Smudging your freshly manicured nails can be a bit disappointing. Cutting your cuticles too much can be quite painful. But spilling a significant drop of bright polish onto your perfectly pink sweatpants can be devastating. Fortunately, you can take a few simple steps to purge that polish from your pants — without destroying your manicured talons.

1. Saturate a makeup sponge with nail polish remover. Dab the sponge onto an inconspicuous part of the pants — such as the bottom hem or inside the leg. You’ve already got polish on your pants — the last thing you need is a significant discoloration to damage your duds. If the color and texture of the fabric stay the same, it should be safe to use the polish remover on the stain.

2. Fold several layers of paper towels together and tuck them under the stained fabric — which might mean tucking the sheets into the pants. You don’t want that pesky polish stain rubbing off one side of the fabric and right onto the other side.

3. Saturate your sponge once more and squeeze out any excess liquid. To save your sanity, pretend like you’re squeezing limes for a delicious margarita.

4. Blot the nail polish stain with the sponge. You’ll want to be gentle, yet firm — a tactic that can get you almost anything that you want in life. For the sake of your pants, please do not rub the fabric — this will only cause the fabric to pill and fray. Blot away until the stain releases from the material.

5. Rinse the area with cool water. The water should run clear through the fabric. If it doesn’t, get back to blotting.

6. Try pure acetone if the nail polish remover wasn’t effective. But be careful with the harsh chemicals. A pair of gloves can protect your delicate skin from getting irritated. Of course, test the acetone in an inconspicuous area of your sweatpants before using it on the stain.

7. Apply a stain remover to the area where your nail polish once was. Let sit for 10 minutes while you celebrate your domesticated diva skills with a sweet treat and a glass of wine.

8. Wash your pink sweatpants alone or with a load of old towels. The nail polish remover soaked into the fabric and removing the pants with your other clothes could leave you with a worn-out wardrobe.

Things You’ll Need

1. Makeup sponges

2. Nail polish remover

3. Paper towels

4. Water

5. Stain Remover

6. Laundry detergent

7. Pure acetone (optional)

8. Bug spray (optional)


Tips & Tricks

Although it might sound unusual, bug spray is a popular home remedy for removing nail polish stains from clothes. Of course, you’ll want to test it on a hidden part of your pants before using it in a visible area. After placing paper towels under the stain, spray the area with bug spray until the fabric is completely saturated. Let sit for about 10 minutes and then blot with a clean paper towel until the stain is gone.

Most sweatpants are made from pretty durable materials. Still, you should always check the tag and care instructions before you tackle the stain. If the pants are made from fabrics that contain acetate, rayon, silk, suede, triacetate or velvet, be extra cautious when cleaning them. Harsh chemicals can actually damage the fabric. If your pants include these fabrics — or if the tag specifically says “Dry Clean Only” — you’re better off just leaving the task to your local dry cleaner.


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