Skip to Content

Banishing Unwanted Acetone Odors: Effective Solutions

A paint thinner or nail polish smell in your house can be bothersome. Many people want something to be done about it.

A variety of things can cause the paint thinner or the nail polish smell. This article will walk you through some of the reasons why your house smells like paint thinner or nail polish and also explain the various ways you can use to get rid of the smell.

What Causes Your House To Smell Like PAINT Thinner or Nail Polish?

Intex Pool Pump Problems

Gas leaking is the most likely reason for that odd paint thinner or nail polish odor in your home.

The gas used in refrigerators smells like acetone, the solvent used in paint thinners, nail polish, and nail polish removers.

Besides, the gas leaks from the heat pumps and air conditioners have a similar odor.

The list is by no means exhaustive. It must be acetone if you’ve cracked open a nail polish tube or a can of paint thinner and smell something strong and smelly.

But aside from gas leaks, there are a lot of other things that smell similar to nail polish and paint thinners.

Since it is agonizing to be in a house that smells awful, let’s investigate all potential causes of this foul smell.

  • A Refrigerator that Leaked Gas

A refrigerant is included in every refrigerator. It is a gas that contains acetone and is utilized as a heat transfer medium in the refrigeration cycle.

Therefore, your home fills with an acetone odor when a malfunctioning refrigerator emits the gas. It may be mistaken for paint thinner or nail polish as they both smell similar.

  • Leakage of Refrigerant Gas

A refrigerant gas can be found in other devices that are not refrigerators. This includes  HVAC systems like ductless mini-splint, heat pumps, and air conditioners. 

The heating and cooling processes in the systems rely on chemical substances.

However, the refrigerant begins to leak in older or carelessly maintained systems. It emits gas vapors that smell like paint thinner, nail polish, or acetone.

  • Caulk

 silicon or caulk-based sealants smell like paint thinners or nail polish. The smell will be more overpowering if the sealed area is not well ventilated.

  • Sewage Gas

Sewer gas smells like paint thinner or nail polish. Your home may smell like this if a crack causes a gas leak.

  • Mold

Mold and mildew frequently develop on house walls, particularly in bathrooms and kitchens where moisture is always present.

Additionally, during hot weather, air conditioner systems gather moisture, promoting bacteria growth.

Because of the compounds that molds and mildew release as they grow, they have an acetone-like odor. The fragrance of paint thinner or nail polish will permeate your home when the AC is on as a result.

  • Damaged Electrical Wiring

Electrical problems that include burned rubber insulation and short circuits release chemicals that smell like paint thinner or nail polish.

  • Paint

There is a distinct scent of paint thinner or nail polish on newly painted walls.

So, if you have just applied paint to your home, the paint should cause an odor for the next week.

  • Living and Dead Rodents

Rodents may create dens inside HVAC systems in the winter. Some even die there.

When activated, the system pushes the potent fragrance of their feces, urine, or decaying bodies through the vents, filling your space with paint thinner or nail polish-like odor.

How Can You Eliminate the Paint Thinner or Nail Polish Smell in Your House?

Intex Pool Pump Problems

Finding the cause of the paint thinner or nail polish odor in your home is the first step in getting rid of it.

Next, depending on the cause of the smell, you can use either of the approaches discussed below:

  • Solving a Refrigerant Gas Leakage  Issue

If you discover that leaking refrigerant gas is the cause of the acetone smell in your house, you should seal the pipes to confine the gas.

If you’re not an expert in HVAC systems, you could need to consult a specialist for the exercise. The hazardous fumes could potentially harm your health if inhaled.

  • Acetone Removal

Acetone serves as a cleaning agent in addition to being a component of nail polish.

So, if you recognize the odor from acetone residue, thoroughly clean the area with essential oils to eliminate the odor.

  • Eliminating Mildew and Mold

In moist environments, mold and mildew typically flourish.

If you’re certain these spots are where the acetone smell comes from, remove the molds and clean the area to eliminate the acetone smell.

  • Replacing Sewage Pipes

If you determine that the smell is coming from your sewer line, you must hire a professional to repair or replace it.

  • Leaving Areas with Caulk in the Open

Caulked areas need to be ventilated or have a fan placed nearby if you want to eliminate the acetone-like scent.

  • Ventilating Freshly Painted Rooms

Drying fresh paint will produce a nail polish scent. Therefore, it is advisable that you ventilate such rooms to allow the scent to disappear

  • Repair Faulty Electric Wires. 

If you determine that a malfunctioning electrical system is the cause of the nail polish odor, hire an electrician to untangle and replace the wires that are creating the short circuit.

  • Living and Dead Animals

Lastly, if dead and straying animals are the sources of the odor, you must locate them using your sense of smell and eliminate them.


Is the Nail Polish Smell in Your Home Dangerous?

Yes, if acetone gas is the cause of the smell. Due to its great flammability, acetone gas can easily catch fire when exposed to a flame.

Additionally, it is not a gas that should be inhaled. It can irritate your nose, throat, and lungs, in addition to causing nausea, dizziness, and vomiting.

How Can You Mask the Nail Polish Smell in Your House?

Instead of using deodorants like Febreze, you can crush some fresh coffee beans and stir them in a glass jar.

The entire house is filled with enticing aroma as soon as you stir them.

Alternatively, add essential oils to a glass bowl with water, but not all the way—their pleasant perfume masks the smell of nail polish.

Final Take

We hope you now understand why your house smells like paint thinner or nail polish. If your house smells like Paint thinner or nail polish, the approaches discussed above can help you eliminate the acetone smell.