Does DIY Nail Polish Remover Really Work Or Should You Stick To The Real Stuff?

My dear nail polish-loving friends, prepare to have your minds blown. I'm beyond pumped to inform you that DIY nail polish remover is totally possible in case you accidentally discover you're out of store-bought. I know, I know, I'm sitting here freaking out giddy.

I was unintentionally forced into this glorious discovery just yesterday. My nails were coated in chipped black polish, but my roommate needed a hand model for her next Instagram post (the millennial social media struggle is so real in our apartment). I hit up the bathroom cabinet to whip out my nail polish remover and...empty. Damn. Since the nearest drugstore is nearly fifteen blocks away and time was of the essence, I hit up the Interwebs to learn exactly what to do. While I was shocked to find tons of strategies pop up, my DIY-loving eyes were especially drawn to vinegar-based homemade nail polish removers.

I'm going to break down the vinegar-based DIY nail polish remover strategy below, but do want to point out one quick alternative for you folks that aren't into whipping up your own beauty concoctions. If you're out of remover and in a super pinch, Chrislie.com advised topping your nails with a coat of clear polish and then removing it immediately with a cotton ball to wipe away all the polish. I tested this on my pinkie nail and it does legitimately work!

As for the vinegar nail polish remover hack, here's how it works.

You'll need:

  • Juice of one lemon
  • Three teaspoons of apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar)
  • Small bowl
  • Cotton rounds

1. Mix Together Lemon Juice And Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar, $13.78, Bragg

In your small bowl, swirl together the vinegar and lemon juice. It should be close to equal parts.

2. Dip Fingers For Twenty To Thirty Seconds

Before you dip your fingers into the mixture, the video above recommends soaking your nails in warm water — this will help loosen your nail polish. Once that's done, dip your fingers into the mixture. It might sting a little, but try to keep them in there for twenty to thirty seconds.

3. Scrub Off With Makeup Remover Pads

Organic Cotton Rounds, $3.75, thrivemarket.com

Just like you were using regular polish remover, wipe off the now-removable polish. In the video above, they recommend soaking the cotton round in the vinegar liquid and placing it on your finger. If your nail polish is stubborn, definitely try that out! Repeat steps two and three as necessary.

4. Rinse Fingers Under Warm Water And Moisturize

Hand Cream, $8.76, TonyMoly

Since lemon juice and vinegar can be pretty drying, finish off with rinsing them off and rubbing your hands in hydrating moisturizer. That's it!

Want more beauty tips? Check out the video below, and be sure to subscribe to Bustle’s YouTube page for more hacks and tricks!

Bustle on YouTube

Images: Shannon Kringen(2)/Flickr; Courtesy of Brands