We all know you can use clear nail polish to stop a run in your stocking, but did you know some major league catchers use white polish on their nail so the pitcher can see their hand signals better? Or that hobbiests use colored polishes to decorate Easter eggs? There are all sorts of uses for polish besides the obvious one-here are just a few.

1. A professor of environmental and plant biology at Ohio University applies a thin layer of clear nail polish to the surface of a leaf, gently peels the dried polish off, and examines it under a microscope to study stomata (openings) on the leaf’s surface.

2. The book Become a Dinosaur Detective suggests kids make fossil foot prints by pressing their pets’ paws into sand, dripping clear polish in and around the impression, letting it dry, and dusting it off to create their own “fossils.”

3. In order to string beads more easily, costume jewelry makers dip one end of the string into clear nail polish and let it harden so you can use that end as a “needle”

4. A harpist uses red and blue polish on her harp’s tuning pins so she can be sure she tunes the correct strings.

5. When making a black widow spider fishing fly from black foam and thread, place a drop of red nail polish on the abdomen to represent the hourglass.

6. Bright colored nail polish is used to mark certain parts of a car or boat battery to check the ignition timing during a tune-up, and top coat is used to smooth over small dents and scratches in a boat’s gelcoat (the protective, shiny, outer layer).


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