New and Improved Uses for Nail Polish | Reader's Digest

New and Improved Uses for Nail Polish

This super item does more than beautify your hands. Learn how to use it for repairs, sewing and more.

from Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things

Protect pearl buttons

Delicate pearl buttons will keep their brand-new sparkle with a protective coat of clear nail polish. It will keep costume pearl buttons from peeling as well.

Make needle threading easier

Do you fumble with your needle and thread, licking and re-licking the frayed thread end until it’s too floppy to go through the eye? Try dragging the cut thread end through the application brush of nail polish once or twice, and then roll the thread end between your thumb and forefinger. It will dry in a second, and your thread end stays stiff enough to thread in a flash. Your sewing box is a great retirement home for a nail color you no longer use.

Prevent frayed fabric from unraveling

Do you have wisps peeking out from the bottom of your skirt? Is the nylon lining of your jacket fraying at the cuffs? You can tame those fraying strays by brushing them into place with some clear nail polish.

Keep ribbons from fraying

The gift is perfect, so make sure the wrapping is just as nice. Brush the cut ends of ribbon with a little clear nail polish to stop them from unraveling. This is also the perfect solution for your little girl’s hair ribbons on special occasions; at least one part of her will stay together all day!

Stop a run in your hose

It’s a helpless feeling, realizing that a small run in your stocking is about to turn into a big embarrassment. Happily you can stop runs permanently and prolong the life of fragile stockings with a dab of clear nail polish. Simply apply polish to each end of a run (no need to remove hose), and let it dry. This invisible fix stops runs, and lasts through hand laundering.

Mend a fingernail

You just split a nail, but don’t have a nail repair kit handy? Grab an unused tea bag instead. Cut the bag open, dump the tea, cut a piece of the bag into the shape of your nail, and cover it with clear nail polish. Press it onto your nail, then apply colored nail polish. You’ll be good to go until the break grows out.

Stop a windshield crack from spreading

If you’ve developed a small crack in your windshield, stop it cold 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 so the windshield can dry. You will eventually need to repair your windshield, but this will give you time to shop around for the best estimate.

Fill small nicks on floors and glass

Have the children been playing hockey on your hardwood floors? Fill those little nicks by dabbing them with some clear nail polish. It will dry shiny, so sand the spot gently with some 600-grit sandpaper. A thick coat of clear nail polish also helps to soften the sharp edge of a nicked mirror or glass pane.

Reset loose jewelry stones

If your jewelry has popped a stone or two, you don’t have to put it in the “play dress-up” box yet. The stone can be reset using a little drop of clear nail polish as the “glue.” It dries quickly, and the repair will be invisible.

Repair lacquered items

Did you chip a favorite lacquered vase or other lacquered item? Try mixing colors of nail polish to match the piece. Paint over the chipped area to make it less noticeable. Caution: You may lower the value of an antique by doing this, so you probably only want to try this with inexpensive items.

Plug a hole in your cooler

A small hole inside your cooler doesn’t make it trash-worthy yet. Seal the hole with two coats of nail polish to hold in ice and other melted substances.

Keep chipped car paint from rusting

If your car suffers small dings and chips, you can keep them from rusting or enlarging by dabbing clear nail polish onto the damaged areas.

Smooth wooden hangers

If you’ve noticed a few splinters or nicks in your wooden hangers, no need to toss them out. Brush some nail polish over the rough edges to smooth the surface again and keep your coat linings safe.

Tighten loose screws

You’re not rough with your drawers and cabinets, but you find yourself tightening certain pull screws once too often. Keep them in place by brushing a little clear polish on the screw threads, insert the screws, and let dry before using again. This is also a great solution if you’ve been keeping a Phillips screwdriver in the kitchen for loose pot handles. You can also use clear nail polish to keep nuts on machine screws or bolts from coming loose, and if you need to take the nuts off, a twist with a wrench will break the seal.

Mend holes in window screens

You notice a small hole has been poked in your window or door screen. If the hole is no more than about 1/4 inch (6 millimeters) in diameter, you can block the bugs and keep the hole from getting bigger by dabbing on a bit of clear nail polish.

Fix torn window shades

Got a little tear in your window shade? Don’t worry. You can usually seal it with a dab of clear nail polish.