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How To Remove Nail Polish From Bed Sheets [Safely & Easily!]

Nothing ruins a luxurious home mani-pedi like spilling nail polish on your brand-new bedding. Worse yet, you’re not even painting your nails, and you notice an old, dry nail polish stain. We all know that removing nail polish from your nails is fairly easy and takes almost no time at all. Removing dried nail polish from bedding, on the other hand, will require a bit more effort. Not sure what to do? These tips can help you solve your nail polish nightmare.

So, how do you remove nail polish from bed sheets? You can use acetone or baking soda to remove nail polish from bed sheets. The first requires gentle blotting and water rinsing. The baking soda solution requires gentle scrubbing and soaking. Either way, you should finish up by applying an appropriate stain remover.

That’s the gist of it.

But let’s be honest – you will want a little more detail than that.

So keep reading for the exact steps to take and when for either option.

And they both work great, by the way!

What Gets Nail Polish Out Of Sheets?

To get nail polish out of bed sheets, you will need acetone or baking soda and a few additional household supplies. 

Acetone is the industrial-strength version of nail polish remover and is very good at its job. 

Acetone dissolves the pigment in nail polish so that you can wipe dried nail polish stains away fairly easily. 

While acetone is truly magical, there are some gentler options that take a bit longer to produce results but are also very effective. 

Baking soda, for example, can be mixed with water to create a paste that soaks into the fabric and loosens up dried nail polish. 

It’s important to remember that you will need to gather up some absorbent materials, like paper towels and washcloths, before beginning your work with either of these products. 

Having paper towels and washcloths handy will help create barriers between the bedding and your work surface and will help absorb any excess liquid. 

You may also want to keep a standard (disposable!) toothbrush handy in case the nail polish stain is more stubborn than you thought.

Here is what you may need to buy, if you don’t have them already, from Amazon:

How Do You Get Dried Nail Polish Out Of Bedding?

You can use acetone or baking soda to get dried nail polish out of bedding. 

Remember, nail polish can be stubborn and difficult to remove, especially once it dries.

You may need to repeat these steps a few times, depending on the size of the stain.

With Acetone:

Step 1: Find A Suitbale Surface

First, you will need to find a flat, clean surface to work on.

This will make it easier to apply the acetone and ensure that the liquid doesn’t drip, creating an even bigger stain.

Step 2: Prepare The Paper Towels

Stack a few paper towels and line up the stain roughly in the center of the stack, stain side down. 

This is important for protecting your work surface and absorbing the nail polish and acetone.

You also want to make sure that the paper towel is not smaller than the stain, or you’ll have a stained floor or tabletop waiting for you once you’re finished with the bedding.

Step 3: Time To Blot With Acetone

Dip a small area of a microfiber cloth into the acetone and begin to blot the stain.

Acetone is a powerful nail polish remover, and you’ll want to start slowly.

You should notice the stain starting to dissolve within a few minutes.

Excess nail polish and acetone will be absorbed by the paper towels beneath the bedding.

Step 4: Rinse The Area With Water

Once you’ve managed to remove the nail polish stain, rinse the area with cold water. 

Step 5: Treat The Stain With A Pre-wash Stain Remover. 

Apply a bit of stain remover to the affected area.

Stain removers help loosen up foreign particles so that any remaining stains can come out in the wash.

Step 6: Launder The Bedding On A Cold Wash Cycle 

Laundering your bedding on a cold wash cycle ensures that any remaining acetone is washed away.

This is important because acetone, when left on fabric for a long time, can actually break down the fibers in the fabric and create holes.

If you like intact sheets, you’ll want to make sure that you don’t skip this step.

With Baking Soda

Acetone may be one of the best ways to remove dried nail polish from bedding, but it is not the only way. Baking soda is a seriously underrated household abrasive that can help remove dried nail polish from bedding.

To get started using baking soda, set up a flat and clean area to work on and stack some paper towels, just like you would if you were using acetone to remove the nail polish stain.

Step 1: Create The Paste

Create a thick paste by mixing one tablespoon of baking soda and ½ tablespoon of water. 

Baking soda is great for lifting stains out of fabric and is much gentler than acetone.

