Nail Polish Fixes for Thick or Sticky Polish
by Katelyn Cheek and Caroline Harris
Don’t let thick or gloppy nail polish ruin your mani or pedi. We have the tips and tricks you need to rescue tired polish and to prevent the problem from happening in the first place.
If you paint your own nails at home, chances are some of your favorite polishes have become hard to open, too thick, or difficult to apply. But you don’t have to toss out your old favorite polishes. Study up on key techniques for salvaging your nail polish.
Polish Rescue: What To Do When Your Favorite Polish Has Become Sticky and Hard to Apply
It’s a sad day when you reach into your nail polish collection, only to discover that your favorite shade is now a gloppy mess. Don’t despair. Follow these dos and don’ts to remedy the situation.
– Try a nail lacquer thinner. At around $5 to $12 per bottle, this cost-efficient method is the way to go. Apply two to three drops of solution to your polish.
– Instead of shaking your polish, roll it. Shaking a bottle of nail polish creates air bubbles. The air bubbles cause your polish to chip quickly, and you don’t want that.
– Never use nail polish remover to thin your thick, sticky nail polish. While it may seem like a quick fix, adding nail polish will eventually break down the formula and ruin the polish.
– If you don’t have access to lacquer thinner and need a quick fix, try hot water. Run your bottle under hot water to heat up the polish. This will temporarily thin the formula. After a minute or two under the hot water, roll the polish between your hands. Be careful because the glass bottle can get very hot. Repeat this process until your polish is a good consistency.
– After following these tips, you can embrace your best nail life!
Prevention: How to Keep Your Nail Polish From Becoming Gloppy
Of course, the ideal is to prevent your nail polish from becoming gloppy in the first place. Here’s how.
– Make sure to store polish in a cool, climate-controlled area. Your bathroom is actually not a good place to store your polish. It’s constantly heating up and cooling off because of your blow dryer and shower. These temperature shifts can be costly.
– The easiest way to prevent your nail polish from drying out is by storing your bottles right side up. Don’t store them upside down; it can cause clumps and drying at the neck of the bottle.
– Keep the neck of your nail polish bottle clean by wiping it with a cotton ball soaked in nail polish remover. This will allow your bottle to close properly and prevent air from getting inside.
– Always tighten your polish bottle and never leave the lid off for longer than necessary. Exposing your polish to air is one of the leading reasons your polish thickens.
– Invest in a smart storage solution, like one of these nail polish organizers. Consolidating your polishes in one place will help prevent any possible mishaps. Plus, when it’s mani-pedi time, you’ll know exactly where to find your favorite shades. If you have tons of polishes, consider splurging on a nail rack to display your collection.
Below, shop the best nail polish thinners for restoring the consistency of your favorite nail polishes.
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.