How to Store Nail Polish? – Top 5 Nail Polish Storage Tips

Here is a short list of things I detest. I woke up to find I had run out of coffee and picked a nail polish from my vanity only to learn that it had turned into a thick, gloopy mess. While tea is the quickest fix to my first worry, thickened nail polish is something that horrifies me.

store nail polish

Over the years of being a passionate nail enthusiast, I have had multiple disappointing experiences. But these experiences led me to find the best ways to store nail polish. Not only do my ways ensure easy access to your collection, but they also guarantee a longer shelf life for nail polishes. 

So, here are my preferred places and ways to store nail polish that help keep nail polish safe and prolong nail polish shelf life. Let’s begin!

How to Store Nail Polish? – Discover My Top 5 Storage Tips!

In addition to an organized space and nail lacquer preservation, the main advantage of storing nail polish in a well-set manner is that you will find exactly what you are looking for without much hassle.

store nail polish

This section has my top 5 favorite nail polish storage tips. From how to organize nail polish to the best ways to store nail polish, this section has the world’s best-kept secrets. Here are five ways of storing nail polish like a pro. 

Tip – 1: Clean, spill-free bottles.

For keeping nail polish safe, always ensure the top of the nail polish bottle is clean and dry. If there are clumps formed around the neck of the bottle, chances are, the bottle will not screw the lid back on properly.

If there is some space between the bottle and the lid, moisture can seep into your nail polish bottle and dry the consistency up. It causes the nail polish to thicken and in turn, become unusable. 

To prevent nail polish from spoiling, wipe the bottleneck with a dry paper or cloth. Make sure there are no clumps or blobs of nail polish left. 

Tip – 2: No sunlight needed.

Your nail polish bottles are not plants. They do not need any sunlight. In fact, for nail polish longevity, you must learn where to store nail polish bottles. Be it regular nail polish storage or gel nail polish storage, always ensure they are away from direct sun exposure. 

Not only does direct sunlight dry or harden the nail polish, but it also hampers the original color of your nail polish. 

Tip – 3: Dark storage preferred.

Organizing a nail polish collection is a therapeutic activity. It is important to keep nail polish in a dark place for proper storage. This is because warm temperatures tend to ruin nail polish. Our aim is nail lacquer preservation for the most prolonged duration possible. 

One thing I learned the hard way was – the components used to make nail polish will degrade, eventually. However, heat and light accelerate this process. This is why it is crucial to store nail polish in cool and dark places. 

Tip – 4: Tightly shut.

After every single use and before storing nail polish back in the organizer, cupboard, or dressing table drawer, you must seal the nail polish tightly. A properly sealed nail polish bottle helps keep nail polish safe by slowing down the pace of nail polish solvents from evaporating. 

If the nail polish bottle is improperly shut, it can cause the nail polish to thicken and turn clumpy. In turn, it is crucial to close the nail polish bottles tightly to prolong nail polish shelf life. 

Tip – 5: Positioning.

They say to store jars of nut butter upside down to prevent oil separation. However, this logic does not work for regular or gel nail polish. You must store all nail polishes upright to keep nail polish safe and prevent nail polish from spoiling. 

Organizing nail polish collection to one side will lead to lumps forming on that side. Moreover, it impacts the pigment too. Worst-case scenario, the nail polish brush sticks to one side and you may be unable to open the nail polish bottle. 

One of my favorite ways of storing nail polish to prevent it from spoiling would be to use slotted boxes, containers, or stand-up bags. These storage equipment have slots that are sized for regular and gel nail polish bottles. 

Whether you own just a few nail polishes or a whole rainbow of colors, I recommend using these storage containers for your nail polish bottles. In this way, neither will the nail polish bottles leak nor will the lacquer get set on one side.

Critical Mistakes: Avoid These 3 Nail Polish Storage No-Nos!

I’ve outlined the best ways to store nail polish to prevent it from spoiling. Also, I’ll warn you about places to absolutely avoid storing nail polish.

store nail polish

These locations aren’t just bad for the lifespan of gel and regular nail polish; they can also impact your nail health. Here are important considerations for nail polish storage. Always remember, better safe than sorry!

1/3 – Bathroom.

If I am being honest, no, storing nail polish in bathrooms is not recommended. When we take showers or steams, the water used is typically warm. It creates a humid environment in the bathroom. Such temperatures are not suitable for gel and regular nail polish. 

Additionally, bathroom temperatures can fluctuate. For example, they often drop after taking a steam shower. These high and low temperatures negatively impact the nail polish consistency and damage it in the long run. 

Initially, I used to store certain shades (ones I use for pedicures) in my bathroom for easier access and overall convenience. However, after learning the effect it had, and how thick it made the lacquer, I stopped storing nail polish in bathrooms. 

2/3 – Directly under the sun.

As explained in the previous section, storing nail polish in such a location, where it is in direct contact with sunlight, is harmful to the longevity of nail polish. Be it regular nail polish or gel nail polish, no nail polish benefits from sunlight. 

The heat from the rays of the sun impacts the color and consistency of nail polish. Especially gel nail polish can harden when exposed to sunlight. Keep in mind, that this applies to the base coat and top coat too. 

3/3 – Refrigerator.

It may sound contradicting. Though temperatures in a refrigerator as stable all the time, storing nail polish inside a refrigerator is not recommended. It is a common myth that storing nail polish in a fridge helps with nail lacquer preservation. This cannot be further from the truth. 

The condensation that happens inside the slots of a refrigerator is responsible for moisture and air bubble formation inside nail polish bottles. It causes nail polish to thicken and, worst of all – an uneven consistency when applying the nail polish.

Now, you could have religiously prepped your nails with base coat, nail primer, nail file, and nail buffer too, but if the nail polish quality is not up to the mark, the end result will not look appealing.

How to Store Nail Polish? – FAQs

Should nail polish be kept in the fridge?

No, nail polish must not be stored in the fridge. Sure, the fridge is a cool dark place, which is ideally recommended for nail polish storage. However, refrigerators may go through temperature fluctuations that impact the nail polish consistency and shade. It may thicken the nail polish, and honestly, no nail polish benefits from inconsistent temperatures.

Can you store nail polish upside down?

A big no! A very big no! No nail polish bottle must be stored upside down. Not regular nail polish, not even gel nail polish. This is because the nail polish gets collected on one side. It dries up and thickens the nail polish, making it very difficult to use.

What temperature should nail polish be stored at?

The most straightforward answer to this is to store regular nail polish and gel nail polish at room temperature. If the nail polish has been taken out of the refrigerator right before application, it will result in an uneven consistency. If you are habituated to storing nail polish in refrigerators, take the nail polish out for some time. Let it come to room temperature before use.

How to store nail polish in hot weather?

Hot weather or cold, always store nail polish in cool, dark places. You can stock your nail polishes in a box, or place them on the lowest shelf of a cupboard or wardrobe. Alternatively, you can use a cold storage box if the climatic conditions in your region are extremely hot and humid.

Wrapping up:

That is all from my end. I genuinely hope my tips and experiences helped you get the hang of efficient nail polish storage. Before bidding farewell, here is a summary of foolproof ways of prolonging nail polish shelf life. 

Make sure you store nail polishes in a cool, dark place. They must be in an upright position. The nail polishes must not be stored in areas with temperature fluctuations. Do not ever store nail polish under sunlight. It will dry up the consistency and also impact the shade of the polish. 

As for preventive measures, make sure you keep the neck of the bottle clean and ensure there are no clumps. Additionally, screw the lid back on securely.


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