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Removing Nail Polish From Synthetic Fabrics

Removing nail polish from synthetics can require some care so as not to damage the fabric. This is a page about removing nail polish from synthetic fabrics.


ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

April 24, 2010

How do I get nail varnish out of a nylon tee shirt?



Removing Nail Polish From Nylon

Do you mean "nail polish"? If so, the only thing that will remove nail polish is nail polish remover. There are basically 2 formulas sold, the regular old fashioned type which is made from acetone and the newer formula that's made for artificial nails.

The type made for the artificial nails is milder so it won't melt the artificial nails so this is the type I'd recommend you try on the inside hem of the fabric (where you can't see it). The old fashioned type that's made from acetone will melt acetate (a type of slinky and shiny fabric).

If your fabric was cotton or another "natural" fiber, then I'd recommend the acetone type of nail polish remover as it's stronger. You had better check that label again for fabric content and be sure the shirt is really made from nylon and not acetate which can look similar.


There is one more option. Most fabric stores have a small rack of "Wonderful" stain removers. This brand has 5 or 6 different formulas. Each formula is made to remove a different type of stain. You may want to call several fabric stores and ask them if they carry an assortment of stain removers and if so do they have one that will remove nail varnish.

If all else fails, you can always do some embroidery over the stain or glue on some fancy rhinestones and beads. (07/22/2008)

By Cyinda

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April 24, 2010

How do you remove nail polish from nylon clothes?

By Theresa Compton from Athens, AL


April 27, 20101 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

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March 9, 2015

I have a beautiful long black coat that has a 100% polyester exterior and I spilt clear nail varnish down the front. It is Sally Hanson triple strong strengthener to be exact and I can't get it out. I've tried using remover, but it just won't work. Does anyone know of anyway I can remove it? It's my favourite coat and I'm devastated over it!

By Kyrsty T


December 4, 20170 found this helpful

If the polish remover didn't do it, I don't know what would. You may try taking it to a dry cleaner.

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December 4, 20170 found this helpful

Try hairspray or pure acetone

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April 14, 20180 found this helpful

It worked fast!

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February 7, 2015

How do I remove nail polish from a pair of 68% rayon, 30% polyester, and 2% spandex dress pants? Please help. Thank you.

By Joanne


December 11, 20170 found this helpful

You can try dabbing pure acetone on the fabric with a cotton ball

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November 8, 2012

Will acetone ruin synthetics?

By KeKeLee

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November 23, 2010

I spilled nail polish on a pair of pants (87% Nylon, 13% Elastine). What can I use to remove it without ruining the pants?

By Janine from Moranbah, QLD, Australia



Nail Polish Stains on Clothing

I splurged for the sweetest white cotton dress with purple flowers for my toddler. She found bright blue nail polish (neon colored) and "went to town." It was all over the new dress! $36 dollars gone and she'd only worn it once. I scrambled to find hairspray and bug spray after nail polish remover failed. I couldn't find any hairspray.

Instead, I used Krud Kutter (Target), which I use to get out food stains on carpet. I sprayed it on and watched the nail polish bleed onto the rest of the fabric. I waited a few minutes and sprayed a little more. After about ten minutes and a small amount of scrubbing with the back of my nail, all the nail polish vanished and her dress was like new. Krud Kutter is amazing. (04/01/2010)


By eve

Nail Polish Stains on Clothing

Thank you all. It was all great feedback and I will be certain to give it a try. The bug spray seems to be the popular one for my particular garment. Great site, keep it up! (04/02/2010)

By Janine

Nail Polish Stains on Clothing

OK, so cheer camp is coming up and our squad has to wear the same thing. I ordered hot pink Nike shorts like our coach asked. I wore them around the house and was messing around with nail polish. I got some on the shorts. :( I did not tell my mom because I knew she would get mad.

So first, I used nail polish remover to try and get it out. It removed the outside layer, but not the entire stain. Then I used some hairspray and a toothbrush to try and get it off, nothing. So then I used Spray-n-Wash and put them in the washer. Some time later I take them out and the stain is still there.


:O Desperate, I use Off! bug spray, Matisse hair spray, and Tea Tree oil. I combine them on the shorts and rub it in with a toothbrush. I was so happy when the stain was gone and my mom didn't find out! Hope this helps!;) (05/28/2010)

By t-nail

Nail Polish Stains on Clothing

Bug spray worked for me! Wow, I just have to say that there truly is a way to remove deep pink nail polish that has dried for 24 hours on a light, colored brand new swim suit. (My 5 year-old hid the swim suit after having an "accident", she confessed the next day.) I tried many of the things I read on here. (Nail polish remover, hair spray, tea tree oil, Goof Off, Oxi-Clean).

The hair spray seemed to do the most to remove the nail polish, but still left a deep colored stain. I finally decided that was the best it was going to get and took it into the laundry room to toss in the wash. I noticed a can of Repel insect repellent on the shelf and remembered reading that bug spray also worked sometimes.

I sprayed it on the stains and blotted it with a cloth, and I kid you not, the stain completely disappeared after about the third time. Unbelievable! That is the first time I have ever had success removing nail polish. I now know there really is a way to do it! Just keep trying different things, and don't give up. (06/26/2010)

By Glorybound

Nail Polish Stains on Clothing

I used a bar of Don Massimo. It takes out the stain but in the process weakens the fibers of the cloth (as it is an abrasive). (07/15/2010)

By canuck

Nail Polish Stains on Clothing

Off insect repellent works really well. My daughter spilled hot pink nail polish on her white comforter and Off alone took it right out, I was shocked! (08/10/2010)

By lex

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