Keep calm and polish on, ladies.

iStock/Getty Images

Keeping a manicure in tip-top shape throughout the trials of everyday life is harder than it looks. And as tempting as it sounds to instantly nix our manicure at the first signs of chipping, we’re faced with two options. First option: Drop what we’re doing and make a beeline for the closest nail salon. Second option: Grab the nail polish remover and cotton balls. (We’re busy, so door number two often wins out.) But as soon as we scrub off our classic OPI Big Apple Red or cheeky Essie Wicked, we’re left with disaster—in the form of stained, dingy, yellow nails. We’ve had enough!

While sporting a chip-free, glossy manicure at all times is certainly ideal, it’s not practical. We need to be able to transition from polished to natural nails with grace, and yellow nails just do not scream grace. Stained or yellow tinted nails come from the pigments used in darker polishes, and even bright reds. The longer the pigment is on your nails, the more noticeable the staining is. If you, like the Queen, stay true to the one and only nude that ever need exist, Ballet Slippers, you might not suffer from this side effect. Even so, it never hurts to have flawlessly white nails if needing to step out polish-less. No matter the motivation, you can let your worries fade away because there’s an at-home remedy for stained nails that we think every Southern woman should know, regardless of polish preference; and this secret hack for whitening your nails, we are happy to report, can be found in your bathroom right now.

It’s time to break out the toothpaste. Whitening toothpaste, especially those that include baking soda, will have your nails runway-ready in just ten minutes. After removing your polish, layer the toothpaste on your nails and let it sit for ten to fifteen minutes. Once time is up, grab a nail brush or toothbrush to gently scrub the nails under warm water. C’est tout! Your nails will be visibly brighter and whiter. If you are dealing with a severe case of staining, you can repeat the process over the course of a few days.

After this easy nail detox, you’ll be able to step out polish-free until your next manicure appointment. Because, whether OPI Bubble Bath or Lincoln Park After Dark, we think life’s too short for a naked nail all the time.

WATCH: The Barely There Nail Polish Shade For the Girl Who Does Not Want To Wear Color

 

If you have a steady hand and choose to paint your nails at home, a base coat will always help minimize staining, making it more than worth the extra few swipes. Otherwise, we wish you a chip-free, sans-stain manicure!