How To Get Rid Of Nail Polish Smell?

Painting your nails can be fun and ignite your creativity. It is great for a bonding evening with your friends or family members, yet a small amount of nail polish can leave a strong odor hanging in the air. The lingering smell will cause a twitching nose and throbbing headache.

There are various methods to deal with this problem. But bear in mind that if you do not take these steps properly, they won’t work wonders. Follow us to find the best ways to eliminate the stench.

How To Get Rid Of Nail Polish Smell From Your Hands ? 

Many users assume that washing their hands carefully with water and soap can eliminate the smell. This method may work, but it also would likely ruin the art and great look of your nail.

Instead, you can apply cuticle oil or some kitchen substances to ensure a better hand smell and eliminate all chemical residue on your skin.

  • Apply Cuticle Oil

Applying cuticle oil is one of the most common options to neutralize the smell. You can choose products in the form of a stick or a pen. Some manufacturers also offer users an applicator like a fine brush for easy use.

Use cuticle oil in the last step to limit the smell of nail polish.
Use cuticle oil in the last step to limit the smell of nail polish.

Cuticle oil is safe, thanks to its antibacterial and antifungal properties. This combination will protect your fingers from potential irritations and diseases.

You can also invest more in cuticle oil products containing vitamins and vegetable oils to ensure healthy-looking nails.

We advise you to apply a moderate layer of cuticle oil, as applying too much will take a great deal of time to dry off. Besides, a thick layer of oil will make your nails look cumbersome and less eye-catching.

  • Use What You Have In Your Kitchen

If cuticle oil is not available in your local store, you may use these ingredients right in your kitchen. They are olive oil, shampoo, granulated salt, toothpaste, and baking soda. No specific brands are required; just use what you have.

Follow these detailed methods below to ensure the best result:

  • Method 1: Wash your hands with water and shampoo. Don’t forget to scrub all surfaces with a nail brush to eliminate all residue on your nails. Then, rinse your hands well and let them dry off.
  • Method 2: Make a mixture of one tablespoon of granulated salt or sugar and half of a teaspoon of olive oil. After that, rub your hands gently and work the granules over your hands’ backs in 30 to 60 seconds.
  • Method 3: Take a teaspoon of toothpaste and distribute the pastes over your hands, especially around your nails. After rubbing thoroughly, wash your hands well with water and soap to remove the stickiness of the toothpaste.
  • Method 4: Mix two cups of warm water and two tablespoons of baking soda, and stir until the mixture dissolves completely. Now insert your hands and soak for at least five minutes.
  • Method 5: Rinse with lukewarm water and wait for your hands to dry off. Now, you will surely sense no annoying smell.

How To Get Rid Of Nail Polish Smell From Your Room ?

  • Open The Windows

One of the easiest methods is to ventilate the area. No matter how sharp and penetrated the smell is, the natural air circulation will always do the trick for you.

Once the traveling particles are distributed and spread out sufficiently, you are less likely to detect and let them affect your skin, nose, and eyes.

Open windows to increase air circulation
Open windows to increase air circulation

Sunlight and well-ventilated outdoor air can immediately solve your problems. Thus, all you need is to open the door and do nothing!

  • Use Air Fresheners

Maybe you accidentally spill the acetone on the carpets or any other surface that can hold the liquid. The smell can dissipate on such surfaces and linger in the air for a long period. It is hard to beat the smell when this happens.

Spray air freshener to remove unpleasant odors quickly
Spray air freshener to remove unpleasant odors quickly

In this situation, air fresheners and perfumes help you accomplish the task. You can use some odor-neutralizing perfumes and fresheners to neutralize or eliminate the smell in your room. A few spritzes will gradually remove the damp nail varnish odor and make the room smell pleasant.

It’s best to spray the substance with closed windows and doors. After five minutes, you can finally open them to get some natural air.

Orange or citrus peel oils are also highly recommended. Those ingredients bring a comfortable smell while immediately getting rid of the nail polish one.

