Tips to Make Nail Polish Dry Faster

Advice From Readers To Help Nails Dry More Quickly

Tips to dry nail polish fast: Try spraying non-stick cooking spray over wet polish to set it quickly.
Tips to dry nail polish fast: Try spraying non-stick cooking spray over wet polish to set it quickly. Dana Edmunds, Getty Images

No one wants to wait around for nail polish to dry. There are lots of rumors of ways to get polish to dry more quickly, but which actually work? These are the best quick-drying nail polish tips submitted by readers. Feeling scientific? Take a look at the chemistry behind quick-dry methods and learn which really work.

Tips From Readers

Readers have tried everything to get nails to dry fast. Here are some of their top recommendations:

  • Use cooking spray as one of the other ladies said. It will work and leave your hands not too dry. (_ ms. know it all)
  • Get cold water and dip your fingers inside for about 5 minutes and let them dry (air dry) for 5 minutes. (Cas)
  • While you have a pot of water on the simply just put your hands over it. Not only will they dry but they will become matte nails as well. So, it's like two things in one. (Coco Puff)
  • Step 1: Always apply thin coats. Step 2: Bow on nails and run nails through ice cold water. Step 3: Apply additional coats if needed and repeat steps. Step 4: Wait for 20 - 30 minutes before doing anything. Step 5: Can't be patient? Buy yourself fast drying nail polish and/or buy Seche Vite. (Nail Lady)
  • All you have to do is turn the cold to the sink on and put your hands in it, they will be done in 30 seconds. (i help)
  • Put your hands in ice water. It makes your nails dry faster. (Guest)
  • Use ice and water. It works really well they will be dry before you know it. (Kiley)
  • This is insane! Oil sprays and quick drying treatments do not actually make your polish dry faster. They do, however, reduce the likelihood that you're going to ding-up/smudge your polish while it's drying, by forming a slick surface on top. Quick-dry topcoats are similar. They don't dry the polish underneath, but they do harden on top of it. If you're not careful, you can end up scraping your polish right off if the under-layers are still tacky when you reach into your bag for your phone. It still makes sense to use the above methods when you're trying to preserve a brand-new manicure. It's also important to understand how they work so you can achieve the best results! (Kate)
  • I was in a hurry and was about ready to just remove my polish. But to my surprise the cooking spray totally worked for me. My nails were dry almost immediately. Makes me wonder about the chemicals in the cooking spray though! (Pat)
  • So, what I do all the time is I add a little bit of nail polish remover to the nail polish and mix it really good. You can add it to your colors and/or your top clear coat. The alcohol in the remover makes the polish dry much faster than ice water or a hair dryer. It also turned that old gloopy polish back to normal! (Anonymous)
  • Dip your fingers inside a cup with cold water and ice and your nails dry up. (Tania)
  • Try a hair dryer on medium setting. It heats it or try sticking your hand in a freezer. It may seem crazy but it works. (savvy monkey)
  • Do not use heat. All it does is melt the polish! Definitely use ice cold water! Dries 'em in a heart beat! (jazmyne)
  • Pam (you know, the cooking spray?) works wonders! All you do is spray your nails and leave it for about 45 seconds. You'll have to wash your hands good though, since it makes them kinda greasy. (Mandi)
  • Thin coats dry fast. Try doing multiple thin coats instead of one or two thick gloppy coats. Trust me, it works wonders. (Ilty_909)
  • Ice cold water or Pam spray works really well. Also using a fan works. (Blah)
  • I always have a candle lit in my room so I just hold them over the candle for a bit. Don't burn yourself though. (Sienna)
  • Apply a coat of peanut butter and it will work as long as you don't touch anything! Later on you'll have a nice snack for later. (Angelica)
  • Nail polishes are solutions of a polymer and need only to have the solvent removed. Blowing on them can cause blushing. Stand with you hands above a central heating convector, not electric and you should get nice glossy nails. (Norman Nicolson)
  • I just use a quick drying top coat. That way I can get my favorite polish without having to wait forever to get on with my life. It takes about a minute to get really hard nails, but I guess it depends what you use and how many layers of polish you added. (Pretty in Pink)
  • Air dust them or put your hand in ice cold water for 3 minutes to dry them. Spray cooking spray on them just in case! (Hannah Mahone)