10 Things You Can Do When You’re Out of Nail Polish Remover

10 Things You Can Do When You’re Out of Nail Polish Remover - Mersi Cosmetics

You have to go for a meeting, and you want to change your shimmery purple nail paint from the last night's dinner to a subtle nude shade. You reach out to your makeup vanity only to discover you have run out of nail paint remover.

What's your next move?

Nail polish remover is as important as nail paint itself. Whether you want to remove your existing nail color or clean the edges of the nails while applying nail varnish, you need nail paint remover. 

There are times when you either run out of your nail polish remover or cannot find one near. Luckily, there are some amazingly surprising hacks that can save your day in such a situation. Let's find out what those are. 

10 Nail Paint Remover Hacks 

Here are some popular tips and tricks for removing nail paint from your nails. You can try one method or the other depending on the availability of ingredients and your preference. Many of them are harmless and involve only natural ingredients. Have a look at them to discover the details. 

1. Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is a popular alternative to a nail paint remover. You can use it the same as a nail paint remover. 

  • Take a cotton ball and dip it in the rubbing alcohol. 
  • Squeeze out excess liquid in the cotton ball. 
  • Use the damp cotton to rub gently on the nails. 
  • Within a few seconds, your nail color will come out easily. 

What if you don't even have rubbing alcohol? Just grab your perfume. Perfumes usually contain alcohol. Use the same as you would use rubbing alcohol. However, since the alcohol in perfumes is dilute, you might need more product. Do not forget to wash your hands thoroughly. Otherwise, the overpowering smells can get your head spinning. 

2. Hand Sanitizer

The hand sanitizer you always carry with you can be your part-time nail polish remover. Hand sanitizers contain a generous amount of alcohol. It might not be the best alternative for getting your nail color off, but it can be a good option on the list. 

If your hand sanitizer contains a high proportion of isopropyl alcohol, it can prove to be a good alternative. Isopropyl alcohol is effective for dissolving pigments. 

  • Instead of applying a large amount of sanitizer to your nails, it is better to take a drop at a time. 
  • Gently rub it on your nails using a cotton ball. 
  • You will notice the color fading gradually. 
  • Repeat the process until all your color comes off. 

3. Vinegar and Orange Juice

Don’t want to expose your nails to too many harsh chemicals? You can try some natural ingredients also. The best thing is that you can easily find them at your home. One such solution is the vinegar-orange juice soak. You might never of trying it as a drink, but it can be a good nail paint removal solution. 

  • Take a small bowl and mix equal amounts of orange juice and vinegar. 
  • Mix the two liquids well, so it forms a good solution. 
  • Take a cotton ball or cotton pad and dip it in the solution. 
  • Rub it on your nails or a few seconds to soften the nail paint. 
  • After a couple of seconds, gently pull it down to remove the dissolved nail polish. Wash and moisturize your hands in the end. 

4. Toothpaste 

One of the key ingredients in a nail paint remover is ethyl acetate. It breaks down the pigments. Did you know that some toothpaste also contains this ingredient? (feels gross, right?) If you have such toothpaste, you can try it to remove the varnish from your nails. 

  • Simply take some paste on your fingers. 
  • Apply it to your nails and rub it for a while. 
  • Leave it on for a few seconds and remove it using a tissue or paper towel. 
  • The nail color should come off. If it does not, repeat the process to get better results. 

5. Hydrogen Peroxide and Water

Hydrogen peroxide and warm water soak can be effective for taking off stubborn nail paint. Hydrogen peroxide is a common ingredient in a variety of cosmetic items. It is an easy-to-follow method that takes off nail paint within a few seconds. If your skin is sensitive to Hydrogen peroxide, do not follow this method. 

  • Take a bowl of lukewarm water. It must be deep enough to soak your nails. 
  • Add hydrogen peroxide to it and mix well. 
  • Soak your nails in this mixture for about 30-35 seconds. It will soften the nail paint, making it easy to remove. 
  • Take your hands out of the solution and wipe off the nail paint. 

6. Hair Spray

Ever thought you would be using your hair spray on your nails? If not, then think about it now. It can save your day when you’re out of nail polish remover. All you need is a hair spray and some cotton pads, and you are good to go. 

  • Spray the solution on a cotton pad such that it gets damp. 
  • Cover your nails with the soaked cotton pad and gently rub them after a few seconds. 
  • Usually, nail color comes out after a few seconds. If it does not, repeat the drill a few times more. 
  • Once all your nails are clean, wash your hands and moisturize them. 

7. Lemon Water

When life gives you lemons, you might make lemonade from some but make sure to save some. They can prove to be a good nail paint remover. Lemons have acidic properties and can add to the shine of your nails. It is safe to use as far as your skin is not sensitive to it. 

  • Take a bowl of soapy water. It is better if it is lukewarm. 
  • Soak your hands in it for 3-4 minutes. 
  • Take out your hands from the water and scrub your nails with a slice of lemon. 
  • Wait for a while and scrub again. 
  • Wipe your nails, and the color should come off. 
  • Wash your hands afterwards. 

8. Deodorant

Don’t have any of these products at home? Don’t worry; the deodorant on your shelf will do the job. Deodorants do not usually contain high amounts of acetone, but they have‌ some solvents that can dissolve and remove the pigments. Don’t use deodorant if you are allergic to it.

