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How To Get Stubborn Nail Polish Off…The Right Way

Have you ever had a manicure or applied your own nail polish and really struggled to get it off? If you have had a professional manicure, or applied stronger nail polish at home, depending on the products that you have used, it can be a real challenge to remove and return your nails to their clean, healthy natural state.  

So, how do you get stubborn nail polish off? The best way to remove stubborn polish is to soak your nails in strong but chemical-free, nail polish remover. Another great alternative is to gently apply or use Rubbing Alcohol on the area.

There are also a few other solid options that should be considered and that we will outline below.

Unfortunately, if you have applied darker nail polishes, gel polishes, or even applied glitter polishes, it can feel almost impossible to remove stubborn nail polish.

Thankfully, with the right products, some patience, and the correct technique, you will be able to restore your nails ready for your next polish or manicure.

Here are some of the best ways for you to use for effortless nail polish removal.

Best Ways To Remove Stubborn Nail Polish

How To Get Stubborn Nail Polish Off

Soak your Nails with Natural Chemical-Free Nail Polish Remover

The #1 recommendation, which we always remind our clients in our salon, is to use chemical-free nail polish remover.

These come free from acetone and other harsh chemicals which will, over time, damage your nail beds and weaken them; preventing them from growing strong and removing their natural shine. This doesn’t have to be the case!

Whilst there are a lot of nail polish removers with acetone and other harsh chemicals, which can remove the nail polish a little bit quicker, in the long term, this is not an advisable approach and not advisable for long-term nail health.

Plus, there are a number of incredibly effective natural nail polish removers on the market that do as well as, if not a better job than their chemical-laced equivalents.

At our salon and on our own nails, we often recommend the Pure Vitality Beauty Remover from Amazon which comes with a wealth of positive reviews and recommendations.

In our experience, it is able to remove the most stubborn of polishes (including both glitter and soak off Gel polishes) and also doubles up to naturally strengthen your nails.

It is also terrific if you have weak nails and can literally transform your nail beds and cuticles with more frequent application.

Plus you are not blasted with strong smells, but instead a nice crisp Mango smell

Here’s the most effective way of using a nail polish remover on stubborn polish:

Soak a cotton pad or ball with your high-quality nail polish remover.

Place the cotton onto your nail bed and leave it there for 3-6 minutes.

Once this time is up, the polish will be softened and can be wiped away very easily.

Extra Tip: If your nail polish is extra stubborn or strong, you can use Aluminum Foil to keep the cotton bud in place.

Firstly, apply the cotton bud with nail polish remover on the nail and then wrap the foil around your fingers.

This will hold the cotton bud where you can leave it on for an extended period. This will ensure that your nail polish remover is able to successfully penetrate the layers of polish.

Nail Polish Remover - Natural and Plant Based - Non Acetone - Conditioner and Strengthener for Nails and Cuticles - Safe for Kids - no Chemicals and Non Toxic
  • UNLIKE MOST OTHER ACETONE FREE REMOVERS Pure Vitality Beauty nail paint remover is also free from Acetate, Ethyl Lactate & Petroleum Chemicals - all of which are harmful with repeated or prolonged exposure.
  • HIGH PERFORMING WITHOUT DRYING OUT YOUR NAILS - Will strengthen & moisturize your nails unlike traditional nail polish removers which leave you with weak, brittle fingernails and toenails. This is especially helpful for Cancer patients.
  • ALL INGREDIENTS RATED 0 OR 1 IN THE COSMETIC SAFETY REVIEW by the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database. Non hazardous, non-toxic, non-carcinogenic and pregnancy safe.
  • ECO FRIENDLY - biodegrades quickly and fully. No chemical fumes to pollute the air making it safe to use for pregnant women. Animal cruelty Free. Such important considerations if you believe in Karma...
  • 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE - the risk is on us! If you are not totally delighted with Pure Vitality Beauty non-acetone nailpolish remover just let us know and we will refund you your money without question.

Use Natural Chemical Free Nail Polish Remover Wipes

Our #2 recommendation, which follows the premium tip above, is to use nail polish remover wipes.

Again you can get these on Amazon.

This is a brilliant alternative if you are traveling and are on the go, or if you want to keep some nail polish remover in your handbag or at work.

Essentially, these are small wipes that have been pre-soaked with natural and chemical-free nail polish remover, so you can quickly apply them to your nails to remove the polish without needing to dampen in the liquid.

Similarly, we also recommend that you invest in non-toxic and chemical-free wipes.

This will ensure that you keep your nails strong and healthy and free from harsh chemicals that can disrupt the natural oils present on your nails.

The ones that we use and recommend are the Karma Non-Toxic Nail Polish Remover Wipes:

Remove with Rubbing Alcohol

Another fantastic solution to remove stubborn nail polish is to use Rubbing Alcohol.

This is a highly effective approach, but consider that it will take more time and effort than using nail polish remover.

The main benefit of using Rubbing Alcohol is that it doubles up as an antiseptic and cleans and disinfects where applied.

This will provide some extra benefits to your nails as it can clear up any bacteria and fungus which may reside on your nails.

To use Rubbing Alcohol is relatively straightforward.

All you need to do is apply the rubbing alcohol onto your nails and let it sit.

You should leave it on your nails for around 1-2 minutes in total.

Once this time is up, simply use a cotton pad or tissue and rub your nail clean.

You can get Rubbing Alcohol Swabs which are much easier to use, as they are essentially wiped with Rubbing Alcohol applied in the right amount.

This prevents the need to use cotton balls or buds, or pour straight from the bottle.

Depending on how stubborn the polish is, you may need to repeat the above process a few times which is why we do not recommend this option over natural chemical-free nail polish remover.

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Use A New Nail Polish

Whilst technically not a direct fix, this is a suitable workaround until you get some natural nail polish remover.

What you can do, if you have harsh chemicals in your nail remover at home, or want to quickly remove your current nail polish and are lacking time, is simply apply a new layer of nail polish.

This will quite literally override your current polish.

To do this, apply your new polish over your nail with the current polish (it is best to use a polish that is darker and one that takes longer to dry) and then wait for a few minutes.


If you wondered how to get stubborn nail polish off before you read this article, then hopefully by now you know the best way to do so.

As you will have read above, you have a number of options when it comes to removing your stubborn nail polish.

Whilst standard nail polish usually comes off easily, it is with glitter, gel, and bold colors that you will need a more thought-out approach.

Hopefully, this article has introduced you to the methods and tips of the experts in the industry, and how the professionals go about removing even the most difficult to remove polishes.

Remember, the health of your nail is of utter importance. You always want to focus on keeping your nails naturally strong, healthy, and abundant in their natural oils.

This way growing your nails will be easier, quicker and they will naturally shine.

Therefore, we advise you to invest in a high-quality chemical-free natural nail polish remover if you want to see the best, fastest and safest results for yourself!

And if you are wondering how to get nail product out of other things, or even off yourself, check out my other guides below:

1 thought on “How To Get Stubborn Nail Polish Off…The Right Way”

  1. In using gel varnish, it’s the most unpleasant to remove it. Thanks for the helpful review! I need to try Karma Nail Polish Remover Wipers/ I like very good that they are natural.

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