How to Take Nail Polish Off of Clothes: A Step-by-Step Guide

Nail polish stains can be quite challenging to remove, especially if they have already dried up. In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to take nail polish off of clothes effectively. By following the tips and techniques we will share, you can save your favorite clothing pieces from being ruined by stubborn nail polish stains.


Removing nail polish stains from clothes can be a daunting task, but with the right approach and tools, it can be done without damaging the fabric. Nail polish contains pigments and dyes that can stick to clothing fibers and cause discoloration. Therefore, it is crucial to act quickly to remove the stain before it sets into the fabric.

Gather Necessary Materials

Before you start the process of removing nail polish stains from clothes, it is essential to gather all the necessary materials. Here are the things you will need:

  • Nail polish remover: Choose an acetone-based remover for best results.
  • Cotton balls or swabs: These will be used to apply the nail polish remover to the stained area.
  • Clean cloth: Use a white or light-colored cloth to avoid color transfer.
  • Rubbing alcohol: This can be used as an alternative to nail polish remover.
  • Dish soap: Use a mild dish soap to pre-treat the stained area before washing.

Make sure to have all the materials on hand before starting the process to avoid any interruptions.

Test the Fabric

Before applying any nail polish remover or cleaning solution, it is important to test the fabric for colorfastness. This will help you avoid damaging the fabric further. To test the fabric, follow these steps:

  1. Choose an inconspicuous area of the clothing, such as the inside seam or hemline.
  2. Apply a small amount of nail polish remover or cleaning solution to the area using a cotton ball or swab.
  3. Wait for a few minutes and then blot the area with a clean cloth.
  4. If the fabric’s color does not transfer onto the cloth, you can proceed with the stain removal process. However, if you notice any discoloration, stop immediately and try a different cleaning solution.

Apply the Remover

Once you have tested the fabric and it is safe to proceed, you can start the process of removing the nail polish stain. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Place a clean cloth underneath the stained area to avoid any transfer of the stain to other parts of the clothing.
  2. Apply a small amount of nail polish remover to a cotton ball or swab.
  3. Blot the stained area gently with the cotton ball or swab. Be careful not to rub the stain, as this can cause it to spread further.
  4. Continue blotting the stain until it starts to fade.
  5. Once the stain has lifted, rinse the area with cold water to remove any remaining nail polish remover.
  6. Blot the area with a clean cloth to dry it.

If the nail polish stain is stubborn and does not come off easily, you can repeat the process until the stain fades completely. Alternatively, you can use rubbing alcohol or a mild dish soap to pre-treat the stained area before applying nail polish remover.

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