It’s the perfect shade of red to go with your very favorite outfit. But while you’re applying it, the phone rings. It’s only your friends confirming your presence at the party tonight. You return to finish your nails, only to find that Timothy, your Bengal, has tilted the container over on your brand new pale gray floor and is now staring at his handiwork in fascination.

How can you restore your floor to its original unblemished pearly allure in time to make it to your best friend’s birthday bash?

Find out how to remove nail polish from your hardwood flooring from our pointers provided below.

nail polish on hardwood floors

How to Remove Nail Polish From Your Hardwood Flooring

The last thing you want is your favorite brand and shade of nail polish on your floor. Especially since any mishaps on hardwood floors can’t simply be banished with harsh soaps or solvents and a stiff-bristled brush.

Reacting as fast as possible is key here, especially given the porous nature of wood.

But even though it seems like the next natural thing to do, don’t go reaching for your nail polish remover just yet.

There are a number of remedies that can ensure you will be able to get rid of the offending stain and restore the smooth appeal of your floor as shown right here.

1. White Sugar

To remove the stain while it is still wet and without risking the finish of your hardwood floor, sprinkle a generous amount of sugar on the still wet nail polish, ensuring you cover it completely. The crystals will absorb the polish and all you will have to do is wait for it to dry.

Once the polish has dried, you will simply be able to brush up the colored, clumped sugar with a brush or broom.

But what if you weren’t lucky enough to spot the mishap on time and the nail polish has dried up or there are still tell-tale stains even after you’ve taken this first step? The following solutions will come in handy.

2. Mineral Spirits

A more refined version of paint thinner, mineral spirits can be an excellent remedy for tackling dried nail polish or any lingering residue following an application of white sugar.

Before you use it, however, you will need to dab your floor in a corner to check for any unusual discoloration.

If you are able to proceed, you will need to apply a small amount to a cotton bud, a rolled wad of cotton, or a clean cloth and rub the stain gently following the grain of the wood.

It is important to apply only slight pressure when cleaning the stain. Any vigorous scrubbing could damage your floor’s finish resulting in yet another quandary.

3. Rubbing Alcohol

It’s best known as a household disinfectant and is pretty versatile for solving knotty little problems in the home. Hence it’s no surprise that rubbing alcohol is also ideal for cleaning dried-up nail polish as well.

There is also the fact that it is a more suitable option compared to nail polish remover.

The application process is pretty similar to that of mineral spirits.

You will need some cotton wool, a clean cloth, or even a cotton bud and will also have to apply the rubbing alcohol to your material of choice before rubbing at the stain taking special care to avoid unstained parts of your floor.

If the stain happens to be particularly persistent, a slightly different approach may be required: you may need to soak cotton wool in the solvent before placing it over the stains on the floor and then wiping it gently afterward.

You will also need to avoid any vigorous rubbing since doing so could also damage the finish.

4. Hairspray

This blend of polymers, propellants, and fragrance which is meant to provide your hair with both sheen and structure, can also function as a surprising remedy for getting rid of any tell-tale lingering nail polish stains.

All you will have to do is simply spray it once you have already cleaned the floor, let it sit for half a minute and then wipe it off with a clean cloth.

You may need to repeat the procedure if the stains happen to be particularly persistent.

Once you have gotten rid of the stains, you will also need to use a manufacturer-approved cleaning product to completely remove the hair spray from your floor.

Should You Use Nail Polish Remover?

Ideally, you should not. This is because most nail polish removers contain acetone, a solvent that may not only cause damage to the finish of your hardwood floors but also alter their color as well.

It is worth noting that while it also consists of additional chemicals other than acetone, nail polish remover is considered capable of damaging your floors to the same extent as pure acetone.

However, certain experts may recommend the use of the chemical itself.

That said, they advise applying the acetone in a corner or location where any such changes in coloration are likely to be unnoticed.

They also advise lightly touching the stained surface with the fabric to which the acetone has been applied and cleaning up the spot afterward to remove any lingering traces of the solvent.

Other experts recommend using varieties of nail polish remover which do not continue any acetone.

However, it is best to contact your manufacturer to ensure you make the right decision.

So, what should you do if the spill is extensive and has somehow gotten all over your floor, tempting you to unscrew a bottle of acetone-based nail polish remover?

Seeking out the services of a flooring professional might be the best solution.

They would not only be in the best position to get rid of the stains but also be able to restore your hardwood floor to a state of uniform perfection.