Nail Polish and/or Remover on Leather

What to do when nail polish or remover is spilt on to leather.

There are a number of variables that will affect the out come of this problem.

What type of leather you have, how much you have maintained the leather and what type of nail polish you spilt.

There are hundreds of different finishes on leather but most will be damaged by polish or remover. There are some nail polishes that are more water based and they will not eat into the leathers surface as much. What usually happens is that the solvent in either of these products softens or removes the leathers upper finishes. If the spill was wiped and not blotted that tends to drive the product into the leather even further.

The best course of action now that the spill has occurred is to use Lexol conditioner and to put a liberal layer over the damaged area. Allow that to sit for a good 10 to 15 minutes. You can gently massage the area as that sometimes help lit the stain. If the conditioner absorbs in, add more to keep the surface wet. Then wash off the excess conditioner with diluted Lexol cleaner, dry and then wipe with a damp cloth to rinse then dry again. Then you apply a thin layer of conditioner and leave it over night. Try again over the next few days. If the stain is lifting just keep doing it over and over. The conditioner if you are lucky can lift out the polish in some cases with out any damage to the leather but this can take a while to do.

Many times you will find that the original finish has been damaged under the stain. The only way to fix that is to re-dye the area.

Trying to hide any damage with shoe polish or vinyl dyes will further damage your leather and may render it unrepairable. Some of these products contain waxes that cannot be removed from the leathers after being applied.

Do not follow online instructions where they tell you to remove ball point pen ink with nail polish remover or hairspray as it will in most cases remove the original finish and do more damage than the ink.