How to Remove Nail Polish Without Nail Polish Remover

How Long Does Nail Polish take to Dry

You do not always need a nail polish remover to clean off your nail polish. You may be too tired to get a new nail polish remover, but you want to remove your old nail polish anyway. It is obvious you are pretty much ready to redo your nails over again. There are certain methods you can use even when you run out of nail polish remover.

You might also want to avoid using the nail polish remover simply because you do not like the chemical content. These methods are as functional as using the nail polish remover.

How to Remove Nail Polish Without Remover

Check out these methods to know how to remove your nail polish without a nail polish remover.

1. Nail Polish Method

This method is a DIY that is pretty simple. Of course, you have a huge set of colourful nail polish at home. You can grab another nail polish, preferably, one you do not use any longer even though it is still functional. Repaint the already painted nail with these. This softens the old nail polish. You can then wipe your nails with cloth or cotton. This will clean your nails. Sometimes, your nails do not get cleaned off in one attempt. In that case, repeat the process.


  • Use nail polish that takes a long time to dry. This keeps your nail polish soft for easy cleaning.
  • Use a nail polish that is darker than the one you intend to remove.
  • Do not wait for the nails to dry before cleaning. Waiting for the new nail polish to dry makes the entire process futile.
  • Do not waste a lot of time painting the nails since you are going to wipe it off anyway.
  • The cotton usually sticks to the nails in this process, it is therefore recommended that you use a dry cloth in this process.

2. Body Spray or Deodorant Method

You can also spray a generous amount of body spray or deodorant on your nails to remove nail polish. Bring the spray close to your nail and spray it unto your nails. Clean your nails with a cloth, cotton, or tissue to wipe off the nail polish.


  • Clean the nails right after applying the body spray. It is recommended that you take each nail at a time. After spraying one nail, clean it before proceeding to spray the next nail.
  • After the cleaning process, soak your hands in warm water to remove the spray.
  • Make sure you are not allergic to body sprays and deodorants if you want to use this method.

3. Hairspray Method

Hair sprays can also be effective in removing nail polish. Most hairsprays contain chemicals that can clean tough stains. Bring the hairspray close to your nails, spray a good amount unto your nails and wipe your nails with cotton, tissue, or cloth. Repeat the process if your nails are not clean after the first attempt.


  • Clean each nail right after applying the hairspray.
  • Soak your hands in warm water to remove the spray.

Related: Best Hair Removal MachinesOpens in a new tab.

4. Toothpaste Method

Toothpaste is a basic necessity in our homes. Fortunately, they can also replace your nail polish remover. Toothpaste contains ethyl acetate which is also a primary component of nail polish remover. Apply toothpaste to your nails and scrub with a toothbrush. Make sure your brush enters the corners of your nails to clean all the color in that area. Wash your hands and apply lotion after you have done this. This will remove any trace of the nail polish. You can also use a cotton pad instead of a toothbrush to clean it off.


  • White toothpaste works best with this method.
  • Do not allow the toothpaste to dry on your nails before you proceed to clean them.

5. Warm Water Method

Soak your nails in warm water. Leave your nails in the water for 20 to 25 minutes. Once the nail polish becomes soft, take your fingers out of the water and clean off the nail polish with a dry cloth. The nail polish will come off without much effort.


  • You can do this while you are watching a television program since you would need to leave your hands in the water for at least 20 minutes.
  • You should also make sure that the water is not too hot to cause scalding.

Remove Nail Polish Without Remover

6. Hand Sanitizer Method

You can also use hand sanitizer to clean the nail polish off your nails. Hand Sanitizers contain alcohol which is an already established nail polish remover. Simply apply a little bit of hand sanitizer on your nails and rub your painted nails with cotton, tissue, or cloth. Repeat the process until you get rid of all the nail polish on your nails.


  • Wash your hands after the process to have a clean and attractive set of nails.

7. Clear Nail Gloss Method

Clear nail gloss can also help you to get rid of the nail polish. Simply apply it onto your nails. You can do it just like you are polishing your nails. But this time, you have to be fast about it. You do not have to do it carefully since you would wipe it off anyway. Now proceed to clean your nails with a cloth, cotton, or tissue. If your nails are not completely cleaned during the first try, repeat the process.


  • Clean your nails fast to prevent it from drying up.
  • You can use your old nail gloss, the one you would have otherwise thrown away.

8. Filing Method

You can also file your nails to get rid of nail polish. To do this, you should first trim your nails to make it easier for you to remove the nail polish. You can then remove the nail polish by filing the nails the top of your nails with a coarse nail file. Use the sharp end of a nail file to remove nail polish from the corners of your nails.


