Tuesday, July 16, 2013

UPDATED: Putting it to the test (quick edition): Zoya Remove+ vs. Homemade polish remover

Hello everyone!

Just a quick post to let you know about the preliminary findings of my even faux-er faux experiment on Zoya Remove+ vs. Loodie Loodie Loodie's Homemade Polish Remover idea. [Update: Another great link on this process is Wacki Laki's, so have a look at that one, too. :) ]

First, let me give you the exact recipe I used:

10oz (295mL) of pure acetone
2 1/4 tablespoons of pure glycerine
Splash of water

(1) In a bottle with a screw-top (I used an old recycled polish remover bottle), add your glycerine. Next, add a splash of water--it doesn't take much. Replace the top on your bottle and shake the mixture. If it mixes completely, move on to the next step. If it doesn't, add a titch more water and try again. Repeat as needed until the glycerin is completely mixed into the water. It shouldn't take much water to do this, and you don't want to use any more water than you have to, because it will just make the acetone less effective.

(2) Add your acetone, and shake until the mixture is fully mixed.

And that, my friends, is it. If you're wondering why you mix the glycerin with the water first, well, according to Loodie's recipe, you don't have to do that if you don't want to. My friend Aleksandra found it to be easier this way, so I figured, I like easy! Either way, the reason you need any water at all is that glycerin won't mix with acetone unless it's dissolved into water first (Loodie says more about this in her post).

How did it work? Again, this is a very fast test I did to get results out to you quickly. I used each remover to take off the polish from two nails of regular shimmer polish, and two nails of glitter polish. This time I made choices that favored the Zoya--e.g., I used Zoya on my pinkie nails and left the bigger nails for the homemade.

In terms of removal speed, I couldn't tell any difference at all. It also didn't take any more swooshes of the homemade to get the polish off.

In terms of cuticle care, I didn't have to scrub any harder, and the homemade remover didn't turn my cuticles white or anything like that, which you get when you use straight pure acetone. However, I can't tell long-term if there will be more cumulative damage with the homemade than the Zoya; I'll have to wait and use it for a time before I can make that decision. But what I can say for the moment is that when I use a drugstore polish remover vs. the Zoya Remove+, I can tell a difference immediately. I couldn't tell any difference between Zoya and the homemade.

Additional factors: One thing I did notice is that when you run your finger over the Zoya nails, it's perfectly slick (the same thing when you use pure acetone), but with the homemade it isn't quite as perfectly slick. HOWEVER. I was warned that if you use a mix that contains too much glycerin, you might get a bit of that, and it just means that you can use a little less glycerin. So, next time I will only use 2 tablespoons rather than 2 1/4.

Another factor here is that the homemade is clear and smells like mild acetone, while the Zoya is a lavender color and smells...well...like foofy acetone, truth be told. Whether that is a plus or minus depends on personal taste--for me, I really couldn't care less (::high-fives Purple Rain, she knows why::).

Price involved: Let's take a look at how much it costs to make 32oz of homemade remover according to this recipe. The 32oz bottle of Zoya Remove+ costs $25.00.

The price of a 6oz bottle of Glycerin at my CVS was $6 ($5.97) 1tbsp = 0.5 US oz, so this comes out to $0.50 per oz.

I have heard reports that most people can get 1 Gallon of Acetone for about $5 at Walmart; I think I paid about twice that, so I'm going to go with $10, just to be as fair as possible for the comparison to Zoya.  One gallon = 128oz = approximately 8 cents per oz ($0.08).

I used 10oz of acetone and about 1.12 oz of glycerin for my bottle. To make 32oz of finished remover would take approximately 30 oz or acetone and 2.25 oz of glycerine (this will end up with a tiny bit over the 32oz Zoya equivalent, to get the same blend I used today). That adds up to:

32 x $0.08 = $2.56 in acetone
2.25 x $0.50 = $1.13 in glycerin

Total: $3.69 for a 32oz bottle vs. $25 for Zoya Remove+. And, that's with my more expensive acetone; in places where you can get it for the cheaper price, it will be under $2.50 for a 32oz bottle. Clearly, this is an impressive savings; this is even cheaper than the drugstore polish remover. And, if you're in a place where you can't get Zoya products, this is an excellent, excellent option.

Where do you find acetone and glycerin? Apparently Walmart carries both, and any drugstore should carry glycerine. I was told I could find glycerin in the pharmacy section, so you can look there, but in my CVS, they had this with the hand lotions (and it says 'skin protectant' in small letters under the title), so this is another place they might have it if you can't find it. In fact...my CVS is having a sale this week (should be nation-wide) on 'skin care products' which includes the glycerin--not only were the bottles of glycerin on sale for 2 for $10, BUT if you buy $12 worth of 'skin care products' you get $4 back, AND there is a coupon in the magic red machine for $4 off of $10 worth of 'skin care products'. So, I got 3 bottles of glycerin (6 oz each) for $7 ($15-$4 coupon-$4 back), or $2.34 each. Since I was fairly confident this would work (I trust mah peeps) I went ahead and got three bottles--as you can imagine, I run through a lot of remover! If you don't want to make quite that level of commitment, you can still get 2 bottles for $6, or $3 each ($10 - $4 coupon). That will drop the price of your remover even more.

You can also get acetone in any hardware or general home repair store (like Lowe's or Home Depot).

One last comment. Aleksandra mentioned to me that she likes to put lemon oil in her version because it helps whiten her nails, and you can also put other oils like sweet almond oil to make it even more moisturizing. If you put in oils, put it in before you add your acetone, and shake before each use, as the oils will separate. I imagine these also make the remover smell good, too!

Okay, so that started off as a 'quick' post that got really long, lol. I think I covered everything--let me know if you have any questions!

Hugs and love,


  1. :))))
    It's cool to see this one tried & tested. Yeah, I remember loodie's post (shame she sort of disappeared), but was always too lazy to actually *do* it myself, lol.
    Buuuut, browsing around a bit right now, I think I'd have some difficulties actually finding the ingredients for this?? (you've no idea how godforsaken, backwards this country is :S); buying them online (though, ugh, with some reservations, I guess) it'd be even more expensive (high shipping costs..) than the one I'm using atm (which I'm quite satisfied with; cost something like Zoya Remove+).
    Will have to go check out the stores & pharmacies tomorrow anyway.

  2. So glad you tried this and it passed the 'swoosh' test! :) I like the idea of adding additional oils for scent/moisture...will have to try when I make up my next batch. Have a great week!

    1. The swoosh test! I love it!! :) :) :) Hope you have a great week, too. :)

  3. When I make Faux Zoya Remove I scent & color it by adding some of my "water mix": a drop or 2 of food coloring and about a tsp of essential oil (lavender or mint) to 12 oz of water. The coloring also helps you achieve the perfect mix since it sort of gravitates to the glycerin. If you see a darker layer at the bottom of the bottle you need to add a bit more water. Obviously I don't use the whole 12 oz at once ;)

    1. Ooo, that's a really smart trick, especially if your bottle isn't fully clear (mine is somewhat opaque)!

  4. I will be giving this a go. Thanks M!

  5. I know this is an old post.. But I was wondering how safe the home-made mixture is on acrylic nails. Zoya remove us gentle enough that I can use it without damaging my fakes. But pure acetone is a no-no for acrylics. Any thoughts or info?

    1. Hmmm, interesting question. As far as I know the main ingredients are exactly the same as the Zoya. But I don't wear acrylics so I can't test it out...And I hate to suggests that you try it and risk ruining your nails. I'll see if I can find out in one of my groups for you...


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