Any manicure addict will know what nail polish remover is. That magic solution that erases all mistakes with the swipe of a cotton pad. The miracle start-over-from-scratch beauty product that allows us to have a new colour as and when we like it. What many people don’t know are the other very practical uses of nail polish remover. Before I get started on what these are, you need to know that it’s the important ingredient, acetone, that’s doing all the work here.
Having worked in a laboratory for several years, I can safely say that every scientist will admit that acetone is a God-send. Have you heard of the joke about how a researcher relabelled his acetone as “dimethyl ketone” and it never got stolen again? The reason acetone is so potent is the fact that it has 6 electron-deficient (and therefore reactive) alpha hydrogens. Because of this, acetone can react with almost everything that has electron-rich components (or “groups”), save for materials like metals and wood. Why this reaction is important is because only when two things react can they each be changed into something else altogether. For example, when we want to remove some types of plastic from oven grills, we can add acetone because they react with each other.