Is Nail Polish And Remover Flammable?

Is nail polish flammable? Nail polish is made of many different components, but most nail polishes contain nitrocellulose and plasticizers, both flammable chemicals. Chemicals such as acetone is oxidized when it is heated, so fire is an extreme case. Some chemicals can slow down oxidation by breaking the chemical chain reaction. These chemicals are known as combustion inhibitors. It is believed that using these chemicals can reduce or eliminate flammability.

Nail polish is considered combustible because if enough heat is applied to these compounds.

They will begin to burn with no external oxygen source needed. Combustion inhibitors are beneficial when trying to make nail polish less flammable. This is because combustion inhibitors slow down the oxidation process needed for a fire to begin.

There are two main types of these inhibitors: thermal and radical inhibitors.

Thermal inhibitors inhibit or delay the reaction between heat and fuel by reducing the heat flux concentration gradient. Radical inhibitors reduce flammability by lowering vapor pressure and limiting combustible molecules’ concentration in the air mixture.

Some examples of radical inhibition include silicon dioxide(sand), magnesium oxide, calcium oxide, aluminum trihydrate, hydrated alumina compounds, kaolinite group minerals such as china clay, mica/vermiculite mixtures.

Nail Polish is not considered an explosive though it is flammable and can easily be ignited.

Knowing that is nail polish remover flammable is essential to see if it is flammable because the ingredients are critical to how combustible a substance is. Nail polish removers contain acetone which is highly flammable and can easily catch on fire. A person should never smoke directly when using these types of chemicals.

Using them in only extreme cases would be recommended since there are other ways to remove nail polish without using these less harmful chemicals if they catch on fire.

Some nail polishes are water-based, so the solvents in nail polish remover will not remove them. Using nail polish flammable is a safer bet, though, since it is less harmful to combine two flammable compounds than putting one already flammable near enough to other stuff that could catch on fire.

Nail Polish is not necessarily combustible or non-combustible but should be dried before use depending on if the chemicals were mixed correctly or not. Suppose there is water added after mixing all of the ingredients. In that case, it should be pretty safe for application since the chemical reactions have been completed and only need time for any remaining solvent to evaporate.

Nail polishes can be classified into three types: lacquer-based, gel-polish based or formaldehyde-free.

Lacquers have been more volatile than water-based products because they contain nitrocellulose resin solvents that produce low molecular weight gases when heated up. For this reason, lacquers should never come in contact with any open flame sources such as candles or cigarette lighters, nor should they ever be used near an active heating source like stovetops or dryers.

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If you want to find out if is nail polish flammable(is nail polish remover flammable) then the answer is yes. Nail polish is flammable, but it is safer not to use nail polish near an open flame as it will emit flammable gases and may contribute to fire if exposed to heat or spark sources.

Gel-polish is made using solvent materials like acetone and alcohol-based products, which can be harmful to your health if inhaled over long periods; hence, gel-polish is known as formaldehyde-free nail polish. You can use gel polishes directly on nails without creating fumes that irritate your eyes and respiratory system. This is, is nail polish flammable? As long as you are not heating gel-polish bottles near a heat source, the answer is no.

Is nail polish remover flammable?

A solid yes; Is nail polish flammable(Is nail polish remover flammable) not only is it flammable but highly combustible because of acetone, making it one dangerous combination to be around since there are so many other ways to remove nail polish without using these types of chemicals, which are less harmful.


In conclusion, nail polish is probably flammable, depending on how much water is added during the mixing process for the ingredients needed. Even though water is added, one should never smoke near the chemical mixture whether nail polish is flammable since nail polish remover flammable is not debatable.

Nail polishes don’t burn easily with the presence of oxygen, but if they do catch fire, it is almost impossible to put them out using water or with a normal fire extinguisher. A safer alternative to conventional lacquer-based and acetone-based gels is a formaldehyde-free gel. It is also solvent-free and easy to apply, but it takes a little longer than conventional gels to dry out.

Some prefer using nail polish remover because it is easy to use, while others choose to apply top coats just for an extra shine on nails; but whatever your reasons are, is nail polish remover flammable is an important question that should be asked before buying them to be sure what type of product you’re going to buy is nail polish remover flammable is a good idea too.

— Update: 04-01-2023 — found an additional article Is Nail Polish Flammable? (Yes, If It is Wet) from the website for the keyword is nail polish flammable.

Don’t your nails look pretty when you’ve applied some nail polish? You ask yourself this question whenever you give your nails a brand-new coat of nail polish. In addition to being attractive, nail paint protects your finger and toenails from damage. But have you ever questioned whether nail polish carries any dangers? Is nail polish flammable, for instance?

Not to worry; this article aims to give you an answer. We also let you know whether wet or dry nail polish is more likely to catch fire. Additionally, it would be helpful to know whether gel nail polish or nail polish remover is flammable. Find out what happens if you leave your nail polish in the sun and whether it will likely catch fire or explode in a hot car.

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Is Nail Polish Flammable? 

In its liquid condition, nail polish is flammable. You might have to keep any flames away from your nail polish if it has an acetone base. While the chemical makeup of nail polish varies depending on the brand, acetone, and nitrocellulose are typically present. These two chemicals are both extremely flammable.

