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6 Surprising Alternate Uses for Your Nail Polish


OPI line
Photo Credit

Nail polish is a magical thing in and of itself – after all, it can completely finish a look and make your nails look chic and fabulous. Since my polish collection is constantly multiplying, I recently began to wonder if there were any other things that I could use my favorite nail polishes for – and turns out, there are!

So, I’ve compiled my top 6 favorite alternate uses for clear and colored polishes! Read on to learn more.

1. Fixing tights

TightsPhoto Credit

We all know how frustrating it is when you see a run appearing in your tights that you just put on. This is a definite day ruiner, as you can already start to imagine how much worse it is going to get throughout the hours ahead.

But if this happens to you, don’t worry – clear nail polish can come to the rescue! Just paint a little clear polish on the run when it’s still new and small and voila! Now, the run won’t be able to continue any further and you can rest easy knowing that your run won’t be able to run rampant all day!

2. Custom bobby pins

Bobby pins
Photo Credit

I picked up this little DIY trick when I was in 4th grade and have loved it ever since! Bobby pins are a staple among my hair supplies but sometimes they can get a little boring. To spice it up, my trick is to hold a bobby pin by the flat bottom part, pick your favorite polish (or polishes) and get creative! You can paint it one color, stripes of two colors, polka dots, or whatever your heart desires! I mean, who wouldn’t want a Chanel Black Pearl bobby pin?!

3. Labeling or personalizing keys

Photo Credit

A true sign that you’re entering the real world is watching the number of keys on your key ring increase. Since keys all tend to look similar, this can quickly become quite confusing!

My solution? Paint the tops of your keys with your nail polish with designs that remind you what each key is for. This little tip is definitely a creative way simplify your life. Plus, pretty designs painted with polish definitely beat those little rubber key toppers.

4. Patching window screens

Window screen
Photo Credit

I actually used this little fix-it last summer when I moved into my new apartment and noticed a little tear in one of the screens. Since it was summer and still quite buggy out, I didn’t want to risk having them all fly in!

If you have a small tear in one of your window screens, just paint a little clear polish over it and that will close up the tear and seal it for the future so that the tear can’t get any worse! Of course, this trick won’t work for larger holes, but it’s fabulous in a pinch.

5. Weatherproof envelopes

Photo Credit

This trick will help your outgoing mail get to its destination by preventing envelopes or address labels from smudging if they get wet in transit!

If you paint some clear polish over the destination address and your return address (or over your address labels), they will be sealed and protected from rain or whatever your letter may encounter on the way to its destination!

6. Prevent rust on the bottom of cans

Shaving cream
Photo Credit

I wish I had known about this trick a long time ago – it would have prevented many annoying cleaning sessions!

We’ve all experienced this: You put a can of shaving cream in the shower, use it once, and next thing you know there are rings of rust on your tub or shower – they take forever to get off, and are generally disgusting. However, if you paint some clear polish all over the bottom parts of the can that touch the shower or tub, this won’t be an issue anymore! Nail polish to the rescue once again.


What do you guys think of these alternative uses for nail polish? Do you have any other awesome tricks that involve nail polish? Let us know in the comments below!

Posted on on May 21, 2011 / Filed Under: College Life / Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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31 Responses to “6 Surprising Alternate Uses for Your Nail Polish”

  1. 1
    May 21st, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    I think this Is all very clever :) I think I might be painting my key with nailpolish now :)
    The only thing is that wouldn’t he nailpolish chip off the keys and Bobby pins?

  2. 2
    May 21st, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    I have a nickel allergy and I use clear nail polish to coat anything that is made of metal on my clothes that touch my skin. For example the button on jeans. It’s great!

  3. 3
    May 21st, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    These are great tips! I think everyone knows about the tights but i loove the key-decoration-idea :D I also cover my jeans-buttons because I’m allergic to the metal sometimes ^^

  4. 4
    May 21st, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Wow! Thanks a lot for the tips!

  5. 5
    May 21st, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Also a layer of clear nail polish on the post of a cheap earring will help prevent sensitive ears. Who can resist cheap $2 F21 earrings now knowing they WON’T hurt your ears?

  6. 6
    May 21st, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    also use clear nail polish on rings so the paint on the rings wont rub off and look rusty! i do this to all my new rings I’m afraid would do that and I believe it saved my rings! most favorite trick ever!

