I have been doing some experiments with removing nail staining. I never had stained nails before this past year. I used to buff my nails monthly with occasional touch ups to combat staining caused by problem polishes. When I discovered that buffing ultimately weakens nails, I stopped entirely. This was positive in the sense that my nails have been more resistant to cracks and tears. I haven't had damage that couldn't be held together with a patch in over a year. The difficulty has been that my nails were becoming increasingly stained.
I think I was in denial about the coloring of my nails. Here is a simple test to define the severity of staining you are facing. Find these objects: a sheet of white printer paper, a stick of butter and a jar of mustard. See which of the three colors compare closest to the tones in your nails when you are not wearing polish. This isn't about judgement, but you may need to soak your nails in Polident.
Your level of staining will determine whether Polident is going to function for total stain removal or as a preventative for future staining as your nails grow out. If you have deep yellow or orange tones in your nails, you will likely need to be patient as the most stained areas grow and are filed off. The good news is you will not have to live with staining long term.
Here is how I use Polident for stain removal. I heat water on the stove and remove it before it begins to boil. I pour 2 cups/16 ounces into a shallow dish. I use a flat square plastic container that is heat resistant. You will want to make sure the water level is not more than half the depth of the container you choose. You will need room to comfortably soak all ten nails at once. Drop in four Polident tablets. Wait a minute or two for them to dissolve. Test the water until it becomes an agreeable temperature. Soak for 15 minutes and follow with a thorough hand washing with soap and water.
Although fifteen minutes might seem like an extended amount of time, it can be relaxing to watch part of a movie or a television program while your nails soak. You can keep a towel nearby if you need to remove your hands for a moment. Make sure you have a clock within eye view.
An important tip is to begin your soak with dry nails. Your nails will absorb 2o to 25 % of their weight in water. It takes hours for thoroughly wet nails to be fully dry. Beginning the soak with dry nails is essential. If your nails are already engorged with water, there will be less room for the effective ingredients to do their work of stain removal. For the same reason, wait until after your soak to moisturize.
I noticed minimal change after the initial soak and much improvement after the third attempt. I will be using Polident as a weekly treatment until my nails are completely grown out. The lower third of each nail looks pink and bright. The upper two thirds still need attention.
Feel free to experiment with different soaking times, especially if your nails have minimal staining. You may require fewer tablets as well. The package directions show one tablet, but for a much lesser amount of water than I am using to soak all 10 nails. It's something to keep in mind when factoring your individual needs for stain removal.
I am also going to be doing a post about using lemons for stain removal in the near future.
Have any of you also experienced nail staining? What are your favorite remedies?
Happy painting, ladies!