Reusing and recycling nail polish – don’t waste money you’ve already spent

Nail polish isn’t the nicest stuff for the planet, and even though you can now get acetone-free polishes with an environmentally friendly vegan formula, chances are you’ve still got some old bottles hanging around. Did you know you’re not supposed to throw them away, and you can’t recycle the glass without cleaning out the bottles first?

We’ve had a think and put together some simple ways you could reuse, revamp or recycle old polishes. If you’re painting a plastic or other surface, it’s always best to check an area you won’t see with a small dot first as some plastics are melted by nail polish, eg, polystyrene.

If you still have polish to use up, you could:

  • Use it for crafts, like revamping a photo frame
  • Use small amounts for nail art
  • Use a drop to stop a ladder in tights
  • Seal costume jewellery with it to stop your skin turning green
  • Seal the threads on buttons to stop them coming loose
  • Repaint chipped Christmas ornaments
  • Colour-code things, eg, keys
  • Paint raw fabric edges to prevent fraying
  • Drop and let dry on wax paper to create coloured craft beads
  • Fix up any scuffs on shoes, eg, an old patent leather pair with black glossy polish
  • Add old eyeshadow to an old, clear polish to make a new matte colour

If your bottle’s empty, you can peel off the label and clean it up with a bit of nail polish remover and a cotton ball, and then either reuse the bottle, or put it in with your glass recycling.

If you're clearing out your beauty stash, it's worth checking whether you can exchange your old containers for beauty freebies, see my blog on How to bag free £17.50 lipstick and other skincare rewards for recycling to find out more.

Have you got any more ideas on how to reuse or recycle nail polish? Let us know in the comments, on Twitter, or Facebook.