Last updated: August 22, 2021
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Welcome to our big nail polish remover test 2022. Here we present all the nail polish removers we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best nail polish remover for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to when buying a nail polish remover.


  • Nail polish remover is an organic solvent, mostly consisting of acetone, used to remove nail polish from nails.
  • You can "misuse" the ingredient acetone in many ways in your own home or in certain areas of application.
  • When disposing of acetone, you should be particularly careful for health reasons and read up on the subject in more detail.

The Best Nail Polish Remover in the United Kingdom: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying nail polish remover

What is nail polish remover and what is it made of?

In short, nail polish remover is a mixture of chemical substances that are used to remove nail polish. Another term would be "organic solvent".

What is the gentlest way to get nail polish off your fingernails? What alternatives are there for nail polish remover? We explain all this to you in our guide. (Image source: / ivabalk)

You can buy nail polish remover in various forms:

  • Liquid
  • Gel
  • Cream
Did you know that nail polish remover is only composed of alcohols?

The variant that is sold most often contains acetone. Otherwise, nail polish remover is always composed of ethyl and butyl acetate, isopropanol and glycol, always in a different mixing ratio. You will often find additional fragrances or other nourishing oils in certain nail polish removers to achieve a moisturising effect and to care for the nails gently.

Who is a nail polish remover suitable for?

As the name suggests, nail polish remover is suitable for removing nail polish from fingernails and toenails. At least, that's where it should be used the most. We will tell you later in which other areas you can use this "all-purpose product".

Basically, everyone who paints their nails uses a remover to get clean nails again. In general, however, we recommend being especially careful with small children because of the danger of inhaling the alcohols.

People with acrylic nails should make sure to use an acetone-free nail polish remover, as acetone could possibly dissolve the glue of the acrylic.

What are the alternatives to nail polish remover?

In case you didn't know, there are a few other versions or alternatives to the traditional liquid nail polish remover to clean your nails.

In the following overview, you will find a good summary of the alternatives to nail polish remover.

Type of product Description
Nail polish remover in cotton pads With this product, you usually get a tin with fine cotton pads that are soaked with nail polish remover. This type is particularly suitable for travelling.
Tin with sponge pad This variant is becoming increasingly popular due to its ease of use. All you have to do is put your finger in the can, twist it in the sponge and you have removed the nail polish.
Hairspray or deodorant spray Sounds a bit wrong at first, but you can actually misuse the products. Because of the similar alcohols that are also contained in normal nail polish remover, you can remove the nail polish with a cotton pad.
Lemon and vinegar This method requires a little patience, but with a good mixture of lemon and vinegar on a cotton pad, you can remove the nail polish.

In America, there is also the current trend of acetone spray: spill-proof, lighter than a nail polish remover bottle and lightning-fast cleaning.

Decision: What types of nail polish remover are there and which is right for you?

If you want to buy a nail polish remover, there are three alternatives to choose from:

  • Nail polish remover containing acetone
  • Acteon-free nail polish remover
  • Nail varnish remover pad

Depending on what you prefer and what kind of fingernails you have, a different variant is suitable for you. We hope that the decision will be easier for you at the end of the following section.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of acetone-based nail polish remover?

Acetone is a form of high-proof alcohol, in other words, an organic solvent. The biggest advantage is that particularly stubborn stains can be easily removed.

  • stronger solvent
  • all-purpose agent
  • toxic and unpleasant odour
  • drying for the nails

Like pretty much all alcohols, acetone is highly flammable and has a very intense smell. On the downside, too much vapour from acetone can cause mild to severe headaches. The advantage of acetone-free nail polish remover is that you need a small dosage and have to "rub" less on the nail.

There is no such thing as a gentle nail polish remover. Especially when using nail polish remover that contains acetone, it is important to follow up with a hand or nail cream.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of acetone-free nail polish remover?

Acetone-free nail polish remover is particularly suitable for those who occasionally want to give their nails a little colour and do not use stubborn glitter polishes.

Compared to acetone-based nail polish remover, it does not smell as intensely alcoholic and it is easier to soothe it with a pleasant scent during production.

However, since there is no gentle nail polish remover, acetone-free nail polish remover also dries out the nails, but does not make them nearly as brittle as acetone-containing nail polish remover.

  • low odour
  • environmentally friendly
  • gentle solvent
  • more expensive than remover with acetone

People with acrylic nails are right on target with acetone-free nail polish remover, as it cannot attack the glue due to the mixing ratio. In addition, when you use acetone-free nail polish remover, you prevent inhaling toxic fumes.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a nail polish remover pad?

