How To Get Nail Polish Out of Clothes

If you opt for doing your nails at home, or maybe one of your kids or other family members do, then you know the fear and risk that comes along with worrying about spilling nail polish on your clothes in the process. It is a point of no return in most people’s eyes. This fun activity for you and your friends turns into a stressful experience that you stay on edge for. 

Nail polish is a stubborn thing and doesn’t seem to come out no matter what you try. However, I have solved the dilemma. There are ways to get nail polish off clothes, so don’t toss your favorite shirt in the trash! Give these tricks a try before throwing away clothes in the name of nail polish. 

Wet Nail Polish

First thing you need to determine is what consistency the polish is. If you get to the nail polish before it dries, there is a different removal routine than if not. For wet nail polish, you need to remove any excess first. Try your best not to smear the polish onto the clothing anymore. This works best with something easy to scrape the polish off in one swipe such as a card or something flat to grab the polish with. 

Next, grab your tools. You will need nail polish remover, a brush, a cotton swab, and laundry soap, specifically stain remover.  

Soak the cotton swab with the stain remover. It’s best to use an oily soap if possible to help lift the polish. Work outside in to prevent bleeding of the stain. When you’ve worked the stain remover into the garment, run the stain under water directly to help wash it through.

If you are still seeing polish, move to the nail polish remover. Gently press the remover onto the stain. It may be smart to try a sample spot where no one will see if you are worried about the clothing having issues reacting to the acetone. This is rare, but if this is your favorite shirt we are talking about, I would be safe rather than sorry. 

Follow the nail polish remover with soap and water and the stain should be no more! Back to a long life of brunches and Friday nights it has to live. 

Dry Nail Polish 

Dry nail polish is not a death sentence, though it does involve some more work to remove. The trick is to be gentle and not get overzealous. Although you might feel like hope is sinking through your fingers, I promise that is not the case. 

Grab your polish remover first and gently rub it onto the garment with a cotton swab. This should soften the polish a tad and help get the top layer off. Keep going until you have broken through the top layer. This will take some time and perseverance, but it is possible. 

Next, move to soap and water. You can repeat this step like you would with wet nail polish. Make sure to get most if not all of the stain out before throwing it into the washer. While the washer does clean your clothes, it can also lock in stains if you aren’t careful. 

Preventative Care

Now that we know how to get nail polish out of clothes, let’s learn a few ways to prevent this from happening in the first place. While it is possible to remove nail polish stains, it sure is a pain. 

First thing to try when you want to pull out the nail polish is to lay out an old towel that you don’t mind getting stains on. This will protect your floor or other fabrics from accumulating stains. Those sure are difficult to remove Next, grab an old t-shirt specifically for getting stains on. 

If you don’t have one, run to the nearby thrift store and buy the cheapest oversized t-shirt they have and make this your new “work shirt”. You might not love the look in the moment, but it sure beats ruining something worthwhile.  

Make sure you set your polish on something sturdy when you set it down to apply the polish. Small stains are hard enough, let alone an entire bottle of polish spilled everywhere. When you aren’t using the polish, make sure to close the lid fully just in case. 

Lastly, only pick up the necessary amount for each swipe. Less is more, especially with polish. Adding too much polish to our nails brings nothing but headaches and frustration, so aim for smaller swipes more times. Now, text a friend, grab your favorite polish colors, and have your very own spa night knowing you can trust your skills. 

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