Ugh, dirty nails. They followed me all throughout high school. Even after moving out from home, I couldn’t seem to keep them clean. It was baffling, really.

I took care of my nails and cut them regularly. I cleaned them aaaall the time. And still, my nails seemed to get dirty so fast, I simply couldn’t keep up!

Why did other people manage to go through life looking well taken care of and my nails seemed to magnetically attract dirt? My fingernails were always dirty!

This might seem like a small problem to have. But as an adolescent who wanted to be taken seriously, dirty nails simply didn’t work for me. So I set out to find a solution.

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Disclosure: Some of the links below are so-called provision links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I can earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Why is it that I always have dirt under my fingernails?!

My first step was to investigate why and how nails get dirty, to begin with.

Obviously, the easiest way to get dirty nails is to dig in the dirt with your hands. Everyone knows that.

But how do your nails get grubby when you are just out and about in the city?

Well, the answer is as easy as enlightening: Your nails have teeny tiny fibers. Any dirt and dust that comes by any of those fibers says “Hey, that’s a nice looking fiber. Let me stick to that.”

And bam! You look down on your hands and see this dark little half moon under your nail.

How to get rid of dirty finger nails

So the next step is to find a solution to the nails getting dirty. If dirt gets stuck to those little fibers, what could we do to prevent this from happening?

The answer is easy: Get rid of as many of those little fibers as you can.

No, I am not talking about getting rid of your nails. That would be a little drastic.

I am talking about evening out our nail surface so much that any filthy particles will have a hard time sticking to it.

You might not be aware of it, but many tools used in daily nail care actually roughen up the nail edge.

Cutting your nails? Better stop doing it altogether.

Filing your nails with a metal file? Big nope!

Instead, start using something that will polish the nail’s edge as much as possible.

Prevent dirty nails by switching to a glass file

The material that will assist you best in getting rid of dirty nails is glass. So your next step is getting rid of all your metal nail care tools and buying a glass file*.

Remember, no more cutting your nails! And definitely no cleaning your nails with anything metal!

Everything that touches your nails from now on is the glass nail file like this one*!

For bonus points try to always file your nails in the same direction. But to be completely honest, I don’t do that when I’m in a hurry, and my nails still look like I take good care of them. Finally! Goodbye dirty fingernails!

How to clean under your nails

Another tip for keeping your hands looking nice and prevent dirt under your nails is to not clean under your nails with anything sharp or metallic. Doing so would also roughen up your nail tissue, causing more dirt to get stuck under it. A vicious cycle ensues!

Instead, you want to clean your nails with warm water and soap. This will happen automatically when you shampoo your hair, for example, or take a nice, relaxing bath.

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So how do you deal with dirty nails? Are you one of the lucky people who doesn’t struggle with this? Or do you have any other tips? Let me know in the comments!

Do you feel like your clean fingernails only last for seconds? Then you might not need a way to clean them, but a way to keep them clean. Try this!

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*These links are so-called provision links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I can earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.