Isopropyl Alcohol for Removing Nail Polish: A Step-by-Step Guide

Isopropyl Alcohol for Removing Nail Polish: A Step-by-Step Guide

Ever run out of nail polish remover and decided to just let the nail polish fall off on its own time to avoid running to the store? If you have, then you might be surprised to learn that you may already have an effective substitute for nail polish remover at home.  

Isopropyl alcohol, abbreviated as IPA, is known for its antimicrobial and antiseptic properties. It comes in varying concentration ranges for various uses. It is able to effectively break down grime, grease, and oil. However, can it be used for something more mundane?  


You can also use IPA for removing nail polish and it’s just as simple as using acetone.  

IPA for Removing Nail Polish: A Step-by-Step Guide 

  1. Obtain a cotton ball or paper towel, and soak it in isopropyl alcohol. A higher concentration of IPA will give better results. We recommend using 70% IPA.  
  2. Apply the IPA from the cotton ball or paper towel to your nails by dabbing. Ensure your nails are sufficiently covered with IPA and add more IPA to the cotton ball if necessary.  
  3. Replace your cotton ball when it’s saturated with color from your nail polish.  
  4. Let the product sit on your nails for a few minutes. The more time you let it soak, the easier it will be to remove the nail polish.  
  5. Using a fresh cotton ball or paper towel, rub the nail polish off of your nails. It will be easier to scrub with a paper towel than a cotton ball as the towel provides more friction.  
  6. Repeat the entire process if there is still nail polish on your nails. As an alternative to dabbing your nails with IPA using a cotton ball, you can also soak your nails in a bowl of IPA for about 5 minutes. However, keep in mind IPA can dry out your skin. 
  7. Moisturize your fingers and nails when you’re done to combat the drying effect of IPA.  

What if You Don’t Have Isopropyl Alcohol? 

In the case that you don’t have isopropyl alcohol in your home, there are a number of other household items that can be used as a substitute for removing nail polish. Some common substitutes are listed below: 

  • Hand sanitizer  
  • Perfume 
  • Hair spray 
  • Alcoholic drinks that have a high alcohol concentration, such as vodka.  

Interested in purchasing solvents like IPA? 

If you’re looking for effective and versatile solvents like IPA, you are in the perfect place! BulkChemicals2Go provides a high-quality selection of solvents for various commercial applications. You can view our selection of solvents here! Or click here to reach out to our staff for assistance in finding the ideal product for you!