Best Way to Clean Under Nails (Explained)
This article will discuss everything you need to know about about nail cleaning and the best way to clean under nails.
People always forget to clean under their nails when washing hands risking getting infections from the germs and dirt that accumulates under both short and long nails.
The hygiene of under your nails is something you should always consider whenever washing your hands.
To help you do this, here are the things you should always follow to clean under your nails.
What’s The Best Way to Clean under Nails?
In order to clean under your nails well, dip them in lukewarm water only because if you use water that is either cold or hot, it will dry your nails and skin.
Once the nails are under the water, take a nail stick which is made of wood and is also called orange stick and use its pointed end to remove dirt and germs that is under your nails.
When you see that there is dirt deep under the nail, you should be careful not to forcefully push the sharp end of the nail stick as it can pierce the skin leader to an injury that may lead to an infection.
The best thing to use is a soft, pliable washcloth as it can squeeze water or soap and remove that dirt without injuring your skin.
This is done by foaming the washcloth using a soap or detergent and then placing it over the nails with one hand grabbing the washcloth.
To remove the dirt, push the fingertips of your other hand into the center of the washcloth and rub them for a few minutes up to a point you no longer see the grime.
After that, soak your hands in warm water with soap for half an hour and you can do this by watching your favorite TV show or movie and once it’s done, use a nail stick to clean the remaining dirt from your under nails.
For people who always do jobs involving handling of grease, using soaps that degrade grease such as Dawn is the best way to clean under nails.
How Do I Take Care Of My Nails Properly?
For you to take care of your nails in a proper manner, you will need a nail care culture involving moisturizing, washing and drying routine, after all this will never consume much of your time.
The following are the guidelines on how to keep nails free of germs and dirt for them to stay health.
Follow the below steps initially.
- Trim your nails short but don’t over trim them as they can be infected.
- During shower time, make sure that water and soap reaches under your nails to remove any germs or dirt.
- Always make sure your hands are dry to avoid getting damp and develop fungal infection.
- The cuticles of your nails must always be moisturized with the recommended moisturizers and creams for cuticles. You should also avoid using perfumed products that can cause irritation whenever you have tiny paper cuts or hangnails.
Should I Use A Nail Brush?
A nail brush can be used to clean under the nails but with a lot of caution and care. A lot of research has been carried on the cleaning of under nails using nail brushes.
For instance according to a study done by Johnson on Hospital infection indicates that there is no discrepancy between nail hygiene and health in cleaning where nail brushes are not used or whether used.
What you should know is that using a nail brush which is not well cleaned to remove dirt from your under nails risks spreading infections.
This is because when using a nail brush, its bristles scratches the surface around the nails in this case the skin and cuticles making the skin permeable to bacteria.
There are people who like using a nail brush and if you are one of them, there is no cause for alarm since there are preventive measures you can take to avoid getting infected.
The most important thing is always ensuring that the nail brush you used is properly cleaned and sterilized or sanitized. After cleaning your nails, don’t forget to clean all your nail tools including nail brushes.
By now you might have come across a blue solution in your favorite nail and hair salon where tools such as combs and brushes being used in many different clients are soaked.
The solution is called Barbacide and you can get them in any store that sells beauty care products. If you can’t find it, alcohol can be your alternative.
A nail brush can stay submerged in any of the two solutions without losing quality and strength but in order to keep it last longer, you should clean your nails as recommended that is running the brush side to side and not pushing the bristles forcefully deep into the under nails.
Why Do My Nails Get So Dirty?
Even though germs and dirt will always find their way and accumulate under the nails of everyone, it can only be prevented from going extreme since the issue is unavoidable.
In other people more so those who do jobs that involves using their hands in dirt, their under nails always get stuck with dirt and are not easy to clean.
This is because it depends on the type of nails a person has. For those with nails that are brittle and dry or those that crack/split easily, they will become dirty and collect more dirt under them.
The best way to clean them is by first healing them and the cuticles including the skin around the affected nails.
You can do this by protecting nails with the help of the best nail hardeners and fibers that strengthens the nail so as to ensure the surface or outside of the nails is well fortified.
These nail strengtheners once they dry will combine to form a protective layer/shield that protects the nails from splitting or cracking.
Another way to harden your nails is using a clear nylon coat or silk wraps. Nail technician can apply them on your nails using clear coating or glue after which the nails are polished.
They will form a strong layer that shields the nails from other elements that cause cracks. Mostly, people use them to have to reinforce their natural nails as well as an option for those who do not want fake nails.
Alternatively, you can consider the available vitamins that help in strengthening of nails. Such vitamins are commonly used to harden natural nails that have been thinned by acrylics and gels.
The other way to keep your under nails clean is putting on gloves when handling or doing a work that involves getting dirty.
How Do I Clean Long Nails?
The best way to clean under nails that are long involves a process that is much easier that those that are short. For you to clean them well, turn the hands and start brushing them over beginning from the base to the tips and from one side to the other.
You must always clean long nails since they collect more germs and dirt as compared to short nails.
This is because long nails are often used in doing many tasks including scratching and itchy skin, opening cans and many other things that make them pick dirt under them. Another issue is that dirt is invisible in long, polished nails as compared to dirt in short, unpolished nails.
