Friday, June 9, 2023


16+ brilliant ways nail polish comes in handy while RVing (for men too!)

Way back when I was much younger, wearing nylon stockings to work was part of the obligatory “professional attire.” My meager budget necessitated that I learn how to make my nylons last. I quickly discovered that clear fingernail polish would stop a nylon “run” without being too noticeable. When a hole would appear in my nylon stocking, I whipped out my nail polish, dabbed a bit on the hole, and went on with my day. The polish effectively stopped the “run” from snaking further down my leg. Disaster avoided! (Those were the days, huh? When the worst disaster at work was a ruined pair of hosiery!)

While I’ve always remembered that nail polish tip from my past, I’ve recently discovered many, many other ways that nail polish can come to my rescue, especially when Hubby and I are RVing.

Here’s my list of some uses for nail polish

  • Keep an eyeglass screw in place. We were traveling once when Hubby noticed that the tiny screw holding the left temple of his eyeglasses was loose. We dabbed a bit of clear nail polish over the screw to hold it (and Hubby’s glasses) in place until we could get a permanent fix.
  • Protect yourself from allergic reactions. The souvenir ring I purchased was making my finger itch, so I brushed a coat of clear nail polish over the interior of the ring. The polish keeps my finger from making direct contact with the ring and I can wear it without itching. (Bonus: A clear coat of polish can also keep metal costume jewelry from tarnishing.)
  • Repair a vehicle scratch. We hadn’t owned our car for very long when we noticed a small scratch on the paint. I looked through my stash of nail polish and applied a color so similar to the vehicle’s paint that the scratch is virtually invisible.
  • Identify keys. When we purchased our RV, we kept confusing the door’s entry key with the storage bay keys. So, I applied red nail polish to the top of each storage bay key, and blue to the RV’s door key. Now they are easily identified.
  • Repair minor leather scratches. A friend of mine used nail polish to repair a few small scratches her cat made in her RV’s leather sofa. Using a nail polish in a color similar to the sofa’s leather, she was able to camouflage the damage.
  • Temporarily fix a windshield nick. A rock from a gravel truck put a nick in our pickup’s windshield. A bit of clear nail polish brushed over the nick prevented a crack and we kept on traveling until we could get it fixed.
  • Prevent rust. Hubby’s can of shaving cream tends to leave a rust mark on our RV’s bathroom sink. The humidity from the room along with water that splashes when he shaves causes brown rust rings on the sink top. So, I applied a bit of clear polish to the bottom of the can that contacts the sink surface. Now no more unsightly rings.
  • Repair a tear in the RV screen door. No one wants bugs inside their RV! If you have a tear in a door or window screen you can fix it with clear nail polish. Press the torn edges together as much as possible and then coat the edges with polish. Let it dry and recoat a second or even a third time.
  • Identify reading glasses. Many “readers” look very similar. To distinguish mine from Hubby’s I put a bit of red nail polish on my glasses’ earpiece. Now we can tell at a glance whose is whose. (Bonus: I purchased several identical sunglasses for the grandkids. I used the same nail polish technique to label each pair. Now kids easily tell which pair belongs to them.)
  • Secure a button. Ever notice how the thread holding a button can begin to fray? If left untended, the thread will continue to loosen, and the button will eventually fall off. Before that happens, I apply a bit of clear nail polish to the top of the button, covering the fraying thread. The polish will help keep the button in place until I can sew the button on. (Bonus: This tip also works for fabric. One of our RV sofa pillows had begun to fray, but a quick application of nail polish fixed it. Same goes for fraying curtains or other fabric.)
  • Mark shower temperature settings. Use a bright tone of nail polish to mark your preferred temperature settings on your RV’s shower. Make a small mark on both the stationary lip and each faucet handle and take the guesswork out of shower settings.
  • Ensure a tight hold. When repairing the wooden cornice around one of our RV’s windows, Hubby discovered that the screw just wasn’t holding. We applied a bit of nail polish to the screw threads and then when Hubby fastened the screw, the polish acted like an adhesive, and the problem was solved.
  • Prevent rope from fraying. Dip the end of the rope into clear nail polish and the rope will not fray and fall apart. (Bonus: This applies to shoelaces, too!)
  • Make a liquid bandage. For small cuts, I usually use a plastic band-aid. But clear nail polish can also seal the cut in a pinch.
  • Mark remote buttons. Use glow-in-the-dark nail polish to mark channel and volume buttons on your RV’s television remote. You’ll be able to easily distinguish the buttons, even in a dimly lit room.
  • Mark your gear. Dab a small dot of brightly hued polish to your pickleball equipment, tools, s’mores grilling forks, etc. This works especially well on items that are too small for your initials or entire name.

I’d love to hear how you use nail polish in and around your RV, too.


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Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh is an avid RVer and occasional work camper. Retired from 30+ years in the field of education as an author and educator, she now enjoys sharing tips and tricks that make RVing easier and more enjoyable.


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1 year ago

I use it at the end of shoe laces when the plastic tips are I can get it through the holes when lacing .

1 year ago

Love all these ideas. I have often used a dot of red nail polish to identify a specific key.

Warren G
1 year ago

Clear fingernail polish on a mosquito bite will relieve the itching.

Jeff Myers
1 year ago

I keep a few bottles of nail polish in colors that match black and brown screws that show in the rv. So for repairs I just use common hardware, then touch it up to match.

Seann Fox
1 year ago

A small dab of colored nail polish on the top of every electrical plug tells you which way to quickly plug it in since they’re all polarized now.
Also a small dab on one side of the USB plug makes it easier to plug into since you know which end is up

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