How to Get Rid of Nail Polish Smell?

How to Get Rid of Nail Polish Smell
The chemical composition of nail polish can be hazardous to your health and the environment. Be healthy and get rid of nail polish smell!

Many self-care routines now include nail polish as a necessary part. You can wear your nail polish with confidence because of recent advances in nail technology. There are hardly any women who don’t love nail polish. Even after the removal of their nail polish, they are used to having this smell stay on their hands for several hours. Besides making feel good, nail polish also supports the growth of longer, stronger nails. But, many people may not like the smell of nail polish. I often find an unusual smell of nail polish in my home.

If inhaled or consumed, nail paint fumes can harm the eyes, nerves, and lungs. Also, fumes from nail polish remover may be more dangerous. As the solvents and volatile organic chemicals found in them can be risky for your health and the environment, getting rid of the nail polish smell becomes a must. So how to get rid of nail polish smell? For that, you will have to know about suitable products with methods on how to get rid of the nail polish smell. This article will help you with all the answers regarding how to get rid of it.

The Science Behind Nail Polish Smell

The science behind nail polish smell

The chemicals acetone and toluene have strong smells. As a result, nail polish also has a powerful smell. The smell will start to build up in the home surroundings as you start to apply nail polish and gradually spread throughout the whole space.

The primary reason for the smell is the presence of few solvents in high concentrations. In small quantities, their smells have been termed pleasant and fruity. They are highly concentrated in nail polish and have an intensely irritating smell. Butyl acetate smells like an apple or a banana, whilst ethyl and propyl acetate have a pleasant pear flavor. Toluene smells like benzene, and isopropyl alcohol contains alcohol. The other solvents can be used safely, except toluene.

Why Get Rid of Nail Polish Smell?

Both nail polish and nail polish remover contains several harmful chemical ingredients. These are quite harmful to both human health and the air quality in the environment. Also, many people do not like it personally. So, you need to get rid of the nail polish smell for the following reasons.

Why get rid of nail polish smell
  • Health concerns: The chemical substances in nail polish will circulate widely in the air and expose people highly when they breathe them in. When smelling the chemicals, you may commonly face headaches, dizziness, and nausea. Again, you may experience nose irritation and breathing difficulties too. The extremely combustible chemical ethyl acetate can irritate the respiratory system. Acetone too irritates the respiratory system.
  • Environmental concerns: The chemicals found in nail polish can also harm the environment. When we dispose of nail polish or remove it with acetone, it can end up in the water supply and harm aquatic life.
  • Personal preference: Some people simply don’t like the smell of nail polish and prefer to avoid it if possible. This may be particularly true for individuals who are sensitive to strong smells or have respiratory issues.

10 Natural Products to Get Rid of Nail Polish Smell

A common myth among users is that the smell may be removed by thoroughly washing their hands with water and soap. This technique might be effective, but it may ruin the design and look of your nails. So, you may get rid of nail polish smell with the help of several natural products. While air fresheners and proper ventilation can help get rid of the smell from the air, it will remain on your hands! To get rid of these unwanted smell from your nails, here are some DIY methods you can use!

1. Use Lemon Juice

The citric acid in plain lemons helps to get rid of nail polish. For the first five to ten minutes, soak your nails in warm, soapy water. Then, apply a piece of lemon to your nails. The nail polish will become softer and easier to remove because of the citric acid. Use a paper towel or cotton pad to remove the polish. To maintain the softness of your nails, you can soak them once more. You should moisturize your hands and cuticles after using the lemon since the acid will dry up your fingers.

Use lemon juice

2. Use Vinegar

The acid in white vinegar may also help to get rid of nail polish. You may use only vinegar or mix it with lemon juice. You must soak your nails in warm water for at least 15 minutes. After that, combine equal parts of vinegar and lemon juice. Put some of the mixtures on a cotton ball, then apply it to your nails. You can also do it without cotton balls. For that, let the solution sit on your hands for 15 to 20 minutes. You may also combine white vinegar and fresh orange juice in an equal ratio. For about 10 seconds, press on your fingernails with the cotton ball dipped in the mixture to soften the nail polish. The cotton ball should then be taken down for the removal of nail polish. Finally, hydrate your cuticles with nail oil to maintain the health of your nails.

