How to remove nail polish from clothes and fabrics

By | June 13, 2016

Remove nail polish from clothes

Spilling nail polish on clothes at home is a common thing if you are not careful. You could drop it on your bed sheet, pillow or your own dress.

In most cases the nail polish will stick to whatever fabric it is dropped on and would not go away easily by just washing with soap or detergent.

There are a number of ways to remove the nail polish. Some of these methods involve using chemical agents that may affect the underlying cloth or fabric adversely like taking off its color. So you need to be extra careful.

Method 1 – Using Nail Polish Remover

The first method involves using nail polish remover. It is important to keep in mind that many nail polish removers contain acetone which can react with fabrics made of acetate or triacetate. Check the fabric label if any to ensure that that fabric does not contain any acetate, triacetate or modacrylic.
Otherwise do not use a nail polish remover.

Also check whether the fabric is colorfast or not. Nail polish remover can potentially drain the color of the fabric itself.

Things you will need

1. Nail polish remover.
2. Piece of Soft cloth or cotton swabs/buds/balls

How to Remove the Nail Polish

1. Take a piece of soft cloth and moisten it with the nail polish remover. You could also use some cotton instead of cloth.

2. Now first blot some hidden area of the fabric to check if the fabric is colorfast or not. If the color of the fabric is not affected by the nail polish remover then the fabric is colorfast.

3. Now use the moistened cloth or cotton to blot the nail polish stain. Do not try to rub. Just dab gently over the stain spot slowly with the moist cloth. Doing so will pull the nail polish out of the fabric into your moist cloth.

4. Now switch to a fresh area on the swab cloth and apply some polish remover and blot again. Doing so will ensure that the polish removed from the fabric does not get back onto it. Repeat, until no more polish is getting transferred onto the swab cloth.

5. Rinse with cold water.

6. Launder the cloth or fabric as usual.

Method 2 – Removing Without Nail Polish Remover

This is the second method that does not involve using any nail polish remover. However, it still involves using some other chemical agents like a bug spray and a hair spray.

Things you will need

  • “Off” bug spray – Get it from amazon
  • Old toothbrush
  • Hairspray or rubbing alcohol

Steps to Remove the Nail Polish

The steps are similar to the previous process.

1. Use a little bit of bug spray on some hidden part of the fabric and test if it looses color or not. If no, then it is colorfast and is safe to continue with.

2. Spray the bugspray directly on the stain area, enough to saturate it. Once the spray is absorbed by the stain, use a toothbrush to scrub the area gently. Do it carefully, to avoid any smudging.

3. If traces of the stain still remain, repeat the above steps using a hair spray or rubbing alcohol.

4. Once the nail polish is removed, rinse with cold water and then wash the piece as usual.

Extra Tips and Some Advice

Avoid using acetone based polish removers on fabrics that contain acetate, triacetate or modacrylic. Acetone can burn such fabrics. Acetone works best with cotton, silk, denim, and linen but you should still check things first.

If the fabric does contain acetate, then do not try to clean it at home, just call a cleaning professional.

If the nail polish is dried then scrub it with a plastic object like credit card or something to remove as much of it as possible. Then continue with the above mentioned steps.

For delicate and dry clean only fabrics, its best to call a professional rather than trying to clean it yourself.

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