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There is hardly a more frustrating experience when you work so carefully on your nails, only to realize that some of the polish is now shining on your leather couch. Whether you accidentally tip the bottle or touch the couch with wet nails, getting nail polish on leather is a terrible feeling. So, how do you get that nail polish off the couch?
First, try to peel off the dried nail polish of the leather couch with your fingernails. To remove the stain, you can use a mixture of olive oil and vinegar. For stronger alternatives, you can use rubbing alcohol or non-acetone nail polish remover to treat the stain.
Removing nail polish stains from leather is not an easy task. And if you do it incorrectly, you may end up permanently damaging the product you are trying to fix. So, in this article, we go over some of the common and convenient methods you can try to remove such stains from a leather couch or jacket.
We will go over each method in detail and explain some of the pitfalls you may face during this process. Given the degree of the stain and the quality of the nail polish, you may have to apply more than one of the following techniques:
Table of Contents
How to Remove Dried Nail Polish from Leather
1.Peeling of the Polish
The damage has been done, the die has been cast, and the polish has set. If this is the case, you can be sure a persistent stain is waiting underneath the initial crime scene. But there are some actions you should take before you go any further.
If you are lucky, you may be able to peel off the nail polish directly from your leather. In most cases, you are not going to be this fortunate. But you should check to see if the top layer of polish comes off when scratching it.
If the spill is on a leather seat, push down the surface and use your fingernail to scratch the edge of the area. You can fold the place where the stain is on and gently peel off the dried chemical for leather garments.
Treating the Stain
Regardless of whether you can peel the top layer or not, a colored stain is pretty much guaranteed. To remove it, you can try a few different methods. And we are going to take you through each one of them step by step.
One thing you should always do before any of these is to cover up the other parts of your couch. You do not want to spread the stain or other chemicals to unaffected areas. That just might compound the problem instead of solving it. Also, wear gloves when handling some of these products.
2.Using Vinegar and Olive Oil
Let’s begin with the method that is the kindest for your couch. Vinegar and olive oil are two common house products that have a multitude of different uses. They can also remove or at least soften up stains to aid with cleaning.
The materials here are completely organic and do not possess any potent corrosive power. So, your couch should be safe with either of these products but only applied in a small amount.
The mixture is one part white vinegar (apple cider can also work) and two-part olive oil. But keep both of the quantities to a minimum as we do not want to create any waste.
Use this blend with a toothbrush to rub off the stain from the leather surface. After rubbing for some time, wipe out the mixture with a paper towel.
While this is the safest method for removing the stain, it is also the least effective. The gentle nature of this mixture works both ways, as it may not be able to dissolve the nail polish chemicals effectively. But it is still worth a shot as the stain may not be as severe as in other cases.
3.Using Rubbing Alcohol
Now we go to stronger and also harsher methods. Rubbing alcohol is mainly an organic product mixed with plenty of water. It is mostly used as a disinfectant but also has dissolving properties. So, definitely worth a try.
Use a small amount of alcohol and soak a cotton swab in it. Gently rub the cotton stick over the spot, and try not to spread the stain while doing it. Your cotton will soak the stain constantly.
Continue this process by replacing them. With some time, you will be able to remove the nail polish.
Rubbing alcohol is not a very corrosive or damaging product. But, sometimes, alcohol destroys the shine by drying out the leather. It is certainly safer than acetone or other strong chemical removers. But there is always a risk. So be careful using it as a remover.
Your goal should be to use only a small amount of your leather. For that, only a few drops of alcohol would be enough to remove the stain. If you use a lot of alcohol, there might be a chance of dropping your leather
4.Using Non-Acetone Nail Polish Remover
If you have nail polish in your home, chances are you have nail polish remover as well. The remover was made to get the shine off your nails once you were done with your makeup. So, some might think it is a no-brainer to use this on any nail polish-related mishaps.
But that is a wrong assumption. The remover was designed to work on your nails, which are a very durable substance. The fabric in your leather couch is something else entirely. So, nail polish remover has a high chance of getting into your couch and ruining its integrity.
So, as leather is a different surface, you still need to test it before applying. It will not dry out your leather as alcohol, but it can damage the dye.
Soak a cotton stick and carefully dab it on the stain, ensuring the remover does not touch other areas where the leather is not affected by nail polish. Then use a dry wipe or a piece of cloth and try to wipe off the stain.
You should know that nail polish remover can take some time before it has any effect. So, you should allow the remover to dry before you use the wipe. This may end up taking you multiple attempts.
Change the swabs after using them, and continue it till the stain goes. At the very least, this method should get a good portion of the stain off your couch.
5.Using Acetone-Based Nail Polish Remover
If this hack also fails, then it is time to use the extreme product, which is acetone. Acetone is flammable, it is powerful and it is incredibly harmful to your body. This product is used in many industries as a designated cleaner and stain remover. So, if any product can remove that pesky polish stain, it is acetone.
The method is similar to using non-acetone remover. Swab a cotton bud or a cotton ball and apply it carefully to the affected area. Make sure you do not spread to other parts as that would be very bad.
Let it dry out and then use a clean wipe to remove the stain. While using acetone, try to put on mash or any other fabric to cover your nose because the scent is powerful and might affect you badly.
