How to Properly Store Nail Polish – 6 Tips to Make them Last

How To Store Nail Polish
How To Store Nail Polish

Once nail polishes have been opened and used they are prone to get clumpy and even become discolored, which makes the polish hard to apply or in some cases unusable.

Now if your nail polishes are stored correctly you can easily prevent this from happening.

And in this article, I will guide you through how to properly store your nail polish so that they won’t get clumpy and discolored.

But first you need to understand that for your nail polishes to be stored safely for a long time, You need to prevent:

  1. The solvents in the polish from evaporating, this causes the polish to get clumpy and thick.
  2. The colored dyes in the nail polish from degrading, settling and separating, this causes discoloration.
  3. And Gel polishes from curing prematurely.

Tips on How To Properly Store Nail Polish

1- Ensure Bottles are Properly Cleaned & Closed

Always ensure that your nail polish bottles are tightly closed, this prevents the solvents in the polish from evaporating.

Now if you plan to store away your polishes for a long time I would advise that you use some polish remover to clean the neck of your nail polish bottle and the inside of the cap, to allow the cover to screw on tightly.

2- Dont Expose Your Nail Polish Bottles to Heat

Nail Polish will go bad when exposed to heat so it’s preferable that you store your nails polish in a cool environment.

A cool storage area does two things:

  1. Slows down the rate of any possible evaporation of the solvents.
  2. And also reduces any possible degradation of the compounds in the polish which can be accelerated by heat.

3- Store Nail Polishes Away from Sunlight

To increase the longevity of your nail polish they should be stored away from sunlight.

This is especially true for Gel Polishes since if they are exposed to UV light they can cure or harden prematurely rendering them unusable. Citation.

But also regular polishes are at risk too, since UV light can break down the colored dyes in the polish. Citation.

So only have on display polishes that you intend to use often and even if they are on display don’t put them next to a window.

And all polishes that aren’t used regularly should be stored away.

Where to Store Your Nail Polishes Bottles

You should keep your nail polishes in areas that are dark, cool, out of the way and yet easily reached, such as:

  • In a Closet
  • Under a Bed
  • In a designated Drawer or Cabinet

I store my polishes in a cooler and keep it in my closet.

I found a similar to the one I use, you can click to see it on Amazon. What I love about this cooler is that it’s very flat so you can stack things on it or maybe even slide in under your bed.

But you are gonna need to drop a few ice cubes into the cooler to decrease the temperature and also you should avoid constantly opening the cooler. Citation.

4- Keep Them Upright

Always store your nail polish bottles in their upright position do not leave them on their sides.

If you leave it on its side and the polish does harden the bottle will be tough to open.

5- Shake them Up Occasionally

If you are not using your polishes often and you have them stored away, make it a habit to shake up your polishes once a month this is to prevent them from settling and separating.

6- Should You Refrigerate Your Nail Polish

I personally don’t advise storing nail polishes in the fridge

The fridge will make your nail polish extra cold and this means you are gonna need to let it warm up to room temperature before you can use it. And if you do this often what happens is that a constant fluctuation from being very cold to warm can actually degrade the colored dyes in the nail polish.

But for storing your polish for an extended period of time such as 6 months to a year, using a fridge can greatly extend the life of your nail polish.

This is because the cold environment in the fridge prevents the solvents in the polish from evaporating and also slows down the breakdown of the pigmented dyes in the polish.

So you should only refrigerate nail polishes that you don’t wear a lot. If you know you are gonna use a nail polish every week or month don’t put it in the fridge.

Instead, if you have a ice cooler you can store your nail polished inside it, just makes sure you add a few ice cubes inside every week or so.

Where To Avoid Storing Nail Polish Bottles

Avoid placing your nail polishes anywhere that is heated and is exposed to sunlight. Such as:

1- Near Windows

Windows allow a huge amount of UV light and heat to permeate which can affect your nail polish.

2- In the Bathroom

The problem with the bathroom is that the temperature tends to fluctuate widely. It can quickly go from being a moderate temperature to being very hot, all because of a hot shower.

This rapid change in temperature can cause the dyes in your nail polish to breakdown.

3- Anywhere Near an Open Flame or Possible Electrical Spark

Nail polishes are extremely flammable. Citation. And because they are so flammable you should avoid keeping them close to:

  • An open flame; such as a fireplace or a stove
  • An intense heat source; like a heater or ironing area.
  • Any area that is an electrical hazard; like electrical outlets or wiring.

Citations and Research References

Nail Polish

The Chemistry of Nail Polish

Scientific American.com : How a Cooler Works

How to Preserve Your Nail Polish

How Heat Breaks Down Chemicals

Nail Polish Fire Hazard.

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