7 Convenient Uses For Emery Boards Or Nail Files

Alexis @ Chemistry Cachet
by Alexis @ Chemistry Cachet

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I love a good, handy housekeeping tip. Today we are sharing some of those tips with our convenient uses for emery boards or nail files!

This post has been sitting in drafts for about 5 years! I was trying out and gathering ideas on using nail files for other things besides nails.

After writing a few tips out, I got busy with other projects for Chemistry Cachet.

I was reminded of this post when Amelia had this sticky tag residue on her shoe. I just reached up for a nail file and rubbed it off!

So, of course, we wanted to write a blog post for you to share these convenient and practical ideas.

Let’s get started!

7 Convenient Uses For Emery Boards

For reference, most of these tips are good with any type of nail file. The soft ones or metal ones are both great to use. However, some of these do better with a strong metal nail file, so I will be sure to specify below the descriptions.

For that matter…is there a difference between and emery board and nail file?

Emery Board vs Nail File

According to this post from Pretty Chic Nails, emery boards are soft and made from cardboard. These are the ones similar to sand paper! This is also the cheaper kind you probably have on hand. Nail files are usually referred to as the tough metal kind. These are heavy duty and strong!

In their post, they also talk about a third kind of nail file, but this won’t be relevant for our post today.

Like I mentioned in the above paragraph, our tips today are good with either an emery board or nail file unless specified.

1. Sharpen soft tips like eye liner or crayons

This is a really handy tip! If you have a soft surface like a crayon or eyeliner, you can actually sharpen it with a nail file. Either type works for this, just makes sure your file isn’t too worn out. I have used this tip many times now for crayons!

2. Sharpen needles

You can also sharpen needles with a nail file! This tip works best with a metal nail file. In fact, you can sharpen other metal surfaces like a small knife if you are using a metal nail file.

3. Rub fuzz off clothing

Fuzz, also known as pilling, can be removed from clothing with an emery board or nail file. I tried this out on a sweater, and it works well! Make sure the nail file you use is still in good shape (not worn out), and you can do this on many fabrics.

4. Sand small areas of furniture or hard to reach places

Sanding small areas of furniture is probably one of my favorite convenient ways to use an emery board! You can use an emery board or metal nail file, but I think the metal nail file will work better on wood. I redid a dresser many years ago, but I had trouble reaching into the crevices of some design work with my sander. I used a metal nail file and was able to rub the rest of the pain out of those small areas!

This is a really handy tip to keep in mind if you need to sand anything!

5. Clean rust off metal surfaces

I use this tip often for knives! Try cleaning rust off of metal surfaces with a nail file! You can try this on knives, scissors, even garden tools. I also rubbed off rust inside the metal connectors in the dishwasher.

6. Clean suede

Another unique and super handy thing to do with emery boards or nail files is clean suede! If I get mud or dirt on my suede boots, I gently rub it off with an emery board. You can try this on suede clothing, shoes, or even furniture.

7. Rub sticky stuff off clothes, skin, or similar surfaces

You can rub sticky things off your clothing, skin, or even a hard surface like a pan or counter. I used this tip recently for some spray glue that was stuck on a counter. After regular cleaning, it was still sticky. I grabbed an emery board and simply rubbed it off! It worked really well. I also used an emery board for one of Amelia’s tiny shoe that had a sticky tag residue. It rolled the gunk right off!

An emery board and nail file will work equally as well, just be cautious using a rough nail file on a counter top and make sure it doesn’t scratch! To be safe, an emery board will be a better choice for counter surfaces.

I hope you enjoyed all these handy, convenient uses for emery boards and nail files! I really love sharing these tips with you!

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Alexis @ Chemistry Cachet
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