Is Nail Polish Remover Flammable? What You Need to Know

Everyone has used nail polish remover to remove accidental strokes or renew the nail polish. So, it won’t be wrong to say everyone has a nail polish remover at home. But wait, is nail polish remover flammable? 

Well, yes, it’s super flammable! And there have been many fire hazards linked with nail polish remover. It can’t just set fire itself! However, when exposed to direct heat sources like a candle or cigarette, then there are higher chances of a fire! 

Moreover, the vapors it releases are also pretty volatile, and higher concentration levels in the air can also prove dangerous. 

Is Nail Polish Remover Flammable

So, here in this blog, we’ll get you covered with all the necessary reasons and precautions that you need to follow when using nail polish remover. 

What Is Nail Polish Remover Made from? 

This section will discuss the solvents, chemicals, and other additives that make nail polish remover. And you’ll also get to know how these chemicals can turn out to be super flammable at times! 

1. Solvents

Nail polish remover typically comprises one or more solvents. The most common solvent used in nail polish removers is acetone, which is highly flammable. 

Other solvents like ethyl acetate, isopropyl alcohol, and butyl acetate can also be used. These solvents are also considered potentially hazardous and should be used and stored carefully.

2. Toluene

This chemical is mainly a solvent that’s used in nail polish remover to keep the pigments from separating. However, toluene is pretty flammable and can even result in a fire. That’s not all; the chemical can even affect your nervous system, which can eventually cause weakness. 

3. Methane

It’s an active ingredient used in non-acetone nail polish removers. But unfortunately, methane’s also very flammable and comparatively more toxic than acetone itself. 

Plus, this chemical can result in dizziness, headaches, skin and eye irritation, and even affect the lungs.

4. Butyl Acetate

The chemical is very much responsible for providing nail polish removers an aesthetic flavoring or a fruity smell. But butyl acetate is a colorless ester that’s flammable at room temperature – and contains a risk of fire hazard. 

So, certain precautions need to be maintained while handling such nail polish removers. 

5. Ethyl Acetate

You can say ethyl acetate works more like a substitute for acetone. And it’s also a common ingredient used to make nail polishes and is highly flammable, just like acetone. 

6. Xylene

Xylene is another chemical component found in nail polish removers. The chemical is pretty effective when it comes to removing nail polishes. 

However, it’s super flammable and can easily ignite a fire. It can even result in skin, eyes, and respiratory tract irritation.  

7. Isopropyl Alcohol

This chemical is common among most nail polish and nail polish removers. And it’s another toxic component that’s super flammable and colorless. Moreover, isopropyl alcohol is so strong that its pure form can cause a direct fire. 

8. Fragrances

Certain nail polish removers contain fragrances to mask the strong odor of the solvents. However, these fragrances may contain alcohol, which is, without question, highly flammable. 

So, when combined with these nail polish remover solvents, the alcohol in the fragrance can drastically increase the nail polish remover’s overall flammability.

9. Dyes

You must’ve seen nail polish removers of different colors. Well, that’s because certain dyes (added colors) are used to give them a specific color. And this added color might also be flammable. 

However, it’s not because of the color but rather due to the overall chemical composition. For instance, certain colors may contain alcohol which is already flammable. 

10. Other Additives

Moisturizers or conditioners are some of the additives used in nail polish removers to help protect the nails and cuticles from drying out. But these additives may sometimes be flammable, depending on their chemical composition. 

Therefore, you should always take proper safety measures when dealing with these nail polish removers. (Mentioned later in the blog).
What Are the Risk Factors of Nail Polish Remover? 

In this section, we’ve listed some of the risk factors associated with nail polish removers. So, make sure to read till the very end of this section!

Some Solvents Are Highly Flammable

As you already know, nail polish removers usually contain solvents like acetone and ethyl acetate, which are pretty flammable components. Now, the reason these solvents are so reactive is due to low flash points. 

In simple words, it means these components can easily catch fire even at low temperatures. For instance, acetone has a flash point of -18°C, while ethyl acetate has a -4°C flash point. 

Heat Sources Can Cause Flame

Keeping your nail polish remover near heaters, stoves, or even open flames can cause them to ignite. Even a slight spark from any static electricity can possibly ignite the vapors. 

Moreover, cigarettes or cigar smoke can also be a prime factor in igniting the vapors.  

High Vapor Concentration Can Result in a Fire Hazard

When you use nail polish remover, it releases vapors that can get highly concentrated at some point. For instance, the lower explosive limit for acetone is around 2.5%. 

It means that if acetone’s vapor concentration exceeds 2.5%, there’s a huge risk of an explosion if it somehow gets ignited. The same goes for ethyl acetate! 

It has a concentration limit of 2.0%, and if the limit gets exceeded and there’s an ignition, then there’re higher chances of an explosion. 

Is Nail Polish Flammable Too?


As shocking as it might sound, yes, nail polish is, in fact, flammable. And the reason is the use of the same ingredient– acetone.

Usually, nail polishes are flammable when it’s in liquid form. And this is because acetone is a liquid base that’s super volatile and tends to react easily when exposed to heat. 

And for being volatile, it releases enough vapor that might cause a fire. However, the risk mellows down when you dry out your nail paint. That’s because acetone isn’t liquid anymore and becomes harder to burn– hence, the risk lowers.

Although, if you keep some sort of flame on your hand for too long, then there’s an obvious chance of a burn. Fortunately, no one would ever think of intentionally doing that!
What Are the Safety Precautions for Nail Polish Remover? 

Without question, nail polish remover comes with certain risks! However, there are some effective precautions that you can take to reduce the risk factors. 

Below are some of the safety measures: 

Keep Nail Polish Removers Away from Direct Heat Sources

Many people are pretty careless when it comes to keeping their nail polish removers after use. Keeping your nail polish removers in places such as heaters and open fires can prove fatal. 

So, it’s always recommended that you store them in a proper place, like your cupboard or drawers, where there is no direct contact with heat sources. 

Use in a Well-Ventilated Area

Proper ventilation’s a must when you’re using nail polish removers. This is because these liquids can easily turn to vapor and increase the concentration levels in the air. So, the best way to solve this trouble is by having proper ventilation! This not just reduces the vapor concentration but even minimizes any fire risks. 

Keep a Fire Extinguisher (For Extreme Conditions)


Yes, it may sound extreme! But, having a fire extinguisher can indeed be a lifesaver. You never know when a mishap can take place. 

And as mentioned before, the chemicals used in nail polish removers are highly reactive. So, keeping a working fire extinguisher can secure you from such unexpected incidents. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is gel nail polish flammable too? 

Yep! It’s also pretty flammable! And it’s always recommended that you keep these away from direct heat contacts. 

2. Can nail polish removers be explosive? 

Well, nail polish removers already come with warnings about their flammability. Plus, the vapor and liquid can both easily ignite to flame. So, there’s always a possibility of an explosion. 

3. How flammable can acetone be? 

In simple words, acetone is extremely flammable, and the vapor mixtures can even turn out to be explosive. 

Wrapping Up!

So, after going through this blog, you should now know all the possible reasons that make nail polish removers so flammable. When you use these liquids, ensure you follow the safety measures at all costs. 

Even the slightest of carelessness can prove fatal. We’ll also recommend that you keep a fire extinguisher only to be extra secure if there’s a sudden mishap!