12 Simple Ways to Remove Nail Polish with Zero Waste

how to Remove Nail Polish with Zero Waste

This blog will highlight the “12 Simple Ways to Remove Nail Polish with Zero Waste,” the best ways to enjoy beautiful nails with zero waste. These techniques are the best natural remedies that will not create and add waste to the environment. Adopting eco-friendly methods of removing your nail polish is essential because of the chemical components of the traditional nail polish removers that we are accustomed to.

Acetone is the most predominant chemical contained in these nail polish removers. It is a chemical compound that can dissolve paint, varnish, and nail polish. This is why acetone is mainly used in traditional nail polish removers. Acetone also contributes to the strong smell of nail polish removers.

While using nail polish removers to remove nail polish is a very fast process, this does not present an eco-friendly way of removing your nail polish. That is why people are increasingly adopting alternative ways of getting rid of old nail polish. There are a host of DIY routines that you can try out that will work wonders.

From using alcohol to lemons, you can use these easy-to-do methods from the comfort of your home while simultaneously being mindful of your environment. We shall therefore look at the “12 Simple Ways to Remove Nail Polish with Zero Waste.” These are innovative alternatives that you may know or have never heard about. Read to find out more.

Ways To Remove Nail Polish with Zero Waste

Massaging Cuticles with A Zero Waste DIY Cuticle Oil

This technique helps you to reduce plastic waste while effectively getting rid of your nail polish. This is because cuticle oil is a product that you make yourself and store in a jar. Zero waste cuticle oil usually comprises 3 tsp of olive oil, ½ tsp of avocado oil, a single tsp of jojoba oil, and 12 drops each of lavender oil, lemon oil, and rosemary oil.

It is a great eco-friendly alternative that has zero effects on your environment.

Removing nail polish using this zero waste DIY cuticle oil is easy to do by following the procedure below:

  • Take some cuticle oil using your fingers and smear it on your nails.
  • Use your fingers to gently massage your nails repeatedly.
  • After a short while, the nail polish will start peeling off by itself.
  • You can then use a piece of cloth to wipe the cuticle oil from your fingers.

Consider A Reusable Cuticle Stick 

Reusable cuticle sticks are great for removing stubborn nail polish by not only gently pushing it off your nails but for shaping them as well. You can use them repeatedly in removing your nail polish without worrying about where you dispose of them. These reusable cuticles can also be used for cleaning under your nails. 

The procedure that you can follow, which will ensure you effectively remove all the old nail polish, is detailed in the steps below:

  • Soak your fingertips in warm water to allow your cuticles to soften.
  • The reusable cuticle stick usually has a ‘beveled’ end. Take some cotton and wrap it tightly on this end.
  • Using the cotton-wrapped end of your reusable cuticle stick, push back and shape your cuticles to begin the process of removing the nail polish.
  • Using a pair of cuticle scissors, cut off stray ends of your nails and trim the rough edges of your cuticle.
  • Use the pointed end of your reusable cuticle stick to clean the underside of your nails that usually tend to accumulate dirt particles.
  • Saturate the cotton-wrapped end of your reusable cuticle stick with alcohol, hand sanitizer, or any other product available to you and gently rub it repeatedly against your nails.
  • After about a minute of repeated rubbing, the nail polish will begin to peel off.

Use Rubbing Alcohol or Hand Sanitizer

Using alcohol or hand sanitizer offers you a quick and effective alternative to using the traditional, environmentally ‘unfriendly’ acetate nail polish removers.

Use the steps below to perform this process quickly:

  • Take some alcohol or hand sanitizer and apply some on cotton or reusable make-up remover pads. 
  • Place this piece of cotton on your nails and allow it to sit there for 10 to 20 seconds. This step is vital as it makes the nail polish soften faster.
  • After the 10 to 20-second duration has lapsed, repeatedly rub the cotton or reusable make-up remover pads on your nails. After some consistent rubbing, your nail polish will start peeling off.

Remove Your Nail Polish with Lemon

Lemon is known to have strong cleaning properties. The citric acid in the lemons is very effective in removing your old, worn-out nail polish.

