Does Cold Water Make Nail Polish Dry Faster?

Nail polish is one of the most popular beauty products in the world. It’s versatile and can be used to create so many different looks, whether you want something simple like a manicure or full-on nail art. But do you know how nail polish works?

Did you know that you can make your nail polish dry faster, especially if you have something more important you need to do? This brings us to ask, Does cold water make nail polish dry faster? Yes, it makes your nail polish dry faster.

It might surprise you then that people often recommend using cold water as an alternative drying method to heat. Let’s explore this popular myth in more detail.

Why Does Cold Water Dry Nail Polish

The drying process is greatly based on evaporation. Nail polish is a polymer. It is formed by a chemical reaction that slows as the temperature drops. Lowering the temperature also slows the evaporation of the solvents in the polish, which may thicken it so it seems to dry more quickly.

How to Use Cold Water to Dry Nail Polish

You will be needing;

  • A small bowl
  • Cold water
  • Ice blocks (optional)
  • Towel
  • Nail Polish

Pour water into the bowl

Before painting your nails, pour your water into the small bowl and put it right beside you. After that, you can decide to put in ice blocks if you want.

Dip your nails in cold water

Then dip your nails into the cold water and let them stay for about 3 to 5 minutes before removing them from the water. When you remove your hands, you will see the water on top of the paint.

This is a sure way to know that your polish is dry. To be sure, you can also air dry them for a minute more. But be careful when using your towel to clean your nails. They can still get marked. Now you can do the things you need to do.

In summary

Cold water is a great way to speed up the drying process of nail polish. To use it, simply place your hands in a bowl of cold water for five minutes. When you’re done, use a towel to dry your hands and then apply lotion to keep them moisturized.

Pros of Using Cold Water to Dry Nail Polish

The pros of using cold water to dry nail polish are as follows:

1. It’s cheap

Not having to buy a drying fan can save you a few bucks, and there’s no reason not to use the colder water if it means saving some money.

You can use it at home. If you don’t have access to an electric dryer or air-conditioning, then dipping your fingers in a basin of cold water is the next best thing.

2. It’s easy to do

It’s easy to do. All you need to do is dip your fingers in cold water for a couple of seconds, then dry them off with a paper towel or some other absorbent material. That’s it!

3. It’s not harmful to your nails

Cold water can help your nail polish dry faster and it’s not harmful to your nails. Some people think that cold water is bad for their hands and nails, but this isn’t true.

4. It’s a great way to save time

Cold water can help you save time in the long run. The average drying time for most nail polishes is 20 minutes. However, there are several factors that affect how long it takes for your nails to dry, such as the type of nail polish and whether or not you use a top coat.

If you use cold water instead of warm water when washing your hands before applying nail polish, your nails will dry faster because heat helps speed up evaporation.

In addition, the lower temperature of cold water causes less evaporation from around surface areas like skin pores on hands which reduces surface tension in those areas, this means there is less chance that air bubbles will form and therefore makes it easier for paint molecules to bond with each other while they’re drying on top.

Cons of Using Cold Water to Dry Nail Polish

1. It can cause the polish to chip more easily

There are some drawbacks to using cold water to dry nail polish. If you dry it with cold water, it can cause the polish to chip more easily. Even when drying your nails with warm air or a hair dryer on low heat, you should allow at least 30 seconds of constant contact with the source before gently blotting away any excess moisture with a towel. This will help prevent chipping while still allowing the polish to cure properly and dry completely.

2. It can cause the polish to pull up or peel off

Yes, cold water can cause the polish to pull up or peel off. The reason is that cold water causes your skin’s natural oils to dry out your nails. As a result, any polish applied after this will be more likely to lift up or peel off during the drying process.

3. It can cause the polish to look streaky

Other than drying time, cold water can also cause the polish to look streaky. If you’re using a spray-on top coat and you put it on your nails, the cold water will cause some of the product to dry faster than others and leave streaks.

