Essential Oil Alternatives: Nail Polish Remover DIY

January 18, 2017

Whether you do your nails at home or prefer a manicurist to polish your toes, at some point the nail polish has to come off. Using over-the-counter nail polish remover may be effective but most contain a swath of harmful chemicals.

The best way to arm yourself against dangerous ingredients is to learn more about the chemicals inside your products.

Chemicals of concern

Numerous studies have shown isopropyl acetone, a common ingredient in nail polish remover, can lead to headaches, dizziness and irritation to the eyes, skin and throat. Although it is a chemical naturally found in the environment, acetone is also synthetically produced. In nail polish remover, it is most commonly used to dissolve the polish. Especially toxic to the kidneys, acetone can lead to an array of adverse reactions in the organs and cause respiratory damage.

Methyl ethyl ketone, another common chemical in nail polish remover,  is a likely neurotoxin according to multiple studies. Through inhalation, it can cause depression, headaches or nausea. It is sometimes used as a perfuming or fragrance ingredient and is a known respiratory toxicant according to the EPA. When applied to the skin, methyl ethyl ketone can also lead to dermatitis. Perhaps most alarmingly, n-methyl-pyrrolidone, another solvent in nail polish remover, is listed on California’s Proposition 65 as a chemical known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.

The natural way

Each of our essential oils are tested for purity and quality. Feel free to check out our GC/MS tests for the breakdown. Lemon essential oil not only nourishes your skin and nails, it can naturally remove nail polish. Citrusy oils are best to make nail polish disappear, so we also recommend using Sweet Orange and Grapefruit essential oils.

EG's Nail Polish Remover DIY

Instead of stripping your nails, pamper yourself with our Essential Oil Nail Polish Remover.

What you need:

2 oz. glass bottle 

Grapefruit essential oil

Lemon essential oil

Sweet Orange essential oil

Rubbing alcohol

White vinegar

How to:

  1. Add 2-3 drops of Grapefruit essential oil.
  2. Add 2-3 drops of Sweet Orange essential oil.
  3. Add 5-6 drops of Lemon essential oil.
  4. Fill the remaining amount of the glass bottle with 2/3 rubbing alcohol and 1/3 vinegar.
  5. Gently shake bottle to mix.
  6. Soak your nails for 5-10 minutes in bowl.
  7. Add solution to a cotton pad and wipe your nails clean. 

To read more about our GO CLEAN IN 2017 CHALLENGE, click here


These comments were contributed by customers without influence from Edens Garden. The opinions expressed in these comments are 100% the authors' own and do not reflect the views or opinions of Edens Garden.

  • Lisa says...

    My grandsons painted their mother’s diffuser with nail polish, and did a very thorough job of it! Thanks to this recipe, the diffuser is spic’n’span and safe to use again. Your grapefruit EO smells amazing!
    Thank you so much for this recipe!!

    On July 01, 2017

  • Edens Garden says...

    Hi Courtney! Combine the EOs, vinegar and alcohol and soak your nails in the mix for the recommended time above. You can then apply Argan carrier oil to your nails afterwards.

    On May 25, 2017

  • Courtney says...

    Hi there, Do you soak your nails in the alcohol and vinegar and then spray the mixture with the oils on after or you soak in the solution with the oils?

    On May 25, 2017

  • Edens Garden says...

    Hi Karen! We recommend soaking your nails in the entire solution.

    On March 02, 2017

  • Karen says...

    It is still unclear what you soak your nails in—is it the alcohol, vinegar and oil solution or just the alcohol and vinegar in the 2:1 ratio?

    On March 01, 2017

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