The downside to acetone is the negative effect it will have on your leather. It can easily discolor your fabric, making it lose its structural integrity. However, this damage can be treated if you bring the problem to a professional.
Test the Chemicals First
Now, before you start applying anything, you should check to see if your couch can take the chemical. Because some of these chemicals are strong and they leave their own stains on fabrics such as leather. They may remove the dye or tamper the fabric, both of which are not ideal.
To test them, use a small amount of remover on a hidden, isolated area for 24 hours. If they do not harm your leather, then you can use them without much concern. If they do, however, damage the fabric, you should get safer alternatives.
How to Remove Nail Polish from Leather Immediately
If you spill a tiny drop of nail polish on a leather surface and it is still wet, then use a hard card or something like that object to remove it from the surface. Do it gently because if you use any sharp object to remove it, there is a chance of you probably going to damage the leather. This trick only works if the nail polish is wet or half wet.
When you are using a blunt object to remove the drop, try not to spread it. If you smear the drop of nail polish, things will get messier than before. Use a thin but blunt at the edge type object in a slightly upward motion quickly to remove the spill. Doing this will not smudge the polish on the surface.
Another hack for removing a drop of nail polish is to use a wet cotton ball or a swab and sponge the spot gently with it. This method also works better if the drop is wet. And again, you have to stay careful and try not to smear the drop.
For large spills of nail polish, use a semi-wet paper towel and spread it all over the spill to suck up all the stain. As things already have become messy, it would be wise not to touch it until it sucks enough fluid. After this step, carefully remove the stained tissue, and use another one to remove the remaining stain. Continue this process until all the paint is gone.
Repairing and Treating the Leather
Now that you have successfully managed to get that stain off, you need to do some post-removal care. Yes, the job is not done and there are still some things to be taken care of. This will ensure that your couch remains intact and fresh.
Wash Off the Excess
Most likely, there are some residual stain marks and/or removal products on your couch still. So, take a towel and dip it in some warm water. You can also add cleaning soap to the water to make it more effective.
Then gently rub the affected area with the towel. Do this a few times and you will notice there has been an effect.
Afterward, leave the couch out to dry and then check on it. Remember to keep all the parts safely covered so that no water can soak other areas.
Use Leather Conditioner
A leather conditioner is something you use frequently to wash your leather product while maintaining the leather quality. And this is why you need to use it after putting your couch through the ordeal of cleaning nail polish.
Purchase a quality conditioner from the store and create a mixture. You can use a piece of wipe or cotton and soak it in the conditioner. Then gently apply it onto the stained area and leave it to dry. It should take about an hour or so to dry out completely. Leave the fan on to help fasten up the process.
You can also throw the entire thing in the washer if that seems more beneficial. We advise you do this if a large portion of one of the cushions has been stained.
Dying the Leather
Whether you used the alcohol technique or the nail polish remover, your couch has probably suffered some damage. Most often, we see the damage is that the color has been ruined by the use of such chemicals. So, can you do something about it at home on your own?
The answer is yes, you can do something about the color. Using industrial-grade dye is an effective way of getting the color back to your couch or other leather products. All you have to do is find the right color that blends perfectly with your couch. Then create a mixture of that dye by following the instructions carefully.
Do not go overboard with the dye. If you apply it too much it may seem unnatural and put the entire color scheme off. Use a brush to be specific with your application.
When Should You Call in a Professional
You always have the option to bring in a professional to fix your couch for you. Alternatively, you can bring your leather cushion or jacket to the cleaners yourself. These people have worked on hundreds of similar cases so they know what they are doing.
Honestly, this is arguably the best and definitely the most reasonable of the methods mentioned so far. You can easily and inadvertently damage your entire leather product trying to do this task on your own. Other times the damage is too deep and cannot be fixed with the help of regular house items.
So, call your local cleaning company or someone you know who can get you a number, and contact the professionals directly. This method will certainly cost you more in the short term. But think about it like this. If you do end up damaging your couch beyond repair, you will be spending a lot more than what you would normally pay these people.
So, if you do not have much experience in dealing with this problem or you have tried and failed with the first couple of attempts, you should not push the matter any further. Just ask for help and these guys will deliver.
Does nail Polish Remover Damage Leather?
As we have alluded to already, nail polish does have the potential to damage leather. Now, how much damage it winds up doing, if any at all, depends entirely on the chemical constituent of the remover.
Usually, acetone-free polish removers are safer to use. They are not as powerful of a dissolving agent as some other products. So, they are also weaker than their acetone-based counterparts. You should be extra careful with products that use acetone as a raw material.
The damage in a large majority of cases is discoloration of the fabric. Sometimes the fabric may break up which leads to further damage to the leather. If the residue is not removed properly, it may continue to damage the leather for an extended period.
So, you have to be careful in two steps when using remover on leather products. First, you have to use the polish remover in very small amounts to avoid damage. After you have applied it, you need to clean it thoroughly so that no residue remains.
Trying to remove nail polish stains from your leather couch can seem like a hopeless ordeal. But it can be done. Hopefully, with the insight we provided, you are now well-equipped to manage this incident in the future.
- YouTube: How to Get Nail Polish Stains Out of Anything
- Patin-a: Acetone & Leather – No good combination
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