How to Clean Under Your Nails
Our hands go through a lot every day, and we inevitably pick up dirt and debris under the nails. In a 2018 study published by the Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology, it was found that a large percentage of people have Staphylococcus and Acinetobacter bacteria under their nails. If this isn’t a reason to go urgh, I don’t know what is!
Cleaning under our nails, then, is important, but it needs to be done carefully as any damage to the skin can result in a nasty infection. Apart from the infection part, beautiful, looked-after hands and nails are the staple of a woman’s charm and elegance and the inspiration behind many poems about beauty. After all, Petrarch has never written a work of art inspired by a woman’s dirty unkempt fingernails.
The best method to clean under your nails is to use the tip of the pick on a pair of nail clippers when your nails are dry. Removing dry debris is far easier than once it’s wet. Then, using a mild soap and warm water, wash your hands thoroughly. It’s always best to avoid harsh paraben based soaps as they can leave your nails brittle and dry.
Follow this by soaking your nails in a bowl of warm, soapy water for a couple of minutes to soften them, and then using a nail brush, give them a good scrub. Dry them thoroughly and apply some moisturizer.
There are a couple of really good hacks to keep your nails looking, and feeling, great.
- Once a week, for beautifully clean nails, mix up a paste of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Use about 2 ½ tablespoons of baking powder to 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide and spread the paste on top of, and underneath, your nails. Leave it on for a couple of minutes, then rinse and dry thoroughly. Whitening toothpaste does the same job and is easier, leaving your nails smelling minty fresh!
- If your nails look yellow, rub half a lemon over them once every few days. Alternatively, use a dropper and place a drop of pure tea tree essential oil on each nail, leaving it in place for a few minutes, before rinsing.
- Soaking your nails in a bowl of apple cider vinegar for about five minutes can also help to remove stubborn stains.
- Denture cleaning solutions are a surprisingly good nail hack, and a soak in a bowl with a couple of tablets dissolved in warm water can really clean up stained nails.
There are lots of great ways to keep your nails looking good, and regularly cleaning your nails prevents infections, reduces brittleness, and increases the longevity of any polish you use.
There’s plenty more nail cleaning hacks here: