Why Does Nail Polish Remover Evaporate Fast? Reasons!

So you bought a nail polish remover and noticed something unusual. It seems to evaporate too fast.

And you couldn’t even finish removing your nail polish. Meanwhile, the remover is already gone. This sort of annoying situation only happens a few times. 

Now, you’re thinking why does nail polish remover evaporate fast?

The answer is that it got acetone. That has a boiling point of 56 degrees. This boiling point is even lower than water. So even at room temperature, it can evaporate. Another reason might be that you let the cap open of the remover bottle. And that’s why all the remover escaped out of the bottle.

So you know what happened to your nail polish remover. Now don’t stress over it. And see what solutions we’ve got.

Is Your Nail Polish Remover Actually Evaporating Fast?

You might be disturbed by how fast your nail polish remover actually evaporates. It happened to us a few times. We were even shocked by the evaporation rate.

But you know that particles in nail polish removers do evaporate fast. But sometimes it may evaporate faster. And then it becomes highly noticeable. 

So if this happened to you, you wouldn’t mind checking if the evaporation was normal. Or maybe the remover actually evaporated too fast. To decide if it’s normal or too fast, we’ve designed two variables. Just check for them down and be certain of it..

Observe The Time of Evaporation

The first criteria you should consider is time. Because you’re trying to find if the remover is evaporating fast. You may have never cared before about how long it took before.

But now you need to know how fast it should evaporate in a given time.

Let’s enlighten you with in-depth knowledge on nail polish removers. There are nail polishes with percentages of acetone, like 20%, 50%, even 100%. 

So why does the percentage matter?

Because depending on it, the evaporation rate changes. A higher percentage means a high evaporation rate with minimum time.

Nail polish removers come with different amounts of acetone. Hence we curated this table for you to understand.

Acetone Percentage

Evaporation Time


50 seconds


35 seconds


20 seconds


5 seconds

Now you know how much acetone evaporates within what time. So just check the ingredient list on your nail polish remover. And be sure about the acetone percentage. According to the percentage, track the time. 

If it evaporates as we mentioned, then it’s completely normal. If it’s faster than that, then you can say that the evaporation is too fast. 

We suggest using nail polish removers between 20-50% acetone. Otherwise, it will be bad for your nails as well as cuticles. And you’ll just have itchy cuticles.

Does Nail Polish Remover Evaporate Faster Than Water?

We hear this question a lot. Now that we’re here talking about remover’s evaporation, let’s clear it out to you. Yes, it evaporates faster than water.

Because water starts to boil at 100 degrees celsius. Whereas, the boiling point for acetone is 56 degrees celsius. Which is almost half. If you’ve used 70-100% acetone removers. Then you know it’ll evaporate within seconds at room temperature. 

Does Nail Polish Remover Evaporate Faster Than Rubbing Alcohol?

Just like the previous question, let’s clear your confusion once again. You might now think, does acetone evaporate faster than rubbing alcohol?

Well, let’s go down to their chemical composition. There are intermolecular forces in rubbing alcohol. These forces are much stronger. Even more powerful than the forces of acetone. Stronger means less volatile here. It indicates that it doesn’t evaporate that fast. 

So, acetone is highly volatile and prone to fast evaporation. So between these two, rubbing alcohol is slower to evaporate.

Identify by Seeing

You can look for signs to understand if the evaporation is fast. Maybe you bought a bottle of remover. After using it once, you might see that the bottle is half empty. So you may think that how can it be empty this fast.

Well for each nail polish removal session, 5ml should be used. But no more than that. You might see the bottle is emptier than that. In that case, know that it’s evaporating too fast.

Or what you can do is, mark your bottle at 5ml. We suggest you mark right after purchasing. You can use a washable marker for it. So that you can remove it afterward.

The intention behind marking it is that you can be certain. That’s how much you have used. If the limit crosses 10ml, then it’s evaporating too fast.

Why Does Nail Polish Remover Evaporate Fast?- 2 Reasons

To answer this question, we’ve planned on giving a full-on tour. Let’s have a look into the nitty-gritty of a nail polish remover. Yes, you’ve heard it right. We plan on taking you on a chemical tour. 

It’s time to be prepared and break some eggs. Because we’ve got a whole lot of chemistry to study. Let’s get started then.

Acetone Being The Main Ingredient

Upon hearing nail polish remover, you think of acetone. “The Magic Ingredient” removes stubborn nail polish. So “acetone” is not new to many nail enthusiasts. But did you know why acetone evaporates that fast?

If not, then we have the answers. You already know that water evaporates when it reaches its boiling point, right?

You can witness the whole evaporation process. The case with acetone is quite similar. The difference is that acetone has a lower boiling point. That makes it easier to evaporate. 

You also might have seen water vaporize. But in acetone, the vaporization energy is also low. So we can barely see it evaporate. 

What we’re trying to state for this long time is simple. That is, the main reason behind nail polish remover evaporating is acetone.

But know that there are other factors that can help with evaporation. Let’s check them out.

Cap Not Sealed Properly

Another thing that might have happened is, the cap wasn’t sealed. Hence the nail polish remover evaporates fast. Because we already know of acetone’s evaporation rate. 

But did we tell you that it evaporates even faster when the cap is open? Because then it has an open space where it can spread out. So this might happen whenever the remover’s cap is open.

No matter which time you’ve messed up, we’ve discussed both.

Between The Remover Application

You sealed the cap properly after use. But you may have forgotten to cover it up in-between applications. So that can be another reason. 

Whenever the acetone gets a chance to evaporate, it does that. So if you have kept the lid open when removing nail polish. The acetone took the chance to evaporate outside.

Hence, by the time you’ve finished removing, you’ve almost used the entire bottle. And you were thinking how one use can do so. 

