How to Clean Up Your Manicure




Introduction: How to Clean Up Your Manicure

About: Hi! I'm a slightly feral mountain hermit that likes to be helpful. I do community management at Instructables & Tinkercad. 🙌

No matter how careful I am while painting my nails, I normally end up with nail polish in places it shouldn't be. I always fret over getting the edges of my nails perfect, which can be tricky with an at home manicure. But thankfully it's easy to clean up your manicure and get a professional looking polish job super fast!

In this instructable I'll share a few tips for easy clean up after you polish your nails. These methods should help you remove excess nail polish on and around your cuticles with ease. And it's much more precise than using a q-tip! :D

If you're new to painting your nails, check out my instructable over the best way to do it!

Step 1: What You'll Need:

  • a few paper towels
  • nail polish remover
  • an angled eyeliner brush (like this!)
  • a good moisturizer for your hands

While I don't often use acetone based nail polish to remove polish entirely, it's faster and much easier to use it for spot removal like this. :)

Step 2: Drying, Washing, Moisturizing

Let your nails dry really well - at least 15 minutes after the last coat.

Then wash your hands in warm water for a couple minutes - rub at the excess polish while you wash! The water will keep you from smudging your nails unless you use too much force, so you can remove lots of the excess this way.

(Warm water is pretty much the only way I fix botched toe nail polish - it's super easy to remove the excess at the end of a shower! I just scrub lightly with a wash cloth and BAM - perfect toe nails!)

Once you're done washing, moisturize really well. I'm using hemp hand cream from The Body Shop. I normally put on a couple layers of this. Rub it in well - it should allow a little more of the polish to release from your skin. Plus, you should be nice to your hands after drying them out with nail polish. :P

Step 3: Use the Brush to Remove Excess Polish

Lay down a couple of paper towels, and fold one of them a couple times to use to wipe your brush off.

Pour some nail polish remover into the bottle cap. Dip the brush into it, and squeegee off the excess on the rim of the cap. Drag it along the edges of your nails, cleaning it off on the paper towels after every swipe.

Repeat until you have perfect nails. :D

Make sure to rinse the brush after in warm water - otherwise the acetone will make it stiff and ruin it for the next time!

P.S. Sometimes polish will leave a chalky residue behind even though the color will be gone, but it normally goes away after washing and moisturizing again.

Step 4: Before and After

This is after just a minute or so of clean up - looks much better! :D

And the more you use this technique, the faster you'll get. You can really shape the polish and make it look amazing once you're used to it. This was a bit of a rush job because I was losing sunlight fast. ;)

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    1 year ago

    I love this idea I'm currently out of q tips so if you don't have them glad to know I have another option to try. Thanks for the other tips too.


    7 years ago

    Q Tips are really easy to use. Just put one end in bottle of remover. When that end is used up, just turn it over to the other end.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    When you say: Pour some nail polish into the bottle's cap - you mean np remover, right?


    Reply 7 years ago

    I really like your things


    7 years ago

    Great beauty hack, it worked really well on my nails