15 Alternative Uses for Nail Polish
Remember that time you glued your fingers together with Super Glue? Don’t be embarrassed — we’ve all done it at least once. What did your mom tell you she needed? Nail polish remover, right? And you were probably like, that’s not gonna work. Except it did.
Before there was nail polish remover, however, there was nail polish — a predecessor of multifunctional proportions. What, pray tell, can a tiny bottle of liquid paint do besides make millions of women (and some men) feel beautiful? You may be surprised. (See also: 51 Uses for Coca-Cola: The Ultimate List)
1. Seal an Envelope
You know when you seal an envelope but realize you forgot to sign the check or left something out all together? You can still open it without tearing the envelope immediately after licking it, but it’s hard to reseal it again with another lick; by now the glue has transferred to the other side. Instead of throwing it away and grabbing a new envelope, brush clear nail polish on the flap to seal it even better than before.
2. Prevent Rusty Screws
If you have hardware (screws, bolts, etc.) in damp places — like the bathroom, for instance — coat them with clear polish to prevent them from rusting.
3. Repair Frayed Laces
Don’t you hate when shoelaces become frayed at the end? They’re still perfecting useful but look like a mess. Dip the ends in clear nail polish, roll them between your fingers, and let the laces dry overnight.
4. Stiffen Thread
I don’t sew because it’s really annoying (seriously, it makes me feel like a pilgrim), but if this is one of your hobbies, you can thread a needle more easily if you dip the end in nail polish. The polish will stiffen the end, making it a breeze to pull through the eye.
5. Stop a Pantyhose Run
I’ll admit that I’ve worn tights before — for Halloween — but I can’t say I’ve ever put on a pair of pantyhose. I know for a fact, however (I’ve got a mom, ya know), that a dab of clear nail polish on a stocking run will prevent it from going any further.
6. Prepare Smudge-Proof Labels
If you’re making labels for your garden out of Popsicle sticks or even old silverware, you can prevent the marker ink from being ruined by the elements by coating the area with clear nail polish.
7. Ward Off Tarnish on Cheap Jewelry
Note that this says cheap jewelry! If you have costume jewelry, make it last longer by brushing it with clear nail polish to prevent tarnishing. Do not use nail polish on valuable jewelry; you will ruin it.
8. Color-Code Keys
All your keys look the same? Differentiate them by painting the tops of each key a separate color. This is great to help kids remember which key is which.
9. Use as a Band-Aid
When you’ve got a small cut — paper cut, hangnail, or other minute scratch — and you can’t find a Band-Aid, use clear nail polish as an alternative adhesive. Nail polish is nontoxic, and it works nearly the same as more expensive liquid adhesives.
10. Heal a Wart
This might sound hard to believe, but it’s true. You can heal a plantar wart by covering it with nail polish. It works because the wart needs oxygen to live, but the nail polish prevents it from getting any. Just be sure to throw out that bottle when you’re done. You don’t want to spread the germs.
11. Protect Pearl Buttons
Pearl buttons are beautiful — and they can be pricey. Make them last as long as possible by brushing them with clear nail polish. A thin coat will keep them from cracking or chipping.
12. Plug a Small Hole
Whether it’s a small leak or a tiny hole in your door or window screen, nail polish has the heavy-duty power to keep in the stuff you want in and keep out the stuff you want out. If your cooler has sprung a small leak, seal it with nail polish. Likewise, if there’s a small hole in your screen and you want to keep the bugs at bay, brush the area with nail polish.
13. Mark Poisonous Products
When I was a kid, my school gave us Mr. Yuck stickers to take home to our parents so they could label all the products that would essentially kill us. I’m not sure if that program is still intact, or even if it was nationwide, but a big X in red nail polish on toxic chemicals will do the same job.
14. Make Objects Glow in the Dark
Can’t see the buttons on the remote when the lights are out? Have a hard time finding the light switch when you come in at night? To make these objects — and lots more — glow in the dark, paint them with luminescent nail polish.
15. Touch Up Chipped Glass
If you have a mirror (or any glass, for that matter) that has a chipped corner, prevent a future cut by brushing the corner with nail polish to create a smoother surface.
Have even more ways to use nail polish around the house? Let me know in the comments below.