How Do You Clean A Glass Nail File?

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A perfect DIY manicure needs the right tools, and nothing can be better than having a good-quality glass nail file. They’re fantastic and will give you a smooth, easy, and efficient filing experience. Great, but how do you clean a glass nail file?

To clean a glass nail file, run it under lukewarm water and rub it gently with a soft brush or your fingertips. You can also apply a drop of handwash to dislodge oils, dead skin particles, and nail residue. Next, rinse the file thoroughly and dry it with a soft towel.

While it’s hard to blunt a quality glass nail file, the microscopic dimples on its surface can still get clogged with nail residue. If that happens, it will lose its effectiveness and behave like a blunt one. That’s why you need to understand how to clean yours thoroughly. So let’s get into the details.

How Often Should You Clean Your Glass Nail File?

Shaping Fingernails with a Glass Nail File

You should clean your nail file after every use to eliminate oils and tiny particles that may clog the microscopic dimples on the filing surface. The easiest way is by running the file under lukewarm water and tapping it dry on a soft towel.

Here are other instances when you should clean your glass nail file:

If You Notice a Buildup of Oils and Dirt

With repeated use, your glass nail file gradually accumulates nail filings, oils, dead skin particles, and other forms of dirt. So whenever you notice a buildup of such while softening your calluses, you’ll need to do more than the regular rinsing. 

The easiest and safest way to do it is by using a special file brush or soft brush. A toothbrush with medium or hard bristles also works well. 

While at it, apply a drop of hand soap on the brush to dislodge the oil and dirt particles from the file. Rub the brush on the file thoroughly and rinse it well until there’s no more soap or debris on it.

If Shared Between Multiple Users

If you’re thinking of sharing your file with a close friend, family member, or significant other, you must sanitize it between multiple uses. The easiest way to do this is by wiping the surface with a cotton pad soaked in rubbing alcohol or peroxide. 

You can also steam the file in a steam sterilizer or place it in a UV box if you have one. But whichever sterilizing option you have, you want to rinse off any filings first.

After a Problematic Use

If you have a fungal infection or an ingrown nail, you should thoroughly clean and sterilize the glass nail file with isopropyl alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. You can also dip it in boiling water for a few minutes.

Should You Clean a Glass Nail File with Soap?

It isn’t a must to clean a glass nail file with soap after every use. But if there’s a significant buildup of oils and dirt, you can clean it with a drop of hand or dish soap.

How to Clean a Glass Nail File

Unlike emery boards, notorious for trapping dirt particles and requiring replacement too soon, it’s super easy to clean your glass nail file. Remember, crystal files are non-porous, water-proof, and don’t trap too much dirt.


To clean a glass nail file, run it under lukewarm water and rub it lightly with your fingertips or a soft brush. This method takes about a minute or two and is gentle enough, so there is no need to worry about ruining any decoration.


You can also rub a drop of anti-bacterial handwash on the file to dislodge oils and sticky dirt particles, but remember to rinse it off thoroughly and dry it on a soft towel. Any soap or scum left on the glass nail file will reduce efficiency.


While some people prefer to throw their glass nail files into the dishwasher among cutlery, you should ensure it’s dishwasher-safe. Files with gems, in-lays, and decorative paint are often unsafe to clean in a dishwasher.

If you want to thoroughly clean the glass nail file and kill bacteria that may have settled on it, be sure to disinfect it. High-quality crystal files use high-powered paint that won’t peel in humidity or temperatures around 100 ℃. 

You can safely put them in boiling water for about 30 minutes to kill germs. You can also place yours in a steam sterilizer. But if your glass nail file is hand-painted, you want to stay away from boiling water, steam, and aggressive cleaning agents.

How Long Do Glass Nail Files Last?

Glass nail file for manicure and cuticle

A glass nail file can last many years and provide better filing for your nails and calluses than other files if you use and store it properly. That said, it’s always a good practice to clean and dry it well after use before putting it in a protective sleeve. 

And whenever you’re traveling, you want to keep a crystal file in its hardcover inside your bag, so it doesn’t break as you move. 

While a glass nail file can last a long time, it’s time to ditch it for a new one if it loses its grit and can no longer shape your nails quickly.

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