A nail polish remover pad is a small box with a sponge inside that is soaked with nail polish remover. The special thing about it is that it can be placed very conveniently in a handbag or in your travel luggage without the risk of spillage.

  • low odour
  • practical for travelling
  • risk of drying out
  • smearing in the sponge

On the other hand, if you have to polish your fingers several times a week, the sponge may quickly run out of polish and you may smear a lot of polish around your fingers. It can also dry out if you forget to close the lid properly.

Buying criteria: You can compare and evaluate nail polish remover on the basis of these factors

In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate nail polish remover. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a certain nail polish remover is suitable for you or not.

In summary, these are:

  • Application
  • Quality
  • Sustainability
  • Solvent

In the following paragraphs, we will explain what the individual criteria are.


There are several ways to use a nail polish remover. The most frequently used variant is probably the classic liquid nail polish remover and cotton pads made of wool.

Simply put a little nail polish remover on the cotton pad and gently stroke your finger.

If you only want to touch up minimal imperfections on your freshly painted nails, there is also the option of using a correction pen. This usually works more or less like an ink eraser, where you go over the area to be corrected with the tip of the pen and touch up your mistake. (Image source: / 120121302)

In the section on the nail polish remover pad, we already introduced you to this variant. If you use the nail polish remover as an all-purpose product for the household or for other stains, the liquid version is also best suited for you.


If you are familiar with pedicures, you have probably heard of "Alessandro", "Essie" or "Mircrocell". No? We are talking about nail product brands. Some of the brands are popular all over the world, but some others only show themselves from the shady side and hardly anyone knows them. You may even have some in your own bathroom cabinet or make-up drawer without knowing it.

Of course, big brands stand for excellent quality, a certain aesthetic of appearance or simply for the big name. However, these brands usually have a higher price range and, as is usual with most brands, you also "pay for the name".

Brands and their outward-looking image definitely don't define the world, but we understand if it gives you a certain amount of security.

To help you familiarise yourself with the brands, we have compiled a list of brands where we think the price-performance ratio is right and that it is worth paying a few euros more:

  • Essie
  • Chanel
  • Mavala
  • Auriga
  • Alessandro
  • OPI

In the end, of course, the choice is up to you.


If you are particularly concerned about sustainability or environmental friendliness in your life, you can fortunately find a good option for this in almost every drugstore today. Most nail polish removers of this kind use organic ingredients, e.g. organic orange oil for special nail care. The alcohols are also certified organic.

A particularly popular brand in this area is Sante or Benecos. Both companies try to put special focus on the skin compatibility of the products. In addition, they both produce only acetone-free nail polish removers.


Nail polish remover is an organic solvent and consists only of alcohols and possibly nourishing oils. However, the choice of alcohols in each nail polish remover can vary, as can the mixing ratio.

Some people may be allergic to certain alcohols and react with skin irritation to the ingredient. For these reasons, once you know that you have an intolerance to that alcohol or similar, we recommend that you check that it is not in the product before purchasing the nail polish remover.

Facts worth knowing about nail polish remover

How do I dispose of nail polish remover?

The good thing about alcohols, especially acetone, is that the toxic fumes quickly evaporate or volatilise. However, since acetone is flammable, be especially careful with it and take care that it does not come into contact with fire.

If possible, you should not allow the liquid nail polish remover to enter the sewage system through the sink, as it can possibly have a detrimental effect on your health. If this should happen by accident, you will be helped by the fact that acetone is usually water-soluble. Nevertheless, you should dispose of several quantities of acetone at the recycling centre or hazardous waste for health reasons alone.

What can I do if nail polish remover with acetone gets into my eye?

It has always been hotly disputed whether acetone is carcinogenic or not. So far, it remains a granted myth, because it has not been clinically confirmed. Nevertheless, many of us are already aware that if we get something alcoholic in our eye, it starts to burn. The best example: shampoo in the shower gets into your eye. You squeeze your eyes shut and try to rinse them out with water as best you can.

That's all you can really do once acetone gets into your eye. You may become more sensitive or allergic to it and develop a scaly rash that lasts for several days.

It is obvious that the solvent irritates and reddens the eyes. Exposing your eyes to acetone for long periods of time for any reason can cause damage to the cornea of your eyes.

What else can I use nail polish remover for?

In short, it is not the nail polish remover that is the all-purpose product, but the acetone it contains. As already mentioned, acetone is a solvent that can be used in many ways. It is used to dissolve various substances, but also for manufacturing. You can use acetone to:

  • use in the manufacture of polymers and acrylics
  • Dissolve fats and oils
  • dissolve various plastics
  • Attack copper
  • remove simple stains easily
  • Degrease surfaces
  • Remove lacquers
  • Prepare lacquers

Image source: / 87214600