  • Wash your hands and dry them. 
  • Spray the deodorant on your nails. Keep the nozzle close to your nails and keep your nose and mouth covered. 
  • Use a paper towel or cotton to wipe it off immediately. Do not let it dry on your nails. 
  • You might need to repeat the process a few more times to take off the color completely. 
  • Wash your hands with soap to get rid of the overpowering fragrance.  

9. Nail Polish

A fresh coat of nail polish can remove the older nail color. This method is a bit messy and therefore not preferable. You can use it when you have no other options available.  

  • Take a nail polish and a piece of cotton or tissue. 
  • Apply a single coat to your already colored nails. 
  • Quickly wipe it off before drying. It will take off the color of your nails. 
  • Do one nail at a time, and don’t let the nail paint dry. 

10. Glue and Water Base

A smart move is to wear a peel-off base coat. You can easily do it without spending any money on expensive products. All you need is glue, water, and an old nail polish brush. 

  • Take some glue and water in the proportion of 3:1. 
  • Mix them well so that it forms a nice thin paste. It must be thin enough to spread on your nails like nail paint. 
  • Apply it to your nails and let it dry. You may apply a second coat if the mixture is too thin. 
  • Let it dry completely, and apply your nail polish as you normally do. 
  • Simply peel off the base coat when you intend to take it off.
  • It will come out along with the top coat, whether it is peelable or not. 

What Not To Do 

If you are out of nail paint remover, you can try any of the alternative methods. You can choose from natural and chemical-based products. Some people commit the mistake of scratching their nails to get rid of the varnish. Scratching with a sharp object can remove the layer of dry nail paint, but it is dangerous for your nails. 

It can cause nicks and cuts on your skin. Even if you scratch them with your bare nails, they can leave marks on your nails. It might feel difficult to resist the urge but imagine its aftereffects. (you would never like rough and brittle nails, would you?) They may become rough and lose their shine. Scratching does not always remove the nail color neatly and can leave spots. 

Another mistake you must avoid is layering your nails with one nail paint over another. Applying multiple layers without removing the old ones makes the nails look messy. It also makes it difficult to remove them all at once. You have to use a lot of nail paint removal solutions, and it will also take more time. Instead, remove the old nail color before applying the new one. 

Nail Paint Removal Aftercare Tips

Whether you are using a regular nail color remover or any chemical-based alternative, overdoing them can be harmful. These chemical-based ingredients and products can make your nails dry. Make sure you take good aftercare of your nails. 

You can take the following steps to ensure gorgeous nails. 

  • Wash your hands and nails thoroughly with soap and water after removing the nail polish. 
  • Dry them with a towel to absorb all the moisture. 
  • Use cuticle oil or moisturizer and gently massage your nails. Do not forget the skin around the nails; it needs moisturization too. 
  • Let them absorb the moisturization and nourishment for a while before you paint them again. 

Besides these aftercare tips, you must be careful with the frequent use of nail paint remover. It can be harsh on the skin. The following tips can be helpful in this regard. 

  • Avoid using nail polish too often. Take a break in between to let your nails recover from the damage. 
  • Use vegan and halal nail polish. It is gentle on nails and comparatively less harmful to your nails. 
  • Use peel-off nail polish when you have to change the color frequently. 
  • Do not use too much of the nail paint remover. Use it as per the directions of the manufacturer. 
  • Use nail paint remover on your nail only. Avoid using it on your skin. 
  • Do not stick to any of the alternative methods if you are allergic. Immediately discontinue using any method that irritates your skin. 


Whether you use a nail polish remover or any alternative, make sure to moisturize your nails well. These chemicals can make your nails dry and brittle. Apply some cuticle oil to hydrate your nails. Do not make any of the alternatives your go-to nail paint remover solutions. All of these can be damaging to nails if used excessively. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to remove nail paint without nail polish remover?

Yes, it is possible to remove nail paint without a nail polish remover. There are several chemical-based and natural solutions to get the nail color off of your nails. 

Does nail paint remover dry your nails?

Yes, nail paint removers can dry your nails. They contain acetone as the main ingredient. It can absorb moisture from your hands, making the surface excessively dry. It is, therefore, important to wash and moisturize your nails afterwards. 

How to remove nail polish from your clothes?

You can use any good-quality detergent to remove your nail polish from your clothes. You can also use a bleaching agent or a nail paint remover to fade the stain. It is better to remove the nail polish as soon as it spills on your clothes to avoid the risk of staining. 

Should I scratch the nail paint from my nails?

No, you should not scratch your nails to remove the nail paint. Scratching can damage your nails and skin. It leaves unpleasant marks on nails and makes the surface rough. 

Can I make a handmade nail polish remover?

Yes, you can make homemade nail polish remover. There are several different methods to do so. You can use lemon juice and vinegar, toothpaste scrub, or any other method that suits your nails. 

How do you take off gel nail polish without acetone?

You can take off gel nail polish without acetone hydrogen peroxide or cuticle oil. You may dip your nails in warm water for a while to soften the nail paint. Using cuticle oil or olive oil afterwards will help take off the varnish easily. 

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