10 Things You Never Thought to Do with Nail Polish

Open your medicine cabinet and you'll probably find several half-filled bottles of fingernail polish. Before tossing the containers, try one of these 10 unusual household uses for the beauty staple.

  1. Waterproof Labels

    1/11
    Nail polish labels

    istockphoto.com

    Never again struggle to read smudged or blurred prescription drug labels. By brushing a thin coat of clear nail polish over the label, you’ll protect the lettering from moisture and fading. The same trick works for handwritten mailing labels on envelopes and packages!


    Related: 7 Surprising Alternative Uses for Clorox Bleach

  2. Ward Off Rust Rings

    2/11
    Shaving cream

    istockphoto.com

    Have you ever discovered a dirty ring underneath a can of shaving cream or aerosol hairspray? That’s because metal on the bottom of some cans may rust when exposed to water, and that rust can transfer onto surfaces and cause staining––unless you first coat the metal with fingernail polish.


    Related: Your Guide to Solving 8 Notorious Holiday Stains

  3. Keep Snagged Fabrics from Fraying

    3/11
    Fabric snag

    istockphoto.com

    Curtains, upholstered pillows, and other fabrics often fall victim to snags––and these loosened threads can lead to fraying and unraveling. As soon as you discover a snag, smooth out the fabric and dab clear fingernail polish on the affected area. Wait for the polish to dry, then snip off any protruding bits of thread to stop the fray.


    Related: 9 Smart Hacks for Laundry Day

  4. Camouflage Scratches in Leather

    4/11
    Leather scratches

    istockphoto.com

    If your cat sharpened his claws on your leather chair, you may find tiny gouges that stand out like a sore thumb. Camouflage the scratches with nail polish in a color that matches the leather. Use a toothpick to carefully dab tiny bits of the lacquer into any imperfections.


    Related: The Best Armchairs You Can Buy on a Budget

  5. Slow Down a Windshield Crack

    5/11
    Windshield crack

    istockphoto.com

    Slow down the progress of a small windshield crack by painting the ends of the crevice with clear nail polish. The lacquer will seep slightly into the crack and act as an adhesive, buying you some time before you need a window replacement.


    Related: 13 Hacks Every Car Owner Should Know

  6. Prevent Rust on Toilet Seat Screws

    6/11
    Rusty toilet screws

    istockphoto.com

    Nothing detracts from a clean commode more than rusted toilet seat screws, which make the entire bathroom feel dingy. After you put in a new toilet seat, coat the screws with clear fingernail polish to keep them looking fresh. If an already-installed seat shows signs of rust, use a rust and calcium cleaner to remove all traces of corrosion, then coat the screws with clear polish.


    Related: 10 Things Never to Flush Down the Toilet

  7. Repair Chipped Tile

    7/11
    Chipped tile

    istockphoto.com

    One small bump with a sharp object can chip a tiled tub or backsplash. Instead of calling a tile setter, grab a bottle of nail polish in a shade that matches the existing tile, then dab it over the chip (taking care not to get any polish on undamaged portions of the tile). You may have to apply multiple coats to cover the chip sufficiently.


    Related: 16 New Reasons to Love Subway Tile

  8. Tighten Loose Screws

    8/11
    Rusted screw

    istockphoto.com

    If you’ve got a screw that keeps coming loose, it’s time to grab the nail polish. Remove the screw and brush away any loose bits of wood or fibers, then dab nail polish liberally on the tip of the screw before reinserting it. The polish will serve as an adhesive to hold the screw tightly in place.


    Related: 9 Ways to Use Cork Around the House

  9. Stop Car Scratches from Rusting

    9/11
    Car rust

    istockphoto.com

    Your car’s clear coat offers a layer of protection, but if the exterior suffers a deep scratch, rust is on the way. Instead of giving your vehicle a new paint job, stop rust in its tracks with a bit of nail polish. Choose a color that closely matches your car’s exterior, and dab it directly on the scratch to make it less noticeable and prevent rust.


    Related: 15 Genius Tricks for Keeping Your Car Clean

  10. Mend a Torn Screen

    10/11
    Window screen

    istockphoto.com

    Window screens help keep insects at bay, but unfortunately, they’re easy to tear. Homeowners can stop a small rip from spreading with a bit of clear fingernail polish. Simply align the torn edges of the screen and brush on two or three coats of clear polish, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next.


    Related: 9 Brilliant Cleaning Hacks Everyone Should Know

  11. More Maintenance Miracles

    11/11
    10 things to do with nail polish

    istockphoto.com

    Take a gander at what else is inside your medicine cabinet. Chances are that most of your toiletry items also work as quick fixes for common household repairs. So the next time you need a maintenance remedy make sure you check the bathroom before running out to the store.

  12. See the House of the Week

    Hotw600x450

    Discover and admire beautiful and innovative home architecture, from grand Victorians to quaint cabins and all the styles in between. Take a look at the latest images and inspiration!