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Gettin' it Off: Nail Polish

26 April, 2020 - 11:45am by - First Lady | 3 Comments

Article by BR Tabby

Whether you're a regular painter, or you only paint your nails occasionally, you will end up facing the inevitable question - how do I get it off?  Here's the definitive guide.

Getting nail polish off - the basics.

You should always begin painting your nails by ensuring your nails are free from any previous colour or residue - you will get a much better result!

There are two types of nail polish remover - acetone and acetone-free.  When it comes to general nail polish removal it doesn't really matter what you use.  Acetone-free has the reputation of being kinder to your skin and nails, to be honest though - there's not much difference other than the strength of solvent.  Acetone will weaken (in some cases, destroy) false nails.  Acetone-free wont lift stubborn polish (think dark colours, glitter, liquid sand and cavier effects) as efficiently as acetone.  It's kind of like full fat vs diet sodas - neither contain a perfect set of ingredients.

If you're concerned about the chemicals in nail polish remover you'll want to look for a non-toxic, natural and biodegradable product. 

Getting nail polish off when it's a dark colour.

Dark nail polishes are more likely to stain your nail than lighter shades.  The tip to fully removing the colour is patience and repetition.  Press a remover soaked cotton pad on to the nail colour and apply pressure for 20 - 30 seconds.  Rub firmly and you'll see most of the colour will have been removed.  Repeat on all of your fingers and wash your hands.  Repeat the whole process again and you should find all traces of that dark colour have been removed.

Getting nail polish off when it's glitter.

If anything will survive the apocalypse it will be glitter!

Grab some cotton balls, nail polish remover and aluminium foil.  Soak a cotton ball in nail polish remover (really soak it).  Place the ball on top of the first nail and use the foil to wrap and secure the ball in place.  Do this to the rest of your nails on that hand so all five pinkies are wrapped in foil.  Leave for 5 minutes or so.

To remove grab the first nail on top of the foil and firmly rub the cotton ball as you remove the foil.  The glitter is now firmly trapped with no chance of escape.

Getting nail polish off of gel nails.

Use a non-acetone nail polish remover if you want to change the colour of your acrylic or gel nails.  Don't soak your nails in the remover and wash your hands and nails thoroughly afterwards to eliminate any chance of remover residue eating away at the nails or nail glue.

Getting nail polish out of your hair.

If the polish is still wet - Run some non acetone remover down the affected strandsWash your hair thoroughly and treat it to a deep condition afterwards!

If the polish is dry - Rub conditioner or hair oil through the hair and gently loosen the nail polish until it flakes off.

Getting nail polish off of clothes.

Spray the wet stain with lots of hairspray - leave it to dry and pop it through the wash.   You can try nail polish remover but you'll want to do a spot test in case the garment isn't colour-proofed!

Getting nail polish off of furniture.

Wooden Furniture - Use a plastic putty knife to gently scrape dried nail polish from a wooden surface.  Fine steel wool can be used for more stubborn spills.  Avoid using nail polish remover if the wood is treated!

Carpet - Act fast - don't stand there and watch the carnage, grab an absorbant cloth and BLOT the spill gently.  If the carpet is light, non-acetone nail polish remover is your best bet.  For darker and dyed carpets do not use any kind of nail varnish remover!  Spray the area with hairspray and use rubbing alcohol to remove the stain.  Remember - always BLOT, don't rub!

Upholstery - Depending on the type of upholstery you're probably going to want to avoid nail polish remover and harsh chemicals.  Grab a steam cleaner and loosen the polish before gently and carefully flaking it off using a blunt knife or something similar.

Getting nail polish off when you've ran out remover.

Wet Nail Polish - Soak your nails for 10 minutes in warm water first then simply paint over your existing nail colour with one coat of nail polish (clear is preferable!).  Use a damp cotton pad or a wet wipe and quickly wipe off all the layers of polish. It might take a few attempts to get a clean enough finish!

Fruit Juice and Vinegar - Squeeze the juice of citrus fruits in to a bowl (oranges, lemons and limes work well).  Mix with a dash of vinegar.  Soak your nails in the mixture and get swiping with a cotton pad. Once again this will take a bit of elbow grease and determination!

HairsprayPerfume and Body Spray - Spritz the end of a cotton bud and wipe your nails vigourously.

Hand sanitizer - Use as you would nail polish remover - it will take a few attempts though! 

Do you have any tips to share for getting nail polish off?  Have you had any nail polish disasters where you just couldn't get it out?  Get chatting below!


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1st May, 2020

I've been lucky and find that acetone free nail polish remover removes any polish easily for me. Have only really spilt nail polish on wooden surfaces (just scraped it off) and dark carpet, where thankfully nail polish remover got it out.

29th April, 2020

I haven't worn nail polish for a while. the smell of nail polish remover really puts me off.

27th April, 2020

I've given my toenails a break from polish. A good time too as I am wearing socks everyday now.

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