Removing Nail Polish from Clothing and Fabric

Nail polish can be difficult to remove from textiles, especially if it has already dried. This guide is about removing nail polish from clothing and fabric.

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How do I get dried nail polish off my 98%cotton 2% spandex jeans? They are my favorite pair of ripped jeans and I tried the hairspray method, nail polish remover method, and I am currently going to try the Windex method. Is there a better way to get it out? I haven't washed or dried them yet in the laundry. Please help!

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    Have you tried the old ice cube trick? It's pretty basic but works a treat for globs of chewing gum and dried nail varnish.

    Simply hold an ice cube directly against the glob for several minutes (to freeze the glob). Then use a piece of hard plastic (credit card or driving license edge, putty knife, spatula, etc) to 'flick' or chip away the glob.

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    Earlier today I stupidly applied glitter polish on my toenails right before I started my yoga class and apparently one of my nails hadn't fully dried yet and stained the back of my new workout leggings! I came here to try and find a solution and unfortunately we don't have any oven cleaner or acetone-free nail polish remover in the house at the moment, so my husband made a mixture of dishwashing liquid and white vinegar and applied it with a cotton bud to the stain. After a couple of minutes of gentle rubbing I rinsed it and it had lessened significantly! He continued applying and after the second rinsing there's almost nothing left. A few of the glitter grains even came off while I was rinsing. Hope it works for you!

    Removing Nail Polish from Clothes
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      When people recommend Off for nail polish removal, are they recommending Off the oven cleaner, or Off the bug spray? Thanks! This is for polish on a brand new cotton dress (fabric is on the thin side).

      A.B. from San Rafael, CA

      AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      I just spilled some yellow glitter nail polish while cleaning the nail salon on Monday. I spent 3.49 at the dry cleaners and they didn't do a good job so I tried the "Easy off" oven cleaner then scrubbed it then washed them as usual and the stain is gone. Oven cleaner does wonders :)

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      How do I remove dried nail polish from a comforter? It is 100% cotton.

      By Shirley

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      Scrape as much of the dried polish as you can off using your fingernail or the edge of a credit card.

      Then use non-acetate fingernail polish remover to get the colour (if any, not all nail polish stains when colouring your nails or anything else) out of the fabric. Non-acetate remover won't eat the cotton fibers.

      If you do have some colour staining from the polish after you've used the remover, about the only thing left to do is either leave the mark as a memory (for example if a child or grandchild was playing dress up for the first time), or cover it with either embroidery or a patch of fabric applied as an applique.

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      I had a drop of nail polish get on a pair of khaki pants and tried nail polish remover to get it out and it didn't work. Then I tired soap and water and that didn't get it out. How can I get the polish out even after the polish has dried on the pants?

      By Pumpkin

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      "Awesome can be bought at Family Dollar Stores. It is in the cleaner department.

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      How do you remove nail polish from nylon clothes?

      By Theresa from Athens, AL

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      The archived answer from Cyinda is very thorough. However, I would like to add a note of caution. She has told you that nail polish remover will melt a hole in some fabrics, and I had that experience. I had some on a "suede" dress, and the acetone took the fuzzy finish right off. It was much worse than the actual stain. Luckily, a gal in a dress shop had the idea to bring the belt around the front and fasten with a nice broach, which worked really well. Anyway, be sure to test the nail polish remover on the fabric in a hidden spot to see if it will damage the fabric.

      ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      My 3 year old daughter got into a purple bottle of nail polish. I would like to know what is the best way to remove it from my bed comforter.

      By Catina from Johnson City, NY

      AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      Another person just asked a similar question but her fabric is white. Here's what I suggested to her but you might want to do a test on an inconspicuous portion of the comforter before trying unless your comforter also happens to be white:

      "Have you tried soaking the portion that is stained in nail polish remover and then briskly rub the fabric together? I would try non-acetone polish remover first and be sure to wash the pillowcase afterward. ;-) Let us know if this works or not, okay?"

      ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      How do you remove nail polish from a sweater?

      By Twilighter444 from Houston, TX

      AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      Be very careful with nail polish remover. I had a spot of nail polish on a polyester suede dress. The polish remover removed the suede as well as the polish-- so I was worse off than when I started.

      ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      How do I get nail polish off a sweatshirt?

      By Denise from Coon Rapids, MN

      AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
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      Home and Garden Cleaning Clothing StainsMarch 24, 2013
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