  7. 7
    May 21st, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Great ideas! Thanks!

  8. 8
    May 21st, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    I have the same sensitivity and use any color nail polish I’ve got handy when I’m using the polish to coat things that won’t be seen by the public.
    Such as the inside of my bras that have metal clasps.

  9. 9
    May 21st, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    Another great use for nailpolish is if the color enamel on your jewelry gets worn or chipped, color polishes can do a pretty great patch job.

  10. 10
    May 21st, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    I’m definitely using the shower trick for my bottles in the shower, didn’t know that!

  11. 11
    May 22nd, 2011 at 5:25 am

    GREAT and useful article! I definitely try this Bobby Pins trick!!
    I use to cover boring buttons with some crazy color…

  12. 12
    May 22nd, 2011 at 6:10 am

    This is so smart! I will definately try the key-thing :D

  13. 13
    May 22nd, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    Whoah! I did not know all these tips and tricks :) Thank you for them

  14. 14
    May 22nd, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    You know wen you wear a bracelet, watch, ring, or other stuff, and after a while the color rubs off – and your skin becomes green from the accesories… Well, I paint all of my accesories with clear nailpolish on the inside! My arm is never green after wearing my cheap “gold”-watch anymore! ;D

  15. 15
    May 22nd, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    Oh wow! I wish I’d known about this sooner. It would have saved me so much time cleaning up all those rings on my kitchen counters and in my shower.

  16. 16
    May 23rd, 2011 at 2:59 am

    I agree with Stacy Blauvelt .

    I use clear nail polish on my new rings too, especially when they are gold-plated. the ring would look new for months on end! plus you can always wash your hands without removing them. (reducing the chances of losing them)

    i also use clear nail polish for my earnings, so that they don’t fade.

    Love from Africa!

  17. 17
    May 23rd, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    Hi ladies,
    I was wondering if there are any particular brands of clear nail polish you like for these uses? I’ve had the idea of coating my jewelry w/ clear nail polish so that they last longer, but when i tried to actually apply the polish, the finish doesn’t end up very smooth at all. Any tips?
    Thanks (:

  18. 18
    May 23rd, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    You can paint a coat of clear nail polish on the inside of cheap rings and it will not leave the pesky green stain on your hand, also works for cheap earrings!

  19. 19
    May 23rd, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    OMG amazing ideas , I have some many OPI nail polish this will help me use them all

  20. 20
    May 26th, 2011 at 1:50 am

    Great minds and great tips.

  21. 21
    May 26th, 2011 at 6:32 am

    Oh, wow! I will start looking for my bobby pins to start painting them right now! What lovely ideas! I only knew the one with fixing tights. Thanks for the tips!

  22. 22
    May 27th, 2011 at 11:25 am

    To be completely honest, i didn’t like the article as much as i thought i would. The first example is a classic way to use nail polish. Dancers have been using that trick for years! However, i do like the key example.

  23. 23
    May 28th, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Very cool ideas! Never heard the screen fix it, rust circle shaving cream, or the Bobby pins! Thanks for posting this!

  24. 24
    May 28th, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    Clear nail polish on costume jewelry! For people with sensitive skin, if you put a coat on earring, rings, etc…you don’t have to worry about your skin turning green.

  25. 25
    May 28th, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    you can also put clear polish on the posts of earrings if your ears get irritated by the metal. it works!

  26. 26
    June 5th, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    The last one is so useful for living in a dorm or anywhere with stuff you need to keep neat for when you leave. I definitely plan on doing that! I also use nail polish to decorate little things like my keychain, which is a tiny converse shoe. I also use it on the full sized one for my feet. It’s more water and running around proof than acrylic craft paint.

  27. 27
    November 7th, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Cool! I never thought nail polish is that useful. I just use them on my nails! Amazing! :)

  28. 28
    December 17th, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    I’ve colored my keys with Sharpie markers, but the color comes off. I’ll have to try the nail polish! *although lately I’ve just been getting my keys duplicated with leopard, pink and purple keys.

    Thanks for the ideas!

  29. 29
    March 22nd, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    I’m a sucker for costume jewellery. As im sure you all know theres nothing more annoying than your key peices of jewellery turns your finger/arm/neck a lovely shade of green. If you paint the area that will be touching your skin with a little clear nail varnish it will really help prolong how long it is before this happens. Hope that helps.

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