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How to Clean Nail Files

author image Kay Ireland
Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.
How to Clean Nail Files
Woman filing her nails Photo Credit: purple_queue/iStock/Getty Images

Nail files can help you smooth and shape your nails so they don't snag or peel. Traditional cardboard nail files are meant for one or two uses; they can't be washed, and using one too many times could promote the spread of bacteria on and under the nail. By choosing a glass, acrylic or metal nail file, you're investing in a long-lasting nail file that can be washed after each use to reduce bacteria exposure.

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Step 1

Fill your sink with warm to hot water, and add a few drops of antibacterial soap. Swish the water to agitate the soap and create suds.

Step 2

Drop in your nail file. Remember that only acrylic, glass and metal nail files can be washed, while cardboard and foam nail files will deteriorate when wet and cannot be sterilized. Toss your cardboard files after each use, especially when you suffer from an infection or nail fungus.

Step 3

Scrub the nail file with a nail brush. Load the nail brush with antibacterial soap and scrub it back and forth against the gritty surface of the nail file. Make sure you also scrub the handle to remove any surface bacteria.

Step 4

Drain the sink and rinse the nail file with clean water to remove all soap. Soap scum on the nail file could cause it be less effective.

Step 5

Lay the nail file on a clean towel to dry.

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