave it until it dries completely. 

Step 2: Peel off the nail polish with your fingernail or expired credit card. Yes, it’s as simple as that! 

4: White Vinegar 

White Vinegar 

Another great option to treat nail polish stains is by using white vinegar. This household product is best for delicate fabrics that acetone may not be able to handle. 

Step 1: Spread the white vinegar over the stained area of the fabric using a cotton ball or rag and let it sit for up to 10 minutes

Step 2: You can also consider adding the vinegar to a bucket of water and then soak the whole cloth in it for up to 10 minutes. 

Step 3: With a sponge or soft toothbrush, gently scrub the nail varnish until the stains come out. 

Step 4: Soak another clean rag in vinegar and use it to blot out the stained area until you lift off all the nail polish. 

Step 5: Rinse out the clothes and proceed to wash as normal once the stains are gone. 

5: Hydrogen Peroxide

If you are dealing with white fabric, hydrogen peroxide is an excellent way to treat it. This can help bleach out and soften the varnish making them white and easier to peel. 

Step 1: Apply some drops of hydrogen peroxide over the stain and leave for some minutes. 

Step 2: Use a sponge or soft bristle toothbrush to blot the polish until the stains disappear. 

Step 3: Rinse the cloth in water or directly under the tap and then wash as normal. 

6: Toothpaste

A dollop of white toothpaste can help remove nail varnish stains on your clothes. Toothpaste contains some amount of ethyl acetate found in nail polish remover. Using toothpaste will not be as effective or fast as other removal methods, but it’s worth trying. Apply the toothpaste over the stain and use a toothbrush or sponge to scrub the area until the varnish starts coming out. 

7: Rubbing Alcohol

Alcohol is an excellent solvent that breaks down things, including nail polish ingredients. It effectively treats different stains, including paint and nail polish.

Step 1: Soak a towel in rubbing alcohol and then blot the nail polish stain. You will notice the towel as it soaks up the polish stain, so keep soaking different parts of the clothes until you pick out enough nail varnish. 

Step 2: Rinse the cloth and add some detergent or laundry soap to the stain’s surface while you rinse it off. 

Step 3: Launder your cloth once all the stains are gone. 

8: Bug Spray

Bug Spray

Bug sprays can work to remove nail polish stains, so if you don’t have acetone or alcohol, you can consider this method. 

Step 1: Spritz the bug spray over the nail polish stain and use a toothbrush to scrub the area. 

Step 2: Rinse the area with warm water and reapply the bug spray until there’s no stain left. 

Step 3: Rinse off the stained area until there’s no trace of nail varnish, and then wash as normal by hand or machine.  

9: Baking Soda + Lemon Juice + Dishwashing Liquid 

Baking soda isn’t as effective as acetone, alcohol, or vinegar for removing nail varnish stains. But when you combine it with undiluted lemon juice and dish soap, you can solve the nail varnish stains on your clothes. 

Step 1: Make a paste with all three ingredients. Mix the lemon juice with baking soda and dish soap. The amount you make will depend on the size of the stain on the cloth. 

Step 2: Apply the paste over the stained area of your garment and scrub with a soft-bristled toothbrush. 

Step 3: Leave the solution to sit on the cloth for at least an hour. 

Step 4: Rinse off the stained area and wash the fabric as normal once the stains disappear. 

10: Stain Removal Products

There are some suitable commercial products you can use to treat stains, like nail polish. If any of the methods do not work for your stain, it’s time to grab a commercial stain removal. 

Spray it over the stain and dab with a cloth until the stain starts disappearing. Wash your clothes as normal afterward. 

How to Get Nail Polish Out of Jeans

Start by placing your jeans on a hard surface and using a butter knife or credit card to scrape excess nail polish. Once you’ve done this, use the acetone or rubbing alcohol method to remove the stain. If the jean is white, consider using the hydrogen peroxide method instead. 

How to Get Dry Nail Polish Out of Clothes

Dry nail polish on clothes can be challenging compared to fresh ones. Start by getting as much dried polish out of the cloth as possible.

Next, soak cotton wool with acetone/alcohol/vinegar and blot the stains. Keep soaking cotton balls until there is no stain left. 

Why is Nail Polish Stains Hard To Remove?

You can’t get rid of nail polish stains by just using a washing machine without treating the stain first. This is because nail varnish contains a nitrocellulose polymer that stays in liquid form when dissolved inside a solvent. But once you expose the nail polish to air, the polymer hardens, and with the help of other chemical ingredients like resins, the polish will stick to the surface. 

Also, nail polish contains certain substances that don’t crack when dried. These characteristics make it hard to wash nail polish stains off clothes. 

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