How to Remove Dried Nail Polish from Clothing

Doing your own nails is fun until you accidentally spill some nail polish on yourself. Getting nail polish on your clothing can be frustrating especially if it’s your favorite top or dress. 

We’ve all been there. Unfortunately, accidents happen. But removing dried nail polish from clothing is not as easy as how to get nail polish off your nails. But there’s no need to toss it out. You can actually get the nail polish off. 

Here, we will go over some techniques on how to remove dried nail polish from clothing so that you can save your favorite things. These tips are helpful, and they will also save you from forking out the extra money to buy new clothes. 

How To Remove Dried Nail polish From Fabric

Make sure that the fabric your clothing item is made of is safe for the cleaning product you are going to use. You will be able to determine the fabric used by checking the clothing label inside. The label will either be on the inside of the collar or on the inside of the side seam. 

Non-acetone is widely used because normal acetone can harm fabric that contains acetate, triacetate, or modacrylic. So be cautious. Acetone is usually safe for cotton, silk, denim, and linen fabric. For any other fabric, hydrogen peroxide is your go-to for color-safe bleach. 

Because there are hundreds of different fabrics, and some of them are very delicate, the chemicals in the remover can have a harmful reaction with certain fabric dyes. So, make sure you test it on a hidden area of the garment first, just to be extra cautious. 

Perhaps try the area under your armpit but on the inside. This will help you decipher what type of remover or cleaning method would be best to use on your clothing. 

You Will Need

To help you vanquish the polish from your garment, you will need a few of the following items: 

dried nail polish removal from clothing

how dried nail polish can be removed from clothing

how you should remove dried nail polish from clothing

  • Dish soap
  • Tweezers
  • Washing machine

More than likely you will already have some of them in your cupboard and that’s great. Some of these supplies can also be used when you’re looking at how to remove lacquer nail polish.

The Process

If the nail polish has dried completely, it will be easier to remove any nail polish lumps that have formed. Use tweezers to gently pull the pieces of dried polish from the clothing. This way when you pull or dab it, it won’t spread and make a further mess. 

how dried nail polish should be removed from clothing

It makes the removal process from your blouse or pants easier, and it is less likely to leave a stain. Once the big blotches are out the way, place the clothing on the flat surface with the stain facing down. Then wet the cloth with nail polish remover or non-acetone. 

Other types of solvents that could be used are hair spray, non-acetone nail polish remover, rubbing alcohol, remover with acetone, hydrogen peroxide, dish soap, or baking soda. 

All of these have the potential to clean the nail polish mess, no matter what the color. But, if you do find the remover too strong for the fabric of your garment, try the hydrogen peroxide. 

How to remove nail polish without cotton balls is possible when you have a microfiber cloth. Dip it in some cleaner solvent and dab the nail polish mess. Take care not to rub it and use a new applicator each time you go over the stain. 

By repeating this action, the stain will lighten each time. Continue until the stain has vanished. If your clothing item is white, hydrogen peroxide can be used to bleach the stain. Be gentle. Once the stain is gone, rinse the area under warm water. 

Then wash your clothing item in a machine as you usually would (preferably hot water again), or hand wash it and hang it out to dry.

Alternative Solvents

You could also try using hair spray or sanitizer on the stain because it helps break down the nail polish without bleaching your clothes. To do this, apply the hairspray to the q-tip or cotton swab and then test on a small area.

If the color of your garment remains the same after you’ve applied the hair spray, it’s safe to go ahead and spray the area with the hairspray. Spray a good amount on the stain so that there’s enough to soak the area. 

Then dab it with a cotton ball. Cotton balls are great because they soak up the solution brilliantly. It’s great to add to your list of supplies when you’re looking at how to use nail polish remover.

Another alternative is dry-cleaning solvent. You can make this solution by diluting regular unscented laundry detergent in water. 

For natural fibers like wool and silk, get professionals to remove the nail polish stain for you. Much like how to remove nail polish remover from a wooden table, if you’re not sure, call in the pros.


So, there you have it. Don’t be throwing out your damaged clothes in a hurry. First, try to remove the stains. If you follow the steps, it can be removed completely. Try to be cautious when you’re doing your manicure.

We know this can be hard, especially if you’re in a massive rush. But it sure will save you time and it will save you having to spend money to fix the problem. Money that could have been spent growing your ORLY lacquer collection instead.

With our handy tips and tricks, you’ll surely be able to get any nail polish stain out of your clothing, leaving it as good as new.

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