Spilling a few drops of nail polish onto your favorite pair of shoes may seem like the end of the world, but in most cases can be remedied with simple cleaning supplies. Depending on the fabric your shoes are made of and the size of the polish spill, you should be able to clean up the accident and get your shoes back to their pristine selves with a few minutes’ worth of work. As with any cleaning process, it is always best to err on the side of caution before applying chemicals to your shoes.

Things You'll Need

Place a small bit of acetone onto the corner of a sponge.

Dab the sponge on a tiny area of your shoe that is not normally seen. You have to spot test your shoe before you attempt to clean it.

Allow the acetone to dry – if the spot is not discolored, you can clean the other spot without fear.

Apply acetone to the sponge and wipe it over the nail polish stain. Give it a few minutes to soak in.

Remove the acetone and the nail polish with a clean cloth. Continue this process until the polish is completely removed.


  • If you are cleaning a leather shoe, go over the spot with leather conditioner and polish after cleaning. If you are cleaning canvas shoes, you can run them through the laundry after you apply acetone to remove all traces of the polish.