  • Do not file too roughly since my hurt you.
  • Wash your fingers and apply lotion after filing.

9. Body Mist Method

You can also use body mist to remove the colour from your nails. The process is pretty much the same as using hairspray, perfume, or deodorant. Remember not to wait for your nails along with the body mist to dry first. Always make sure you wipe each finger right after applying the body mist. Also, remember to wash your hands to remove the body mist.

10. Top Coat Method

You can also use a top coat nail polish. Apply the top coat nail polish to your already polished nails. This will soften the nails and then you can wipe the nails with a cloth, handkerchief, or tissue. Always remember to clean your nails before it dries up. Once it dries up, it becomes more difficult to clean.

11. Scratching or Peeling method

You can also resort to scratching your nails or peeling of the nail polish to remove the colour from your nails. This will require lots of patience since the process is very slow. You should wash your hands and apply some hand cream or lotion when you are done. This will make your hands and nails attractive again.

12. Acetone Method

You can also consider acetone in removing your nail polish. Most nail polish removers contain acetone. Have you run out of nail polish remover but still have some acetone left, then you are still in luck. Simply apply acetone to your nails and clean them with a dry cloth, tissue, or cotton. This does the magic. You can have your clean nails back with this method. You can also consider any non-harmful product that contains acetone if you do not have pure acetone at home.


  • You can always soak your hands in water to rid your hands of the acetone. This should be thoroughly done. Acetone has a strong medical composition and you would not want to keep it on your fingers for long.
  • Also, make sure the acetone does not dry of your hands before you start cleaning.
  • Acetone is toxic, it is recommended that you use only a small amount of acetone when using this method.

13. Alcohol Products

You are probably killing yourself right now. Simply because you are running out of time for that dinner date or girls outing but your nails are a mess. To top it all up, you do not have any nail polish remover left. Of course, you know all the DIY methods but there is no time to do those.

There is simply no time to go around mixing vinegar and lemon. But you definitely have some alcohol-based products at home. If that is the case, you are still in luck my dear. You can still remove your old nail polish with any product that has a large amount of alcohol in it. You can try grain alcohol too.

Simply dab some cotton or cloth into the content and start cleaning away those old nail polish stains. It would not take a lot of time if you are swift and persistent about it. Do this for all your nails and you are okay to start another round of manicure for that outing.

DIY Nail Polish Remover Methods

You can always prepare these mixtures to remove your nail polish.

14. Lemon Juice and White Vinegar

Lemon Juice and Ginger is an effective formula for removing nail polish. Cut lemon into two and squeeze to get the juice into a bowl. Add vinegar and stir until the mixture is thoroughly mixed. Apply to your nails. This will soften the nail polish. You can proceed to clean with a cloth, tissue, or cotton. Repeat this method until you have achieved your desired results.

15. Alcohol with White sugar

This homemade formula can be used to clean your nails without any hassle. This homemade nail polish remover has been known to clean nails faster. Put sugar in a bowl and add a little amount of alcohol. Stir until the mixture is smooth. Dip a cloth or cotton into the mixture and apply to your nails. This will clean off all nail polish and leave your nails perfectly clean.

What to do to Make it Easier To Remove Gel Nail Polish

This process is done before you apply the gel nail polish. This will make it easier when it is time to take it off. You would need student elementary glue and water.

Add water to the glue and mix till you get a fine mixture. The mixture should be light. You can then proceed to apply this mixture to your nails. Apply it cleanly and lightly. Wait for your nails to dry up before you proceed to apply the gel nail polish.

When it is time to remove your gel nail polish, simply file the tip of your nails first. You would realize that the ends of the nail polish would already start to wear off. Proceed to peel the gel polish off your nails without any sweat. This can also be done when you want to apply glitter nail polish. We all know how tiring it is when you are removing glitter nail polish. Make sure you do not use non-toxic glue in the process.

Nails are definitely something ladies love to care for. It is often said that cleaner nails are happier nails. Removing your old nail polish is just a part of the process of caring for your nails. The methods discussed above are not only functional but easy to do as well.

Fortunately, most of the products including toothpaste, hand sanitizer, body spray, and hairspray are items we use often. These products are not harmful to your skin and you can always use them if you totally want to avoid the commercial nail polish removers.

It is good to note that some of the products including acetone have strong chemical content and should not be used often. However, you can always adopt the ‘do it yourself’ mixtures for your ‘at home’ nail polish removing processes. Of course, you do not always have to visit the salon for all your manicure procedures.

Magda Du Plessis

I am a writer for more than 6 years. A mother of three, and full time writer. I love writing and making sure that everyone has all the beauty tips to be as beautiful as can be.

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