Does Acetone Stain Clothes?

Acetone is frequently used in the pursuit of health and beauty.

Most of us use acetone to take off nail polish, but sometimes, the acetone may end up on other surfaces, including your clothes.

You may even have applied the acetone purposefully to remove a bit of stray nail polish or a tough grease stain without wondering if the acetone would make the stain worse.

You don’t have to worry any longer.

Acetone itself does not stain clothes. Acetone is a naturally occurring compound that evaporates quickly. Acetone will not stain your clothes, but some compounds mixed with acetone to make nail polish remover or paint thinner can stain clothes. However, acetone can still damage certain fabrics. When acetone comes in contact with delicate natural fibers or synthetic material such as plastic, acetone can dissolve or otherwise damage the fabric. Before applying acetone to your clothing to remove nail polish or grease, make sure you know how the acetone and the compounds mixed with the acetone will react with that particular type of fabric.

Read on to learn more about how acetone interacts with your clothing and learn some tips for what you can do to protect your clothing from any unwanted side effects.

What Fabrics Will Acetone Damage?

Acetone is an organic compound that is also known as propanone.

It is highly flammable, but it is naturally occurring.

The human body produces small amounts of acetone as a by-product.

This does not mean that acetone is safe to use anywhere, though.

Acetone has a unique molecular structure that breaks down grease, rubber, and plastic.

While this is helpful if you remove nail polish or a terrible grease stain, the acetone cannot distinguish what a stain is and what is part of your clothes.

Before applying acetone to your clothing, check what your clothes are made out of.

Clothes that contain any plastic or synthetic material will not fare well with acetone.

Your clothes will begin to dissolve!

Although stains can be challenging to deal with, holes in your clothes are even harder to repair.

Although there are others, watch for names like acetate, modacrylic, or triacetate.

Can Acetone Damage Natural Fibers?

In addition, acetone can also damage delicate natural fibers.

Natural fibers include fabrics like silk, satin, and wool.

The damage can be worse than the original stain, so we advise avoiding applying acetone to delicate natural fibers.

It should be fine to use acetone on cotton fabrics and artificial materials that do not contain plastic.

As always, check the acetone on an inconspicuous area first to verify the acetone will not
have any adverse effect on your clothing.

This includes any coloring, staining, or bleaching.

While acetone itself should not affect the color of your clothes, some of the compounds mixed with acetone may damage the fabric’s color.

Lighter materials do better than darker fabrics under acetone treatments, but you can use acetone on black clothing.

How do you remove acetone-based stains from clothes?

If you notice your acetone-based product has left a residue or a stain on your clothes, blot the affected area with a cleaning cloth.

If any solids are forming, scrap those off with a spoon or blunt table knife.

Then, mix ¼ cup of liquid dish soap with 1 cup of water.

Gently dab the stain with this mixture, starting from the outside of the stain and working towards the middle.

Once the stain is gone, dab the area with a fresh cleaning cloth until the area is completely dry.

Then, rinse once more in cool running water and dab dry again to remove any remaining residue.

You can also apply your favorite stain remover to the affected area and place the clothing in the washing machine.

Make sure to check your clothes for the stain before putting your clothes in the dryer, though.

The dryer can set the stain into the clothing, making it nearly impossible to remove.

How Do You Use Acetone to Remove Other Stains?

Acetone can be used to remove a variety of other stains from your clothes.

This includes stains from nail polish, grease, ink, and paint.

Acetone is great for removing these stains because it naturally breaks down fats, plastic, and rubber.

Dab the stain with a fresh cleaning cloth to use acetone as a stain-fighting cleaner.

Doing this will remove as much of the stain as possible before you begin.

After verifying that the acetone will not damage your clothing item, dab a little acetone onto the affected area with a cleaning cloth or a sponge.

If you use a cleaning cloth, make sure it is white.

Any color from the cleaning cloth could transfer to the fabric while applying the acetone, which will create another stain.

Work from the outside of the stain and towards the middle until the stain is completely gone.

You may need to reapply the acetone to your cleaning cloth several times before this happens because stains like grease or ink can work themselves deep into the fabric.

It might take several applications of acetone to eradicate it.

Ink stains should be removed with a diluted acetone mixture.

Dilute the acetone with one part acetone and two parts water.

Once you have completely removed the stain, rinse the area with cool water and wash as normal.

Check the fabric before placing it in the dryer to ensure the stain is completely removed.

Placing stained fabric in the dryer can set the stain into the fabric.

What Are Other Uses For Acetone?

You can use Acetone for more than just removing nail polish and grease stains.

You can also use acetone to remove scuff marks, remove melted plastic from metal, and unstick superglue.

Just pour a few drops of acetone onto a cleaning rag or cotton and gently wipe the affected area.


Now that you have read this article, you have learned the answer to the question, does acetone stain clothes?

You’ve also learned the different uses of acetone and why you need to keep some around your home.

Hopefully, after reading this article, you will be comfortable using acetone on your clothing when the time comes.