No Nail Polish Remover? No Problem! Here Are Some Alternative Ways To Remove Polish

Nails chipping before a night out and no nail polish remover? No problem! Wanting to avoid the negative effects of traditional bottled nail polish? We have you covered! Nail polish remover was invented in the 1920s using acetone (via Hagley). Acetone still makes up 30% to 60% of traditional nail polish removers today. "Acetone is very drying and harsh," says celebrity nail artist Brittany Boyce, the founder of NAILSOFLA (via Boyce agrees, though, that she understands why consumers choose to use acetone nail polish remover, as it removes nail polish quickly and efficiently.

If you are looking for an at-home, non-acetone solution, rest assured — they exist! They are more gentle on the nails, but they can take more time and effort to be effective. Most non-acetone solutions are already in your home. Before trying any non-acetone solution, it is important to soak your nails in warm water first to expand the nail bed. This will loosen your nail polish and make the removal process simpler. Whether you are in a pinch or avoiding harsh chemicals, we have curated the five best alternatives to traditional nail polish remover.


Though it sounds crazy- the hairspray nail polish remover method really works! Hair spray has many chemicals that are also proven to take off nail polish (via Allwomenstalk). Most likely, you keep hairspray handy, so even in a pinch, you have a method of removing nail polish. Simply, saturate cotton balls with hairspray and rub them across all of your nails until your nail polish is removed. Don't forget to rinse your nails after and apply a touch of cuticle oil to ensure your nails stay happy and healthy.


Dear Sunday's founder, Amy Ling Lin, says that plain lemon is also a great way to remove nail polish (via The citric acid in the lemon is a natural ingredient that can break up tough polish. To remove nail polish, lemon can be in juice form or sliced. If you choose to use lemon juice, saturate cotton balls in the juice and glide the cotton balls across your nails. If using lemon slices, you can rub the slice across your nails.

Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is something almost everyone has in their homes, typically to prevent infection in minor cuts, burns, and scrapes. Did you know that hydrogen peroxide can also remove nail polish? The peroxide has lightening properties that will help lift the polish (via Clutch Nails). Simply soak your nails in a solution of equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water for about 15 minutes. After the soak, wipe with cotton balls, and voila! You have no more nail polish to worry about.


Rubbing alcohol and mixtures that include mostly alcohol, such as hand sanitizer or alcohol-based perfume, is a great alternative to traditional nail polish remover. Alcohol is a solvent that helps break things down, including nail polish, according to Healthline. Saturate cotton pads in rubbing alcohol or another alcohol-based solution and then simply rub it across your nails. Your nail polish should come off in a breeze. The one downside to this method is the strong scent, which is why it is not many people's first choice.

Spray deodorant

Deodorant isn't just for stopping stink! Spray deodorants actually contain many solvents that have the ability to break down nail polish, per Clutch Nails. Many spray deodorants even contain acetone, which is the main ingredient in most nail polishes, so this may not be the best choice if you are looking to stay away from acetone completely. Simply spray the deodorant directly on your nails and wipe away with a cotton pad. Repeat this process until the nail polish is completely removed.