Daisy floral nail polish
Image: Wise She

5 Surprising Ways To Remove Nail Polish

Your manicure looked great at first. So great you couldn’t stop staring at it. Then you noticed a chip, then another and still more after that. Now the only thing you can think about is getting that nail polish off stat. But then you realize you’re out of nail polish remover. Rather than running to the store, you could try a number of inexpensive and lazy ways to remove nail polish.

Rubbing Alcohol

One of the most popular ways to get rid of nail polish when you’re low on actual remover is to just use rubbing alcohol, or a product with a ton of rubbing alcohol in it. Likely candidates include hairspray, hand sanitizer or spray deodorant. Get creative, and look at the labels for the term “isopropyl alcohol” near the top of the ingredient list. Add the product to your nails with a cotton ball, and let it sit for a minute to really take effect. Then wipe off the polish.

Elmer’s Glue

No, you don’t apply this to the top of the polish. You’ll just end up with an unholy mess. Instead, apply the glue as a basecoat before nail polish application. Let the glue dry, and then apply the polish over it. This works very well for glitter polishes, which can be more difficult to remove. Then when you are ready to remove the polish, let your hands soak in warm, soapy water for several minutes. After that, the polish will just peel off. Use a toothpick or orangewood stick if you’re having trouble. Just wedge each tool under the polish.

Lemon Juice & Vinegar

Looking to go more natural? Combine equal parts freshly squeezed lemon juice and white vinegar, and then stir well. Then apply the mixture to your fingers using a cotton ball and scrub at your fingers. It could take up to twenty seconds to get your fingers clean with this method. Make sure to moisturize your cuticle beds afterwards to prevent hangnails, as this treatment can be especially drying.

Warm Water

This method is great if you’re low on funds and high on time. Get some warm water, and soak your fingers in it for about 25-30 minutes. It’s a good excuse to sit down and catch up on your favorite TV show. By that time, the nail polish will be soaked enough to come off by scrubbing at it with a rough cloth.

Nail Polish

This method is one of the somewhat controversial ways to remove nail polish. You’re essentially wasting a coat or two of nail polish to remove some old nail polish. But if you have some nail polish around that you didn’t like the color of, this could be an option. You simply apply a fresh layer of nail polish on top of the old, wait for about 25 seconds and then rub off the new coat. The new polish should take off the old nail polish right with it. You may need to repeat until all the old polish is gone.