How can I get nail polish off of grout?
October 1, 2014 9:27 AM   Subscribe

Nail polish remover could get it off the tile, but the grout stays peskily stained. What should I try next?

Was painting my daughter's nails for her (she's 6) and dropped the bottle, dumping a ton of blue nail polish all over the tile floor. Speed + nail polish remover seems to have gotten it all off the tile, but neither soaking in remover (the acetone kind) nor scrubbing with a scratchy kind of cleanser seem able to get rid of the last 10% of blue color on the grout. Thoughts, products, suggestions, commiseration?
posted by acm to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You want a grout pen!
posted by kate blank at 9:30 AM on October 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

Here's what I'd do.

Sandpaper around a credit card and file away the old grout. (Or better yet, a Dremel) Then get some new grout.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:35 AM on October 1, 2014 [3 favorites]

Have you tried a magic eraser and dawn dish soap?
posted by Sassyfras at 9:38 AM on October 1, 2014

Have you tried straight acetone? Some nail polish removers are non-acetone. Get the stuff from the beauty supply store and also ask about the stuff that they use to remove gel manicures. That stuff seems pretty heavy duty.

I'd try that approach first, then the grout pen, then if that didn't work, what Ruthless Bunny said.
posted by ATX Peanut at 9:47 AM on October 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

Another vote for pure acetone. You can get it at places like Sally Beauty Supply - it's usually marked for use as a remover of acrylic/artificial nails, not a remover of nail polish. I find it's much stronger than nail polish removers that contain acetone.

Unrelated note: it's fantastic for removing glitter nail polish, which is otherwise a nightmare to remove.
posted by quince at 10:14 AM on October 1, 2014

The issue is that grout is slightly porous, so you need a way to not only penetrate the grout, but then also get polish out.

Do try the pure acetone, and do the soaking again. And then move to the grout pen.

I wonder if you could "stain" it with something white (assuming it is white grout)?
posted by troytroy at 10:19 AM on October 1, 2014

I've had luck removing years old stains from grout (in a rental, so who knows what the stains were) using OxyClean mixed into a thick paste with boiling water. Apply it heavily, leave it for 20-30 minutes minimum (longer is better) then wipe off. (Some areas required scrubbing.)

Might be worth a try if you already have OxyClean in the house for laundry and such.
posted by GoLikeHellMachine at 11:25 AM on October 1, 2014

These days you can buy pure acetone nail polish remover in most drug stores, Target, Wal-Mart, etc. It's usually labeled as 'extra strength' or 'professional' nail polish remover, and for some reason generally comes in a tall rectangular bottle like this, as opposed to the typical nail polish remover bottle.

The thing about acetone is that it evaporates very quickly, which makes it hard to effectively soak surfaces in it. Have you tried saturating some cotton balls or rags in the acetone and letting it sit on the stain for a while, to keep the acetone-to-surface contact going longer?
posted by bookish at 2:42 PM on October 1, 2014

Magic Erasers are basically very, very, incredibly fine sandpaper. Give one a shot, I bet it'll take care of it.

They really are Magic, even though I understand the science behind them.
posted by InsanePenguin at 3:26 PM on October 1, 2014

Response by poster: Great ideas, guys! Grout pen and dremmel are pretty much out as it's a tinted grout in some hard-to-pin-down color invented by the tile guy. (I wanted white, sigh.) But will try Magic Eraser, OxyClean, and acetone and hope for the best!
posted by acm at 5:29 AM on October 2, 2014

« Older Who is the ombudsman for condo complaints in...   |   Best way to clean and brighten up white sheets... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.