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How to Remove Nail Polish From Leather

Leather is a unique fabric and behaves more like a solid. Learn how to get nail polish off leather whether it's a leather couch, bag, or another leather item.

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Question

Please help! I need to know how to remove nail polish spill on leather.

Answer

Generally, nail polish permanently dyes fabric–it’s the nature of the woven or knit construction of fabric to trap the nail polish in a way that doesn’t allow for dissolving and wiping away the nail polish in the same way you can from a hard surface.  But I wouldn’t give up hope entirely because leather is a little more like a solid surface even if it does have some texture.  A good dry cleaner that specializes in leather should be able to help you.  Note that first they should test for colorfastness to whatever pretreater they want to use on the nail polish if your leather item is dyed.  If they use a solvent to dissolve and wipe away the nail polish, they also need to apply a moisturizer to the leather to recondition the leather.  Solvents have the potential to damage leather by stripping away natural moisture.  With so many considerations, working with a business that specializes in cleaning leather is the way to go.  Good luck, and let me know how it turns out!

–Dr. Laundry