How Do I Make Homemade Nail Polish Remover?

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  • Written By: Dee Jones
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 11 August 2019
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Homemade nail polish remover can be a healthy, safe, and inexpensive alternative to commercial nail polish remover. Most commercial brands, especially theinexpensive kind, contain harsh chemicals that can be hard on the nails. Commercial brands of nail polish remover are also inhalants, and can be dangerous to have around, especially in a home where there are small children. The chemicals found in store-bought polish removers also aren’t very eco-friendly. By combining vinegar and lemon juice, you can have a natural fingernail polish remover that won’t do damage to your nails, especially if your nails are already fragile.

Vinegar and lemon juice are both natural, acidic ingredients that can break down nail polish. To make a simple homemade nail polish remover using these ingredients, pour some white vinegar into a bowl, add an equal amount of lemon juice, and stir the mixture together. Dip a cotton ball into the mixture, press it to a fingernail, and hold it there for about 10 to 30 seconds to help break down the nail polish, and then use the cotton ball to wipe the polish off. It might take a little longer to remove the polish using this mixture than with nail polish removers that contain acetone, especially when trying to remove several coats of polish. Soaking the nails in very warm water for 10 or 15 minutes before trying to remove the polish will help to speed up the process.


For those who don’t have the vinegar and lemon juice needed to make homemade nail polish remover, rubbing alcohol might be a good alternative. Rubbing alcohol is more natural and less harsh than the chemicals found in commercial removers. Alcohol also has antibacterial properties, which can benefit those suffering from nail infections. Simply put some alcohol on a cotton ball and wipe off the polish. As with the homemade nail polish remover, soaking the hands before trying to remove nail polish with alcohol will help speed up the process.

Besides homemade nail polish remover and rubbing alcohol, there are many other ways to remove old nail polish. Many perfumes contain acetone, the active ingredient found in most commercial removers, so an old bottle of perfume that’s been going unused can find new life as a nail polish remover. Some have found certain brands of toothpaste to be effective polish removers. If there are no other options, paint fresh nail polish on top of the old nail polish and then wipe it off. The old polish will come off with the new, and any nail polish left can be gently scraped away.


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Post 13

Are there any other ingredients you can use for remover?

Post 9

@andee: Whenever I spill nail polish on the tile floors, to get in between the tiles I use q-tips or toothpicks. I like toothpicks better because they can scrape the polish away off the cement in between the tiles.

Post 5

I tried it. The first anon has the right idea. It works about as well as chopping down a tree with a herring.

Post 4

Vinegar and lemon juice do not work.

Post 2

Has anyone ever tried a homemade solution like this to get rid of fingernail polish that has spilled?

It might not work very well for a carpeted area, but my daughter spilled some fingernail polish on our bathroom tile floor.

I tried using some fingernail polish remover but it didn't totally get rid of all of it. After reading this article, I am going to try to a mixture of vinegar and lemon juice.

I am also going to try removing my nail polish with my own homemade remedy. Once in awhile if I am out of polish remover, I will paint on new polish just to remove the old polish.

This isn't the best way to go about doing it, but it works better than nothing. I would have never thought that using something like rubbing alcohol, or even toothpaste might work just as well.

Post 1

I never realized you could make your own homemade nail polish remover before. I like to make a lot of my own beauty products, but this is the first time I have ever considered this.

This makes a lot of sense to me, as I always knew the chemicals in most nail polish removers were not good for you.

Even though a bottle of nail polish remover from the store doesn't cost much money, it would still be better to make your own. Lemon juice and vinegar are two ingredients I usually always have in my kitchen, and it sounds like it would be easy to do.

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