How to Get Nail Polish off Sneakers

by April Dowling ; Updated September 28, 2017

Nail polish requires immediate removal from sneakers to ensure full restoration.

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Although nail polish adds interest to nails, it looks dingy on sneakers. Painting your own nails may result in nail polish dripping onto your sneakers, marring them with glossy blotches of color. Comprised of coloring agents, plasticizers and solvents, nail polish quickly hardens on sneakers and becomes more stuck on as it dries. The longer nail polish sets on sneakers, the less likely it is that you can remove it completely. Fortunately, basic acetone gets nail polish off any sneaker.

Dampen a folded paper towel with acetone. Wear cleaning gloves since acetone is a solvent.

Blot the sneaker with the damp paper towel to dissolve the nail polish. Immediately replace the towel once nail polish transfers onto it. Use fresh paper towels to prevent blotted nail polish from getting back onto the sneaker.

Continue blotting the sneaker with acetone until the polish is fully gone.

Dampen another paper towel with cool water. Blot the sneaker with cool water until any lingering acetone is completely rinsed out.

Wipe the damp sneaker with another paper towel to absorb moisture.


  • Substitute clean cloths for paper towels.

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About the Author

April Dowling first started writing in high school and has written many news articles for newspaper and yearbook publications. She is currently pursuing a career as an online writer and affiliate marketer. Dowling writes for several websites and keeps many blogs.