4. It can cause the polish to get thick or clumpy

Cold water can cause the polish to get thick or clumpy. When you dip your fingers in cold water, the polish will dry faster than it would have if it had dried naturally and this change in speed can cause the polish to thicken and look clumpy.

How Long Does It Take Nail Polish to Dry

How long it takes for your nail polish to dry depends on a few factors, including the humidity in the room and whether or not you’re applying an oil-based or water-based product. The type of nail polish you use also affects how long it takes to dry.

Water-based products usually dry faster than oil-based ones because they have a lower viscosity (or thickness), meaning there’s less liquid for the solvents to evaporate into. They also tend to be thinner in consistency and therefore spread more easily over your nails.

What Else Can Make Your Nails Dry Faster?

1. Air dry

If you’re trying to speed up the drying process of your polish, there are a few things you can do. First, make sure that the air around you is warm. This will help your nails dry faster. Second, try not to touch or bump your nails until they’re scorched, this may cause smudges or smears.

If despite all these precautions, you still have trouble with messes and smears on freshly polished nails, your top coat can be applied after one coat of color and still give extra protection against water damage until it dries completely.

2. Use a fan

Some people use fans to dry their nails. If you have a fan handy, feel free to use it on your nails after applying nail polish. Fanning your hands will help them dry faster, so feel free to do so while they’re drying if you want.

3. Use a hair dryer

To speed up the drying process, try using a hair dryer on low heat. Make sure that when you’re using it, you don’t stand too close to your hands or the nail polish.

4. Use a UV light

If you have sensitive nails and have trouble with nail polish drying too quickly, the best way to dry your nails is to use a UV light. In fact, this method is so effective that it can even be used on its own as an alternative to acrylic nails.

The reason UV lights are so good at drying nail polish is that they’re quick. Because of this rapid rate, you don’t need to worry about waiting for hours before your new manicure dries enough for you to go about your day without fear of smudging it or ruining it by bumping into things.

The process is also much safer than using other methods such as heat lamps or hair dryers (which can cause damage if used incorrectly).

5. Get a quick-dry top coat

You can speed up the drying process by applying a quick-dry top coat over your nail polish. This is a great option if you just want to get out of the house faster or if you’re working on an especially intricate design that takes extra time to dry. Just be aware that not all products labeled “quick-dry” mean the same thing to everyone, so make sure you read reviews before purchasing one that might not work as well as advertised.

6. Purchase drying drops

If you’re looking for a way to dry your nail polish quickly, try using drying drops. These are a great way to dry your nails instantly, and they’re easy to use as well. If you want to purchase these products, look at any beauty store or online retailer (such as Amazon).

You can find them in many different colors and scents, so there’s sure to be something that suits your taste.

7. Place your hands in the freezer

This is one of the quickest and easiest ways to help your gel polish dry. While it may seem counterintuitive, putting your hands in cold water will help to accelerate the drying process.

If you can’t put them in frozen water, try putting them somewhere that’s as close to freezing as possible so they’re not uncomfortable. Just remember not to leave them there for more than 2 minutes.

8. Drip oil on your painted nails

To speed up the drying process, apply a few drops of extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil to your nails. Let it sit for about 10 minutes, then wash off any excess with warm water. Repeat this process until your nails are dry.

Does Nail Polish Dry Faster in Cold or Heat?

If you want your nail polish to dry faster, the answer is simple: use cold water. Although hot water may be more comfortable, it can cause some problems for your nails. The heat from the water can make the polish peel off or look streaky, and who wants that? The best way to dry your nails quickly is simply using cold water. This tip is easy and effective because it will help keep the color on longer without causing any damage or complications with your manicure process.


Nail polish drying time is a very important thing to consider when painting your nails. If your polish dries too quickly, then it can lead to smudges and smears.

On the other hand, if it takes too long for the polish to dry on its own then you’ll waste a lot of time waiting for it to dry up before moving on to other things. By using cold water as mentioned above, there’s no need to worry about this problem since it helps speed up the process greatly.

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