8 Surprising Household Items for Perfect Nails

Fresh ideas for beautifully manicured fingers and toes.

from Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things

Bath Oil

Heat 1/2 cup bath oil mixed with 1/2 cup water on High in your microwave for 30 seconds. Place the solution in a deep bowl and soak your fingers or toes in it for 10-15 minutes to soften cuticles or calluses. After drying, use a pumice stone to smooth over calluses or a file to push down cuticles. Follow up by rubbing in hand cream until fully absorbed.

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Castor Oil

If you were ever forced to swallow castor oil as a child, this may be a pleasant surprise: The high vitamin-E content of that awful-tasting thick oil can work wonders on brittle nails and ragged cuticles. And you don’t have to swallow the stuff. Just massage a small amount on your cuticles and nails each day and within three months you will have supple cuticles and healthy nails.

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Cooking Spray

Need your nail polish to dry in a hurry? Spray it with a coat of cooking spray and let dry. The spray is also a great moisturizer for your hands.

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Film Canisters

Create a small, spill-proof carry case for nail polish remover by tucking a small piece of sponge into a plastic film canister. Saturate the sponge with polish remover and snap on the lid. For an emergency repair, simply insert a finger and rub the nail against the fluid-soaked sponge to remove the polish.

Lemons

Pamper your fingernails without the help of a manicurist. Add the juice of 1/2 lemon to 1 cup warm water and soak your fingertips in the mixture for 5 minutes. After pushing back the cuticles, rub some lemon peel back and forth against the nail.

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Mayonnaise

To add some oomph to your fingernails, just plunge them into a bowl of mayonnaise every so often. Keep them bathed in the mayo for about 5 minutes and then wash with warm water.

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Petroleum Jelly

During home manicures, it’s hard to keep the nail polish from running over on your cuticles. Petroleum jelly can help your manicures look more professional. Dab some along the base of your nails and the sides. If polish seeps off the nail during the manicure, all you do is wipe off the petroleum jelly and the sloppy nail polish is gone.

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Vinegar

  • You can soften the cuticles on your fingers and toes before manicuring them by soaking your digits in a bowl of undiluted white vinegar for five minutes.
  • Your nail polish will have a longer life expectancy if you first dampen your nails with some vinegar on a cotton ball and let it dry before applying your favorite polish.See more uses for Vinegar.