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How to recycle old nail polish bottles safely

Did you know you’re not supposed to throw nail polish bottles away, and you can’t recycle the glass without cleaning out the bottles first?

Nail polish isn’t the safest 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.

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 nail polish 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.

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