However, nail polish contains components that make it flammable, in addition to acetone and nitrocellulose. Plasticizers are added to nail polish to stop it from cracking. Nail polish has adhesives to help it stick to the nail and dyes to give the polish color. All of these components can catch fire, increasing the flammability of nail polish.

Isopropanol, a highly flammable solvent, is one of the solvents present in some nail polishes.

Want to know more about the flammability of nail polish:

Why Does Nail Polish Catch Fire?

When wet nail polish is exposed to a naked flame or a spark, the fire is accelerated due to the nail polish’s still-active acetone base. Numerous solvents, resins, and other highly flammable compounds are present in nail polish. Nail polish chemicals and volatile air vapors make applying nail polish to your nails near a live flame risky. The fumes can reach open flames and catch fire.

When you apply your nail polish, the acetone in the polish is likely to evaporate. The movement of the vapor is caused by evaporation. So it’s not a good idea to paint your nails next to an open flame. Avoid painting your nails while smoking or near a lighted candle. It is important to note that nail polish is more flammable when it is liquid than when it is dried.

Read: Is Shampoo Flammable?

Is Dry Nail Polish Flammable?

Dry nail polish is not flammable though it can still catch fire. Because the hazardous and flammable ingredients are only present in the liquid form of nail polish, dry nail polish is not flammable. When your nail polish is drying, the substances on your nails will evaporate, leaving only the polymers and the colors. 

As a result, you won’t need to be concerned that your hands will catch fire while your nail polish dries.

Once your nail polish dries up, it loses most of its flammable potency. The polish might still catch fire, though, under exceptional circumstances. For instance, dry nail polish may not ignite when placed near a naked flame. It will take a few seconds to melt into liquid before it catches fire. 

Is Nail Polish Remover Flammable?

Pure acetone makes nail polish remover a highly flammable and combustible substance. Your nail polish is re-moisturized and diluted with pure acetone. Keep in mind that acetone is highly volatile and will burn instantly. But intriguingly, a flame is not required for nail polish remover to ignite. When heated, the fumes, primarily from the pure acetone, are sufficient to start a fire.

To prevent severe burns, never use nail polish remover while seated near a fire source. Read about how a 20-year-old lady suffered severe burns after using nail polish remover if you don’t believe it.

Is nail polish flammable

Is Gel Nail Polish Flammable?

Gel nail polish is no longer flammable since the chemicals used to produce it are no longer combustible. However, the early nail polish formulations were highly flammable. But once dried, gel nail polish can catch fire. However, if you place it next to a fire or other heat source, it generally won’t catch fire right away. 

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Solvents with alcohol and acetone bases are frequently used in gel nail polish. If the gel is heated, these solvents cause the gel to become highly fluid. When the gel is too fluid, working with it becomes challenging. The gel will run onto the skin nearby, possibly causing skin irritation.

What Happens If You Leave Nail Polish in the Sun?

Nail polish and heat don’t mix well. Your nail polish shouldn’t be exposed to the sun. These three outcomes are what you should expect if you expose your nail polish to the sun.

Nail Polish Components Evaporate

Acetone, which is present in nail polish and is flammable and rapidly evaporating, is present. Your nail polish begins to harden as soon as the acetone evaporates. No problem if you had painted your nails. However, if not, you won’t be able to paint your nails. Additionally, it gets thick, which makes applying the polish more challenging.

If your nail polish has already dried out, you could choose to add acetone to the polish. It is not a good idea since it will cause the polish to thin out. Acetone is highly toxic and can damage your nails. Your nails will be cracking, peeling, and dry.

Affects Color

The nail polish’s overall color and appearance will be affected. The UV rays from the sun are so powerful that they will change the shade of your nail polish. The sun’s rays will bleach the color pigment.

Texture Changes

The solvents and chemicals in nail polish evaporate when exposed to the sun’s rays. The silky, smooth quality of the nail paint will become hard and sticky. 

Applying thick nail polish is challenging, and it dries poorly when hardening. It forms bubbles and folds. If the polish is that thick, it won’t stay on your nails for very long.

Will Nail Polish Explode in the heat of a Car?

It’s not a good idea to leave nail polish in your car, especially on a hot day. The nail polish will explode. Even if there isn’t a flame source, the heat is enough to cause damage. Little will happen to nail polish when there is ordinary heat, and you’ve not kept it in direct sunlight. 

But if the nail polish is in a bottle and is exposed to a lot of heat, it is likely to explode. When the bottle gets too hot, acetone in nail polish releases vapor. The vapor expands and eventually blows up in an explosion. 

Frequently Asked Questions


The presence of highly flammable acetone makes nail polish flammable. However, wet nail polish won’t catch fire until you expose it to a naked flame or spark. But you ought to keep your nail polish away from heat. Keep nail polish sealed in a cold, dry place and away from potential ignition sources.

Avoid leaving your nail polish and remover in the car on a warm or hot day. Before turning the key in the ignition, open the doors as soon as you smell acetone. For your convenience, we have provided examples of non-flammable nail polish that you can buy.


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