DIY Repurposing

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.
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Waterproof Labels

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

Ward Off Rust Rings

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

Keep Snagged Fabrics from Fraying

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

Camouflage Scratches in Leather

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

Slow Down a Windshield Crack

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

Prevent Rust on Toilet Seat Screws

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

Repair Chipped Tile

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

Tighten Loose Screws

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

Stop Car Scratches from Rusting

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

Mend a Torn Screen

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

More Maintenance Miracles

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.