Don’t Panic! How to Remove Nail Polish From Clothes and Furniture

October 07, 2021
Genesis Rivas
By: Genesis Rivas | by L'Oréal
spilled nail polish

DIY manicures are fun. They are cost-effective and allow you to try different nail polish colors on a whim without leaving the comfort of your home. Sometimes at-home manis go awry, though, like when your hand slips mid-manicure and you manage to get a streak of red nail polish on your living room couch — or worse, your favorite white T-shirt. If this happens to you, don’t panic. We did the research and found some surprisingly easy tricks that will salvage your clothing and furniture. Keep reading for three easy tips to remove nail polish from any surface. 

Use Hairspray on Fabric

To remove nail polish from gentle fabric like clothing, you’re going to need one essential item — hairspray. Hairspray, like the Matrix Total Results High Amplify Flexible Hold Hairspray, acts as a great solution to remove stains because it won’t bleach your clothes and it helps to break apart the nail polish. After your spill, you’re going to want to let the polish dry completely. Then, saturate the affected area with hairspray. Once the hairspray is dry, use a pair of tweezers to scrape away any flaky residue. Peel off any remaining polish and place your clothes in the washing machine to completely remove the stain. If you still see a mark once it’s dry, simply repeat the process until it’s gone. If your carpet needs saving, you can utilize this same technique except after you apply hairspray, you’ll want to scrub the stain with a small carpet-cleaning brush until it all comes off.  

Avoid Acetone Nail Polish Remover  

Acetone is a very strong ingredient that can bleach and damage fabric. Therefore, you’ll want to avoid it at all costs when dealing with clothing and carpets. Instead, try to use a nail polish remover made with no acetone, like the Ella+Mila Soy Polish Remover. Saturate a cotton ball and blot the stained area until it is mostly removed and then wash as usual. To ensure the remover won’t cause damage, try testing a small, unnoticeable patch on your clothing or carpet to see if it leaves any stains. 

Ella+Mila Soy Polish Remover

Try Rubbing Alcohol on Leather  

If you get nail polish on a leather couch or jacket, then the hairspray and non-acetone nail polish remover won’t be much help. In this situation, immediately after your spill, use a towel saturated in rubbing alcohol and blot the wet stain. Once you’ve absorbed the excess nail polish, mix a 2:1 ratio of white vinegar and olive oil to help lift the color. Using that concoction and a toothbrush, start to scrub the leather until the remaining nail polish is gone. When you’re all done, feel free to apply a leather conditioner to restore the material and make it good as new.

Photo: Chaunte Vaughn

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