A lot of us endure the store-bought nail polish removers when we use them. And this is understandable since we believe they’re the only way to get the old polish off our nails. So, we spend good money buying the ‘best’ brands for our cosmetic care. And in the end, we have to tolerate the harsh smell that comes from it and even believe a terrible formula isn’t as bad as it seems.
But what if you discover there are other ways to remove that ugly coat of gel paint from your fingers without paying a dime? With a bit of research and conversations with die-hard DIYers, we’ve uncovered easy and cheap methods of wiping off nail polish using household items! Shocking, I know, but before we dive into that, let’s understand what gives nail polish removers their cleaning abilities. This will help shed more light on why the substitutes we’ve selected work.
Nail Polish Remover- What’s in it?
Nail polish removers contain various ingredients for both function and presentation. Among these may include oils, colouring, and even fragrances. But the chief ingredient is usually a compound agent that easily breaks through the lacquer film around the nails, allowing it to be rubbed off. Among the most popular are acetone, ethyl acetate, isopropyl alcohol, and, at one time, acetonitrile.
Acetone is the most commonly used compound in nail polish remover, and most products come with it. Its pungent smell characterizes its presence in a product. If you recall that annoying odour emanating from your regular nail polish remover bottle, it probably contains acetone. Ethyl acetate and isopropyl alcohol are close seconds, with the former also being featured as the original solvent for the lacquer itself. Acetonitrile, though once used, was banned due to its toxic nature, and many European countries forbid the addition of the compound in cosmetic products.
Nail Polish Remover Substitutes
Whether you’ve exhausted your bottle or can’t stand the odour of your nail polish remover, at some point, you’ll wish for an alternative solution for cleaning off nail paint. The good news is you probably have convenient substitutes to nail polish remover sitting around in your home without even realizing it. Here, you’ll find a few of these commonly owned household materials that can clean off that sad-looking worn-out coating on your nails and save you a few extra bucks on the bottle.
Till now, you probably didn’t know your regular deodorant can effectively remove nail paint. Well, it works well we a good substitute for nail polish remover, and if you’re not allergic to deodorant, you can try it out. Deodorant contains some solvents, which though they may not be as strong as acetone, are potent enough to weaken nail polish so you can wipe it off.
Place the nozzle very close to your nails and spray it over to substitute deodorant for nail polish remover. Then, immediately wipe it off using a cotton ball. Do this repeatedly until the nail polish is completely off.
Vinegar and lemon juice are both highly acidic, and this property can easily eat through and weaken the film of nail polish. This substitute for nail polish remover is also a chemical-free option, making it safer and more convenient. To use, mix 4 tablespoons of vinegar with juice from one fresh lemon in a shallow bowl. Then, soak the fingers in the mix for about 20 minutes. Wipe off immediately with cotton balls until the polish is off. Remember to rinse your hands in cold water afterwards and apply moisturizer to neutralize the acidic action on your fingertips.
Your regular hand sanitiser does more than kill off germs. It can also function as a good substitute for nail polish remover in case you ever run out. This is because most hand sanitisers contain alcohol, which is a good nail paint removing compound. Squirt just a bit of hand sanitiser on your nails and rub it in with cotton balls. Repeat until the paint is completely removed, then rinse your hands thoroughly afterwards, so the sanitiser doesn’t dry on your nails.
Can you recall how effective hydrogen peroxide is at cleaning dirty wounds and sores? Then, you can get why it’s also a great substitute for nail polish remover. Combined with hot water, it soaks into and dissolves the coating, allowing it to be wiped off with minimal effort. Mix 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide with 1/4 cup hot water in a bowl, then soak your fingernails in the mix for at least 5 minutes. Next, use your fingers to rub out the polish while they’re submerged in the solution until it’s completely off. Afterwards, rinse your hands and apply moisturizer.
This got you by surprise, too, didn’t it? Believe it or not, your regular toothpaste can work as a cheap and quick-fix substitute for nail polish remover. Most toothpaste contains trace amounts of ethyl acetate, a popular compound used in generic nail polish remover products. Rub a bit of toothpaste on your nails with a toothbrush continuously till the paint is taken off. Then, rinse your fingers and wipe with a clean towel. This method may take longer than using removers, but it’s a good option if you’re willing to spend the time.
Precautions When Using Nail Polish Remover Substitutes
Though these alternatives may not be as effective as regular nail polish remover, the best results are gotten when they’re used wet. Sanitisers, for instance, should be rubbed while they’re wet and never be allowed to dry on the nails.
When using chemicals like hydrogen peroxide, only follow the prescribed dilution given here. Hydrogen peroxide can be harsh, and when used concentrated, may irritate your skin.
After cleaning off the nail polish, remember to apply cuticle or nail oil to your nails to keep them healthy.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do you get nail polish off without acetone?
Mix a teaspoon of salt and a few drops of dishwashing soap in a bowl of warm water. Next, soak your fingernails in the solution for at least 20 minutes. Afterwards, it should peel off easily if you try to.
Is acetone the same as nail polish remover?
No. Acetone is a solvent used in its concentrate form, and sometimes, it may be added to nail polish removers. However, not all nail polish removers contain acetone.
Does nail polish remover make your nails weak?
Nail polish removers that contain acetone do. Acetone is a harsh chemical, and constant use of acetone nail polish removers can cause the nail plate to weaken. It can also the nails and the surrounding skin to dry out and turn white.
With these DIY options available around you, finding a good substitute for nail polish remover should no longer be debated. So, save yourself money and exposure to harsh chemicals by trying them out.
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