Sneaky Ways to Easily Remove Nail Polish

by Miki Hayes

I love painting my nails. And I may or may not hoard over 100 bottles of polish for whenever I need my fix. It's a problem, I know. But what's worse is my removal habits, despite having found ways to remove polish without any remover. I once (or twice) had three Thanksgiving Dinners with remnants of a spiderweb manicure on my tips. I'm not proud. I have my reasons though, I swear! First of all, I really can't stand the smell of nail polish remover. And second of all, I'm pretty lazy when it comes to freshening up my manicure. So OK, they're not the best reasons.

But recently, I've come across three ways to remove nail polish that either lessen or eliminate the smell. Two of which also don't require me to go out and buy a bottle of remover if I've run out or misplaced mine (something I've begrudgingly done in the past). I've demonstrated these methods below, but keep in mind that my polish was two thick layers of glitter (Ginger + Liz Colour Collection in Kicking & Screaming, in case you're interested). Although I'm pleased with the efficacy of each removal process, they will work even better with a regular cream or metallic polish. But regardless of what type of polish you're rocking, or whether you have a bottle of remover handy (sorry), here are the best ways to get rid of a stale manicure.

Nail Polish Remover

Onyx Professional Nail Polish Remover, $8, Amazon

Duh, I know. But it really is the best way. Nail polish remover comes in both non-acetone and acetone versions. While non-acetone is better for your nails, acetone will remove nail polish faster and easier. Have tough glitter polish to take off? Place a remover-soaked cotton pad over your nails and wrap them in aluminum foil for about three minutes. That glitter polish will slide right off.

More Nail Polish

Sounds a little counterintuitive, but this totally works. Just paint a fresh coat of nail polish or a top coat (preferably not a quick-drying formula) and wait about 20-30 seconds. Then, using a tissue, just wipe off. If there is any polish still on the nails, just repeat until clean. Bonus? If you're indecisive about your next color, use your options to take your current color off. You can decide which you like best without immediate commitment.

Rubbing Alcohol Based Products

BD Alcohol Swabs, $4, Amazon

If you can't find remover and don't want to waste your polish, rubbing alcohol based products are your next best bet. This includes straight-up rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer, hairspray, body mist, perfume, and spray deodorant. While these products will remove your polish, they need a little more time to work. Spray or apply some of your product-of-choice on your nails and let it sit for about one minute. Then, using a cotton pad or tissue, rub clean. This one takes a little more elbow grease, especially on thicker or glitter polishes, so you might have to repeat the process a few times. Just remember, this is only for rubbing alcohols. Whiskey will not remove your nail polish, so save it for your coffee.

Images: Miki Hayes (6)