How To: 10 Reasons Why Everyone (Even Men) Should Have Nail Polish in Their Homes

10 Reasons Why Everyone (Even Men) Should Have Nail Polish in Their Homes

When you think of nail polish, it's probably almost always in the context of a manicure. I mean, that's what it's made for, right? But there are plenty of other things you can use clear or colored nail polish for besides painting your nails.

Even if you're a guy living on his own, you should still have a bottle or two at home (though, I wouldn't recommend keeping it out in plain sight), and I'm going to give 10 good reasons why.

#1. Keep Your Buttons from Falling Off

Missing buttons suck, especially if you don't know how to sew them back on. A coat of clear nail polish will keep the thread from unraveling and keep your buttons in place for much longer. Repeat whenever they feel loose again.

Image by James Wojcik/Real Simple

#2. Color Code Keys & Other Things

If you have several keys that look similar, finding the right one to open your door can be a pain. Use several different colors of nail polish to color code them so you can always tell which is which. In my opinion, this is much better than using those bulky rubber covers, and you can color code practically anything else you want.

Image by Sara Khong/JewelPie

#3. Prevent Allergic Reactions from Metal

If you have an allergy to nickel or gold (or any other metal), you can paint the inside of jewelry and the buttons on your pants to keep the metal from contacting your skin. It prevents tarnishing and allergic reactions, and will even keep cheap jewelry from turning your skin green.

Image via My Thirty Spot

#4. Keep Your Labels from Smudging

Prevent ink on labels from running or smudging with a quick coat of clear nail polish. The most obvious use would be as plant markers, since they are constantly being watered, but this trick could be used for pretty much any kind of label prone to smudging.

Images by Carleyy/Instructables, sciondriver/Flickr

#5. Keep Loose Screws in Place

If your glasses are always losing screws, you can keep them in place with clear nail polish. Just tighten them and paint on a thin coat to prevent them from loosening again. This trick also works for other loose screws, like those in your drywall, or even the ones securing your handgun grips.

Images by James Wojcik/Real Simple, Peter Barrett/GunUp

#6. Seal Envelopes Without Licking

Nail polish also works as an adhesive, so you can seal envelopes quicker—and skip the nasty taste of the glue. It's especially useful when you've got a misbehaving envelope that just won't stick by itself, or to fix tears.

Image by Carleyy/Instructables

#7. Stop Shoelaces & Hoodie Strings from Unraveling

When the clear plastic pieces on the ends of your shoelaces or hoodies inevitably fall off or disintegrate, you can paint them with nail polish to keep them from fraying.

Image via Vat19

#8. Prevent Rust Rings in the Shower

Everyone hates rust rings. They're a pain in the ass to clean up, and there's pretty much nothing you can do about them. Except, whip out the nail polish. Coating the bottoms of shaving cream and other metal cans will keep them from leaving those rust circles in your shower.

Image by Carleyy/Instructables

#9. Waterproof Your Regular Stick Matches

Make regular matches waterproof by dipping the heads into a bottle of nail polish. You don't need a very thick coat, and they'll still strike normally. Just steer clear of polishes with glitter in them. This make perfect companions on damp camping trips.

Image by Angela/Food Storage and Survival

#10. Use It Like Liquid Bandage

If you're all out of Neosporin and Band-Aids, nail polish could help keep small cuts and wounds from getting infected until you restock your first-aid kit. Just dab a little on and around the wound and let it set to prevent contaminating the area further. If you're worried about some of the chemicals in regular nail polish, try using a non-toxic brand instead.

Image by Ben Dyer/Flickr

Got a favorite non-fingernail use for nail polish? Share with us in the comments.

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Cover image via Luis Vallecillo/Flickr


i never think that nail polish working as much way like you suggested. This is really awesome article because generally everyone not know about this all use. Today i am also using nail polish for some of this way.

A family member showed me that if you are getting ready for work or an appointment, and suddenly find the start of/or a small run in your pantyhose - get clear nail polish and paint enough on to cover the run and a little of the material around it. It will keep the run from spreading.

Paint the keys on your keyboard to keep the letters, numbers and symbols from wearing off.


In a comment on Carleyy's post on Instructables, dawnflower14 posted the following sound advice:

"Nail polish has the chemicals toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and formaldehyde that are known to cause birth defects and respiratory problems among other harm. These chemicals have been outlawed due to their health hazards, but many companies still put them into their nail polish formulas, just in smaller doses. Not a good thing to be exposing to your blood stream."

Came here to say the same thing. The author of this article is extremely irresponsible for suggesting such a thing.

Where'd you get your medical degree, lady? Hollywood Upstairs Medical College? Christ on a cracker, you're something else.

This is kind of amazing. But i hear that super glue can be used as liquid bandage. I'm not too sure about using nail polish. Similar to Kirk's post, it may not be good to use the nail polish because of the chemicals.

Do not use nail polish in place of liquid bandage. You can use super glue: that was the original use for it. super glue was made for the army to fix deep cuts in the field until better medical care could be put to it or just leave it.

On another note for a good use for nail polish, I have used it to fix runs in my hose.

Can be used to dot over redbugs, it will smother them out if you only have a few ! I suggest using clear!

Another use for clear polish not mentioned here, is to keep a small stone chip or crack on windows and car windshields from getting longer or bigger. I used this on my windshield for years and never worsened. Also on loose screws on a cheap bicycler or exercise equipment used often. It works well!

First people, the author admitted to the idea of liquid bandage not coming from her, AND commented on worries of toxicity (to get non-toxic nail polish), so let up.

That said, I HAVE used nail polish to patch small holes in an air mattress (the big queen, double layer style) by putting a couple small globs on the hole and letting dry in between, it worked wonderfully.

I have used it to write my name on the bottom of a pan brought to a pot luck. Won't wash off and since it isn't in contact with the food, no worries.

Clear fingernail polish for small wound closure is the idea that was copied, renamed as liquid bandage, and sold for $ profit. Folks, it's basically the same thing. When liquid bandage always gets too thick in its tiny bottle, add a little acetone (fingernail polish remover) to make it thin again. The most common liquid bandage brand sells for about 7.30$ per .3 oz which is equal to 24.49$ per 1.0 ounce.

It will sting a little when first applied, it's a good and helpful sting, accept it and move on.

  • I put a dot on my USB cord and base so I know which side is up. Match the dots!

I was just sharing to facebook when I thought of this: Got sore fingers from guitar plucking and strumming? Try coating a finger or 2 with nail polish(or glue)! I could be wrong but yeah I'd try it if I played guitar.

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