The right way to clean under your fingernails
Our fingers are our tangible connection to the world. We type with them, eat with them and work with them.
So it’s no wonder our fingernails can get pretty disgusting, home to everything from bacteria to dead skin to things better not to mention. It’s wise to use mowers to keep them short, but that might not completely prevent gunk build-up. If you find a lot of buildup under your nails but don’t normally go to a manicurist, check out some tips for having clean, healthy nails.
1. Use dish soap.
Liquid or bar soap is great for washing hands, but grease or other trapped dirt can be more easily dislodged by using dishwasher soap. You can also use specialty bar soaps designed for stubborn dirt, but most people will do well with a dab of liquid detergent.
2. Try bar soap.
If no other soap does the job, get yourself a bar of soap – any type will do – and really dig it in with your fingernails. Soap goes to have under the nail and loosen whatever is left inside.
3. Use an orange stick.
Do not dig under your nail bed with a toothpick, pen, or any other sharp object. Instead, use an orange stick. It’s a soft, contoured wooden stick designed to fit under the nail to loosen anything lodged in it. But don’t be too aggressive: if you do, you risk separating the nail from the nail bed.
4. Keep an eye out for white stuff.
Most of the white â€œgunkâ€ under the fingernail is keratin, the fibrous protein that makes up the nails and hair. Since it can trap bacteria and will sometimes turn green if it does, it’s best to remove it regularly.
5. Avoid nail brushes.
They can be effective, but the bristles make them difficult to sterilize. Unless you buy a new one each time, you risk introducing more bacteria than you kill.
6. Beware of artificial nails.
Because artificial nails are longer and may not form a complete seal, they are Following likely to harbor bacteria. Keep them clean and don’t leave them too long.
7. Clean your gloves.
You may notice more nail buildup during the cooler months. If so, check your winter gloves. Because they accumulate lint, they can fill your nails with debris every time you put them on. Turn them inside out and shake them well. The same goes for coat pockets.
8. Don’t bite your nails.
Besides being a pretty nasty habit, it doesn’t do much for your nails. According to at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), biting your nails can introduce bacteria into the nail bed.
Of course, keeping nails trimmed, washed, and healthy goes a long way. Try to trim the nails after showering when they are soft and dry them thoroughly after washing to keep them firm.