Use vinegar

3. Use Baking soda

As baking soda has powerful absorbing properties, you can use it to help you get rid of the nail polish fumes in your room. Its certain absorption properties are like activated charcoal. Place one bowl of baking soda openly in the room having a nail polish smell. You may leave baking soda in place to absorb smells for several days without having to replace it. You may also combine two teaspoons of baking soda and two cups of warm water until the mixture fully dissolves. Place your hands in the solution and soak for a minimum of five minutes.

Use baking soda

4. Use Cuticle Oil

One of the most popular methods to get rid of the smell is to apply cuticle oil. You can select it in the shape of a stick, a pen, or a soft brush. It can have antibacterial or antifungal characteristics. cuticle oils with vitamins and vegetable oils will make your nails look good.

It is safe to use cuticle oil to mask the smell and save your fingers from possible infections and irritants. Apply suitable oil to the nails to ensure they look healthy. Avoid using it in excessive amounts so that it is not uneven.

Use cuticle oil

5. Use Essential Oil

You may get rid of the smell of nail paint remover with your favorite essential oil. Fragrant perfumes like lavender, jasmine, or sweet orange can be chosen. A few drops of liquid should be stirred into a cup of warm water. Keep the open bowl close to the smell’s source. Put a cotton ball on a dish after soaking it in the oil for a stronger smell.

Use essential oil

6. Use Olive Oil

Olive oil is an available item from the kitchen. If the scent of nail polish bothers you, apply it to your nails. Leave the oil for 10 to 15 minutes. Clean up your hands. This is a natural and effective way for getting rid of the acetone smell. It can be used each time you apply nail polish to your nails.

Use olive oil

7. Use Granulated salt

Put one tablespoon of granulated sugar or salt with one-half teaspoon of olive oil together. After that, softly rub your hands, and in 30 to 60 seconds, work the granules over the back of your hands.

Use granulated salt

8. Use Activated Charcoal

A natural, non-toxic popular method of odor removal is charcoal. One of the best substances for absorbing nail polish smells is charcoal. It is offered as loose granules or mess-free bags. With one bag of charcoal, the smell can be controlled for two to three months. You can even leave it for a few days without having to change it every time you apply nail paint. Make sure the charcoal is kept somewhere out of children’s reach.

Use activated charcoal

9. Use Coffee Grounds

The smell of coffee is refreshing and magical. One of the most effective techniques to get rid of the smell of nail polish is ground coffee. Although it may sound strange, coffee grounds can do this. To get rid of the smell, directly place a bowl full of freshly ground coffee. It leaves your room with a light, pleasing smell. In addition to this, coffee also absorbs the smell of acetone. You may leave the bowl for the whole night to gradually get rid of the smell. If you want to quicken the process, you must shake the coffee grounds now and then until the smell is fully lost.

Use coffee grounds

10. Use Citrus Fruit Peels

Another all-natural smell neutralizer is citrus. Citrus fruit peels offer an intense smell that could mask the acetone’s worse smell from your home. You may use the peels of lemons, oranges, limes, or any other citrus fruit. It should be placed in an open bowl. Change the peels every couple of days. If they start to mold, place them away. To avoid the spoiling smell of nail polish, replace those peels every week. Again, an alternative to these is to use citrus oil, such as orange oil to get rid of the nail polish smell. You can add a few drops to some water in an open bowl, soak a cotton pad, and set it next to the nail polish.

Use citrus fruit peels

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4 Commercial Products for Getting Rid of Nail Polish Smell

You may also use the following commercial products for getting rid of the nail polish smell. They are easily available in the market.

1. Zoya Remove Plus

The 3-in-1 nail polish remover, nail prep, and nail conditioner Zoya Remove Plus are soft but very useful. This amazing 3-in-1 product does so much more than just remove polish. To ensure extended polish wear, clean and prepare your nails while hydrating, nourishing, and strengthening the nail plate. Nails are left moisturized, free of streaks or stains, and without any evidence of nail polish. They are then prepared for a base coat.

Zoya remove plus

2. OPI Expert Touch Lacquer Remover

A professionally formulated high-performance polish remover is the OPI Expert Touch Lacquer Remover. It is more effective than conventional polish removers. It contains a fruity smell of liquid lavender. The remover works on both your hands and feet with just two to three drops. It works quickly and effectively to take off glitter and gel nail paint. You can enjoy healthy, clean nails and soft cuticles with this remover. While more acetone is typically used to remove nail polish, OPI makes sure that this product achieves the same effect while doing the complete opposite.

