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Into every life, a little nail polish must fall. But just because you accidentally lacquered your skirt, desk, or couch, that doesn't mean the stuff has to stay there. The faster you act, the better off you'll be, and most materials respond well to solvents you already have lying around the house.
Removing Polish From Wood
First rule: don't use nail polish remover on wood. It actually ruins finishes and leaves new, maybe even worse looking, stains. Don't panic, though, because there's actually a really easy way to fix the polish-on-wood problem. Just spritz your polish puddle down with plenty of hair spray (we use Aqua Net), let it sit for about 20 seconds, and then wipe it off. You might need to repeat the process a few times, but it's far, far preferable to having splotchy furniture.
Removing Polish From Cloth
Probably one of the most common polish problems, this is also a tricky one. Nail polish remover can interact with some dyes and fabrics (it'll actually melt acetate), so perform a spot test before you use it. If you use remover on your fabric, make sure to launder it directly afterward. And if remover isn't an option, you can always try hair spray. Dry cleaning solvent can also usually remove polish, so if you can't get it out at home, don't be afraid to run it down to your cleaners.
Removing Polish From Hair
If you were in a rush and ended up both ruining your nails and painting up your hair, the fix is pretty simple. If the polish is still wet, just grab some non-acetone polish remover and run it down the polished strands. If it's dry already, work some conditioner or oil gently through your hair until you can slide the polish bits out.
Removing Polish From Carpet
First of all, what color is your carpet? If it's light or white, using a non-acetone polish remover is probably your best bet. If it's dark and you're not sure about whether the dye might interact with it, try pouring on hair spray or rubbing alcohol and then blotting the polish up with a sponge or paper towels. Don't give up if the polish just seems to keep coming—you want to get every last bit out.