How to Remove Fingernail Polish From a Doll

F.R.R. Mallory

Girls like to play with dolls and part of play involves imitating the behavior of adults. For little girls this means dabbing makeup, markers and fingernail polish on various parts of their dolls. Stains across the painted surfaces such as the face are questionable to remove.

Small child's baby doll that can be cleaned of marks.

You can usually remove the stain but the product will remove the face paint too. If the stains are on fingers or toes you are in luck, there are some good ways to remove these stains.


Lightly sand any child bite marks to reduce the denting. If you remove doll face paint consider re-painting the doll in doll paints. If the doll is placed in a child's mouth be sure any paints you use are safe.

  1. Wash the doll gently with soap and water and a soft wash cloth. This will lift lots of general dirt and some stains. Daub the doll dry. Moisten the edge of a white cleaning pad and rub it over the fingernail polish. Try to avoid any areas where the doll is painted.

  2. Press with slow even strokes to rub the polish loose. If the polish is unchanged after three or four rubs then dry the doll and try the next method.

  3. Soak the end of a cotton swab with rubbing alcohol. Press the swab against the polish moving away from any painted area of the doll. Allow the liquid to rest on the polish for a moment to start to dissolve the polish then push the polish to see if it lifts off onto the swab.

  4. Use a new swab each time and repeat this process if the alcohol is removing the polish.

  5. Clean the spot with acetone (fingernail polish remover). Again, use a cotton swab and allow the swab to rest on the spot for a moment before trying to move or lift the polish. Contain the acetone to just the small area of the mark and try not to remove any doll paint in the process. Finish by washing the clean doll in soap and water to remove any solvent residues.