You can add a few extra drops of water to the baking soda paste if you find it a bit too thick, but this recipe is generally a good place to start.

Step 2: Let The Paste Sit

For around 15 minutes. 

You’ll want to give the baking soda paste some time to soak into the fabric and begin loosening up the dried nail polish.

No need to blot or dab at this point; just let the baking soda do its thing.

Step 3: Time To Scrub

Gently scrub the area using a toothbrush.

It’s super important to be gentle when scrubbing the stained area of your bedding.

A gentle scrub will agitate the fabric enough to start dissolving the nail polish but won’t fray the soft fibers of your bedding.

Step 4: Soak

Let the solution soak for one hour, then rinse the area with cool water. 

Since baking soda is so gentle, it can be left to sit for a while without inflicting any damage to the fabric of your bedding.

Soaking the stain will help lift more nail polish out of the fabric and increase your chances of removing the stain completely.

After an hour has passed, rinse off the baking soda paste using cool water.

If you still think you need an extra boost of stain-removing power, feel free to add a drop of regular dish soap to the rinse.

Dish soap can help solve many household dilemmas, this one included.

Step 5: Treat With Pre-wash Stain Remover

Treat the stain with a pre-wash stain remover and launder the bedding using a cold wash cycle. 

After rinsing the once-stained area thoroughly, apply stain remover to the area and add it to a normal cold wash cycle.

This should wash away any remaining baking soda, dish soap, and whatever is left of the nail polish stain.

Will Nail Polish Stain Bedding Permanently?

Nail polish could stain bedding permanently if left for too long. 

Nail polish dries quickly when applied to your nails and seems to dry at lightspeed when spilled onto your bedding. 

Nail polish is made of concentrated pigments, which is why it looks so great on your nails, but once a nail polish stain sets into fabric, it could be permanent. 

So, it’s best to act quickly and try to remove the dried nail polish stain as soon as you notice it. 

Remember that some colors could be trickier to remove than others. 

Red nail polish, for example, is more likely to stain your nails when used without a base coat and is generally more challenging to remove from your nails, even with acetone. 

The same idea applies to fabrics, especially those made from natural fibers. 

Best Practices To Consider When Removing Nail Polish From Bed Sheets

The following tips will help ensure you remove the stains quickly, safely and prevent any damage to your sheets.

Be Gentle

When removing nail polish from bed sheets, remember to be gentle. 

Regardless of the fabric, being gentle is one of the most important best practices to keep in mind when trying to remove a nail polish stain from your bedding.

A gentle yet persistent approach is an important part of making sure that your bedding doesn’t get ruined as you valiantly try to save it. 

Blot Instead of Scrub

 If you are using acetone, remember to blot the stain rather than scrub it.

Blotting the stain helps lift the dried nail polish without disturbing the original weave of the fabric.

If you are using the baking soda method and absolutely must scrub the stain, using a soft-bristled toothbrush is best.  

Let Polish Dry First

Let the nail polish dry completely before trying to remove it. 

Trying to remove a wet nail polish stain could actually spread the polish and push it deeper into the fabric.

It could also make the stain bigger as you add more liquid to the area.

Creating a bigger stain is definitely not what we want to achieve here, so do your best to wait until the stain dries before adding more liquid to it. 

Consider Hydrogen Peroxide

No acetone or baking soda? Hydrogen peroxide is a great household alternative. 

Hydrogen peroxide is another great alternative to acetone.

Be careful with hydrogen peroxide, as it can bleach-colored fabrics.

Make sure to rinse hydrogen peroxide thoroughly or only use it with light-colored bedding. 

Cut Your Losses

Not all fabrics can be saved. 

Some natural fabrics are very fragile, and trying to remove dried nail polish from them would likely just cause more damage.

Silk, for example, is very fragile. Strong solvents and abrasives could stain silk bedding and, in some cases, break down the fibers and lead to tears.

At this point, it might be time to seek professional cleaning help. 


Acetone and Baking Soda are your best bet when it comes to removing nail polish from bedsheets.

Besides, you likely have them lying around already.

Just be sure to be careful, and remember; less is usually more!

Looking for other removal tips? Check out my below guides for more!