  • Use Air Purifier

An air purifier will be an effective means of assisting you in removing the unpleasant odor of nail polish. With most purifiers today, the unpleasant scent will be neutralized and removed within half an hour.

  • Fan Out The Funk

Keeping the doors and windows open while turning your fan on can do wonders in most situations. An overhead fan is effective in circulating the air in the room. This way, the bad odor is more likely to dissipate and get out of your space quicker.

  • Use Coffee Grounds

Don’t underestimate the use of coffee grounds. Coffee odors are pleasant and refreshing, so a bowl of fresh coffee grounds will save you from a bad nail varnish smell. A glass bowl of coffee ground will give off a fresh coffee scent while also absorbing unpleasant odors from your nail polish.

You can let the bowl overnight to get rid of the odor gradually. Don’t forget to stir the coffee grounds frequently until the smell is completely gone if you want to speed up the process.

Remove unpleasant smell from nail polish with a bowl of coffee grounds.
Remove unpleasant smell from nail polish with a bowl of coffee grounds.

Baking soda or activated charcoal are great options to absorb the intense odor as well. You need an adequate amount of those ingredients before storing them in a container on a high shelf. After a couple of days, you will get a homey and pleasant smell.

There is no need to change the ingredients daily, so it is a labor-saving method.

  • Store The Polish Carefully

All the efforts will be down the drain if you don’t store the polish carefully and thus, let the smell out all the time. Failure to tighten or seal the polish jar can contaminate the surrounding space. That’s why you always need to seal the polish bottle as fast and tight as possible.

We advise you to put the polishes away right after painting your nails., but the smell can still linger in the room. You can also keep them in the refrigerator. Tightening the bottles and putting them in the fridge can minimize the stink.

This method might sound odd, but its effects will do the job of convincing you! Not only does it prevent the smell from spreading, but it also keeps your product fresher and lasting longer.

Why Does Nail Polish Smell So Bad? 

The annoying smell is mainly due to the inclusion of a few unpleasantly-smelling solvents. This ingredient is prevalent in most household and beauty care products in different concentrations. A higher concentration of solvents results in worse smells.

Their smells are often described as pleasant and fruity in a small amount. In nail polish, they come in a high concentration so they show a stingy and overpowering smell.

Ethyl acetate and propyl acetate show a sweet pear feeling while butyl acetate smells like a banana or apple. Toluene has a benzene-like smell and isopropyl alcohol is alcoholic. Except for toluene, the other solvents are safe for use.

It is easy to recognize the smell of this substance as soon as you begin painting your nails. This buildup of odors gradually develops in indoor airspace and then floods the entire surroundings.

Due to the high concentration of solvents, the nail polish will have a bad smell sometimes. 
Due to the high concentration of solvents, the nail polish will have a bad smell sometimes.

Is Nail Polish Smell Bad For You? 

The strong smell from nail polish can be attributed to the growing odors of toluene and acetone. These chemicals will likely travel freely in the air and cause excessive exposure through ingestion and inhalation. That’s why you may feel irritated or, worse, dizzy.

Headache is not easily avoided when smelling the solvents. Besides, if you are sensitive to smells, you are prone to nose irritation and struggle to breathe properly.

Is There Any Nail Polish That Doesn’t Smell? 

Sadly, the answer is a no. 

Most nail polish and nail polish removers, even those with free-from formulas, always have this typical smell.

Thanks to their natural and odorless compounds, some products show less intense and irritating odors. You can expect this result in some nail varnishes with a water-based formula.

Unlike other common products, those use water as their base instead of oil or other chemical solvents. While they are not 100% odorless, their smells are weaker and less likely to irritate your health.

On the flip side, the water-based formula makes those products more likely to chip off after application. They also take more time to dry off and cost more than other oil-based types.


Chemicals like volatile organic compounds and solvents in nail polish can be harmful to your health and the surrounding environment.

Keeping those smells at bay is not always a piece of cake and requires careful treatment. 

We hope that our article will help you stay beautiful while ensuring a fresh and purified environment. So don’t hesitate to try those methods mentioned above.

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