20+ Clever Uses for Nail Polish
It turns out the usefulness of nail polish isn't limited to your nails. Check out these extraordinary ways to put ordinary nail polish to work around the house.
Make buttons glow in the dark
It happens all the time. The lights are dimmed, you grab the remote control to increase the TV volume, and darn, you hit the wrong button and change the channel instead. To put an end to video flubs, dab glow-in-the-dark nail polish onto frequently used remote buttons. You can also use phosphorescent polish to mark keys and keyholes and other hard-to-spot items. (Also, learn some secrets your eye doctor won’t tell you.)
Mark your thermostat setting
When you wake up with a chill and don’t have your glasses, it’s easy to return to your comfort zone if you’ve marked your dial-type thermostat. Simply set it to your preferred temperature and then make a thin mark with coloured nail polish from the dial into the outside ring. (Did you know sleeping in a room with this temperature could boost your metabolism?)
Waterproof address labels
When you’re sending a parcel on a rainy day, a little clear polish brushed over the label will ensure the address doesn’t bleed away.
Mark temperature settings on shower knobs
Don’t waste precious shower time fiddling with the water temperature. With the shower on, select your ideal settings, then turn off the flow to the shower and make a small mark with bright nail polish on to the stationary lip of both the hot and cold knob indicating the handle position that’s best. Once it’s set, no sweat! (Also, learn why you can get away with showering less.)
Make cup measurements legible
Find your measuring cup markings faster, especially if you like to measure “on the fly” while cooking. Use a very visible colour of nail polish to trace over the basic measurement levels. This also works great for those dimly lit, late-night bottle feedings, when you need to see how well Junior has tanked up. And you won’t have to squint to find the correct dosage on little plastic medicine cups if you first mark them with a thin line of dark polish.
Mark levels inside a bucket
When you’re mixing in a big bucket, you don’t typically have the opportunity to lift the bucket to check the quantity. Besides, the bucket you use for mixing might not have the measurements clearly marked at all. Make sure you know you’re using the right amounts by marking pint, quart and gallon levels with lines of nail polish. Use a colour that stands out against the bucket’s colour.
Stop pantyhose runs
Pantyhose runs are a real pain. Happily, you can stop them in their tracks and prolong the life of your hose with a dab of clear nail polish. Simply apply the polish to each end of the run and let it dry. The invisible fix stops runs and lasts through many hand-washings. (Speaking of undergarments, check out these underwear mistakes that can mess with your health.)
Label your sports gear
You share a lot of interests with your golf partner, including the same brand of golf balls. Make it clear who got on the green first by putting a dot of bright nail polish on your ball supply. This also works well with batting gloves and other items that don’t have enough room to fit your name. (Check out the bargain Canadian golf courses.
Label poison containers
If everyone in your home has easy access to your cupboard, prevent someone from grabbing dangerous items in haste. Use dark red or other easily visible nail polish to label the poisons. Draw an unmistakable X on the label as well as the lid or spout.
Stop a windshield chip from spreading
If you’ve developed a small chip in your windshield, stop it from spreading with some clear polish. Working in the shade, brush the crack on both sides of the glass with polish to fill it well. Move the car into the sun and allow it to dry. You will eventually need to repair your chipped windshield, but this will give you the time to shop around.
Tighten loose screws
No matter how gentle you are with your kitchen cupboards and drawers, it’s often necessary to tighten the pull screws. Keep them in place by brushing a little clear polish on the screw threads, insert the screws and allow to dry before using again. (This is also a great solution for loose pot handles!)
Seal an envelope
Do you have a mild distrust of those self-sealing envelopes? Brush a little nail polish along the underside of the flap, seal it, and it won’t even open over a tea kettle! Add some flair to a special card by brushing your initial (or any design) in nail polish over the sealed flap tip, as a modern type of sealing wax that doesn’t need to be melted first.
Smudge-proof important drug labels
Preserve the important information on your prescription medicine and other important medicine labels with a coat of clear polish, and they won’t be smudged as you grab them after getting your glass of water. (Psst: These are the questions to ask your doctor before taking prescription drugs.)
Make a gleaming paperweight
To create paperweights that look like gemstones, or interesting rocks for the base of your potted cactus, try this: Find some palm-sized, smooth clean rocks. Put about 1/2-inch water into a pie pan, and put one drop of clear nail polish onto the water. The polish will spread out over the water surface. Holding a rock with your fingertips, slowly roll it in the water to coat it with the polish. Set the rock on newspaper to dry.
Prevent rust rings from metal containers
If your guests are going to peek into your medicine cabinet, you don’t want them to see rust rings on your shelves. Brush nail lacquer around the bottom of shaving cream cans and other metal containers to avoid those unsightly stains. (Also, check out this list of items you should never keep in your bathroom.)
Prevent rusty toilet seat screws
If you’re installing a new toilet seat, keep those screws from quickly rusting. Paint them with a coat or two of clear nail polish; it will also help prevent seat wobble by keeping the screws in place.
Paint shaker holes to restrict salt
If your favourite salt shaker dispenses a little too generously, paint a few of the holes shut with nail polish. Considering all the ways salt makes you sick, this is a great strategy to help you reduce your sodium intake. (Here are the signs you’re eating too much salt.)
Tarnish-proof costume jewelry
Inexpensive costume jewelry can add sparkle and colour to an everyday outfit, but not if it tarnishes and tarnish rubs off the jewelry and onto your skin. To keep your fake jewelry and your skin sparkling clean, brush clear nail polish onto the back of each piece and allow it to dry before wearing.
Get rid of a wart
Warts are unsightly, embarrassing and infection. In order to get rid of warts and prevent spreading the virus to others, cover them with nail polish. The wart should be gone or greatly diminished in one week.
Seal out scuffs on shoes
On leather shoes, it’s the back and toes that really take the brunt of the wear and tear that leaves scratches on the surface. Next time you buy a new pair of shoes—especially ones for a kid or an active adult—give these areas the extra measure of protection they need. Paint a little clear nail polish on the outside of the back seam and over the toes. Rub the polish in a little to feather out the shine of the polish. After it dries, you’ll be a step ahead of those perennial shoe problems, “driver’s heel” and “jump rope toe.”
Keep laces from unravelling
Neaten the appearance of frayed shoelaces, and extend their life. Dip the ends in clear nail polish and twist the raveled ends together. Repair laces in the evening so that the polish will dry overnight.