How to remove nail polish stains

Nail polish stains on clothes and fabric can be quite stubborn and challenging to remove. Whether you’ve accidentally spilled nail polish or had a mishap during a manicure, it’s essential to act quickly to prevent the stain from setting in. In this article, we will discuss various effective methods and tips to remove nail polish stains, ensuring your clothes and fabrics stay clean and pristine.

remove nail polish stains

Nail polish stains can be frustrating, but with the right techniques and cleaning solutions, you can successfully remove them without causing any damage to the fabric. Let’s explore some effective methods to tackle nail polish stains.

Rubbing Alcohol Method

Rubbing alcohol is an excellent solution for removing nail polish stains. Follow these steps:

  1. Pour some rubbing alcohol onto a cotton ball.
  2. Blot the stained area gently using the alcohol-soaked cotton ball.
  3. If rubbing alcohol is unavailable, hairspray can be used as an alternative.
  4. Continue blotting the stain using fresh cotton balls until all the polish is removed.

Oily Soap Method

Using oily soap can help lift and eliminate nail polish stains. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Soak a cotton swab with oily soap.
  2. Work the soap-soaked cotton swab onto the stain, starting from the outside edge and moving toward the center.
  3. Replace the cotton swab as needed and continue until the stain is fully removed.

Acetone or Alcohol Method

Acetone or alcohol is effective in dissolving fingernail polish stains. Follow these steps carefully:

  1. Apply a small amount of acetone or alcohol onto a clean cloth.
  2. Gently blot the stained area with the cloth.
  3. Work carefully and be patient to ensure you remove as much of the stain as possible.
  4. This method can be used on various fabrics, including clothes and upholstery.

Nail Polish Remover or Rubbing Alcohol Method

If you don’t have acetone or alcohol, nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol can be used as alternatives. Follow these steps:

  1. Dip a microfiber cloth into nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol.
  2. Gently blot the spill until the nail polish has been absorbed.
  3. Use a clean cloth to blot the area with water.
  4. Allow the fabric to air dry naturally.

Liquid Dish Soap Method

Liquid dish soap is a readily available and effective solution for removing nail polish stains. Here’s what you should do:

  1. Mix one tablespoon of liquid dish soap with two cups of cool water.
  2. Blot the stain with the soap solution using a clean cloth.
  3. Continue blotting until the stain is completely removed.
  4. Rinse the fabric with water and allow it to air dry.

Baking Soda, Olive Oil, and Lemon Juice Method

This natural remedy can effectively remove nail polish stains. Follow these steps:

  1. In a bowl, mix two parts baking soda, one part olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon juice.
  2. Use a toothbrush to apply the mixture to the stained area.
  3. Gently scrub the stain in circular motions.
  4. Rinse the fabric with warm water and repeat the process if necessary.

Precautions and Tips

When dealing with nail polish stains, keep the following precautions and tips in mind:

  • Test any cleaning solution on an inconspicuous area of the fabric first to ensure it doesn’t cause any damage.
  • Act quickly to prevent the stain from setting in.
  • Avoid using hot water, as it can set the stain.
  • Patience is key when removing nail polish stains. Be gentle and persistent.
  • For delicate fabrics or valuable garments, it’s advisable to seek professional help.


Removing nail polish stains from clothes and fabric doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By employing the right techniques and utilizing common household items, you can effectively eliminate these stains. Remember to act promptly, choose the appropriate cleaning method, and test any solution on a hidden area first. With these tips, your clothes and fabrics can stay fresh and stain-free.


  1. Can I use non-acetone nail polish remover for removing stains?
    • Yes, non-acetone nail polish remover can be used, but it may require more effort to remove the stain completely.
  2. Is it safe to use rubbing alcohol on all types of fabric?
    • Rubbing alcohol is generally safe for most fabrics, but it’s always recommended to perform a patch test first.
  3. Can I use bleach to remove nail polish stains?
    • Bleach is not recommended, as it can damage the fabric and cause discoloration.
  4. What should I do if the stain persists after trying these methods?
    • If the stain persists, it’s advisable to consult a professional cleaner who specializes in stain removal.
  5. Can I use these methods on carpets and upholstery?
    • Yes, these methods can be used on carpets and upholstery, but it’s important to be cautious and test the solution on a small, inconspicuous area first.

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Camilo Kawas is a seasoned entrepreneur and expert in the field of commercial cleaning, with a specific focus on clothes, carpet cleaning and floor care. With a profound understanding of the importance of selecting the right products for effective stain removal from clothes, Camilo has established himself as a trusted authority in the industry.