How To Get Rid Of Nail Polish Smell?




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Do you know that many people get irritated by the nail polish smell and can’t stand it? Nail polish makes the nails look beautiful, but at the same time, it has an unpleasant odor. If you spill over nail polish, you want to get rid of the smell as fast as possible. But, does the nail polish smell go away?

The nail polish smell goes away entirely if you employ the proper methods to remove it. The best approach is to neutralize it using neutralizers like baking soda, ground coffee, citrus products, and other essential oils. 

Every lady wants their nails to look great. But the chemical fumes from the nail products are toxic. They are made up of chemicals like phthalates that are very dangerous to the human body. Let me provide some more details on how to get rid of the nail polish odor.

Ways to Get Rid of Nail Polish Smell

Polishing the nails is an essential step in makeup that accompanies every female, whether it is a teenager or a woman. You cannot do without it for an exquisite look, but the smell of the polish is a nuisance to many. I will offer you some easy and natural methods to get rid of the smell.

  • Rub in some olive oil

All you need to do is just take some olive oil from your kitchen, apply it to your nails and leave it for about 10 to 15 minutes. This is an effective strategy to eliminate the odor of nail polish. You can use it every time after applying the nail polish.

  • Use cuticle oil 

Cuticle oil is another option. It neutralizes the smell of nail polish. Apply the cuticle oil on your nails after using the polish.

  • Use air purifiers

People use many different types of air purifiers to remove smells in indoor surroundings. Many technologies are used in air purifiers, and they include, among others, carbon, ozone, and ionizers that have been used for decades to put away bad smells from the compounds.

However, these purifiers have significant flaws, such as the inability to thoroughly neutralize the smells or even neutralize odors while emitting dangerous byproducts into the environment. Therefore, while you are selecting an air purifier for removing harsh odors like those found in nail polish, select an effective purifier that will neutralize and break down the odors without the use of masking items or chemicals released into the atmosphere.

  • Use a spray air freshener.

Use some air freshener to neutralize the odor from the nail polish. You have to check the label first before pressing the button to ensure that you will be eliminating the stank and not any other smell.

  • Turn on the fan 

Mix in a well-ventilated area away from flames, lighters, and all the flammables. Again, don’t store the chemicals in plastic containers—[not all plastics are suitable for certain liquids]. Keep the chemicals out of reach of little children.  Different nail polish brands contain other chemicals; therefore, I can’t give the exact recipe. It is just a matter of experimenting.

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Food flavoring oils and synthetic perfumes work best, and I would recommend you to use them. However, like nail polish, perfumes also contain a lot of chemicals. 

An overhead fan is also appropriate in this case. If you have an overhead fan, the better. Please turn it on to get the air circulating in the room. Open the door sufficiently to remove the air flowing through the room. As for me, I always turn on the fan when I am applying the nail polish in my house. As I mentioned earlier, I wouldn’t say I like the nuisance smell of nail polish, yet I like it when my nails look great. A floor model fan helps me get things moving along and out of the room to breathe easily.

  • Store your nail polishes right away

After you are done decorating your nails, store your polish right away. Even if you replace the containers right away, the smell won’t go away, it will fill the room, and everyone will smell it. I would advise that you store your nail polish products in the refrigerator, and the odor will be minimized.

Not only will this strategy minimize the smell, but it also keeps your nail polish fresh so that it will last long. I used to keep my polish open after application, and the smell would fill the room, making everyone complain. I got used to this behavior until my friend visited me one day and told me to be storing the polish right away. You can as well Adopt this strategy because it is simple. 

  • Use coffee grounds 

Use grounded coffee to get rid of the smell. Just put a bowl full of freshly grounded coffee to absorb the smell of the nail polish from the room. Stir the coffee grounds daily until all the smell goes away, and you can use a glass bowl for incredible results. 

