What is a Fingernail Brush?

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  • Written By: Diane Goettel
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 10 September 2019
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A fingernail brush is a tool that is used to clean and manicure fingernails and can be purchased at most drug stores. This kind of brush is normally rectangular but is sometimes shaped like an oval. When used with soap, a fingernail brush can be used to clean the tops of the fingernails, the area around the cuticles, and underneath the fingernails. While light dirt can easily be removed from these ares with soap alone, a fingernail brush can be used to clean hands that are very dirty and when the dirt is deeply embedded in the skin.

Another use for a fingernail brush is to help remove stains from the skin. Anyone who has ever cooked with beets knows how quickly hands can go from looking normal to looking as though they belong to a Muppet. By scrubbing the fingernails and the areas around the fingernails with a fingernail brush and soap, stains like the ones that are the result of beet juice can be removed. Mechanics or people who simply like to work on their own cars can also use these kinds of brushes to help remove the stains that result from contact with motor oil. In fact, there are special soaps and creams that are intended to be used with fingernail brushes in order to remove exactly these kinds of stains and dirt on the hands.


Some fingernail brushes are made with all-natural materials. These kinds of brushes usually have a wooden handle and natural bristles. Other brushes are made completely out of plastic. The brushes made with natural materials are often a bit pricier than the ones that are made out of plastic. Although some people who are very picky about their manicure equipment might have a preference between theses two types of fingernail brushes, both of them do pretty much the same thing.

It is common for fingernail brushes to come with a variety of levels of stiffness in their bristles. Softer brushes are used for lighter cleaning. For example, someone who uses a fingernail brush on a daily basis just to keep his hands clean would likely use a fingernail brush with softer bristles. Using firm bristles on a daily basis could cause the skin to become sensitive and raw. For use on hands that are seriously stained or have deeply embedded dirt, a fingernail brush with a firmer set of bristles may be required.


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