This is where I share my thoughts of polish, pets, life in general. Click on any of the tabs below to find out more about the Pointless Cafe Blog.

FB Plugin


Thursday, December 26, 2013

How to "Fix" Old Nail Polish the Right Way

Nothing to Disclose

UPDATE! Sometimes ranting works! The article I link to below that was telling everyone to
add nail polish remover to polish to fix it has since been changed (in every place but one)
to read THINNER not REMOVER!  You guys must have made them "see the light!"

This is a combination RANT post and "How To" post.

The RANT is WikiHow. Someone (not sure how WikiHow works really) has posted an article with the exact WRONG information about nail polish and apparently several people have tried to correct them - to keep people from ruining their polish - only to have their corrections/posts DELETED.

So I thought I'd do a quick post for those who don't already know.

Here's the article:

I don't know who wrote it or why they refuse to allow themselves to be corrected (I tried once the other day but it didn't work, so I'm not mad because my post was deleted since it never went through) but a lot of "muggles" are going to ruin a lot of nail polish if they believe the misinformation in that article.

Again, I'm sure most of you guys know how to use thinner, but there are lots of people who don't even know 1) there's a product called thinner and 2) that it's not the same thing as remover.

I personally use Seche Restore but there are many brands available, including a Sally Beauty Supply brand I think.

The ingredients in Seche Restore are Butyl Acetate, Toluene and Isopropyl Alcohol.

The main ingredient in most removers is acetone. Yes even in removers like Zoya's Remove+.

While this might work for one use (if that), it will ruin the polish.

Thinner is added a drop or two (or sometimes more) at a time to a thick or goopy polish or one that is starting to dry out to restore it to its normal consistency. It's cheap and works wonders and while it might be tempting to use remover, just know that while it might make it usable that one time (if you hurry) it WILL ruin the polish forever after and you might as well toss it in the garbage.

Thinners, such as Seche Restore, usually retail for between $5 and $9 a bottle and will last practically forever. I've had the bottle shown above for several years and it's not even 1/3 used up. And I use it more than most people would just because I use and deal with a LOT of polish for the blog. Seche Restore is available at Ulta and I'm sure more places. I think I got mine at Sally Beauty. I haven't tried the other brands, but there are several out there.

So PLEASE don't ruin your polish with remover!

If you enjoyed this post, please take a second to "like" it! Thanks!



  1. Wow, I can't believe that article is up!! For those who don't know better, they would easily believe that and ruin their entire collection!! I use the Sally's brand and the bottle was less than 5 dollars and not even a quarter of it has been used in 2 years. Even with thinning countless bottles of Seche Vite at their goopy end...hopefully lots of people will see this post and invest in thinner! :)

  2. Right? And they won't even let it be corrected - they keep deleting people trying to fix/state otherwise! I never claim to be an expert on very many things but if I ever got to the point on ANY subject that I couldn't be corrected, someone just shoot me because once you're done learning, you're done!

  3. Since I've got into polish this year I have the same conversation a lot, goes something like this:
    "But why would you buy so much polish when it goes bad?"
    "It doesn't go bad, but you can thin it if needed"
    "Oh right with nail polish remover/acetone"
    "No, that can ruin the polish, since it is designed to help you get polish off your nails. There is polish thinner you can buy"
    After this it's usually some story about how it worked fine for somebody else, or they'd just throw it out, etc. Argh!!

    1. I've had that exact conversation! LOL! And nothing is going to help those kind of people.

    2. LOL! The problem is that a lot of salons do this and people think that because they do it then it must be fine. What they DON'T realize is that may be why their manicures don't last! (Which I know so many people complain about when it comes to professional manicures)

  4. Hi,

    I think this is good advice, however, it might be worth mentioning that other brands of nail polish thinner are different from Seche Restore and may be preferable to some people. Seche Restore contains toluene. If you've heard "3-free" before, then you'll know that toluene is one of the big three ingredients that most polishes don't contain anymore. Adding Seche Restore to a 3-free polish isn't usually problematic, but some people may still have concerns over using toluene. Other brands of nail polish thinner use just butyl acetate and ethyl acetate - no toluene.

