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Removing your nail polish is usually quite a simple task. That is, until you are a Scratch Mommy, and reaching for the conventional acetone nail polish remover makes you cringe with the thought of inhaling toxins (especially if you are removing polish from your little girl’s nails!).
Some of the serious offending ingredients are:
- Acetone: headaches, dizziness, and irritated eyes, skin, and throat
- Butyl acetate: headaches and irritated eyes, skin, nose, mouth, and throat
- Ethyl acetate: irritated eyes, stomach, skin, nose, mouth, and throat; high levels can cause fainting
- Isopropyl acetate: sleepiness, and irritated eyes, nose, and throat (1)
But now that you know how to DIY your own nail polish, you need to learn some methods to safely remove it.
One thing you will need to remember is that removing polish with more natural methods will ABSOLUTELY take longer than with conventional methods (since you are not chemically melting the polish away)… and it will require more effort. You’ll feel so accomplished with your DIY non-toxic nail polish remover though!
But anything worth doing is worth doing right if you ask me!
There are a few different methods that you can try:
- Emery board / nail file – Since ditching conventional acetone remover, this is the method I tend to use since I always have an emery board on hand. This one is pretty easy: just softly file away the nail polish, one finger at a time, until finished. This method usually leads to giggles from my daughter as it “tickles her toes” 🙂
- White vinegar + citrus fruit – The acid from vinegar will help break down nail polish, after rubbing with / on a cotton ball it will be possible to wipe off the polish. Just pour some vinegar into a small bowl, add juice from your citrus fruit (lemon, lime, orange or grapefruit) and mix together. Use a cotton ball to apply. If there is anything left that is difficult to remove fully, then use your emery board to file it all off. Even with the lemon juice, my daughter called this the “stinky” remover.
- Clear nail polish (topcoat or basecoat) – apply a thick layer of clear over your nails, and then wipe all layers away, one finger at a time. I have done this by accident in the past, and it absolutely does work!
- Vodka – using a strong 80+ proof vodka can help remove nail polish. I have not had the chance to actually try this to test it out since I didn’t have vodka in the house, but it may be worth trying if you do.
- Rubbing Alcohol – this would be my last choice, simply because even though rubbing alcohol is a natural substance and you are using it topically, it is flammable and can be toxic when inhaled…so always use extreme caution and in a well-ventilated area.
**You can increase the effectiveness of any of these removers by soaking your nails in hot water for 10-15 minutes beforehand, to help soften the old nail polish to be removed.**
If you are in a pinch and simply need to grab a bottle of ‘better’ for you nail polish remover, I have used this one and it works well. Remember, we all do as much as we can to live #LifeFromScratch, but when we have run out of steam to DIY, or don’t have ingredients, or would simply rather grab something that on the scale of “good, better, best” will work for us, I’d say this one is ‘better.’