I’m sure, after a long day of working with your hands, you notice that dreaded line where your fingernail meets your nail bed.

We’ve all seen it, that one telltale sign that um, maybe it’s time to shower. That line of dirt is a combination of a few things including nail debris, dead skin cells, dirt and dust, and body care products. Further, nails can harbor infection-causing bacteria, especially if you have artificial nails. In general, that grey line is harmless (except if you’ve got that bacteria), it’s just more unsightly than anything else.

To keep nails clean, we may be tempted to use something sharp, like a scissors tip, a pin, the sharp edge of a nail file (I’ve done this – ouch!). But keeping your nails healthy and bacteria-free can be attained with a simple cleaning strategy that will sweep out the gunk and the bacteria. And, if you’ve got a dirty job ahead, like gardening, scrape your nails over a bar of soap to protect your nails from picking up any gunk. Then, just wash your hands well, and…voila!

Here are a few ways you can clean that dreaded ‘underneath the nail’ zone

Bar of soap

I’ve found that using a bar of soap and digging my nails in, then washing my hands with a washcloth to help massage the soap into that nail nook, then rinsing well, has been a very effective way of keeping them clean.


Nail brush

My nails look best right after I wash my hair, so there’s got to be something to that! Nail brushes can be used as well, just massage some soap into the brush and scrub gently but thoroughly, being sure not to poke a bristle too far down into the nail bed (zing/pain). Use a back-and-forth motion to scrub out the gunk, and rinse very well. To ensure you remove bacteria, because hey, that stuff thrives, you can disinfect your brush by soaking it in an oxygen bleach solution for 30 minutes, then rinsing.



Finally, you can use an old (clean) toothbrush with a bit of toothpaste to clean the nail undercarriage. Apply a pea-sized amount of toothpaste onto the toothbrush, wet it, and gently scrub. Rinse hands well and not only will your nails look cleaner, they’ll smelly fresh.

Either way, you’re going to have gorgeous, clean nails. You enjoy them!