10 Incredible Home Uses for Nail Polish

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Once upon a time, nail polish was purely decorative. But because humans are nothing if not creative, we've found dozens of uses for simple nail polish. It's cheap, widely available, comes in just about every shade you can imagine and can actually solve some of your biggest minor annoyances. Work some magic around your home, then reward yourself with a relaxing DIY manicure.

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1. Prevent Jewelry From Turning Skin Green

You should be able to take off your rings at the end of the day. So if a green ring remains around your finger long after you've removed your jewelry, it's time to make a change. Even good-quality silver rings can leave behind green marks on your fingers. Prevent it from happening again by coating the inside of any offending rings with clear polish.

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2. Label Your Keys

We've all been there. It's dark, you're tired, you're carrying eight grocery bags in one hand and you just want to get your front door open.... but first, you have to examine all 12 keys on your key ring to figure out which one is which. If you carry around a bunch of keys that all look similar, use dots of different colored nail polish to distinguish which one is which. You can even paint small letters on them; FD for front door, SD for side door, etc.

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3. Prevent Shoelaces From Fraying

If you want to look good from head to toe, even minor details matter. Frayed shoelaces simply won't do. Wrapping clear tape around the aglets (the pieces at the ends of the laces) won't work long term. Instead, swipe clear nail polish around the aglets to keep them from disintegrating. Or, if you're open to adding a pop of vibrancy to your favorite kicks, use colored polish.

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4. Keep Loose Screws in Place

One uncooperative screw in an item you use frequently can irritate you every day. Keep loose screws in place by painting over the area with clear nail polish. This isn't a solution for fixing wobbly furniture or for tackling any other heavy-duty building issues. But for smaller or decorative items, or even the tiny screws on your glasses, clear polish can save the day.

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5. Waterproof Your Matches

A waterlogged match is basically just a useless twig. Before your next adventure into the great outdoors, waterproof your matches using clear nail polish. Either paint the head of the match with a layer of clear polish, or dip the matches themselves into the bottle. Prop them up to let them air dry.

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6. Remove Splinters

Ouch!​ It's incredible how irritating and painful a tiny sliver can be, and digging around with tweezers only makes things worse. Instead, put a drop of clear nail polish over the splintered area and let it dry. When you peel the polish off your skin, with some luck the splinter will come, too.

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7. Camouflage Chips and Scrapes

Why spend hundreds on new furniture when you can pick things up from garage sales for cheap? Oh, right — because older pieces tend to show their age in the form of scrapes, chips and scratches. Before you turn your back on a dinged old side table, consider whether you can use nail polish to camouflage any of those noticeable spots. Considering the wide array of available shades, you might be able to find a perfect match.

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8. Mark Temperature Levels

You have radio presets in your car; why not make presets for your shower faucet? Instead of repeatedly adjusting the faucet until it reaches your ideal temperature, find the perfect temperature once and make a small mark with nail polish to denote where the handle should be. Then, at the start of every shower, move the handle to that perfect spot before you step in.

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9. Color Code Kids' Stuff

It's a universal truth that when you get two or more children in a room together, they're going to fight over something. Eliminate some of the "that's mine!" and "no, it's MINE!" squabbling by using nail polish to color code some of their belongings. Assign each kid a color and put small dots of that colored polish on each child's toys, books, utensils or whatever else they tend to fight about. There can be no more disputes about whose sunglasses are whose when all you have to do is check the dot. Ah, peace at last (or for the next 10 seconds, at least).

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10. Add Patterns to Phone Cases

You're an individual, so your phone case shouldn't be generic. Embrace your inner artist by creating nail polish patterns and designs on a simple plastic phone case. Use a combination of matte and metallic polishes to give the design plenty of visual interest and texture. Kids and teens will be thrilled to get permission to decorate their own phone cases this way.

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