    Thanks for the article - hopefully that crappy WikiHow article gets removed or edited soon.

  5. I just went to the site, and it looks like someone edited again, and it's least for now. You can never post this to many times though!

  6. OMG! I'm speachless. I think, I'd better publish my post 'how to take care of your polishes' soon.

  7. I didn't know there was such a thing as thinner till I started wearing polish this year. I'm kinda old to have only just started but hey ho. I've already done the FaceOfHorror when a colleague suggested I use remover to unclump nail polish but I told her about thinners so I think I've earned myself some good polish karma.

  8. If people are worried about toluene I can highly recommend thinners from Orly and Sparitual - both work great!

  9. I also use Seche Restore. I never knew that acetone was in it! I guess I didn't even notice. This post is very interesting! Thank You for doing it :-) :-) :-)

    1. There's no acetone in Seche Restore/thinners. There's acetone in polish remover (unless you get the non-acetone variety).

    2. Right - there's no acetone in the thinners - that's why they don't break down and destroy your polish. Thanks Pink! ♥

  10. You know what's really sad, is that I've gone into stores in the past looking for thinner and been advised to use remover! When I first moved to England, and of course we don't have Sally's here, so I was trying Superdrug and Boots first - when I asked girls at both shops if they carried thinner, both of them said no they don't carry it, and then tried to sell me remover as a sub! I had to tell them that was horrible advice and warn them that it would ruin a bottle of polish, so hopefully they'll stop telling people that! Eventually having no success finding thinner in a retail store, I ordered it online. I have Seche Restore and a cheaper bottle from Salon System, and they both work equally well.

  11. I used to use Restore but stopped because of the Tolune in it. I actually went through my bottle relatively quickly (still took over a year to empty the bottle) but that is due to the fact that I do watercolor nail art and it's what I use to thin the colors. I now use the Sally Hansen brand which costs about $5. I haven't used it a whole lot since I bought it but to does a good job.

  12. I just checked the post and it is still corrected. Hopefully it will stick. I even added a teensy edit to the new edit...we'll see if it sticks lol.

  13. The article looks correct now - well done!

  14. I'm definitely going to invest in some Seche Restore. I've had issues with white nail polish that I've just bought becoming goopy and stringy within the first month or so of using it. It's down right infuriating. I was thinking of just buying OPI Alpine snow but maybe investing in a polish thinner as well as a higher quality white polish will help in the long run, because it's a 2 for 1. It will thin out any polish that needs it, and I can just thin out my Sally Hansen Hard As Nails White Out and keep it as a back up while using OPI for my manicures. I do wonder though, why is it only white polish that turns to goop so quickly. Is it because of the formula?

  15. If you're talking about Sally Hansen's White Out, I have that and also find it goopy yet streaky too. In a way it feels like using Liquid Paper.

    After investing a lot of time and effort with my polish collecting, I'm glad I happened upon the advice to use a thinner. Can you imagine having to toss a ruined polish?!

    What I've had a challenge with is very glitter-heavy polishes. I have several from a much-admired indie brand, and what happens is the 'body' or fluid part of the polish runs out quickly, much quicker than the glitter. I do take care mixing it as evenly as possible. I wonder if using a thinner would help to stretch it. Any tips?

    1. Well I'm not much of a glitter wearer but if you wear a lot of it and have experienced this more than once it might be a good idea to contact your favorite indie maker and see if she will sell you a bottle or two of her suspension base?

  16. I'm on my third bottle of Beauty Secrets/Sally Beauty thinner, not sure if that means I have issues, lol. It works really well and is toulene free. And yes, it works fine with glitter polishes, at least the several brands I've tried.


Thank you for commenting! I love hearing from you...Please do not post links in your comments as they will be automatically deleted. If you would like me to look at your site, please contact me via email. THANKS!