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With many nail salons still closed, you might be wondering how you should go about cleaning your nails at home. And even though it’s always nice to go to a professional, this is definitely something that you can do on your own with the right tools and products — and it will even save you a few bucks in the meantime as we patiently wait to go to nail salons again. So here’s how to clean your nails at home that will leave them feeling just as squeaky clean as they do when you go to the salon:

Scrape

The first step to properly cleaning your nails is to scrape out any dirt underneath them. You can do this with the nail pick that’s attached to many types of basic nail clippers. You could also use an orange stick that’s commonly used to do nail designs if you have some on-hand. In order to really clean them properly, you need good light so do this underneath the bright light in your bathroom. This is also a great time to trim your nails if needed — and remember that shorter nails are easier to clean and maintain! 

Wash

After you have sufficiently scraped all the dirt and grime from underneath your nails, you need to wash your hands with gentle soap and warm water. This process helps remove any additional debris left on your skin from scraping. After washing, gently dry your hands with a soft towel. 

Soak

After washing, you need to soak your nails in warm soapy water. I know what you’re thinking — didn’t I just wash my hands with warm soapy water? Why do I have to do it again? Well, this is because soaking has a totally different purpose than washing. The purpose of soaking is to actually soften your nails up and make them easier to work with while also making it less likely that they’ll chip or break when you move on to the next step. You only need to soak your fingertips and nails (not your entire hand) for three minutes. Once you’re done with that, it’s time for the next step! 

Scrub

After soaking, it’s time to scrub! The best thing to use for this is a nail brush. However, if you don’t have a nail brush at home, you can use an extra toothbrush and just add it to your manicure kit for future cleanings. Use the brush to moderately scrub all over your nails so that they are squeaky clean! And even though you previously scraped underneath your nails, you still need to scrub underneath them with the brush as well just to make sure that they are 100% clean and beautiful! After scrubbing, dry your hands with a gentle hand towel. 

Wash (Again)

We promise that this step isn’t redundant! It’s necessary to wash your hands again at this point to remove any extra debris from the scrubbing that may have moved onto your actual hands. You don’t have to wash them like you’re scrubbing in for surgery, but do give them a good rinse. 

Moisturize

After the final wash, you might think that you’re all done — but you’re not! The last important step is to moisturize your nails. You can either use something like a lotion or even petroleum jelly, or you can use an actual cuticle oil that has been specially formulated for nails. In any case, this is key to maintaining nail strength and health so it should not be skipped! 

This might seem like a lot, but we promise it’s not that hard! In fact, it can be done in about 10 minutes. That’s really a small price to pay for clean, tailored, and healthy nails without the salon price tag. 

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