27 Clever Uses for Nail Polish to Make Your Life Easier

We’re big fans (of course!) of using nail polish for its intended purpose, but we’re even bigger fans of finding multiple clever uses for common products— and nail polish definitely falls into this category! Turns out there are over 20 ways to use nail polish to make your life easier, happier, and shinier. Did you know you could use nail polish to:

  1. Waterproof Matches?
    Logan Ingalls via Wikiemedia Commons

    I can’t think of many more uncomfortable situations than trying to camp in the rain and finding that all of your matches are too soaked to use. You could always bust out some survival skills and try the stick-rubbing method, or you could plan ahead by dipping the flammable heads of your matches in clear polish before your trip. No matter how damp, they’ll still light up when you need them.
  2. Make Your Credit Cards Last Forever?

    Or at least until your new arrives. When your credit or debit card is limping toward its expiration date, make sure you can still use it by applying a clear coat to the magnetic strip to make it easier to scan. Store clerks everywhere will thank you.
  3. Remove Warts?
    Look, this tip isn’t the most pleasant one to discuss – I’m sparing you a picture! – but if you have both a wart and an old bottle of polish you’re looking to get rid of, it’s good to know. Cover any warts with nail polish and watch them fade in about a week. Make sure you throw the nail polish you use away afterwards to keep the virus from spreading.
  4. Label the Un-Labelable?

    With its array of colors and long-lasting sheen, nail polish is the perfect tool for semi-permanently labeling things without damaging them. Use it to differentiate look-alike golf balls and keep your keys organized, saving yourself from putting green arguments and wasting time at your door. Save even more time – and money! – while also keeping your body heat regulated by marking your favorite temperature on the shower knob and on a dial thermostat. Switch to a bolder color and organize your cleaning products by marking poisons with an X on both the label and the spout, and label measurement marks on large buckets. If you’re determined to stick with regular adhesive labels, use nail polish to protect them from rain, steam and sweat: swipe some over address labels before mailing letters and packages, and coat the labels of your favorite products to preserve instructions, ingredients and helpful tips.
  5. Make Your Remote Control Glow in the Dark?
    Life Hackery

    If you regularly watch television alone at night, you know the horror of trying to hit one button and accidentally increasing the volume so much it wakes your entire family. Prevent this missed hit of the dial from ever happening again by dabbing important buttons with glow-in-the-dark nail polish. You can watch your favorite shows on even the darkest and stormiest of nights and still be in complete control!
  6. Let the Light and Air In While Keeping the Bugs Out?
    michaelgoodin, Flickr

    No matter how careful we are, our window screens and shades inevitably get little rips and tears through the seasons. Prevent those rips and tears from becoming large, bug-friendly holes by simply swiping some nail polish over any window screen holes to keep them from spreading. This method also works on regular window shades; the polish will seal small rips right up!
  7. Stop A Run In Your Pantyhose?
    Hemeroskopion via Dollar Photo Club

    The original nail polish hack all our mothers taught us. Just like with the window screens, dabbing some clear polish on the beginning of a run in your tights or pantyhose will prevent it from spreading and keep you looking put-together until you can switch back into your pajamas! I can tell you from experience it’ll last all day and even through the laundry.
  8. Prevent Frays From Running Away?
    JD Hancock via Flickr

    Having one of those days where not only do you have a run in your hose, but it seems like every bit of clothing has a stray thread? Just keep polishing yourself! Brush the lining of your skirts, jackets and cuffs with clear polish to keep those wisps and frays from turning into a full-blown unraveling. This method also works well for shoe laces that have lost their aglets and for both hair and gift ribbons you’ve cut at home.
  9. Smooth Hangers?
    Keeonb2012 via Wikimedia Commons

    It’s great to know how to fix tears and frays, but isn’t it even better to avoid them in the first place? You can’t control the outside world, but you can take a step toward making your home safe for your clothing. Paint down the splinters with polish to make your wooden and plastic hangers smooth and safe for even your most delicate clothes.
  10. Seal Away Shoe Scuffs?
    Ch Th Jo via Wikimedia Commons

    It wouldn’t make much sense to preserve the tights on your feet if you’re just going to stick them into scuffed shoes, now would it? Rub some polish on the toes and outside back seam of leather shoes to prevent scuffing. Smudge the polish in to diminish the shine and allow to dry fully before wearing.
  11. Shine Your Belt Buckles?
    Life Hackery

    Let’s move up from the feet to the waist and keep this care of accessories going! Fans of belt buckles know they need regular shining, but they also know how quickly that shine can fade, become cloudy, or oxidize. Preserve the shine by coating belt buckles with polish after a good cleaning.

  12. Protect Your Skin?
    Robert Couse-Baker via Flickr

    Your belt buckle’s shining now, but is it bothering your skin? What about the buttons on your jeans? Your jewelry? For people with allergies to nickel or other metals, these things can be painfully irritating. I had a friend in high school who dealt with it by wearing strategically-placed bandages, so I wish I could travel back in time to share this tip! Coat the metal buttons and other fasteners with polish to form a protective barrier and keep your skin irritant free. As with most of the ideas on this list, clear polish is a favorite way to go, but a color can help you determine when you need to apply another coat.
  13. Secure Buttons?
    Even if you’re not allergic, buttons still pose a problem with their determination to fall off of clothes, toys, and anywhere else they might be. Stop the button madness by dabbing some polish on fraying button threads to keep them securely in place. This method also works well to protect delicate pearl buttons and stop costume ones from peeling.
  14. Thread a Needle the Easy Way?
    Life Hackery

    Determined to patch and fix things with some good old-fashioned sewing? Save yourself some time by running the end of your thread through the applicator brush of your nail polish and rolling it between your thumb and finger a few times. You’ll end up with a thread both dry and stiff enough to send through the smallest needle’s eye.
  15. Reset, Redesign and Tarnish-Proof Jewelry?

