How to Remove Nail Polish Without Nail Polish Remover?

how to make nail polish remover at home using lemon and vinegar

Just the moment you want to remove the polish on your nails, a nail polish remover comes to mind. These products contain hazardous chemicals like acetone and acetonitrile which cause headaches, irritation, dizziness; you name it. Eventually, you’ll need to know how to remove nail polish without nail polish remover. Fortunately, there’re safer and cooler ways to go.

In this article, you’ll learn 13 different methods which are easy requiring you to forget about how to use nail polish remover.

How to Remove Nail Polish without Nail Polish Remover?

These methods are widely adopted due to their minimally invasive nature and quick results. Most ingredients are available at home and you can do it all without any considerable investment.

How to Make Nail Polish Remover at Home? Lemon and Vinegar Method

Forget about buying anything. Certain materials like vinegar and lemon are found in nearly every kitchen.

Lemon produces citrus juice that contains healthy acid which works as a powerful remover when mixed with vinegar, a common household item rich in acidity.

What Do You Need?

  • Vinegar (2–4 tablespoons)
  • Lemon (1 Piece)
  • Cotton Balls
  • Shallow Bowl

5 Steps

  1. Cut the lemon by two halves.
  2. Take the shallow bowl and squeeze one half of the lemon.
  3. Mix vinegar with the juice. Prepare the solvent as much as you need to soak all fingers in it.
  4. Soak all your fingers in the liquid and keep them for at least 5 minutes and no longer than 10.
  5. Use cotton balls to wipe off the fingers and nails.

After soaking the nails, you should wipe them off while they’re wet. If the fingers/nails become dry, it’ll be a problem requiring you to undergo another cleaning/washing procedure. Finally, wash your fingers and apply moisturizer for added comfort.

how to make nail polish remover at home using lemon and vinegar

Hydrogen Peroxide and Hot Water

Hydrogen Peroxide, used as a mild antiseptic, can be mixed with hot water to make a great DIY nail polish remover. Its tendency to release oxygen naturally makes it a powerful solution.

What Do You Need?

  • Hydrogen Peroxide (As required)
  • Hot water
  • Shallow bowl
  • Nail file
  • Piece of Cloth

5 Steps

  1. Prepare hot water.
  2. Mix ½ cup of hydrogen peroxide and ¼ cup of water.
  3. Soak your nails in the mix and keep them for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Keep massaging and rubbing the polish off the nails using your fingers.
  5. Use the file to remove the polish.


  • Dilute hydrogen peroxide just as much required but not more than one cup. It can be too strong for your fingers.
  • Heat the water just as much as your finger can handle.
  • Go with the file gently on your nails. No rough motion please!

Finally, you need to wash your fingers with warm water and dry them with a piece of clean cloth.

hydrogen peroxide to remove nail polish

How to Remove Nail Polish with Toothpaste

Using a toothpaste, especially a whitening one, can be an inexpensive method as it contains ethyl acetate, one of the primary ingredients of nail polish remover. A little amount of baking soda being included in toothpastes makes them even more efficient.

What Do You Need?

  • White Toothpaste
  • 1 Toothbrush
  • Warm Water
  • Soap or Hand Wash
  • Cotton Pad
  • Lotion

10 Steps

  1. Keep your nails soaked in warm water for 3-4 minutes.
  2. Put some toothpaste on the toothbrush.
  3. Brush the nails just like you do your teeth.
  4. Create foam using gentle brushing strokes.
  5. Reach every tiny corner of your nail.
  6. Scrub the nails gently and thoroughly.
  7. Keep doing this until the polish starts going off.
  8. Wash your hands with hand wash or soap in warm water. It should help you get rid of the toothpaste stickiness.
  9. Use your cotton pad to remove traces (if any) of the polish.
  10. Apply some lotion.

Make sure the toothpaste doesn’t dry on your nails. So, keep brushing until the foam appears.

toothpaste to remove nail polish

How to Remove Stubborn Nail Polish Using Hairspray and Hand Sanitizer

These two items prove essentially useful when you find the nail paint a little too strong to remove.

Hair spray

Hair sprays that contain a mix of alcohol and other chemicals work well to clean the polish as well as tough stains.

What Do You Need?

  • Hairspray (Check for ingredients to see if alcohol is there)
  • A piece of cloth, cotton or tissue
  • Water
  • Skin cream/lotion (just the one you regularly use)

5 Steps

  1. Bring your nails and the hairspray close.
  2. Spray some liquid on the nails.
  3. Clean each nail quickly by wiping them gently with a piece of clean cloth (cotton) or tissue.
  4. Do this a few times (for stubborn polishes). For average polishes, one attempt should be fine.
  5. Soak both of your hands in water. Warm water does the rest.

Wash your hands thoroughly if you’ve doubts that the chemicals could harm your skin. Finally, apply a little amount of the cream/lotion.

hairspray to remove nail polish

How to Remove Nail Polish with Hand Sanitizer?

The alcohol in a hand sanitizer is the primary ingredient that does the job of removing nail polish.

What Do You Need?

  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Warm Water
  • Cotton Ball and/or a Piece of Cloth

5 Steps

  1. Soak the nails in water (slightly warm) for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Open up the container of the hand sanitizer and soak a cotton ball in it.
  3. Wipe your nails with the ball to remove the nail paint.
  4. Use a piece of cloth for scrubbing the nails if the polish is too stubborn to go even after rubbing.
  5. Wash the fingers with warm water.

