Blog: How To Remove Nail Polish Without Nail Polish Remover


Doing DIY at-home manicures or simply just painting your nails is something many of us enjoy doing. But what we don’t love doing is removing the polish.

There are so many reasons why people dislike acetone nail polish removers. Often, the scent is just way too overpowering for our noses to handle, the fumes giving us horrible headaches. Or, if you’re like me, the acetone tends to irritate any hangnails or open skin around your nails. Or maybe you just don’t have any nail polish remover on your hands, and you really don’t feel like going to buy a bottle.

Regardless of the reason, if nail polish remover just isn’t your thing, don’t panic! We’ve rounded up the best and easiest ways to remove nail polish without using nail polish remover – let’s dive right on in!

Use Rubbing-Alcohol Based Products

Rubbing alcohol products work very well at removing nail polish. When choosing a product, the strongeror more concentrated the alcohol is, the more effective it will be at removing polish. These products could include standard rubbing alcohol, hairspray, hand sanitizer, and more.

The polish probably won’t completely remove right away. In order to get the best results, let the nail polish soak in whatever you are using for around 10 minutes. After it has soaked, it should rub off much easier.

Use a Lemon and Vinegar Mixture

The next thing we recommend trying is using a lemon and vinegar mixture. For this, white vinegar and pure lemon juice freshly squeezed from a lemon works best. You don’t need an exact ratio when making this mixture. We recommend using enough vinegar for your nails to fully soak in and about half a lemon.

This is another method where you are going to want to let your nails soak in the mixture before attempting to rub the polish off. You should soak your nails for around 10-15 minutes. After that, use a cotton ball to rub the nail polish right off your nail.

Use Toothpaste

Believe it or not, toothpaste can actually remove your nail polish. Toothpaste contains the ingredient called ethyl acetate which is found in a lot of nail polish removers. In most cases, white toothpaste will work best at stripping the color from your nail.

For best results, place a good amount of toothpaste on the nail plate and scrub the nail polish off with a toothbrush. The bristles of the toothbrush will lift the color off of your nail, and you can use a cotton ball or tissue to get any excess polish off.

If this is not working well enough, you can even try mixing some baking soda into the toothpaste for a stronger effect.

Use New Nail Polish

You may be surprised to know that applying a new layer of nail polish over the old layer will actually remove the old polish. We will admit, this one sounds a bit weird – but it actually works!

When trying this method, it is crucial that you use a polish that does not dry quickly. In a lot of cases, using darker colors is better, as they tend to take longer to completely dry.

When you apply the new layer of polish on top of the old layer, the old layer will return to its liquid state. This will make it easy to slide the polish right off the nail.

Use a Hydrogen Peroxide and Hot Water Mixture

Another mixture you can make is with hydrogen peroxide and hot water. It seems like everyone has hydrogen peroxide stored away in their home, so why not make use of it?

Technically speaking, the hydrogen peroxide releases oxygen. This is what loosens the polish and allows it to slide off of your nail.

When creating this mixture, we recommend doing a ratio of two part hydrogen peroxide to one part hot water. It is extremely important that you add the hot water in for two reasons. The first one is that it dilutes the hydrogen peroxide so it doesn’t do any damage or irritate the skin around your nails. The second reason is that the heat will help remove your polish faster.

When doing this method, soak your nails in the mixture for around 10-15 minutes. Then, rub the polish off your nails with a cotton ball or tissue. If you have any remaining polish still on your nail, you can use a nail file to gently file off excess polish. Just be careful not to file off your natural nail!

Think Ahead

This one requires planning ahead of time, so consider it when painting your nails next time!

The next time you go to paint your nails, skip using the base coat. Instead, apply a thin layer of glue before applying the polish. This sounds a little weird, but trust us here.

When you want to remove your nail polish, you can simply peel it off without using any type of nail polish remover, solvent, or mixture.

This method works great for glitter polish, as it can be extremely difficult to remove.

Final Thoughts

It may have never occurred to you that you can take your nail polish off with household items you already had. If you’re not too fond of nail polish remover, try one of these methods and see if it works for you!

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does nail polish last?

Depending on which nail polish you are using, the longevity of it varies. For example, if you are using a typical nail polish, it’ll stay on the nails for around 5-14 days. But, if you are using a gel nail polish, you can expect it to stay on the nails for 14-21 days. However, if you do a lot of work with your hands, the nail polish will probably chip off sooner.

What is the difference between acetone and non acetone nail polish removers?

Some people don’t know that there is a difference between nail polish removers with acetone and without acetone. Acetone nail polish removers are much more powerful than non-acetone nail polish removers. They also have that horrible chemical smell you’re probably sick of. If you are removing regular nail polish that isn’t difficult to remove, go with non-acetone removers. But, if you are removing something like gel nails or glitter polish, nail polish removers with acetone are your best bet.

Is acetone safe?

One of the reasons you may not want to use regular nail polish remover is because you question the safety of acetone. We are here to tell you that although acetone is safe for the most part, there are some precautions you should take. Since acetone is highly flammable, you should avoid using it near an open flame. Also, you should definitely avoid breathing in the fumes of acetone, as they can irritate and do serious damage to your lungs.

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