9 Surprising New Ways to Use Nail Polish

“Traditional” has never been a word we’ve used to describe our beauty habits. No, we’re more likely to do strange things like use lip balm to tame our brows, or tear toilet seat covers into makeshift blotting papers (it works, we swear!).

With our penchant for the weird and wonderful in mind, today we’re sharing nine new, unexpected ways to use nail polish (aka no actual polishing of nails involved). Be prepared for these hacks to make your life so much easier (but also possibly deplete your entire clear nail polish supply).


Keep flipping for nine surprising ways to use nail polish that don’t involve your nails!

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    #1: Smooth Splinters

    If you have wooden hangers and your clothes keep getting caught on the rough edges, just paint over the splinters with clear polish. This applies to splinters anywhere else, too—chairs, desks, tables, and so on. Clear polish seals the rough edges in—good news for your clothes and your skin.

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    2: Seal Envelopes

    So you have invitations to send, but the thought of licking envelopes fills you with dread (welcome to the club). Enter: clear nail polish. Just paint two lines on the inside of each envelope flap, then press it closed. Voila—no gross glue aftertaste. You can also brush some clear nail polish over the handwritten addresses, so they don’t smudge and smear as they travel to their final destination. 

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    #3: Mend Tights

    An oldie, but goodie—if you look down and see a run forming in your tights, just paint over it with clear nail polish to keep it from getting bigger. Is this a long-term solution? Probably not, but it’ll at least contain the problem before you’re forced to toss your tights (RIP).


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    PHOTO: Rach Speed

    #4: Organize Keys

    If your key chain is filled with keys of all different shapes and sizes (or worse, all the same shapes and sizes), we’ve got a simple solution. Label what key goes where by painting the tops of them with nail polish—blue for keys to your apartment, green for keys to your office, and so on. Innovative and cute—a win-win in our book.

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    #5: Rust-Proof A Shaving Can

    If you haven’t yet swapped your shaving cream for coconut oil, you might notice your trusty can leaving annoying rust marks all over your shower. Keep the bottoms from rusting but painting over them with nail polish—it’ll create a barrier between the water from your shower and the metal can.   

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    #6: Save Costume Jewelry

    Clear nail polish can prolong the life of your costume jewelry, too. Just paint over your rings, earrings, bracelets, and necklaces with a thin layer of clear nail polish to slow the rusting process.


    Pictured: BaubleBar Contrast Spike Ring ($28)

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    #7: Sew On And Sew Forth

    If you’re a sewer or DIY-er, you’ve experienced the pull-your-hair-out frustration that is threading a needle. To make things a little easier, paint a tiny bit of nail polish on the end of the thread—it’ll seal the frayed ends and help guide it through the microscopic hole. 

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    #8: Save Your Buttons

    The ultimate day-ruiner: looking down and realizing you’ve lost a button. Other than being possibly embarrassing, it’s also a huge pain—chances are slim that you’ll find a button that looks exactly like the rest. Avoid this situation by treating the problem right when it starts. If you notice a wobbly button, grab your clear nail polish and paint the fraying thread immediately—it’ll keep it from unraveling further. 


    Pictured: ASOS Denim Shirt ($42)

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    #9: Trick Your Skin

    If you ever find that the button on your jeans or clasp on your belt buckle leaves your skin feeling itchy and red, you could have a nickel allergy. Because living a jean-free life is simply not an option, trick your skin by painting over the button or buckle with clear polish. The polish will form a barrier between the nickel and you skin and keep any allergic reactions at bay.


    Have you tried any of these? Any other ways you use nail polish that don’t involve painting your digits? Sound off below!


EXPLORE: Nail Polish, Nail Polish Tricks, Nails, How-To


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