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How to Remove Nail Polish on Fabric?

How to Remove Nail Polish on Fabric

Nail polish looks beautiful on your nails, but they do not look good if they spill over onto your garments or carpets. So, people can get frantic when facing such a situation. They try various ways to scrape the polish, but it is impossible. They might end up damaging their fabrics. So, is there any way to remove nail polish from your clothes? Yes. There are specific ways to do it. This article discusses tips for removing stubborn nail polish from your garments.

Much Depends on the Fabric Type

How to Remove Nail Polish on Fabric?

Nail polish leaves a stubborn residue that makes it challenging to remove from fabrics. Much depends on the fabric material. If the nail polish spills onto acetate or triacetate fabrics, we recommend seeking professional help to remove the stains. No home cleaning procedure can help with such materials. Similarly, the method for removing nail polish from rugs, carpets, sofa cushions, and mattresses is different. We shall have a separate article on that subject.

So, let us discuss how to remove nail polish residue from your daily use clothes.

The Tools You Need

Once you have checked the fabric type and are ready to remove the nail polish residue, you will require the following materials and tools handy.

  • A vacuum cleaner to suck out as much polish residue and dust as possible
  • A blunt knife or an old unused credit card
  • You can use an eyedropper, but it is optional.
  • Absorbent paper or cloth towels
  • Cotton swabs to scrape off residue
  • Alcohol
  • Fingernail polish remover containing acetone

Ways to Removing Nail Polish Stains from Clothes

Procedure for removing nail polish stains from clothes

Ways to Removing Nail Polish Stains from Clothes

Removing nail polish from your clothes requires patience. Besides, it depends on the fabric type. So, we recommend following these simple steps.

Testing the fabric before proceeding further

All fabrics are not compatible with acetone-based nail polish remover. The fabric color could change because of the chemical reaction with acetone. So, ideally, you must test the fabric. We suggest dabbing a cotton bud in acetone-based nail polish remover and applying it to a hidden seam on the fabric. If the color changes, you must discard this method. Otherwise, you can proceed further.

Scrape off excess nail polish

Rubbing or tying to wipe the nail polish stains can push them deep into your fabrics, making them more challenging to remove. So, reduce the affected area by gently scraping away the polish layer. Nail polish dries quickly. So, using a blunt knife or a credit card can gently scrape off the top layer. Please do not apply excessive force, or you might risk damaging the fabric entirely.

Dab acetone on the stain

We suggest placing absorbent paper towels under the stain before dabbing it with an acetone-based nail polish removal solution. Using cotton swabs or a cotton earbud to dab acetone on the color is better. Work from the stain edges towards the center to prevent it from spreading throughout the garment. Use a clean, absorbent towel to remove the stain as it loosens up. You might have to use multiple paper towels until the full color is absorbed. Continue with the procedure until you remove the whole stain from the garment.

Use alcohol or a dry-cleaning solvent to remove the traces

Generally, the stains disappear if you treat them with acetone-based nail polish remover. However, if some traces remain, you can try rubbing the garment with alcohol. But we advise cleaning the clothes with water to remove acetone. You can then dab alcohol using a cotton swab to remove the nail polish traces.

Launder the clothes

On removing the nail polish stains, we advise laundering the clothes immediately to remove the traces of alcohol or cleaning solution.

Remove stains from Dry Clean Only garments

Remove stains from Dry Clean Only garments

Usually, we do not advise removing nail polish stains from Dry Clean Only clothes because it is challenging. The best option is to seek professional help. However, we will discuss the removal procedure if you wish to do so at home. The process requires rubbing alcohol over the stains.

The procedure for removing nail polish stains from ‘dry clean only’ garments is similar to other garments but with a significant difference. The initial stages are the same.

  • Instead of acetone-based nail polish remover, we suggest dabbing the stains with alcohol. You might have to use multiple cotton swabs as the polish color transfers to the cotton buds. Once you have removed the stains, we suggest allowing the alcohol to evaporate.
  • Send the clothes for dry cleaning to the laundry.

Removing lighter stains of nail polish from clothes

Removing lighter stains of nail polish from clothes

Though acetone-based nail polish remover is the best solution, you can remove superficial stains using soap and water.

Start removing as much nail polish as possible using a blunt knife. A credit card is also a good choice. You can also use cardboard to remove the top layers. The idea is to remove as much stains as possible before using soap and water.

Use a good-quality soap or detergent to treat the nail polish residue. An oil-based soap is the best solution. We suggest starting from the edges and moving towards the center to prevent the stains from spreading deep into the fabric.

Rinse the clothes properly by washing them with water. You can use a small stream of warm water directly from the tap onto the stained area to remove the traces entirely.

Additional Tips for Removing Nail Polish Stains

Generally, we use acetone-based nail polish removal solutions and alcohol for removing nail polish stains from garments. However, hand sanitizers, spray deodorants, and perfumes can also do the job equally well. We suggest adding vinegar to the washing machine cycle while washing your clothes. It can help remove the acetone or alcohol odor from the clothes and make them smell fresh. Deeper stains require professional help.

Wrap it Up

Nail polish can spill over to your clothes accidentally and damage them. The polish penetrates the fabrics and becomes hard to remove after it becomes dry. We have discussed three simple methods to remove nail polish from your clothes. Though you can remove nail polish stains from your clothes at home, it is better to seek professional help to protect your expensive garments from damage if they get stained with gel polish.