How to Get Nail Polish off Skin? Top 10 DIY Methods

Nail art is easy to learn but hard to master. Sometimes, it might take two, three attempts or more to get the desired result. It’s easy to get nail polish on your fingers even if you’re extra careful.

Luckily, cleaning nail polish off your skin is easy. There are many proven DIY ways to do it. So, let’s investigate how to get nail polish off skin.

Warm Water

If you don’t have any acetone laying around and you don’t have the time to go buy some, you can use warm water to remove the nail polish from your skin. It is the simplest and safest way to do it, even if you have sensitive skin.

Run the tap and put your hand under it. Scrub with a napkin or a paper towel until there’s no more nail polish on your skin. Alternatively, you can pour some warm water in a bowl and soak a napkin or paper towel in it for the removal.

Take a Bath or Shower

You can also take a shower if there are multiple large stains, especially if they’re dried. Shower or bathe with warm water and soap and use a mild washcloth to remove the nail polish. Warm water will facilitate the process.


Toothpaste is a good option for removing nail polish off your skin. It is mild enough for your skin and strong enough for a wide variety of stains, including nail polish.

Squeeze a bit of toothpaste onto a paper towel or cotton napkin. Rub the toothpaste directly onto the nail polish. Keep rubbing until all the nail polish is gone from your skin. Don’t rub too hard if you have sensitive skin. After the nail polish is gone, wash the skin with soap and warm water.

Rubbing Alcohol

While you’re in the bathroom, you might use rubbing alcohol as well. It is weaker than acetone nail polish remover, but it can get the job done. Also, it is gentler on your skin and less drying.

Soak a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and apply it to your skin. Keep rubbing until all the nail polish is gone. You might need to repeat the process a few times depending on the size of the stain and its drying stage. Make sure to wash the skin with warm water and soap afterward.


Though it may seem a bit counter-intuitive, perfume might help you get the nail polish stains off your skin. That’s mainly because it contains more alcohol by volume than rubbing alcohol. However, save perfume as your last resort.

Soak a cotton ball or paper towel and in perfume and rub gently on your skin. After removing the nail polish, you should apply some moisturizer to the skin to rehydrate it. Alternatively, you can use your hand cream, Vaseline, or another lubricant.

Baby Wipes

If you have sensitive skin, you might want to use baby wipes to deal with nail polish stains. The oils in baby wipes can dissolve the polish, yet mild enough to not irritate the skin. Baby wipes are most effective when the nail polish is still wet.

Vinegar & Lemon

Your kitchen is full of things that can help you correct manicure mishaps such as getting nail polish on your fingers. Vinegar and lemon can be quite handy in these situations. They’re among the milder options but perhaps not mild enough for very sensitive skin.

Soak a paper towel or cotton napkin in either vinegar or lemon and apply to the skin. Since they’re mild, you might need to repeat the process a couple of times. After the stains are gone, you might want to wash the skin with water and soap to remove the smell.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is highly versatile, armed with more applications than the Swiss Army knife. Every household should have some laying around. It boosts metabolism, protects and nurtures hair and skin, relieves inflammation and infections, and so on. Plus, it smells wonderful.

As it turns out, coconut oil is also a great stain remover. You can use it to scrub off nail polish without fear of irritation or inflammation. Apply some oil on a napkin or a towel and rub the nail polish off. Skin will smell good and be well moisturized besides.

Acetone-Free Nail Polish Remover

Acetone, while extremely efficient at removing nail polish, can potentially be harmful. It can irritate your skin and burn your eyes. Exposure to its vapor can cause serious health complications. That’s why many cosmetics manufacturers also make non-acetone nail polish removers.

If you have some around, soak a napkin or cotton ball in the remover and rub it on your skin. It is mild enough to not cause irritation and strong enough to get the nail polish off. Wash the skin with soap and warm water afterward.

Nail Polish

As it turns out, nail polish is also good at cleaning nail polish stains. As counter-intuitive it may seem, you can use fresh nail polish to remove dried nail polish.

However, before you come to this method, make sure the nail polish is “5-free” – free of camphor, resin, formaldehyde, toluene, and DBP (dibutyl phthalate). These chemicals can irritate your skin if you let them sit for a long time.

Apply your 5-free nail polish and directly over the dried stains. Use a paper towel or napkin to remove it while it’s still wet. This should also remove the dried nail polish.

Vitamin E Oil

Oil-based makeup removers are very popular for good reason – they work well. However, if you don’t have an oil cleanser around, you can use pretty much any oil in your kitchen or bathroom, including vitamin E oil.

Soak a cotton ball or napkin in the oil and start rubbing your skin. The key for this method to work is to rub the oil in thoroughly. It might take a couple of minutes, depending on the size of the stain. After the stain is gone, wash the skin with soap and warm water to remove the oil.

Stains Away

It can be frustrating to find nail polish on your skin. Now that you know how to get nail polish off skin, hopefully it won’t be as annoying as before.