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DIY Nail Prep Cleanser

DIY Nail Prep Cleanser

Behind the Blog
Nail cleanser

This DIY nail prep solution is made up of two easy-to-find ingredients: >70% isopropyl alcohol and 100% acetone. The isopropyl alcohol removes residue such as oils which prevents nail polish (including gels) from properly adhering to the nail while the acetone quickly removes moisture, which can cause premature lifting of the polish, from the nail beds. These two ingredients essentially create a clean surface to increase the likelihood of longer-lasting polish. (Technically, I’m using the term “remove” very loosely. What really happens is that residue on the nail dissolves in the cleanser, which can then be easily wiped away.)

Effort Medium
basic solutions

Stuff You'll Need



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Tips & Tricks

If you’ve ever struggled with being able to ensure that your nail polish lasts for a long time, chances are that you’re not properly cleansing your nails before application. There are so many different brands of nail cleansers out there (including those that you’ve spent a lot of money on!) that did nothing to help improve the longevity of your nail polish. It’s time that you understand why and figure out what to do about it.

So first of all, let’s recall why we even need to use a nail cleanser (notice I said neeeeed and not some fluffy word like recommend). As you go about your daily life, you pick up lots of dirt and oils on your nails from lotions, cooking, eating…essentially from anything you can imagine. If you apply nail polish without using any cleanser, you’re essentially applying your nail polish over all this grime and not on the nail bed. Since nail polish (including certain gels) are designed to be applied to the natural nail, anything that comes in between your natural nail and the polish prevents proper adhesion and could lead to early lifting or chipping of the nail polish. This is exacerbated when you consider that the moisture in your natural nails can also act as a barrier to proper nail polish adhesion.

With this in mind, numerous companies have come up with very fancy products to make sure that your nails are prepped and ready for nail polish application – including cleansing pads, sprays, and dehydrators. It’s important to remember that every brand of cleanser tries to include ingredients and products to help differentiate them from their competitors.

Thus, while you may like to use pink-hued cleansers that smell like lavender, these extra ingredients actually work against the purpose of nail prep solutions – to improve adhesion between the polish and the nail bed!

Instead of worrying whether a certain brand of nail polish would work with some new, innovative, expensive nail cleanser, this is a cheap, effective DIY nail cleanser that you should be able to use across various brands of polish.

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