Can You Use Expired Nail Polish Remover? (Explained!)

Your trusty bottle of nail polish remover is past its expiration date. Can you use expired nail polish remover on your nails or is it time to purchase a new bottle?

Can You Use Expired Nail Polish Remover

Fortunately, nail polish remover doesn’t ‘expire’ in the way that many cosmetic products do. It is safe to use an older bottle of nail polish remover on your nails even past its expiration date, but bear in mind it may not be as effective as a newer one.

Does Nail Polish Remover Expire?

Technically, nail polish remover doesn’t expire.

As nail polish remover ages, however, you may notice slight differences in its color or appearance.

Nail polish remover will often begin to discolor after about two years. You may also notice that it starts to look more watered down. These changes are completely normal.

Nail polish remover typically shouldn’t smell unpleasant as it ages. If anything, nail polish remover has a strong chemical scent, and when it gets older you may notice it doesn’t smell as strong as it once did.

Can You Use Expired Nail Polish Remover?

As mentioned earlier, nail polish remover doesn’t technically expire.

This means that it won’t ‘go bad’, but it may lose its effectiveness as it ages.

Unlike many cosmetic products, it is totally safe to use nail polish remover after its given expiration date.

Even though it probably won’t be as effective as a brand-new bottle of nail polish remover, it won’t harm you in any way.

Older nail polish removers lose their strength as they age, so if anything, your product may be less irritating to the skin and nails.

The flip side of that of course is it may take longer to remove the color from your nails.

If stored properly, nail polish remover should stay effective for about 2 years after opening. Since it doesn’t technically go ‘bad’, it’s more important to look for signs like reduced effectiveness than to pay too much attention to the expiration date.

Can Acetone Expire?

Many nail polish removers are acetone-based.

Technically, acetone does not expire. It has an indefinite shelf life providing it is stored properly in a cool, dark place.

Although pure acetone has the potential to last indefinitely, you will usually see on the bottle that it has a shelf life of around 36 months.

However, acetone should last much longer if it is kept in the right conditions.

Acetone-based nail polish removers usually have a shorter shelf life of 18-24 months. This is because the other ingredients in them may not last as long.

When Does Natural Nail Polish Remover Expire?

bottle of nail polish remover on a table

Just like acetone-based nail polish removers, all-natural or vegan nail polishes removers don’t technically expire.

They may become less effective as they age, but they won’t technically go bad.

Depending on their ingredients, all-natural or vegan nail polish removers should last about two years before they start to lose their potency.

Can Nail Polish Remover Wipes Expire?

Nail polish remover wipes won’t expire in most cases, but they will probably dry out after a while.

Just like makeup wipes, your nail polish remover wipes can become ineffective over time because the liquid formula evaporates.

If you keep your wipes sealed well, they should keep for a while, but expect them to last no longer than 6-8 months once opened.

How Long Does A Non-Toxic Nail Polish Remover Last?

A non-toxic nail polish remover should be effective for at least a year once opened.

This will of course depend on the individual product, but they should last at least a year and may even last for several years after opening.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I Dump Acetone Down The Sink?

It might seem like the easiest option, but you should never pour acetone down the drain as it is a toxic chemical. Instead, you should take your unused acetone to your local hazardous waste facility, making sure it’s in a sealed container to prevent leakage. There may be regular waste collection events in your community, so check with your local government to see when these take place.

Does Unopened Nail Polish Expire?

An unopened bottle of nail polish can last up to 8 years, whereas an opened bottle will last about 2 years. This will depend on how well you store it. Not screwing the top on tightly or exposing it to varying temperatures will shorten the shelf life of your nail polish.

Can I Throw Nail Polish In The Garbage?

You shouldn’t throw a bottle of nail polish in the trash or pour it down the sink. Its chemical composition means that nail polish is considered to be hazardous waste. Instead, take your old nail polishes to a local waste facility or find out when local waste collection events are in your community.