DIY Nail Polish Remover Sponge + 6 DIY Nail Polish Remover Recipes

By Aniela / August 16, 2017

You've undoubtedly seen those nail polish remover sponges for purchase, but did you know you can actually make your own for a fraction of the cost? This DIY nail polish remover sponge is SO easy to make you'll wonder why you've never made it before! With only 3 ingredients, this nail polish remover sponge will be the easiest and fastest DIY beauty project you've ever made!

DIY Nail Polish Remover Sponge Recipe

nail polish remover sponge

This easy peasy method of removing nail polish is one of our favorites because it's cheap and it actually works exceptionally well! Instead of using cotton balls, we're using heavy duty sponge which will work a lot better at removing glitter polish than any other polish remover.

You'll Need:

  • Nail polish remover (store bought OR make your own nail polish remover, see below!)
  • Sponge (brand new, clean dish sponge will work!)
  • 4oz jar with lad


  1. Grab a brand new standard size sponge and cut it in half, lengthwise.
  2. Take the two cut pieces and wrap them around one another to make a swirl.
  3. Place the tightly rolled sponges into the 4oz jar. The roll should fit snugly.
  4. Pour nail polish remover over the sponge, enough to saturate it.

How to Use the DIY Nail Polish Remover Sponge:

  1. Simply dip your finger into the center of the rolled sponge. Soak your fingers into the sponge for about a minute.
  2. Rub your nail into the sponge until all nail polish has gone.
  3. Be sure to wash your hands afterwards.
  4. Works amazingly for dark colors and glitter polish.

Can also work to remove gel nail polish as long as you allow the fingernails to soak in the sponge for at least 5 minutes. Then, use an orange stick to push the gel nails back.

Will last for quite a while as long as you keep the jar tightly closed. When the nail polish remover has evaporated or finished, just top up, and replace the sponge once in a while!

How to Make Your Own Nail Polish Remover: DIY Nail Polish Remover Recipes

Wanna make your own nail polish remover? It's easier than you'd think, plus it gives your nails a break from alcohol based products which can be drying to the nails and skin. These methods are cheap and can usually be found right in your own home.

#1. Lemons

lemon to remove nail polish
  • Lukewarm soapy water
  • 1 slice of lemon

Start by soaking your fingers in warm, soapy water for about 10 to 20 minutes. Then, use the lemon slice to remove the nail polish, just like you would use a cotton pad. Go over the nail polish several times and finish off with a homemade cuticle oil.

#2. Vinegar

vinegar DIY nail polish remover

Vinegar is a naturally acidic ingredient which can be used instead of commercial nail polish removers.

Soak your nails in soapy, warm water for 10-15 minutes. This will help soften the nail polish, making it easier to remove. In a separate bowl, mix equal parts lemon juice with equal parts vinegar. Soak a cotton ball into the mixture and press onto fingernails tightly, holding for about 20 seconds. The nail polish will slowly dissolve during this time. Remove the nail polish with the cotton ball by applying pressure to the nail in an upwards motion. You made need to do this several times if you have several coats of polish on!

#3. Rubbing Alcohol

rubbing alcohol DIY nail polish remover

Don't have white vinegar or lemons laying around? No worries, because rubbing alcohol will also work! Similar to commercial nail polish removers, but still a lot less harsh.

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Lukewarm water
  • Cotton balls

Soak your nail in a bowl of soap warm water for 10-15 minutes. Saturate a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and wipe off the nail polish. Finish off with a homemade cuticle butter and a strengthening top coat.

#4. Deodorant


As surprising and strange as it may sound, deodorant sprays contain solvents that can act as nail polish removers, and still be a lot more gentle! Who knew?!

  • Deodorant spray
  • Cotton balls

Hold the deodorant spray a few inches above the nail and spray directly onto it. Immediately wipe off with a cotton ball. Repeat until all traces of nail polish have gone. Follow up with a homemade hand moisturizer.

#5. Hand Sanitizer

hand sanitizer

If you use hand sanitizer often, you may notice that your mani just isn't holding up for that long. This is because hand sanitizers contain rubbing alcohol.

  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Cotton ball

Saturate a cotton ball with hand sanitizer and rub onto your nails. Repeat this process several times until all traces of nail polish have gone. Because hand sanitizer can be extremely drying to the hands, we suggest you always follow up with a thick hand cream.

#6. Nail Polish

bright polish

Come again? Yes, it may sound counter-intuitive, but nail polish CAN be used to remove nail polish! This DIY nail polish remover method works like a charm!

  • Old nail polish
  • Paper Towel

Apply an old nail polish on top of the polish you want to remove. Immediately use a paper towel to remove the nail polish. You may have to do this several times to completely remove the polish! Then, paint your nail with another color of your choice! After all, we usually remove nail polish to put a fresh coat on!

Looking for even more nail polish removal methods? Check out this video from Allure, where they even use hair spray to remove nail polish!

Courtesy of Allure

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4 years ago

Having a girls night this weekend and I’ll definitely try the sponge thing!!

4 years ago

does this work do remove dip nails??

4 years ago

Tried using rubbing alcohol to remove nail polish and it worked, yeeey!! Ty 🙂

4 years ago

just make sure you don;t use lemon juice if you have any open wounds! I made that mistake and it huuuurts

4 years ago

Does toothpaste remove nail polish?

4 years ago

tx for sharing!

4 years ago

Cool ideas!! Will have to try a few 🙂

4 years ago

the sponge nail polish remover was so fun and easy to do!! Thank u for sharing 🙂

4 years ago

Just came here to say I made the sponge and it worked so well, thanks for sharing!