The steps to follow when you are using this method of removing your nail polish are:

  • First, cut your lemon into small slices and put them on your side.
  • Soak your nails in a small basin or bowl of warm water. This is a necessary step because it allows you to soften your nail polish for an easier process.
  • Take a slice of lemon and rub it on your nails repeatedly. Keep doing this until the nail polish dissolves, wears off, and eventually disappears.
  • To make the process more effective, you can incorporate olive oil into the picture. Take another slice of lemon and pour olive oil on it. After that, take this slice of lemon and rub it on your nails to complete the process and achieve a smooth final look.

Vinegar Is Also a Good Option

Vinegar is another good alternative that can prove so effective in getting rid of your old nail polish. When you combine it with lemon juice, the results will astonish you. To enhance this technique’s “eco-friendliness” aspect, you can incorporate reusable make-up remover pads into the process.

The steps to use vinegar are:

  • Take equal portions of vinegar and lemon juice and mix them in a bowl. When the products are fully mixed together, take your reusable make-up remover pads and put them into the bowl with the mixture of vinegar and lemon juice. Allow the reusable make-up remover pads to soak and fully absorb the mixture.
  • While the reusable make-up remover pads are soaking in the vinegar-lemon juice mixture, soak your nails in a separate bowl with warm water. Do this continuously for about 10 minutes. This process will ensure that the nail polish you wish to remove from your nails is softened. 
  • Then, take out the reusable make-up remover pads that have been soaking in the vinegar-lemon juice and wipe your nails repeatedly. Do this process for some time, preferably a 30-second duration. The nail polish eventually comes off. 

Toothpaste As an Alternative

Toothpaste presents another good alternative you can use to remove nail polish in an eco-friendly way. What makes it an effective pick for nail polish remover is the compound called ethyl acetate. Ethyl acetate is very effective in dissolving varnish and paint as well as nail polish.

Use the steps below to remove your nail polish from the comfort of your home with minimal fuss!

  • Take your toothpaste and apply some to your nails. Rub the toothpaste so that it spreads all over your nails.
  • Use an old toothbrush that you no longer use and brush your nails gently like you do with your teeth. Do this for about 45 seconds or until your nail polish starts to peel off.
  • Finally, you can use warm water to wash your nails and then wipe them clean with a soft piece of cloth.

Remove Your Nail Polish by Applying More Nail Polish

Using another nail polish to remove the nail polish on your nails is one of the easiest DIY hacks you should try. Look around your house and get bottles of old nail polish that you no longer use. This is a very cost-effective way of getting rid of your nail polish without using nail polish remover.

Use the steps below to properly hack this technique:

  • Take your old nail polish and paint it over the nail polish on your nails that you wish to remove.
  • After that, quickly wipe off the nail polish layers on your nails before they dry off.
  • Do this process repeatedly until you get rid of all the nail polish on your nails.

Use Soy-Based Removers to Get Rid of Old Nail Polish

Soy-based removers work fast because they have a high capability to soften and dissolve your nail polish.

To properly use this technique, follow the steps that are recommended below:

  • Pour a little of the soy-based remover on reusable make-up remover pads and let the soy-based remover soak the reusable make-up remover pads.  
  • Then, take the reusable make-up remover pads that have been soaking in your soy-based remover and repeatedly wipe your nails. Do this process for some time, preferably a 45-second duration.
  • Soy-based removers, while effective, will not remove your nail polish as fast as alcohol, hand sanitizers, and a lemon-vinegar mixture. However, the nail polish eventually comes off with a consistent and repeated rubbing motion.

Your Perfume Can Also Perform a Decent Job of Getting Rid of Your Nail Polish

Perfumes can also work as nail polish removers because they contain some percentage of alcohol in them. The main problem with using this method is that you will need to use a large amount of the perfume due to its low alcohol percentage.