Opi expert touch lacquer remover

3. Ella+Mila Soy Nail Polish Remover

You may rely on the non-toxic Ella+Mila Soy Nail Polish Remover to remove your nail polish. It is a natural nail polish remover with a soy base that has been enhanced with lavender essential oil for a delicate smell. It contains vitamins A, C, and E that will help hydrate your cuticles and nails. Acetone, harsh acetates, alcohol, and other dangerous chemicals that dry out your skin, and are harmful to your nails, and cuticles are not present in this product. It tries to be both environmentally and health-conscious.

Ellamila soy nail polish remover

4. Sally Hansen No More Mistakes Manicure Clean-Up Pen

With a precision-tapered felt-tip pen, the Sally Hansen No More Mistakes Manicure Clean-Up Pen helps remove extra nail color smudges. You get clean nails when it softly removes every layer of nail polish without rubbing. It doesn’t have a strong acetone smell, just a light smell that exists for a while. It doesn’t cause any tingling or burning. You don’t need a lot of different tools to get clean nails as this mild nail polish is in sponge form. Simply dip a finger in, let it sit for some time, and then take your hands which are now blank out.

Sally hansen no more mistakes manicure clean up pen

Additional Tips for Your Nails

  • Use natural and cruelty-free nail polish: Use natural and cruelty-free nail polish.
  • Use acetone-free nail polish remover: Use a soy-based acetone-free alternative nail polish remover. The powerful smells associated with acetone-based nail polish removers are absent in them. If you are sensitive to the smell of acetone, acetone-free removers can be worth the lengthy time it takes to work.
  • Store the nail polish carefully: Store your nail polish as soon as you are finished with your work. The smell won’t go away even if you change the containers straight away. Rather, it will spread throughout the entire space and everyone will smell it. It will be better if you put your nail polish in the refrigerator so that its smell stays at a minimum.


1. How long does nail polish smell take to go away?

The nail polish smell will be excellent when it will first be painted. But, it was not observable after the topcoat. You can receive a somewhat longer-lasting smell without a topcoat for one to two days until it disappears.

2. Is it OK to smell nail polish remover?

Acetone’s smell and the potential for irritation serve as effective warning indicators. They can assist you in avoiding breathing acetone in high concentrations as that could be harmful. Research showed that kidney, liver, and nerve damage may result from prolonged exposure to acetone.

3. Why can’t I stop smelling nail polish remover?

Because acetone is a depressant of the nervous system at high concentrations. So, this type of inhalant addiction is dangerous. This indicates that it may slow a person’s heart rate, breathing, and metabolism, making them sleepy, and frightened.

4. Does gel nail polish smell?

Under UV light, the majority of gel polish brands dry in only 30 seconds. It has no smell. Both conventional nail polish and acrylics have strong smells. The smell of gel polish is almost nonexistent.

5. Why do I smell nail polish in my house?

If you cannot recall how acetone smells, it is sometimes used to remove nail polish and is a component of several paints and solvents. Acetone smells indicate that there may be a refrigerant leak in your home.

Final Thoughts

Nail polish smell is harmful to not just you but the environment as well! That is why it is important to keep the smell out of your hands so you do not accidentally ingest the harmful ingredients that make up the nail polish and the remover as well. That is why alongside proper ventilation, air purifiers, and odor neutralizers, you can use the DIY methods mentioned above to help get rid of the smell! If not for those, you can also use some commercially available products and tips to make sure that your nail polish does not become toxic. So keep you nails looking nice and remain healthy while doing so!

Key Points

  • It is necessary to get rid of the nail polish smell for health, environmental, and personal reasons due to its harmful chemical ingredients.
  • There are broadly two amazing types of products to get rid of nail polish smell, such as natural and commercial products.
  • The citric acid in plain lemons helps to get rid of nail polish.
  • One of the most popular methods to get rid of the smell is to apply cuticle oil. Essential oils and olive oils can also be used.
  • Soy-based acetone-free nail polish removers are more effective than acetone-based removers due to their absence of strong smells. For example, Ella+Mila Soy Nail Polish Remover.

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