How to Make Homemade Nail Polish Thinner

By LeafTV Editor

A skillfully polished manicure requires high-quality nail lacquer. Aging nail polish may be thicker, goopier and harder to apply than fresh polishes -- and these qualities can seriously mar your mani. Nail polish thinner breathes new life into old lacquer, and a few tricks can help you thin out that polish without a trip to the drugstore.

Woman holding a cup of tea above the wooden table.
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How To Make Homemade Nail Polish Thinner

This one-ingredient solution can work to instantly thin out thickened polish. Sure, it's not going to add years to your polish's life, but it's a simple and quick fix when your polish needs a thinner -- stat. Run the closed bottle of nail polish under hot water for a couple of minutes. The heat works as a polish thinner, resulting in a smoother manicure.

Rubbing alcohol, another household staple, has the potential to make that thick, clumpy polish usable again. Add a few drops of a 91 percent isopropyl rubbing alcohol -- the kind that's already in your medicine cabinet -- to your bottle of nail polish. Tighten the lid, and mix the solution together.


Rather than vigorously shaking your rubbing alcohol-polish mixture, rub the bottle in between your hands. Shaking only causes air to accumulate in your polish, resulting in a bubbly and hard-to-apply formula. Rubbing the bottle between your hands distributes the alcohol through the polish without those irksome air bubbles.

Nail polish remover seems like an obvious lacquer thinner. However, nail technicians and beauty experts debate the effectiveness of this solution. While nail polish remover can certainly reduce goopy polish, some types of remover may compromise the quality of the lacquer overall, resulting in a streaky, bumpy or dull manicure or pedicure. The key, then, is to use the right nail polish remover as a thinner.