Skip to main content

How to Remove Nail Polish

Even the best manicure wears out eventually, and removing polish is simple enough. Just remember: a little precautionary ventilation can save you from a big headache.


  • Step 1: Ventilate area Make sure the area where you're working is properly ventilated—open a window or turn on a fan. Beauty always comes at a cost, but breathing in fumes is too high a price.
  • Step 2: Protect surface Protect the surface on which you're going to work with a few paper towels.
  • Step 3: Soak up remover Soak a cotton ball or a paper towel folded into a small square with the remover.
  • TIP: Cotton balls can leave behind little fibers and paper towels can shred—experiment to find what works best for you.
  • Step 4: Apply remover Place the remover-soaked ball or square on your nail, and press firmly for several seconds. Once the remover has soaked in, slide the ball or square down your nail to easily sweep the polish off without scrubbing.
  • TIP: Acetone remover will remove polish faster, but many people prefer non-acetone remover because its fumes are less toxic, and it's less drying to your nails and cuticles.
  • Step 5: Apply to cuticles If you have stubborn polish on or around your cuticles, use a cotton swab soaked in remover to gently work the polish off.
  • Step 6: Wash hands Once your nails are polish-free, use soap and water to wash the chemicals from your hands.
  • Step 7: Moisturize hands Smooth on a hand cream to moisturize your hands, and wave hello to your au natural nails.
  • FACT: Although ancient Egyptians and Chinese painted their nails, modern nail polish wasn't invented until the 1920s.

You Will Need

  • A window or fan
  • Paper towels
  • Nail polish remover
  • A sink or basin
  • Soap
  • A towel
  • Hand moisturizer
  • Cotton balls
  • Cotton swabs

Popular Categories