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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.

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Use old nail polish to make remote control buttons glow in the darkPhoto: Shutterstock

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.)

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Use old nail polish to mark thermostat settingPhoto: Shutterstock

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?)

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Uses for clear nail polishPhoto: Shutterstock

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.

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Things to do with nail polish - mark temperature settings on showerPhoto: Shutterstock

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.)

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Use nail polish to mark measuring cupsPhoto: Shutterstock

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.

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Mark levels inside a bucket with nail polishPhoto: Shutterstock

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.

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Use nail polish to stop pantyhose runsPhoto: Shutterstock

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.)

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Use nail polish to mark your golf ballPhoto: Shutterstock

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.

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Use nail polish to label poison containersPhoto: Shutterstock

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.

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Use nail polish to stop a windshield chip from spreadingPhoto: Shutterstock

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.

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Use nail polish to tighten loose screwsPhoto: Shutterstock

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!)

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Things to do with nail polish - seal an envelopePhoto: Shutterstock

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.

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Put clear nail polish on drug labelsPhoto: Shutterstock

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.)

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Things to do with nail polishPhoto: Shutterstock

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.

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Use nail polish to prevent rust rings in medicine cabinetPhoto: Shutterstock

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.)

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Use nail polish to prevent rusty toilet screwsPhoto: Shutterstock

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.

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Paint salt shaker holes with clear nail polishPhoto: Shutterstock

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.)

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Apply clear nail polish to the back of costume jewelryPhoto: Shutterstock

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.

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More uses for clear nail polishPhoto: Shutterstock

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.

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belted denimphoto credit: luis albuquerque

Protect your belt buckle’s shine

Cover new or just-shined belt buckles with a coat of clear nail polish. You’ll prevent oxidation and guarantee a gleaming first impression.

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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.”

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sneakers surrounding feetPeopleImages/Getty Images

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.

Next, learn what your favourite nail polish colour says about you.

Originally Published in Extraordinary Meals from Ordinary Ingredients