But let us tell you that you haven’t used the whole bottle of remover. Some of it escaped through evaporation. 

After The Remover Application

It’s quite common for the absent minders to forget to close the lid after application. Trust me, I did this several times. As a result, I witnessed the remover being half evaporated.

So if you’ve left the bottle cap open and came back to an empty bottle. But don’t get surprised. Know that it just dissolved with the air. 

Though you are left with an empty bottle, you might still smell the remover. As the particles get dissolved in the air.

So that’s another reason why it could’ve evaporated fast.

How to Stop Your Nail Polish Remover from Evaporating Fast?

There’s no direct way to stop evaporation. But you should be careful about some factors. Let’s show you what you can do to stop your remover from evaporating too fast.

Put The Lid On

So when you remove nail polish, you’ve to put the lid on. Even when you’re pausing in between, seal the lid of the bottle. Or you can take foil paper. And cut it in a round shape.

Then cover the mouth of the bottle with foil. After that, put the lid on. This way there will be a firm grip on the remover dispenser. And the acetone will remain inside. 

Use A Push-Down Dispenser

To keep the acetone away from evaporating fast, we’ve got another way. You can use a push-down dispenser.

Let’s introduce you to a push-down dispenser first. So it’s kind of a dispenser where you push the upper button. And some remover comes up. Then it closes automatically.

push down dispenser
Source: dhgate.com

Even if you’re absent-minded, don’t worry. Because the dispenser will close automatically. And you won’t have to lose remover fast. 

There’s one more benefit of using a dispenser. Even if it falls to the ground, the product inside will remain the same. It won’t spill as it’s auto-locked. Also, you don’t have to go through the trouble of putting on the lid.

So it will save you the hassle. 

Here are some of our favorite push-down dispensers to store nail polish remover.

akoak pump dispenser bottle

AKOAK Pack of 2 Push Down Empty Lockable Pump Dispenser Bottle for Nail Polish and Makeup Remover

pana brand push down dispenser

PANA Brand 7oz. (Quantity: 2 Pieces) Professional Push Down Liquid Pumping Empty Bottle Dispenser

Now just pour in your remover for a better experience.

What Are The Nail Polish Remover Alternatives?

So it might happen that all of your removers just evaporated. And you’re left with an empty bottle. But your nail polish removal is not done yet. So you might be looking for an alternative to remove the rest of the nail polish.

We are here with alternatives that can be used instead of nail polish remover. You can just pick any one of the following. 

Soak Nails in Vinegar

Almost all households have vinegar. It is the most easily available ingredient. So it’s a handy solution. Plus it can be used as a gel nail cleanser substitute.

To use it as a nail polish remover, we’ve to do three easy tasks. First, one is to soak your nail in vinegar for 20-30seconds.  Then immediately take a cotton pad. And dip it in the vinegar. Now try to wipe the soaked nail with this cotton pad.

soak nails in vinegar
Source: firstforwomen.com

If the cotton pad becomes dry, do soak it again. And the nail polish will easily come off with a little swipe.

Use Hair Spray

Another thing you can use is hair spray. Because it has rubbing alcohol in it. Which is the closest substitute to acetone. So just spray it directly on your nails. Then just wipe it with a cotton pad.

Remember, you have to wipe it as fast as you can. Otherwise, it will become dry.

wiping nails
Source: healthline.com

You will need to repeat it twice, for removing all the nail polish.

Spray Perfume

What we hear from some nail enthusiasts is that they can use perfume. It’s used as a nail polish remover. Just as you sprayed hair spray before, spray perfume on your nails.

Now it might take a little more pressure to wipe the polish. But you won’t have to be super quick to wipe it away. 

While spraying perfume, make sure you only target the nails. And do not spread it on other body parts. 

Put Toothpaste on Nails

Another miracle substitute is toothpaste. You have to cover your nails with toothpaste for 2 minutes. Then take a cotton pad. Or use a cotton ball. Now wipe out your nails one by one. You’ll need to put a little pressure while wiping.

Do not wait more than 2 minutes. Otherwise, the toothpaste will dry out. Then you won’t be able to remove the nail polish. So it’s better that you wipe it before it dries out.

Apply Topcoat

The last option is sort of unusual. You know how important it is to apply a topcoat if you want to cure gel polish. But here, the topcoat will do just the opposite. 

You might be used to wearing a topcoat. So you know how it becomes sticky if the outer layer isn’t removed. So you’ll have to apply the topcoat above the nail polish. 

While it remains sticky, just take a cotton cloth and wipe the nail. The nail polish will come off with the sticky topcoat. 

But do not take cotton balls or pads to wipe it. If you do, the cotton particles will attach themself to the sticky topcoat. And another problem will arise. So use a cotton cloth instead.

This way you can remove the nail polish with less effort. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How long a nail polish remover takes to evaporate?

Well, a nail polish remover can evaporate in 7 days. If that’s a 241ml bottle then the average period is 7 days.

How to dispose of acetone?

Well it’s a tricky part. You’ve to put the acetone in a metal pot. And wrap it in a plastic bag. Then just throw it into your dustbin.

Is acetone flammable?

Yes acetone is highly flammable. So whenever using it, wash your hands immediately after removing nail polish. Use soap and water for that. And don’t go near any fire sources before washing hands.


We’ve brought all our knowledge to the table. And gave you an insight into why does nail polish remover evaporates fast.

So we hope you’ll be able to benefit from the knowledge. One thing you can do is transfer the remover into a glass dispenser with a tight cover. You can do this if the actual remover cover is loose.

Do let us know how knowledgeable was this article. Do comment to connect with us.

Happy nail painting & good luck.

Katharyn Riedel

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