    Maybe a stone or two has popped out, maybe the color’s faded, or maybe it would be the perfect piece if not for that one detail you’re just not into. Whatever the reason, our costume jewelry often needs rescuing, and the hero is nail polish! Use it as glue to reset loose stones, and use it as paint to brighten up the look or change it entirely. The polish strokes will be invisible and the results will be utterly your own. Once it’s finished, it would be a shame if it didn’t last, right? Keep your costume jewelry shining by applying a clear protective coat.
  16. Repair Lacquered Items?
    Daniel Oines via Flickr

    It’s not just jewelry nail polish can rescue. Turn your attention to your home and any inexpensive lacquered items with a few chips. (Do not try this method with valuable antiques.) Have some fun mixing nail polishes to find the perfect color and paint over the chip for a renewed look.
  17. Get Crafty?
    More about making more decorations than repairing old ones? Use nail polish as paint in your crafting! Life Hackery gives us a great idea for a paperweight:
    1. Find a smooth rock or shell you want to preserve.
    2. Fill a pie pan with 1/2 inch of water and put a drop of nail polish in it, letting it spread over the water’s surface.
    3. Slowly roll the rock in the water, coating the entire surface.
    4. Put on a newspaper to dry.

    Polish also works as a great alternative to glue and paste.

  18. Seal Envelopes?
    Life Hackery

    Keep taking advantage of nail polish’s adhesive qualities by using it to wet and seal envelopes. You’ll never have to worry about licking envelope glue again, and your letters will be nearly impossible to steam open.

  19. Fix a Floor?
    Matt, Flickr

    Sometimes nicks happen not only to our belongings but to the house we put them in, too. If your hardwood floors are nicked from overactive youngsters or pets, fill them in with clear polish, let dry, and sand with 600-grit sandpaper to diminish shine. You can do the same for mirrors, as well!
  20. Cover Up Car Nicks?
    Life Hackery

    Yes, nail polish works as makeshift car paint too! For tiny scratches and nicks, it just doesn’t make sense to ring up a unfair, huge repair bill. Fill in the nicks with matching polish and you’ll forget they’re even there. As a bonus, the polish will prevent the nicks from rusting and enlarging!
  21. Stop a Cracked Windshield?
    For this one, you’ll still have to eventually go to the repair shop, but this tip will allow you to drive in safety until that time. Polish windshield cracks, on both the inside and outside, and let dry in the sun to prevent the crack from spreading. Do the same for the windows in your home, too!
  22. Temporarily Repair Cracked Glasses?
    Life Hackery

    Same magic applies here! If you or your kid is like Harry Potter, perpetually finding himself with cracked eyeglasses, you’ll want to have some nail polish on hand. Paint both sides of the cracked glass to hold it together until you can get to the optician. You can also extend your glasses’ lifespan by painting over the small screws post-tightening.
  23. Keep Your Screws Tight?
    In addition to your eyeglasses, there are screws all over your home in danger of becoming loose. Protect your toilet seat from wobbling and from rusty hinges by painting the screws with two coats of clear polish. If you’re constantly tightening the pull screws in your kitchen cabinets and drawers, brush a little polish on the screw thread, insert the screw and let dry before using. Loose pot handles and machine bolts can also benefit from a protective coating or two.
  24. Rid Your Bathroom of Rust?
    Rust is not only a problem for your toilet hinges, but for the metal canisters of shaving cream, hairspray, mousse and other toiletries that leave rings behind in your shower and medicine cabinet. Keep rust rings from forming by brushing the bottom rim of metal canisters with polish.
  25. Plug a Hole?
    Nail polish can not only take care of little nicks and tears, it can plug up a full blown hole. Specifically, if your cooler has a small hole, seal it up with two coats of polish to keep ice and other liquids from leaking out. If you have an overzealous salt shaker, seal up a few holes in the spice dispenser to better control the flow.
  26. Revive a Fainted Friend?
    You know how in old movies women would start to lose consciousness and call for their smelling salts? Same basic idea here! If you need to revive somebody who’s passed out, wave a nail polish bottle beneath his or her nose. The fumes will help them regain consciousness and make it easier for them to receive medical attention.
  27. Mend a fingernail.
    Anna Karwowska

    At the end of the day, it always comes back to its intended purpose. Nail polish not only makes our nails pretty, it makes them stronger. I’ll simply paint over broken nails with just polish, but Reader’s Digest recommends cutting open a tea bag, pressing the empty bag into the shape of your nail, and sealing it with clear polish to help a broken nail regrow.

However you use it, it’s clear nail polish is a wonderful thing to have around the house! Do you have any additional uses you can recommend? Did any of the ones on this list surprise you?