How To Remove Nail Polish Remover From Jeans

People use nail polish remover to get nail polish off all types of surfaces, including nails, counters, and tile floors.

However, getting nail polish remover on your clothes may present a different kind of challenge, especially if the nail polish remover is on your jeans.

People have often asked the question, does nail polish remover stain clothes?

The answer is an emphatic YES, but there are things that you can do to remedy that problem.

Jeans are too expensive to throw away everything to get a spill on them, but removing nail polish remover may seem more complicated than other stains.

Luckily, we’ve done the research, and learning how to remove nail polish remover from jeans is easy.

You need a few everyday household cleaning items and an eye for detail to get the nail polish remover off your clothes, allowing you to get back to painting your nails.

What You’ll Need

You’ll need a few common household cleaning items to remove nail polish remover from jeans.

Now that you have everything you need, read on to learn how to remove nail polish remover from jeans.

1. Pre-treat with a stain remover

Once you realize that there is nail polish remover on your jeans, address the stain first by applying your favorite pre-wash stain remover product.

I prefer to use OxiClean Max Force Foam Laundry Pre-Treater, 9 oz.

If the stain is small and relatively light, the stain remover should be enough to remove the nail polish remover with washing.

2. Wash according to the washing instructions

Wash your jeans according to the washing instructions.

Once your jeans come out of the washer, check them carefully to ensure the stain is completely gone.

Do not assume the stain is gone, and place your jeans in the dryer.

If the nail polish remover is not entirely gone, the heat from the dryer will set the stain into your clothes, making it nearly impossible to remove after that. 

If you notice the nail polish remover stain is not entirely gone, allow your jeans to air dry and then move on to step 3 to get rid of that stain completely.

Pro tip: If you are concerned about the stain on your clothes, you can also wash your clothing by hand. For large nail polish remover stains, we recommend washing by hand. Doing this will better monitor the stain and devote any extra attention needed to remove it.

3. mix dish soap and water (If Necessary)

If the pre-wash stain remover does not entirely remove your nail polish remover stain, mix one tablespoon of clear, mild dish soap with 2 cups of warm water.

This mixture will lift any greasy residue that the nail polish remover may have left behind, forming the stain on your jeans.

Pro tip: Do not use colored dish soap for removing stains. Although the dish soap will lift the current stain on your clothes, the coloring in the dish soap may create another stain. To avoid that, only use uncolored or transparent dish soap to remove stains from your clothes.

4. Apply soap and water mixture to the stain

You can use either a white cleaning cloth such as these AIDEA Microfiber Cleaning Cloths White-50PK that I found on Amazon or a sponge.

Dab the soap and water mixture onto the nail polish remover stain.

Be gentle as you sponge the area, working from the outside of the stain towards the middle to prevent the stain from accidentally spreading farther on your jeans.

5. Blot until the stain completely vanishes

Blot the nail polish remover stain until it is completely gone.

You may need to apply the soap and water mixture several times before this occurs.

Once it does, sponge the area with a fresh cleaning cloth and cool water to remove any lingering soap residue.

Then, blot the area dry.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you remove non-acetone-based nail polish remover from clothes?

Acetone does not generally stain fabric, so the chemicals in the nail polish remover that cause the stains on clothing are in both acetone and non-acetone nail polish remover.

Non-acetone nail polish removers tend to be less harsh on clothing, but the chemicals such as nail conditioners, coloring, and scents can still damage clothes. 

With the steps above, you can remove the stains from non-acetone nail polish remover.

First, use your favorite pre-wash stain remover on the stain.

If, after washing, the stain is not entirely gone, allow the clothing to air dry, and then blot the stain with a soap and water mixture made with 2 cups of warm water and one tablespoon of dish soap.  

Why does nail polish remover stain clothing?

Nail polish remover is not made only of acetone.

Acetone does not usually stain fabric because it is a natural chemical that usually evaporates quickly.

However, nail polish remover comes with other chemicals mixed into it.

These include things like conditioners, dyes, and fatty solvents that help the nail polish remover remain homogenized.

When dealing with a stain from nail polish remover, you are dealing with a stain from the other chemicals, not from the acetone itself, which is why the stain from nail polish remover often resembles oily residue. 

Will acetone damage my clothes?

It depends on the type of fabric your clothes are made of.

Although acetone is usually acceptable on sturdy natural fibers, plastic and synthetic fibers do not do well.

Acetone is excellent at dissolving grease and plastic.

While acetone can help remove grease stains from your favorite shirt, it can dissolve your clothes if you are not careful.

Never use acetone on clothing that contains fibers such as acetate, modacrylic, and triacetate. 

In addition, acetone will damage delicate natural fibers, such as silk, satin, and wool.

Avoid splashing acetone onto clothes made of those types of fibers as well.

While acetone will most likely not damage your cotton clothing, be watchful for any discoloration.

Acetone, especially in nail polish remover, is meant to remove color, but it does not differentiate between nail polish and fabric coloring.

The discoloration is common when dealing with acetone stains on sturdy natural-fibered clothing.