How to Get Rid of the Nail Polish Smell on the Carpet

If you accidentally spilled the nail polish on your carpet, don’t panic because I have the solution. Clean the nail polish as soon as you notice it. If it stays there longer, then it will be harder to remove it. When you see that you have spilled wet nail polish, blot the excess spill with a towel until nothing comes off.

Please don’t make the mistake of rubbing or wiping it off. Of course, you don’t want it to spread or make the stain worse. But if the nail polish stain is dry, you can scrape much of it off with a dull knife. Follow the steps below;

  • Firstly, wet the nail polish stain with cold water.
  • Use the hair spray on the nail polish stain. Spray a reasonable amount and follow up with small splashes of rubbing alcohol. 
  • Then use a small scrub brush or a toothbrush to scrub the nail polish for about a minute. As you brush, pour cold water directly on the stain spots.
  • Pour non-acetone nail polish remover onto that particular stain and continue to brush it off gently.
  • Now blot the stain gently with a cloth until all the nail polish color is cleared. Please don’t rub it. Continue blotting but switch to a clean side of the fabric to avoid spreading the stain.
  • Use a wet/dry vacuum around the spot to dry the excess liquid
  • Repeat the above steps until the stain is gone. 

If your carpet is dark, just use rubbing alcohol or hairspray instead of nail polish remover. The reason behind this is that the nail polish removers might bleach your carpet. But if your carpet is light-colored, you can use non-acetone nail polish removers. Just make sure the remover is transparent colored because they come in different forms.

Nail Polish Smell

Anytime you begin to polish your nails inside the room, odor develops within the airspace and floods throughout the entire area. These chemical fumes from nail polish are harmful to your body. A strong-smelling chemical used to make nail polish and nail polish removers contribute to the growing odors of these products is acetone and toluene.

These chemicals travel in the air and lead to exposure through inhalation or ingestion, contributing to eye, nerve, and lung damage. Nail polish removers also produce fumes that can be more harmful to human health than nail polish.

Nail Polish Remover Smell 

As I mentioned earlier, removers also produce odors that are more irritating than nail polish. You use these removers to wipe away the nail polish, and they are also very essential. But the problem is that some challenges like the foul odor also accompany them. I will offer you easy steps that you will follow to remove the scent.

  • Employ baking soda – Baking soda is exceptionally known for absorbing odors, and the good thing about it is that you don’t need to change daily. All you have to do is to place the baking soda into a bowl and leave it on a high shelf in the room.
  • Cat litter – This one is a suitable adsorbent and will remove all the lingering bad smells. 
  • Coffee – Put some fresh ground coffee into a glass bowl and stir daily. It will leave your house smelling nice and absorb all the foul odors.
  • Essential oils – Place essential oils in a glass bowl and add some water. They will give the house a pleasant scent.
  • Sprays – Use odor-neutralizing agents to spray the room until the smell is gone.
  • Citrus fruits – Place lemon and orange and any citrus fruit peels in a bowl or vase to add a fresh scent in the room. Citrus fruits are well known to overpower foul odors instantly. Replace the peels weekly.
  • Coal and sodium bicarbonate – Put a little charcoal or sodium bicarbonate in the place where you are sitting to absorb the nail polish remover’s bad smell.

Harmful Effects of Nail Polish Smell

I researched and found out that almost all nail polish fumes are toxic due to the chemicals used in producing them. These chemicals are dangerous to our bodies, especially phthalates. This is a solvent color that is highly harmful to the nervous system.

Two other toxic chemicals are acetone and toluene, which are the ingredients of nail polish removers. They are not healthy to be inhaled for the lungs, eyes, and nerves. It can be hard not to breathe them in a room where the nail polish and the removers are being used. The fumes that come from those chemicals can put your respiratory system at high risk. 

Formaldehyde is a skin, eye, and respiratory irritant used in nail polish as a hardener. Also, it has been linked with leukemia. Nail polish and its fumes can be harmful to your health, but if caution is taken, like not using it too often and in a well-ventilated room, it is not that horrible.

