From cleaning teacups to buffing tile floors, you can put that bottle of nail-polish remover to work in several surprising ways.

By Maggie Seaver
Updated: June 10, 2019
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It turns out nail-polish remover works like magic for erasing more than just last week’s manicure. If you have a bottle of nail-polish remover lying around, you can use it to clean a myriad of household stains and scuffs, all thanks to the acetone in it (FYI, non-acetone nail-polish removers won't work for these hacks). Acetone is a potent, highly flammable solvent, which means it’s chemical makeup renders it capable of dissolving other substances such as hardened nail polish. It also makes it sneakily useful for getting rid of other pesky marks around the house. Here are a few unexpected things you can clean with nail-polish remover.

1. Sanitizing Metal Razor Blades, Tweezers, and Nail Clippers

If your metal beauty products are looking a little scary these days, disinfect them with a cloth or cotton ball dipped in nail-polish remover. Then wash with soap and water and let dry before using. 

2. De-Scuffing Certain Floors

Heads up: Don’t try acetone nail-polish remover on wood floors. But tile, vinyl, and laminate flooring are all fair game when it comes to removing stains, scuffs, and dirt with this medicine cabinet staple.

3. Removing Super Glue and Sticker Residue

It happens to the best of us—getting super glue stuck on skin. Or maybe you ran a shirt through the wash with a sticker on it, leaving sticker residue behind. In the same way acetone helps disintegrate dry nail polish, it works to break down hardened super glue and stubborn leftover adhesive you’d think would stick on surfaces (even your skin) forever. This also works for removing stickers, labels, and other gluey residue from glass and metal.

4. De-Staining China Tea Cups

Your tea cups look lovely on the outside—but over time the insides might develop unsightly tea stains. Dip a cotton swab or cloth into acetone nail polish and wipe them down to remove stains. Once clean, don’t forget to wash them like usual with soap and water before using again.

5. Polishing Patent Leather Shoes

Scuffed patent leather shoes? Not anymore! Dip a cloth or towel in nail-polish remover and gently rub the shoes clean of scuff marks and scratches. Wipe them dry with a clean cloth for shiny shoes that look brand new.

6. Erasing Permanent Marker

This hack will be a lifesaver for a lot of parents and teachers. A cotton swab or cloth moistened with nail polish remover can help remove permanent marker stains on glass, skin, laminated sheets, and even some fabric and upholstery (wash clothing or fabric directly after dabbing the stain with remover).

RELATED: How to Clean Your Makeup Brush Like a Pro

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