5 nail polish hacks that can change your life 5ever

March 31 | Guest post by Dootsie Bug
Lotsa Nail Polish
By: bikeman04 โ€“ CC BY 2.0

Nail polish is a much handier tool than folks give it credit for. In addition to making your fingers a little more jazzy, nail polish can actually be a real asset in some unexpected ways. Here are five nail polish hacks that can improve your life…

Prevent rust rings

Ever picked up your shaving cream only to find a yucky orange rust ring left behind on the counter or tub? Prevent this by coating the exposed metal with nail polish and never deal with that tragedy again!

Hide shoe scuffs

Got a nick or worn spot on your fancy shoes? Find a bottle of nail polish that's a similar colour, and fill in the scratch. This won't be totally ideal solution for every shoe, but it can extend the life of a pair of kicks you don't want to part with.

Make something smudge-proof

Think of clear nail polish as your "make it permanent" helper. Written on something with a Sharpie? Lock it in with a clear coat of polish. Got a bottle with printed writing that keeps fading, flaking or smudging? Clear nail polish can keep it in place and legible.

Coat Inside of Copper Rings with Clear Nail Polish
By: irisphotos โ€“ CC BY 2.0

Make it perma-shiny

Cheap jewelry has a way of losing its shine over time. A coat of clear nail polish can help it stay shiny with zero tarnish. If you've got a ring that turns your finger green, coat the inside. Bonus? Use coloured nail polish as an enamel to turn boring jewelry into something a little more exciting.

Gild it!

Have some metallic polish lying around? You're just a few swipes away from upgrading your stuff! There are probably a zillion places that a little splash of gold or silver would make your things look a little more luxe. Cover dull brass tacks; exposed screws or nail heads; edges of coasters, books or frames; handles or wire racks. The possibilities are boundless.

What are your favorite surprising nail polish hacks?

Join our community!

  1. I use clear nail polish and a sharpie to mark the difference between my two house keys. For some reason it works better for me than when I tried regular colored nail polish, that chipped off pretty quickly. Doing sharpie on the key and then a clear coat over it has lasted a few years now.

    1 agrees
    • Ooh! I know a thing about this: If you use the sparkly kind of nail polish (you know, the ones with fibers in them) then the polish actually stays on the key!

      2 agree
  2. Oooh, I love this! The only trick I knew before was to dab clear polish on any small holes in your tights to prevent runs.

    11 agree
  3. I use clear nail polish to keep the thread from fraying/coming loose on buttons. A little blob of it on the threads will keep them from coming loose and falling off!

    5 agree
  4. I just used purple nail polish to upgrade the soles of some black pumps I've owned FOREVER to wear at my wedding. Super simple and fun process, and now my shoes look awesome and match my petticoat.

    6 agree
  5. Before I could read, my mom put a dot of nail polish on the "Play" button on my tape player. (Yeah, I'm old, deal with it. :))

    You can do that with anything: put a tiny dot on the right shoe for a kid who gets their shoes mixed up, or, for grownups, on one of the pull chains of a combo light/fan, if someone can't remember which one turns on the light. (I'm the tiniest bit dyslexic, so I use little dots of marker and nail polish to help myself keep things straight.)

    Also, an article request: can we have one that talks about how to use nail polish on one's nails and not have it chip, like, immediately? ๐Ÿ™‚

    15 agree
    • During summers when we would attach a sprinkler to the garden hose, my mom marked the spigot handle with nail polish to show how high we were allowed to turn it up – both to not waste too much water and because of the loud groan of pipes in the house when the water was up too high. Of course that was all pre-drought times. Or, rather, pre-awareness-of-water-conservation times…

      Re chipping nail polish, I was once told to not just paint the top of the nail but also the thin outer edge. It does seem to help "protect" the polish from chipping a little bit longer than without. ๐Ÿ™‚

      6 agree
    • Yes, when I first read the title of this post, I thought it was going to be "hacks" related to using nail polish on your actual nails. I guess the other kind of hacks are more off-beat, after all. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      3 agree
    • For chipping, I wait until I'm not planning to do much knitting or guitar playing before I paint my nails (or just do my toes). I do 2-3 thin layers of the actual polish, letting it dry in between, and 1 layer of topcoat. Topcoat really does make a difference, as I discovered when I went without. When you're done painting, avoid using your hands too much and let things set for at least an hour. (Movies are great for that.) I'll usually get a few days of things looking nice and neat.

      A way to cheat is to use a light color (for me; different skintones might need different shades) which is much less obvious when it chips. I'll leave that on for a lot longer. I also need to resist picking at my nails, which is much tougher once there are signs of wear. Sometimes touching up helps too, as does making sure I'm not idly scratching my leg while I sit at the computer.

      2 agree
      • Also base coat! Base coat is made to help bond the nail polish to the nail (also, it prevents that yellow staining that happens sometimes with red polish).

        2 agree
    • My mother put a tiny fuchsia dot on the '70' on the thermostat when I was a little kid to indicate how high I could set the heat..

      2 agree
  6. I love these! A quick add to the jewelry idea– I have a friend whose skin is super sensitive, so cheaper jewelry gives her a rash. She coats it in clear polish and it keeps the jewelry from aggravating her skin.

    6 agree
  7. Use clear polish to coat the posts of your earrings! I have super sensitive skin and this trick lets me wear the earrings my husband bought me even though I'm allergic to the metal.

    7 agree
  8. Some brass or copper jewelry will leave green stains on your skin. Painting the inside of rings or the backs of pendants with clear polish will prevent this from happening :3

  9. Nail polish is perfect for marking your territory! Growing up we would spend the summer weekends at the communal campground and this was the only way we could differentiate the dishes. With 6 or more families and all their kids, kids' friends, grandparents, etc more or less taking over an entire campground for the season and everyone is eating and cooking and cleaning together eventually someone will end up with no spoons in their camper for the morning coffee if you don't do something. We assigned each family a nail polish color so we could figure out where to return the dishes at the end of the day. I still find myself at home flipping over the plates to look for the mark. Works like a charm ๐Ÿ™‚

    6 agree
  10. At home, we use an electric toothbrush with a separate head for each family member. We buy them in bulk and mark then with nail polish to distinguish them.

    Nail polish works wonders to prevent small holes in tights from fraying, but make sure your nail polish is in the same shade family as your tights. Clear polish on black tights becomes whitish and very visible once dried up.

    2 agree
    • YES. I learned this the hard way when I ruined my favourite, favourite, *FAVOURITE* black shirt because I spilled clear polish on it. I was utterly heartbroken!

      1 agrees
  11. Nail polish hacks from my house:
    – stop runs in pantyhose. Use clear and dab it on at the end of the run. Totally works!
    – mark casserole dishes, etc, that you take to potlucks. This stuff stays on and is totally identifiable without needing your name or leaving tape on things
    – cover things that irritate you. Could be the inside of a copper ring that is turning your finger green or could be the pottery pendant that is super rough on the back. Put on a coat or three and it's awesome.

    1 agrees
  12. I use glow in the dark nail polish that I got one Halloween to mark the light switches and the ends of the light pulls on lamps, so that I can find them in the dark. It's clear in the light and glows faintly green in the dark.

    2 agree
  13. Great ideas, Dootsie! The only "hacks" I've used nail polish for are the classic "stop a run in a stocking" ( talk about old! yes I used to have to wear pantyhose to work ) and I once marked some belongings with a dot.

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

No-drama comment policy

Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.