In my research, I learned that our bodies absorb chemicals straight through nail polish. Due to the harm caused by nail polish products to human health, companies are now reducing the usage of some toxic chemicals. This doesn’t mean that they are 100% safe for use, but they will improve and make them less harmful to our bodies when inhaling them. 

Did you know that inhaling too much nail polish smell can cause poisoning? The symptoms of nail polish poisoning occur in different parts of the body, as I have listed below.

  • Bladder and kidneys- increased urge to urinate.
  • Ears, eyes, nose, and throat – irritation and can cause eye damage
  • Gastrointestinal system- nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain
  • Blood circulation and heart- chest pains and irregular heartbeat.
  • Lungs – difficulty in breathing, slow breathing rate, shortness of breath
  • Nervous system- coma, balance problems, drowsiness, euphoria, headache, seizures, and walking problems. 

In case somebody experiences the above symptoms, do not make them throw up. Seek emergency care from medical personnel.

Ways to Get Rid of Nail Polish Smell from Your Hands 

Most ladies have the smell of nail polish lingering in their hands even hours after applying the nail polish. I find it so annoying having the bad odor in my hands because I can’t touch foodstuffs and other things. They are left smelling the nail polish odor. Whenever I apply nail polish, everyone would notice because of the smell. You might be having the same problem too.

Instead of covering up the chemical smells with perfumes and lotions, you can get rid of the smell with household items. Not only will your hands smell nice, but also there will be no chemical residues left on your skin. The steps are as follows;

  1. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of shampoo to the water, wash your hands with that mixture while scrubbing all the surfaces of your hands with a nail brush. Ensure you clean around the edges of each nail and underneath them. Rinse your hands properly and dry them.
  2. Wet your hands with water, then pour a teaspoon of coarse salt or sugar into one palm; add half a teaspoon of olive oil and rub your hands together gently for about 60 seconds. Do so to the back of your hands, and don’t forget around the nails. Rinse well and dry your hands.
  3. Toothpaste is another remedy. Squeeze a teaspoon of toothpaste you use into one palm. Rub your hands to distribute the toothpaste all over the surfaces and around the nails. After that, wash your hands properly with soap to remove the residues of the paste. Rinse your hands well with enough water and dry.
  4. Put 2 to 3 cups of warm water in a bowl. Add three to four tablespoons of baking soda and stir the mixture using your hands. Ensure that all the baking soda dissolves, then soak your hands in that solution for about five minutes. Now remove your hands and rinse with lukewarm warm water, then dry.

You can also make the nail polish itself smell good. I wonder why nail polish and nail polish remover companies can’t make them smell good. But the good thing is that you can alter the unpleasant smell of the nail polish now.  Things you need to scent the nail polish;

Four bottles of partially used nail polish, four bottles of food flavorings like lime, lemon, and orange oils, synthetic perfumes, natural perfumes, and synthetic colognes. Please be cautious while mixing unknown ingredients because they can be toxic. 

Add ten drops of oil to the used nail polish, then close the lid and shake well. You will need extra room to add the oil. Others that work pretty well are the orange, raspberry, and fig. you will notice the scent after you apply the nail polish, and it dries up. 

If you realize that the smell is not as strong enough as you wanted, you can add more drops of oil to the nail polish. Just don’t add too much oil, as it may dilute your nail polish.

I have used mine for several days, and I can smell the pleasant scent. I can say that the experiment worked very well for me. If you give it a try, it can as well give you good results. Don’t quit using nail polish because of the odor. There are lots of solutions to that, and the outcomes are incredible, trust me. If you have any of those ingredients, add them to the nail polish in the correct quantity, careful not to dilute the nail polish.


The nail polish smell is irritating, and fumes from nail polish can be harmful to your health. If you can get rid of it, then do it. I hope this article has helped you in various ways to get rid of the unpleasant nail polish odor and provide ways to make the nail polish smell good. 


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