Want to ditch the nail polish remover, but still like rocking painted nails? We have seven of the best solutions inside to save you from buying more remover!

Taking nail polish off is nowhere near as fun as putting it on. 

But when it’s gotta go — it’s gotta go. 

Scrubbing nail polish off with remover is anything but quick and easy, not to mention the smell. You might think it’s the only way to clean your nails so you can apply a brand new look.

That’s far from the truth.

We’re here to share with you the best ways to remove your nail polish without resorting to polish remover. By the time you get through them, you’ll want to ditch your remover for good!

Apply a Peel-Off Base Coat

Peel-off base coat is a fantastic product if you’re starting from scratch with clean nails. It’s a second skin that sits between your nail and the polish to prevent it from sticking directly to your fingernail. 

Simply apply the base coat before you put your favorite nail polish on.

Easy peasy!

While this method adds a little bit of time to your manicure, it pays off by making polish removal a breeze. When you get bored with your nails, all you have to do is peel the polish right off, and you’re good to go!

It really doesn’t get any simpler than this one.

Create Your Own Base Coat

If you’re not in the mood to go hunting for a peel-off base coat and you don’t want to wait on shipping, you can make a base coat yourself. (With things you probably have sitting around your house right now.)

Go ahead and grab some white school glue and a nail polish bottle that’s empty enough to repurpose.

Fill the nail polish bottle about 1/3 of the way full with glue. Add drops of water and swirl it around to create a mixture that’s thin enough to spread on your nails.

Now all you have to do is paint your clean nails with your new base coat!

This DIY base coat is especially useful in removing stubborn glitter nail polish. But if you’re worried about the polish staining your nails, it’s a good idea to put on a regular base coat after the glue as an extra layer of protection.

Use More Fingernail Polish

This method may feel wasteful, but if you have a color you don’t like as much or never wear, you can still put that polish to good use.

Now, it might seem crazy at first, but hear us out.

Take your new nail polish or topcoat and paint it on top of the nail polish you’re already wearing. Let it sit for around 30 seconds to dissolve the polish under it and then wipe it away.

The new coat of polish will dissolve the old one to allow you to wipe both off with ease.

Repeat the process until all your nail polish is gone. Once you’ve finished, you’ll wonder why you ever did it any other way!

Find Something with Rubbing Alcohol in It

Rubbing alcohol doesn’t work quite as well as acetone to remove nail polish, but it will work if you’re determined.

Look around your house and find anything from actual rubbing alcohol to household items such as: 

  • hand sanitizer
  • hair spray
  • spray deodorant
  • perfume 

All these things have at least some rubbing alcohol in them and will all serve the same purpose.

It might take a little more effort to clean up your nails this way, but with a bit of elbow grease, you’ll have a clean slate for a brand new look before you know it.

Soak Your Nails in Vinegar and Lemon

Time for some good old-fashioned home remedies to your lack of nail polish remover.

Mix two to four tablespoons of white vinegar with the juice from a lemon in a shallow bowl. Soak your fingernails in the acidic mixture for 10-20 minutes and watch the nail polish float away from your fingers.

Use cotton balls to rub off any remaining polish afterward. And don’t forget to wash your hands and put on some lotion too!

Or Try Hydrogen Peroxide and Hot Water

If you’re short on lemons and vinegar, this remedy will work in the same way as the one above to break down your old nail polish.

Dilute hydrogen peroxide with water by using two times as much hydrogen peroxide as water (such as 1/2 cup of peroxide with 1/4 cup of water). Soak your fingers in the mixture while rubbing your nail polish off with your hands.

The polish should come off fairly easily, but you can file any stubborn pieces off after soaking.

Rub Some Toothpaste on Your Nails

If you just did a double-take, we don’t blame you.

Did you know toothpaste contains ethyl acetate, which is also present in nail polish remover?

It’s true, and it may just be the answer to your problems!

Simply rub some toothpaste on your nails and use an old toothbrush or paper towel to scrub away the polish. Add a little baking soda to your toothpaste before rubbing it on for best results.

Plain white toothpaste works best, but any will do in place of regular remover.


In Conclusion

Whether you aren’t a fan of nail polish remover or you ran out, and you’re in a pinch, there is bound to be one alternative on this list you can put to use. You might even make it your go-to remover.

Don’t let aging polish get you down — just get rid of it!

Any one of these ways to remove nail polish will give you the same results as scrubbing your nails with remover, and some might work even better for you. You never know until you try.

Ryan Sundling is a Group Marketing Manager at Cardinal Group Management. He has over ten years of experience in the conventional housing industry and works with The Proper on a daily basis to help them with their marketing efforts.