The Cleaning Staple That Will Get Rid Of Nail Polish Stains On Clothing With Ease

Even though we hate them, stains are a natural part of life. Try as you may, you will always end up with a smear or a blot on your clothing. Whether a spot of coffee falls onto your shirt sleeve, an errant drop of ketchup falls on your sweatpants, or a smear of dirt gets onto your calf, we'll constantly be battling clothing stains. But some are much more difficult to remove than others. For example, while dirt can easily come out with some laundry detergent, nail polish stains are much more difficult to tackle and will require extra cleaning agents. However, you might not have to invest in a special stain spray to break down the polish. Instead, all you will need is some baking soda due to its stain-fighting nature and absorbent texture. 

This is a great laundry hack to try because it utilizes something you already have at home. Rather than investing in yet another specialty product, you can use an all-natural ingredient that is probably already sitting in your pantry. And if you do need to run to the store to get a box, it's widely accessible and very affordable. So at the very least, this cleaning hack is worth a try. Here's how to use baking soda to get nail polish stains out of clothing

How to use baking soda to remove nail polish from clothing

While there isn't much scientific proof as to why this works, there is a lot of strong anecdotal evidence. This baking soda laundry hack has been recommended by everyone from housekeeping pros to trusted appliance brands like Whirlpool, so if you have some nail polish smudges on your sweatpants or shirt, it's worth a try. The only caveat is that this only works on wet nail polish stains and not dried ones. This means time is of the essence, and you will have to grab your powder box immediately after the spill happens. That's because the granules will help absorb the stain, removing its mark on the piece. Baking soda is also recommended in particular because it's a relatively gentle ingredient, meaning you can safely use it on all sorts of fabrics without worrying about it bleaching the color or ruining the material. It's the perfect substitute for using nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol to remove the stain, especially if you aren't sure if those ingredients could damage the fabric. 

To remove the stain, grab a microfiber cloth, dampen it with water, and use it to pick up some baking soda. Apply the powder directly onto the stain, blotting rather than rubbing as you go. This ensures you don't accidentally smear the nail polish, creating a larger blemish. Periodically change which area of the microfiber cloth you're using and add fresh baking soda so you're not reapplying the polish you have just removed. 

Caveats to keep in mind

For best results, repeat this process on both the top and underside of the article of clothing. Since fabric is absorbent, the polish will have sunk to the back of the piece. Cleaning both sides ensures that you blot away all of the nail polish, minimizing the appearance of the stain. Once you're done blotting, rinse the stain with warm water and see if you need to repeat the process several more times. However, make sure you avoid drying the piece in the dryer until you're certain the stain is out. If you add a hot blast of heat to the garment before the stain has lifted, that high temperature will set it into the fabric, making it impossible to remove later. 

If the nail polish stain is significant — for example, say you spilled half a bottle onto your pants — you can use baking soda as an absorbent powder to soak up the worst of it. Simply sprinkle a small mound over the glob and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Once the granules are no longer white but are clumpy with absorbed polish, use a small brush to sweep them off. Then, use the above method to blot away any leftover polish embedded in the clothing fibers.