This method works wonder when you need to get rid of polish that is too strong to go off.

How to Remove Nail Polish Easily Using Alcohol and Sugar

Rubbing alcohol is the most effective cleaning solution when it comes to removing nail polish without using a standard remover.

What Do You Need?

  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • White Sugar
  • Shallow Bowl
  • Warm Water
  • Cotton Ball and Pad

6 Steps

  1. Take the bowl and prepare a solvent by pouring a few drops of the alcohol and mixing 1 tablespoon of white sugar.
  2. Soak all fingers in the water. Keep them soaked for about 10-20 minutes. It will soften the polish to make the removal faster and easier.
  3. Soak the cotton ball into the alcohol and sugar mixture for a few seconds.
  4. Rub all nails with the ball. Make sure all corners receive the solvent.
  5. Use a cotton pad to wipe off the remaining nail paint until getting a perfect finish.
  6. Wash your hands with warm water.

Don’t use the raw alcohol directly onto your hands. Also, don’t use more than just 4-5 drops.

rubbing alcohol

Antiperspirants and Body Mists

As in some of the above items, alcohol is still the key ingredient to work with. Antiperspirants in different forms contain alcohol that helps you remove the nail paint with ease.

What Do You Need?

  • Body Spray/Deodorant/Perfume
  • Warm Water
  • 1 Piece of Dry Cloth
  • Hand Wash

5 Steps

  1. Keep all your nails soaked in water for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Apply the deodorant or perfume or whatever you choose to the nails.
  3. Rub them using the cloth.
  4. Wipe the polish off after some time.
  5. Use a little amount of hand wash to clean your hands off the smell.


  • Try to keep the perfume or deodorant container as much close to the nails as you can while spraying so that the sprayed chemicals don’t fly off without touching the nails.
  • Remember that perfume dries out quite fast. Don’t allow that on your nails.

You can use this technique to get better results that what you would get from using an average nail polish remover.


How to Remove Nail Polish Naturally? The ‘Warm Water’ Technique

Some call it the ‘soaking’ method. The beauty of it is that you’re using a 100% natural way to remove nail paints. All you need to do is soak your fingers in a bowl of warm water for at least 30 minutes. The longer you do this; the easier it will be for you to remove the paint.

Then, use a piece of cloth with a little rough texture that helps you wipe the pain off properly for a smooth finish. Finally, wash the fingers once again, and you’re done! The only drawback you might not like is its lengthy action. For hard or stubborn paints, you may need around an hour or even longer.

Using Another Nail Polish

The technique seems like the old proverb “To set a thief to catch a thief”. Yes, you can use nail polish to get rid of the older one. Just apply the polish to all your nails and rub them off using a piece of cloth that is not cotton.

3 Things to Remember

  • Work on one nail at a time because you don’t want to let the latest paint dry to make the removal process much harder.
  • Use a dark nail polish for the job.
  • Don’t use cotton as it may stick to the paint. Anything that doesn’t have pretty rough textures should be fine.
  • Don’t overdo the action. Apply polish just as much needed to cover the nail.

1 Preventive Measure: Using White Glue

This particular method is more about prevention than removal. Using white glue, you may not get good results on just about any polish. It works great on glitter nail paints. Just follow the steps below.

  • Mix the glue with water.
  • Use a small, empty container to put the mixture.
  • Create a base coat on the nails using the mixture. Allow it to dry properly.
  • Apply any standard glittery nail polish on the base coat. Allow it to dry completely.
  • Whenever you think you don’t want the nail paint, just peel off the coating.

You can soak nails into warm/slightly hot water with soap leather. This small step can play a big role in your nail polish removal process.

white glue

3 Useful but Not Very Common Methods

These ways aren’t very popular, yet they may help you remove nail paints properly and quickly.


You may not like the idea, but it works too. Make sure your nails are properly clipped before the procedure.

  • Take a 180-grit (coarse) file and move the filer around your nails. Try to steer clear of any burning sensation.
  • Take a file with finer grit to remove whatever is left on your nails.
  • Apply nourishing lotion/oil to remove scratches or similar marks on the nails.

Don’t be in a rush while filing around the nails because a moment of careless can result in a broken nail. It’s good to use a clear base coat on the nail plate so that it may get replenished soon.

Clear Nail Gloss

This particular item, as many women believe, is much like a nail polish remover, but it is not. You can use it just way you do a polish, but the function it serves is favorable.

  • Apply a little amount onto the nails.
  • Wipe the gloss off your nails with a piece of cloth or cotton ball.
  • Repeat the process until you get the nails cleaned per your need.


  • You need to be fast enough to avoid getting the gloss dried on your nails.
  • Work on one nail at a time to avoid the issue.

You don’t have to be very careful while using it on the nails because the procedure requires none.

Taut Floss

It sounds rather unconventional, but a taut floss with its softness does an excellent job by removing your nail toppers without leaving any damage or scratches. There’s no particular motion or way around the use of a floss to remove nail paints. But, you should have one thing, ‘patience’. Careless movement of the floss might cause damages to your nails.

By now, you’ve got 13 different ways, all showing how to remove nail polish without nail polish remover. But, what about the skin care during the process. It’s true you’re working on the nails and fingers, but it doesn’t rule out the chance for your hand to get affected by any invasive material.

Use only recommended material if you are interested in nail polish remover DIY hacks and be careful about the skin of your palm and fingers

taut floss to remove nail paint

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