How to Get Rid of Nail Polish Smell

How to Get Rid of Nail Polish Smell

Nail polish smell makes fingers and toes look great when applied correctly, but the stench as it dries is something else. It is a unique scent that makes the hair inside your nostrils sit up and take notice (and probably straighten out right in your nostril), and once you inhale it, you can’t get away from it. This is a clear case of suffering to be beautiful, since you are likely to end up with a headache with any type of prolonged exposure to this insidious reek. This guide will give you some helpful tips on on how to get rid of nail polish smell.


The stuff women use to paint their nails is made from nitrocellulose, which is dissolved in a solvent. It is either left clear or colored with different pigments to create the precise fashion shades that are in vogue this season. Nail polish used by ladies (and certain gentlemen who want to express their individuality) is a particular refined version of car paint. This fact explains why the stuff stinks the way it does.



How to Get Rid of Nail Polish Smell from Your Hands

1 Apply Cuticle Oil

Cuticle OilOne option to neutralize nail polish smell is to apply a cuticle oil to the nails. You have a number of options to choose from, including products that can be applied with a pen or a stick. Some manufacturers provide an applicator that looks like a fine brush. As a bonus, these products may contain anti-fungal or antibacterial properties that will keep your nails free from diseases or disorders that can cause them to dry out.


2 Rub in Some Olive Oil

Olive OilGo to your kitchen and grab some olive oil if the smell from nail polish is getting to you. Apply it to your nails and leave it on for about 10 minutes. Wash your hands. This strategy should eliminate the smell from the acetone.



Get Nail Polish Smell Out of the Room

1 Crack Open a Window

Open WindowYou will want to get some fresh air into the space right away when the nail polish smell is most pungent. Open a window to allow the stink molecules to dissipate. If the weather is cold, you may want to limit opening the fresh air opening to a short time (10 or 15 minutes) but this may be enough to do the trick.


2 Spray Some Air Freshener in the Room

FebrezeGrab some air freshener and use it to neutralize the smell from the nail polish. Check the label before you press the button to make sure you will be eliminating the stank and not just covering it up with another smell. Febreze Air Effects and Lysol spray are advertised to offer this benefit, and may be a better choice than a less expensive brand.


3 Fan Out the Funk

FanIf you have an overhead fan in the room, turn it on to get some air circulating in the room. Make sure the door is open as well to get the air flowing through the room. You don’t want the stink to stay trapped in a confined space any longer than necessary. A floor model fan will also help to get things moving along and out out the room so that you can breathe easier.


4 Coffee Grounds to the Rescue

Coffee GroundsPut a bowl of fresh coffee grounds in the room to absorb the smell of nail polish from a room. Stir the coffee grounds daily until you don’t notice the smell anymore. For best results, use a glass bowl.


5 Store Your Polishes Right Away

CalendarPut your nail polishes away as soon as you are finished painting your nails. Even if you replace the lids right away, you will still be able to smell the product in the room. A good place to store the stuff and keep the stink to a minimum is to put them in the refrigerator. This strategy also helps to keep your nail polish fresh so that it will last longer.


Published by

Joe Fresh

Joe is an odor combatant, chemistry extraordinaire and all around good guy. He has an over-productive olfactory system with absolutely zero tolerance for unpleasant aromas.

2 thoughts on “How to Get Rid of Nail Polish Smell”

  1. I applied a coat of clear nail polish over a square of fabric for a craft; it has an area of around a square foot. How can I get the odor out of the fabric? Would the powdered coffee be enough? How much would I need? I’m keeping the square in a small closed storage room so the smell won’t spread. Is that a bad idea?

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