Nails that have the perfect shape and length, with no dirt or agnails, make a good impression on people around you.
You feel more confident when your hands are taken care of. There is no feeling of shame during gesturing or demonstrating objects in your hands.
There are a number of procedures that manicure cannot exist without. But, it is these procedures that lead to nail plate damage and onycholysis. We’re talking about removing dirt from under the fingernails.
Today we will tell you how to properly clean nails so that they stay beautiful and healthy.
Ways of cleaning fingernails
Throughout the day we come into contact with hundreds of objects, dust and dirt which get lodged under our fingernails. Sometimes one careless movement is all it takes to get pieces of wood, sand, or edible substances under our fingernails.
But there are times when we intentionally come into contact with dust and dirt, and for some reason we disregard gloves. We’re talking about working in the garden or transplanting indoor plants.
In this case, we’ll have to use a few traditional tips for removing dirt:
- Using soap: this is the best way to clean your nails when you only have 5-10 minutes to spare before a meeting or going out to a public place. Bar soap and warm water are used. The soap should be “scratched” so that it completely fills the space under the nails. Leave this remedy for 2-3 minutes. After that, you need to wash your hands under a stream of warm water. The secret is that by penetrating under the nails, soap “draws” the dirt, and when we wash it under running water, all the dirt get washed away with the soap remains. After the procedure, you need to wipe your hands dry and apply cream;
- With dishwashing liquid or household soap: in the first case you need to wash all the dishes that have accumulated during the day or remained after a big meal. It is important to use a dishwashing detergent that does not negatively affect the skin of the hands, i.e. the soap does not dry it out and does not cause flaking. The longer your hands are in the soapy water, the faster the impurities from under the nails are neutralized. How to clean your nails by scrubbing the laundry? It is advisable to grate solid household soap, and mix it with hot water so that it dissolves completely. Then, soak the dirty clothes in the soapy water and wash them by hand. As in the previous case, the soap will wash away all the dirt that is clogged under the nail plate;
- Using a bath with ammonia and peroxide: in warm water (500 ml) add ammonia (20 ml), hydrogen peroxide (100 ml), dish detergent (3 tablespoons) and mix everything thoroughly. Keep your hands in the bath for 10 minutes. After that, wash your hands under running warm water, and clean all the particles from under the nails with a toothbrush, which you no longer use as intended.
These are mild ways, thanks to which you will quickly get rid of the dirt under the nails.
Appliances for cleaning nails: prohibited
Before diving into how to clean finger nails with one of these tools, we recommend you to think twice, since they can damage the nail plate:
- Orange stick: the most popular tool in the arsenal of manicure professionals and ladies that take care of their hands at home. But it could be the reason for peeling of the nail plate from the skin. It has a large tip, which increases the distance between the skin and the nail plate during cleaning;
- Needle: it is fairly simple to remove dirt from underneath the fingernails with a sharp object. It is just as easy to pierce the skin or the nail from the inside. Even minor damage can be the cause of pain and infection;
- Metal spatulas for treating agnails: you get tools with different tips – lancer, round or oval pusher, or axe-shaped scraper. The nail techs use them to separate the cuticle from the nail plate before cutting it. The working unit of such spatulas is quite large, and if you clean short nails or long nails, you could create cavities between the skin and the nail that will constantly get dirt in it.
It’s best to choose special tools to remove dirt to avoid the smallest of damages.
Appliances for cleaning nails: permitted
Now the main question: how to keep nails clean, and avoid undesired consequences?
Rule #1 – use professional manicure kit tools that are designed for the job.
They have thin, yet durable lobes that can easily remove dust, as well as small particles stuck under the nail plate.
That is, the area between the skin and the nail remains undamaged.
The distinctive features of these tools are:
- high quality material;
- easy maintenance;
- long lifetime.
These include spatulas and fine-tipped files made of corrosion-resistant metal.
Such tools can be sterilized in a concentrated chemical solution or in a hot air oven. They are resistant to aggressive chemical components, temperatures over 180, and corrosion.
Rule #2 – if you do not have special tools, use a nail brush. It can be bought at any specialized store at an affordable price.
The brush has thin, yet quite flexible bristles that quickly and painlessly remove any dirt from underneath the nail plate.
However, you need to prepare for cleaning:
- make a small warm bath. You can add sea salt and essential oils;
- soak your hands in the warm water for 10-15 minutes;
- remove the dirt from under the nails under running warm water.After the procedure, wipe your hands dry and apply cream.
These two methods can be used both in the salon and at home.
Damage to the nail plate and its consequences
Now, a word or two on why you should avoid injury to the nail plate, and the formation of depressions between the nail and the skin.
The first problem is onycholysis. This is an unpleasant and unappealing sight. It is provoked by bacteria that get into exposed lobes. Water is another cause. When exposed to it, the skin becomes soggy and begins to rot, and as a result the bacteria begin to multiply rapidly. The area under the nail becomes yellow, sometimes green or black, in color. Any pressure on the nail causes you to feel discomfort. As a “bonus”, you get an unpleasant smell from the nails.
You can get rid of this ailment in two ways:
- use treatment based on tea tree extract, i.e. oils or lotions. They have an antiseptic effect and rapidly heal the damage. The treatment lasts 3-4 weeks. Apply the oil or lotion with a thin brush under the nail bed several times a day;
- cut the damaged nails to the root, and forget about a full manicure (with gel nail polish) for 1-2 months. The procedure is frustrating, but it will help restore the health of your nails.
The second problem is the peeling of the nail plate, which changes its structure. This is a more serious problem, which should be discussed with a specialist. It is necessary to use medication to eliminate the problem.
Therefore, it is better not to take any chances, and use safe tools to remove dust and dirt from under the nails.
We’ve covered how to clean under your nails in a way that will make the condition of your hands flawless, and avoid various injuries.
Follow our suggestions, and your hands will always be beautiful and healthy!