If you don’t mind using it and are ready to lose a little bit of perfume to remove your nail polish, use the steps shared below:

  • Take cotton or reusable make-up remover pads and spray some perfume on them. Spray it well until the cotton or reusable make-up remover pads become saturated with perfume.
  • Take the perfume-saturated cotton or reusable make-up remover pad and rub it on your nails repeatedly for some seconds. Consistent and gentle rubbing will eventually make the nail polish peel off.

Using Baking Soda Is Another Zero-Waste Alternative

The relatively ‘abrasive’ nature of baking soda can be so instrumental in making it a good nail polish remover. Baking soda can break down nail polish and help you remove it completely. Using this technique is rather simple.

Just follow the steps below to achieve smooth-looking nails:

  • Take a little baking soda and sprinkle it on the polish that you wish to remove.
  • Take a moist towel or toothbrush that you no longer use and rub your nails gently to remove the nail polish.
  • Repeatedly massage your nails using your damp towel or toothbrush.
  • The nail polish may take a short while before it starts peeling, but it will eventually come off.

Use A Mixture of Hydrogen-Peroxide and Water

A mixture of mild hydrogen peroxide and water can also be effective in helping you to remove your nail polish. However, to achieve better results, you will need to use hot water to remove that old layer of nail polish want to remove:

Follow these simple steps:

  • Make a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water, preferably using a half cup of hydrogen peroxide and a quarter cup of water.
  • Soak your fingers in the hot water and hydrogen peroxide mixture and allow the nail polish to absorb the solution.
  • Let your fingers sit in the solution for about 30 seconds while massaging your nails.
  • At this point, a nail file can effectively complete the job. You can use the nail file to rub off and chip away the remaining nail polish to achieve a smooth look.

Using A Deodorant and Cotton Balls Also Works

You’ll need your deodorant spray and some cotton balls to make it work to perform this procedure. Deodorants contain alcohol and small acetone levels that make them a suitable product to remove nail polish. It is a rather simple procedure that is also an eco-friendly alternative to using traditional acetate polish removers.

The steps below will help you remove your nail polish with minimal fuss:

  • Take your deodorant spray and spray it on your nails from close range.
  • Use your cotton balls to consistently and repeatedly wipe your nails for some time.
  • The nail polish will wear off after a few seconds of rubbing with deodorant-saturated cotton balls.

Why Use Homemade Nail Polish Removers?

  1. DIY homemade nail polish removers will not make your nails crack and peel off, as is the case with traditional acetone-based nail polish remover. In addition, the materials used to make them are relatively less harmful to your nails and skin.
  2. DIY nail polish removers are usually made of simple and readily available items that you can get around the house.
  3. The procedures involved in removing nail polish using these homemade nail polish removers are easy to follow and do. Your nail polish removal sessions will be quick routines that you can turn to whenever needed.
  4. The ingredients used in these nail polish removers, like lemon and baking soda, are normally safe for the environment and are affordable zero-waste alternatives.

Tips For Using Your Homemade Nail Polish Remover

  • Always give your nails a break. Do not use nail polish removers very frequently. This may affect your nail cuticles and leave you with “ugly” nails.
  • Whichever nail polish remover you are using, always do this activity in a well-ventilated room. Almost all the products that you use for your nail polish removal come with strong scents.
  • Never allow your homemade nail polish remover to dry quickly by leaving it for extended periods on your nails. You will need to rub and wipe it off quickly to reduce the chances of hardening, making the entire process harder.
  • It is good practice to apply a moisturizer after you remove your nail polish.


Eco-friendly and zero waste methods of removing nail polish exclude the use of the traditional acetone-based nail polish remover. The traditional nail polish remover will sit on the land for ages after being disposed of because they are non-biodegradable products. They then release toxic substances like toluene and formaldehyde that have carcinogenic properties. However, with our eco-friendly alternatives, there are a wide array of amazing DIY products and procedures that can help us get rid of our nail polish while being mindful of our environment. Who knew you could have a beauty regime that supports a sustainable environment?

Check out this article to learn everything you need to know about eco-friendly business cards in 2023, or check out another great article about eco friendly nail polish and it’s benefits!