Removing nail polish from delicate leather


Mar 18, 2010
I have a small nail polish stain on a premier bag :sad:
My loving husband did not realize my nails were still drying and "swung" my bag to hand it off to me. The handle hit a finger, and sadness occurred. I immediately removed as much as possible by rubbing it with a cloth as vigorously as the leather could tolerate. This removed all the color, but a thin clear residue remains that catches the light sometimes like an ugly snot stain. It is dry at this point.

I'm reluctant to use nail polish remover on the leather, even my non-acetone remover. I don't want to dry out the leather or remove the dye. If I have to I will probably try it on a discreet area of the bag first to see if it damages the bag, but I wondered if anyone else might have some other ideas I could try first?


May 23, 2009
G-orgeous H-eaven
What colour on what colour/type of leather. Hard to give advice with out seeing.

If it was just a touch on a handle I would be very tempted to just leave it and hope it just crumbles/chips off eventually. I'd presume any nail polish remover would remove the bag dye too. I suppose you could buy the smallest paint brush ever and apply the tiniest amount just to the varnish, immediately wipe off with a clean cloth. The problem will be if this is say red/magenta on white or cream etc, the dye could bleed into light leather just as red or dark pink stains the nail bed.
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Mar 18, 2010
Thanks for your suggestions. It's black leather and all the color of the nail polish is removed. It only has a clear tinge left which is invisible at one angle but a white stain at a different angle (because of the light angle, it makes a sheen. The leather is not shiny elsewhere). I don't need to remove color but actually get the substance off, if possible. I'm concerned that the polish is actually in the leather itself (not just on top) so maybe this is impossible to remove without getting out the dye too. As you suggested, maybe I should just leave it for a while and see what happens through wear.
Apr 15, 2007
I'd leave it be as you don't want to remove any color from the handle.

If you have a good shoemaker, might suggest showing it to him for a suggestion or two..


Arete Goods
Jan 13, 2016
Perhaps you could try using a leather cleaner to remove the substance and touch up the area with black leather cream? I use Saphir Renomat to remove stains, but I'm not sure if it will work on a stain that has been on for a few days...


Dec 25, 2009
land of lala
I would call Leather Surgeons. Another member on here had a similar situation recently and do NOT use acetone on the leather-it will also remove some of the finish and require more work.