Getting Nail Polish Out of Your Clothes – No Need to Panic!

That ‘Oh No’ Moment!

No one is silly enough to start their manicure whilst wearing their most gorgeous outfit – well, you aren’t, but I’ve made that mistake several times…yes, I know, I should learn from my mistakes. So I’ve had to perfect some methods for removing nail polish from my clothes, and thought I should pass on my tips to you, just in case you ever need them.

If the spill is fresh, gently remove as much polish as you can by dabbing with a clean cloth, before using an acetone polish remover on a cotton pad. Keep blotting at it until the stain is removed, then rinse in cool water and wash as normal.

However if the garment contains acetate or modacrylic, only use an acetone-free remover, such as MAJESTIC PURE Soy Nail Polish Remover. This is my go-to rescue remedy when I have an accident. It lifts the polish out really well, and with a few dabs, the stain is removed. Obviously, it’s also good for nails if you want to avoid harsh acetone based removers.

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Another method I’ve used with great success is to place the garment stain side down on some paper towels. Soak a cotton pad in polish remover – remembering to check if the material contains acetate or modacrylic, and picking the best remover for the job – either acetone-based or acetone-free. Start blotting the back of the fabric, transferring the polish to the paper towels. Rinse the stain in cold water, and go back to blotting with the remover. You may have to do this several times, but when the paper towel is no longer picking up the polish color, wash the garment as normal.

If you haven’t any polish remover around, try spraying the stain – once you’ve dabbed away the excess polish, with hairspray, and brushing at it with an old toothbrush in a circular motion. This method also works with insect repellent spray instead of hairspray.

If you have polish on delicate fabrics, such as silk, or wool, use this method.

  • Remove any excess polish with a blunt knife. Work very gently so that the fibres aren’t damaged.
  • Mix up 1 part coconut or mineral oil to 8 parts dry cleaning solvent.
  • Dab onto the stain and leave it to dry for a few minutes
  • Blot the area with a clean cloth. This may take a while but be patient.
  • Allow the garment to dry.

If the stain still won’t come off even after this method, check out these extra 3 tips on how to remove nail polish from clothes.

Maybe next time, I’ll learn not to get dressed up in my party outfit before I do my nails!


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