We love learning new uses for common household products, and we’re even more interested when those hacks involve cleaning messes.
We’ve recently learned a lot about common food staples and their unexpected uses. Did you know that honey can help fresh flowers last longer, or that mayo can clean crayon marks from walls and erase water stains from wood? Even expired spices have a multitude of hidden uses.
Inedible products such as nail polish remover can also be used in ways that differ from their intended purpose. Nail polish remover contains a solvent called acetone, so it’s really good at its original job—but nail polish isn’t the only thing it can remove.
Keep in mind that nail polish remover is highly flammable, so it should never be used close to an open flame or heat source. Make sure to keep the area ventilated as well, as nail polish can be irritating to the skin, lungs, and mucus membranes. And always keep out of reach of children and pets.
1. Remove Stains From Coffee Mugs
After a while, no matter how hard you scrub, your coffee mugs will become stained. It’s just a part of life. But once again, nail polish remover can save the day. Use a Q-tip or cotton round to scrub the interior of your ceramic mug and remove the unsightly stains, then be sure to follow up with soap and water.
2. Remove Ink And Permanent Marker Stains
Ink and permanent marker stains can be erased from hard non-porous surfaces and fabrics with nail polish remover. For hard surfaces, soak a cloth or cotton ball with nail polish and scrub until clean.
To remove from fabric, make sure to spot-test in an inconspicuous spot first to ensure the material is strong enough to withstand the acetone. Apply the nail polish remover to a clean cloth, then dab at the stain until it disappears. Make sure to wash all items afterward.
3. Revive Old Nail Polish
It’s such a bummer when your favorite nail polish gets gunky, thick, and/or dried out before you finish the bottle. Nail polish remover can once again save the day. Just add a drop (using a dropper would be ideal) of nail polish remover to the bottle. Next, roll the nail polish bottle between your hands for around a minute.
The acetone should help return the nail polish to its original smooth state. Afterward, make sure to store your nail polish in a cool place with the lid tightly closed. Store all of your nail polish bottles upright so clumps don’t form at the neck of the bottles. And only keep your nail polish bottle open as long as necessary when using. Exposure to air will dry out the bottle quickly.
If you have children or grandchildren, you likely know the joy that stickers can bring them. However, they can also cause a headache once the stickers are stuck to everything, including your metal and glass appliances.
Luckily, using a little bit of nail polish remover can dissolve any leftover residue that stickers can leave. Just dab a little on the adhesive to break it down and wipe it clean.
Because nail polish remover is made from acetone and alcohol, it makes a great disinfectant. You can disinfect your nail clippers, tweezers, scissors, and other grooming tools with a cotton ball soaked in nail polish remover. Make sure to wash the tools with soap and water and let them dry before using them again.
6. Shine Your Shoes
You can shine your patent leather shoes and clean scuff marks from your tennis shoes with nail polish remover. Spot-test first, then soak a paper towel in nail polish remover and gently buff away the marks. Make sure to wipe the shoes dry afterward. Enjoy seeing your reflection in your new-looking shoes!