How to Get Nail Polish Out of Clothes

It’s so easy to accidentally drip a little polish on your clothes when you’re applying or removing it from your nails. Though you may be cursing your luck, there’s no reason to get too worked up! In this article, learn how to get nail polish out of clothes, either dry and wet stains on different types of fabric.

Tools for Nail Polish Stain Removal and Prep

You might first be wondering what you can use to remove nail polish, so let’s talk about the proper tools needed to effectively tackle a stain and get your clothes looking good again. Though you won’t need specialized equipment for such a stain, the process is much easier with a few essentials.

Though these tools aren’t all required, they can be very helpful when trying to get nail polish out:

  • Soap
  • Nail polish remover
  • Clean cloth or pad
  • Cotton swabs
  • A folded piece of paper
  • Spoon or any other blunt tool

Testing Your Fabric

Before you begin any stain removal, start by testing your fabric with the cleaning product you intend to use. Too often people ruin their favorite dresses or blouses by being too aggressive with nail polish remover or other cleaning agents. That’s why it’s important to test it on an unseen part of your fabric prior to use. Once applied, make sure that the color doesn’t run or harm the fabric.

Typically, it is fine to use stain removers with more delicate fabrics. The problem comes when you scrub too hard and damage the fibers while you’re trying to get the stain out.

How to Remove Nail Polish from Clothes

Now that you have the right tools, follow the next basic steps to effectively clean a nail polish stain and remove it from your clothes for good. Before you know it, your clothes will be stain-free and ready to wear again.

Basic Steps for Removing Nail Polish Stains

For stains that are still wet, there are several steps you can follow to get nail polish out of your clothes.

Step 1: Scrape off the excess

This is where the spoon comes in handy. Any blunt, hard object will work, though. You can even use a folded piece of paper or a business card for this step. This way, you won’t rub in more nail polish as you’re cleaning.

Step 2: Put nail polish remover on a cloth, pad, or cotton swab and dab

Using one of these tools, dab the nail polish remover (acetone remover usually works best) onto the area. Dabbing is best because it helps you avoid fabric damage from scrubbing.

Step 3: Repeat the process until the stain comes out

You can typically get out the stain after a few tries with a clean cloth, pad, or cotton swab.

Step 4: Wash with soap and water

Next, gently wash the stain with soap and water (vinegar can be useful too). Then, rinse it out with cold water to get out any remnants of the stain.

Optional: Machine wash your clothes

If you can wash your fabric in a machine, use a good detergent and stain remover on the area and throw it in for a quick cycle. This will often get out the remainder of any stain.

Step 5: Leave out your fabric to dry

If the fabric is okay for the dryer, you can throw it in there. If it’s not, leave the fabric hanging to let the cleaned spot air out and dry.

Dry Nail Polish Stains

Different types of stains necessitate different cleaning methods. We’ve learned how to get rid of wet nail polish stains, but what about dry stains that have already caked themselves into your clothes?

Dry polish stains can be a little trickier to get rid of. Minus the scraping step, it’s essentially the same process you’d go through with a wet stain as listed above.

The key with dry polish stains is to concentrate on using nail polish remover. As we illustrated before, it’s important to test it on your fabric to make sure it won’t damage it. Once you’re sure it’s safe, use the same technique of dabbing the stain and gently wiping it with a circular motion until it's removed.

Now that you know how to get nail polish out of clothes, you can go back to enjoying your stain-free outfits.

Cleaning Advice You Can Trust

Whether it’s removing nail polish or removing paint from clothes, you can trust the professionals at Molly Maid for advice that will help you get and keep things clean. After all, it’s what we do. We’ve been helping homeowners keep things clean for almost 40 years. So, if you need professional cleaning advice or just some help around the house, trust the cleaning professionals at your local Molly Maid. We offer a variety of cleaning services - regular cleaning, occasional cleaning, special-event cleaning, and more! We tailor all our cleaning services to accommodate your needs and schedule. And our Neighborly Done Right Promise™ means your satisfaction is guaranteed.

Make Molly Maid your go-to for everything cleaning. Give us a call or request a free estimate online today.

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