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How to Remove Nail Polish From Clothes in 6 Steps

How to Remove Nail Polish From Clothes in 6 Steps

Painting your nails is a great way to express your style–as long as the polish stays where it’s supposed to. Learn how to remove nail polish from your clothes in case of a spill!

If you’ve ever been painting your nails in anticipation for a night out on the town, you know the horror that can set in when your hand accidentally knocks over the bottle! A nail polish stain may feel like a nightmare (and some of those colors are so bright!), but we’ve got the tips you need to remove them quickly. Read on and learn how to remove nail polish from clothes in just 6 steps.

What causes nail polish stains?

Nail polish is a fun and creative way to express your style. Whether you go to a salon or paint your nails at home, having a fresh manicure can be a great confidence booster. Nail polish spilled on your clothes, however, is another story. Nail polish is highly pigmented, which is particularly troublesome for white or light colored clothing. But a nail polish stain has more problems than just dye. Since nail polish is formulated to dry quickly, it dries into a hardened stain that can embed itself into the fibers of your clothing.

The chemical makeup of this cosmetic makes getting nail polish out of clothes daunting. But stay calm–we’ll show you how to remove nail polish from clothes in just 6 steps.

How to Remove Nail Polish from Clothes

What you’ll need: Oxi Booster Pods, Stain & Odor Laundry Pods

Step 1: Remove Excess

First, it’s time to remove any excess nail polish from your clothes. If the nail polish is still wet, you can use a paper towel or cloth to gently lift off any excess. If the nail polish has dried, try using a dull knife or the side of a credit card to gently scrape off any excess nail polish lingering on your item.

scraping nail polish stain off of white tee with knife

Step 2: Flush Out Stain

Place the stain wrong side up under your faucet and flush it out with cold water. Be sure to run the cold water through the back of the stain to help push it out of the fibers. This will get out as much of the stain as possible before moving on to treat it.

flushing out stain under faucet

Step 3: Fill Sink or Basin

After flushing with water, fill a clean basin or sink with warm water. Drop in one Oxi Booster Pod, and wait for it to dissolve fully and create a cleaning, stain-fighting solution.

adding oxi boost pod to sink of warm water

Step 4: Soak in Oxi Boost

Now that you have your cleaning solution, it’s time to fight the stain! Submerge the garment in the Oxi Booster Solution and allow it to soak for 1-3 hours. How do Oxi Booster Pods help remove nail polish from clothes? Oxi Booster Pods are a chlorine-free bleach alternative which naturally fights stubborn stains and odors. It should attack the structure of the stain and lift it out of the fabric–without bleaching the colors you want out of your clothes. After the stain has been lifted, rinse the garment with cool water.

soaking garment in sink

Step 5: Wash

Now that the stain has been removed, wash the item as you normally would according to the care label. We recommend using a Stain & Odor Laundry Detergent Pod for extra stain fighting. If any slight staining remains, you can also add an additional Oxi Booster Pod to the wash.

adding clothes to washing machine

Step 6: Dry

Let your garment dry! Be sure that the stain is completely removed before putting the item in the dryer, as the dryer’s high heat can cause stains to set permanently. We recommend leaving your garment out to air dry, preferably in the sunshine for extra bleaching power. After following all of these steps, your clothes should be as good as new!

clothes drying outside

Frequently Asked Questions

Have more questions about how to remove nail polish from clothes? We’re here to help.

How Do You Get Dried Nail Polish Out of Clothes?

The longer nail polish sits and hardens on your clothes, the more it can seep into the fibers of your clothing and cause a deeper stain. After you have removed any hardened nail polish you can with a butter knife or side of a credit card, apply a solvent to the back of the stain to help soften and dissolve the hardened nail polish. Examples of effective solvents are nail polish remover or laundry detergents that contain enzymes like our Ultra Concentrated Stain & Odor Laundry Detergent. Nail Polish Remover is–obviously–designed to remove nail polish, so may seem like the obvious candidate. However, non-acetone based nail polish removers contain conditioners that can leave an oily stain on fabric, and acetone can be damaging to delicate fabrics like wool or silk. Leave the nail polish remover as a last resort!

Does Dried Nail Polish Come Out of Clothes?

Dried nail polish can come out of clothes! Follow the steps in our above guide for how to get nail polish out of clothes and watch the stain fade away. Please know that the longer you wait to tackle a stain, the more difficult it is to remove, so it is best to act quickly.

How Do You Get Dried Nail Polish Off Clothes Without Acetone?

While nail polish remover containing acetone can be used to remove nail polish from clothes, it’s far from the only solution! Acetone is a harsh solvent and can be tough on clothing, particularly delicate fabrics like silk, cashmere, or wool. Instead of acetone, try using an enzyme-based cleaner like our Oxi Booster Pods and Stain & Odor Laundry Detergent. These products are designed to be tough on stains but gentle on fabrics, so you can remove the nail polish stain without harming the garment.