Another danger of having dirty nails that are long is that you risk passing pathogens to your body that may cause infections. That means, dirty nails is not only an aesthetic concern but also a healthy issue that must be carefully addressed.
The good thing is that cleaning long nails is an easy task thanks to the long, broad surface that enables you start from the nail tips after soaking them in a mild soap.
When you are done cleaning the top surface of the nails, turn over to the underside to check for any change in color or signs of a fungal infection. You can then clean again by running the nail brush from one side to the other.
If in case you noticed there is change in color either of black, yellow, or gray, that is the sign of fungal infection and you will have to neutralize the growth and spread immediately. Fungicides created for nails are available for you to utilize but if you find that the growth has gone deeper, you should pay a visit to the doctor.
If the infection is still small, you can treat it at home by applying the fungicide as well as stopping the use of any nail strengthener or polish until the fungus disappears.
If there is no change after applying the treatment, that means it’s time for you to go to a hospital.
It is also recommended that acrylics, gels or any other forms of treating nails be removed or halted until you are sure that the fungal problem has been contained.
What Is The Dirt Under My Nails Made Of?
The dirt under your nails may come from different items you handle ranging from garden, house chores, garage or your own body.
The dirt color helps to identify their nature and the threat it poses on the health of your nails. Brown dirt under your nails may indicate the presence of garden dirt.
Other types of dirt are lint or body care products such as make up, lotions and creams which you use to apply on your body.
There is also keratin a traces or dead cell of the nail bed that shades every month or the ones your nails collects when you scratch itchy skin.
A change in color of the under nails means there is fungal infection. Green or yellow colors shows that the fungus has developed to extreme and homecare treatment will not help you.
It’s a sign that you need to seek medical attention. Brown or gray color on the other hand means the fungus is on the early stages of development and you can treat it at home.
Keeping your hands wet and damp for a long period will lead to fungal infection that will attack your nails. People who do jobs that keeps their hands in water or wet for the better part of the day are advised to always use antifungal and also get white or cleat coating in their nails so as to help identify any infection as early as possible.
How Do I Clean The Dirt From Under My Toenails?
Dirt can be removed from under your nails with the help of a nail stick commonly referred to as orange stick and washcloth.
Nail stick digs out the dirt while the washcloth squeezes or wipes the out of the nail bed. Toenails are the type of nails that are most vulnerable to under nail dirt and fungal infection.
This is because the warmth and dirt from dress and closed-toe shoes or sneakers gives a favorable environment that is a breeding ground for fungi.
Steps to Cleaning Dirt from Your Toenails
The first thing you need when removing dirt under toenails is a foot soak of high quality. It is easy to find one because there are naturally made types available.
The best however is a foot soak that has Epsom salt. This type of salt absorbs toxins that cause fungal infection from your toes and feet.
The process of cleaning toenails is similar to that of nail fingers. You should soak them until they develop wrinkles or prunes.
At this stage, the skin neat toenails turn soft and nice and will be easy when cleaning. Simply used a nail stick to push the cuticle back and then trim the cuticles that are dead.
If you don’t know how a dead cuticle looks, check their color, those that are dead have a lighter or white color unlike the other parts of the skin.
After you have trimmed the cuticles, take the orange stick and use the sharp end to clean the under toenail. While doing this, do not use too much force that can pierce the nail bed as this can cause an infection that will worsen the health your toenails.
The reason I say you should be careful is because the nail bed is made of a soft skin that will easily be injured. Cleaning of under toenail is procedure that happens naturally, do not force the dirt out just take your time and be patient.
How Do I Use A Washcloth To Clean Under My Toenails?
If you do not have a nail stick, washcloth is another alternative for use in removing dirt from under toenails.
This is specifically for dirt that have accumulated deep in the nail bed line caused by the shoes pushing them up there while you are walking.
To start removing the dirt, you must first soak your feet and then take a washcloth and apply soap on it. The soap you use should be the one that degrades or removes grease.
For people with delicate skin that reacts to such types of soaps, it is recommended that they use soaps that are free of perfumes.
Hold the washcloth and move it from one side to another for the soap to squeeze under your toenails after which you start massaging every toe one after the other using your washcloth.
Do this for a period of 30 minutes so as to get the dirt out of the nail bed. You can also use a nail stick at this point.
Can I Use Toenail Clippers To Get The Dirt From Under My Toenails?
Yes it is very possible to remove dirt from under your toenails using toenail clippers but you must be careful when the toenails have black, yellow or gray color as this indicates a fungal infection.
You should also check if the tips of your toenails are thick since that is a signal of extreme fungal infection that needs medical examination by a doctor. This issue however mostly affects the elderly.
When using nail clippers to remove dirt, it is advised to let the nails to grow long first before starting to clip them. This is because as they grow long, it does with the dirt pushing them towards the tip.
Another thing to note is to be careful not to injure yourself when trimming nails with dirt to prevent infections.
In order to have nails that are healthy, you must maintain them properly. Cleaning and removing dirt from under nails will leave your nails clean and health as well as preventing fungal infections.