5 Natural Ways to Remove Nail Polish

By Angela Tague in Natural Products

I feel extra cheerful and a bit sassy when flaunting pretty polish on my fingers. But, when those tips begin to chip and the paint starts to peel, it's time to clear away the mess. And guess what? I haven't been using nail polish remover to clean my nails. Instead, I've turned to basics in my kitchen as I discover natural ways to remove nail polish.

Why Not Just Use Nail Polish Remover?

My adventure into natural nail polish removers started out of necessity. When I didn't have any nail polish remover in the bathroom cabinet, I decided to get creative with what I had on hand to clean up my unsightly fingertips.

Once I started working with other methods to remove my polish, I realized a few things that I was happily missing out on. The odor of common acetone-based nail polish removers would sometimes give me a headache. The US National Library of Medicine says, although acetone occurs naturally in plants, trees, volcanic gasses, and forest fires, breathing in the solvent can sometimes cause adverse symptoms including nausea, eye irritation, and headaches.

Also, in my experience, commercial removers would leave my nail beds dry and brittle. That's because acetone in traditional nail polish removers can cause your nails to soften, according to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. With these factors in mind, I've decided it's best for me to go the natural route for my nail care.

colorful nail polish

5 Natural Ways to Remove Nail Polish

If you're out of remover or want to try an alternate method of nail care, give these natural nail polish removers a try.

  • Vodka: Soak your fingertips in a shallow dish of vodka to soften the polish. Be sure the liquor is deep enough to reach just over the cuticles. After a few minutes, use a soft washcloth to wipe away the nail color.
  • Toothpaste: A common ingredient in paste products is baking soda, which is also known as sodium bicarbonate. This mild abrasive helps to remove plaque from our teeth while brushing. It can also cleanse your nails. Use a soft nail brush to massage toothpaste into your nail beds and loosen the polish. Then, rinse with warm water as you peel away the polish.
  • Hydrogen peroxide: This common cleanser used for cuts and scrapes can also help to wash away that old manicure. In a shallow bowl, mix two parts of very warm water with one part of hydrogen peroxide. Then, let your fingertips soak. After a few minutes, use a file to buff away the softened polish.
  • Lemon and vinegar: Pour two tablespoons of lemon juice in a bowl, then top it off with distilled white vinegar, deep enough to submerge your nails. Soak for five minutes, then wipe away the polish with a soft cloth. This natural nail polish remover also works to dissolve stray color from the skin after applying a fresh coat of nail polish.
  • Hot water and soap: When that nail color has to come off, go scrub some dishes with hot, sudsy water. Prolonged soaking in hot water with a dish detergent present is sometimes all it takes to finish off that chipped manicure.

bottles of nail polish

Choosing a Nail Polish for Your Needs

A few months ago, a girlfriend and I upgraded our cosmetics bags to limited-ingredient natural makeup products that better fit our eco-conscious lifestyles. One beauty product on my list was vegan nail polish.

As I shopped, I discovered many of the polishes that fit my personal criteria were also water-based. This means they can be removed with just water! Amazing, right? After a twenty-minute lingering soak in the bathtub with my hands submerged in warm water, the colorful water-based paint peels away like a sticker. So easy!

If you want to make your nail care routine even more natural, consider water-based polishes when you're ready for a new hue.

You can also visit the Naturally Inspired Solutions board by @tomsofmaine on Pinterest for more ways to make eco-conscious decisions with your routines.

Image Sources: Pexels | Angela Tague | Angela Tague

The views and opinions expressed in any guest post featured on our site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of Tom's of Maine.


Why It's Good

It is possible to green your manicure routine! You can choose polishes with ingredients that fit your personal needs and remove them with natural products found in your pantry. This way, you can reduce your use of personal care products made with ingredients that may cause irritation and help to protect the health of your nails and the skin around them.