How to clean Matte Nails? Step-By-Step Guide

The matte nail trend took the beauty world by storm last year, and rightfully so.

As we approach the holiday season, I predict that matte nails will re-emerge as a super trendy alternative to traditional top coats!

But how do you keep your matte manicure looking fresh?

In today’s article, we’ll cover how to clean matte nails (step-by-step guide) to make sure your nails can withstand all the excitement of the holiday season!

How to clean Matte Nails? Step-By-Step Guide

What are matte nails?

Before we jump into how to clean matte nails, first, we should understand what they are!

Matte nail polish is a new, innovative formula that dries down without a shine. The majority of nail polishes on the market today have a glossy, pearlescent finish, whereas matte nail polishes dry out very smooth and even.

The shade range for this fashion-forward-finish is extensive, but the most popular picks are typically dark.

Historically, women often saturate the nail beauty industry, but it’s grown in popularity among men for that edgy, trendy fashion statement, and we love that!

So, how do you keep your matte nails looking as beautiful as possible?

How to Clean Matte Nails?

The best method for maintaining your matte nails, and keeping them looking as fresh as the day you manicured them, is to clean them regularly.

Let’s break down the 6 easy steps you’ll need to follow in order to do this successfully:

1. Pre-soak Your Matte Nails in a Water-based Solution

Before you begin thoroughly cleaning your matte nails, you should soak them in warm, soapy water for several minutes.

Doing this will assist in softening the dirt, debris, and oils that naturally accumulate on the nail’s surface and under the free edge.

Consider adding sea salt or baking soda to the soapy water mixture. Sea salt will strengthen brittle nails and help remove dead skin, and baking soda will aid in the removal of stains and bacteria.

If you have sensitive skin, avoid the excessive use of baking soda, as it can be abrasive. I suggest adding a small amount towards the end of your soak, or skipping this addition altogether!

2. Wash Your Hands with Soap and Water

After soaking your nails for several minutes, gently wash off any lingering soap, salt, dead skin or baking soda.

I would suggest using a mild soap, as a strong solution can cause a lack of hydration. Dry nails and skin will result in the breakdown of your polish, brittle nails, and flaky, cracked skin.

Pat the nails dry after washing.

3. Scrub Away The Grime

How to clean Matte Nails? Step-By-Step Guide

Using a soft brush from a beauty supply store, or a soft bristle toothbrush, apply a small amount of antibacterial soap to your nails and scrub gently, but firmly.

Be sure to scrub the surface of your nail, the cuticles, and under the nail edge.

This will aid in the removal of dirt, debris, and oil from any hard-to-reach crevices. Dirt and debris buildup can prevent healthy growth, and affect the longevity of your manicure.

It’s highly recommended that you scrub your nails daily with an antibacterial soap. Making this step a part of your daily routine is simple but has so many benefits!

If your matte nails are gel-based, you should follow another process to remove the sticky residue on your gel polish at home.

4. Rinse your Matte Nails With Water

How to clean Matte Nails? Step-By-Step Guide

After soaking, washing, and scrubbing, it’s important you rinse your hands, fingers, and nails thoroughly. This will remove any remaining skin, dirt, oil, and soap.

Left-over debris can affect your manicure’s health, but it can also affect yours!

Proper hand-washing practices are imperative to the health of yourself and others. We use our hands daily, and exposure to bacteria can cause illnesses.

By washing your hands regularly you are protecting your flawless fingernails, and yourself!

5. Thoroughly Dry Your Nails

Above all else, this step is the most important!

Doing this correctly will have the greatest impact on your nail’s health and presentation.

Moist hands and fingernails are more susceptible to damage. When the nail is wet, it expands, weakens, and becomes malleable. The nail will become vulnerable, as its structural integrity is greatly affected.

It is imperative your nails and surrounding skin are completely dry before using your hands.

Use a clean towel and pat the area dry. Avoid using an already-used towel, as this can aid in the transfer of bacteria from one individual to the next.

If you have access to a hairdryer, using one is a better, faster option. Do not use the dryer on high heat, or directly on the surface of your nail as it can burn your skin.

6. Use a Moisturizer (Cuticle Oil)

a woman using cuticle oil on her matte gel nail after cleaning

After soaking, washing, scrubbing and drying your hands, you might find that your nails feel brittle, or dehydrated. Applying a good-quality moisturizer is a great way to combat this.

There are a plethora of nail moisturizers on the market ranging in quality and formula. I recommend using whatever works best for you, as every person’s skin reacts differently to certain substances.

If you don’t have access to cuticle oil (cuticle oil is the most beneficial), cream, or ointment, there is a DIY option which is to use olive oil!

Warm a small amount of olive oil in your microwave (be sure to let it cool before application!), and apply generously to the nail’s surface and cuticles.

Alternatively, you may soak your fingertips in the olive oil for several minutes. I recommend doing this soak for 20 minutes for the best results!

Remove the excess oil with a cotton ball, and continue your day!

What To Avoid?

Your nails are too often exposed to harsh environments that can cause the breakdown of your polish. Many are unavoidable obstacles, but here are a few suggestions on what to avoid to keep your nails looking clean and cared for:

1. Dish Soap

The most commonly overlooked culprit for the breakdown of your polish is exposure to soapy dishwater. The solution is simple: wear rubber gloves to protect your hands and nails from the soapy dishwater.

2. Using your Nails Too Often

I get it, the frustration of not being able to open a can or package, or jar!

But using your nails to do this is a surefire way to cause breakage and damage. Instead, use a tool on hand to aid you rather than your fingernails.

3. Harsh Temperatures

Your skin and nails suffer when exposed to cold temperatures causing dryness and brittle nails.

During the winter months especially, it’s imperative that you protect your hands and nails from exposure!

Wearing warm gloves not only looks super cute and festive but also keeps your nails pristine!

Wrapping Up

Today we dove deep into how to clean matte nails and offered a step-by-step guide. 

Matte nails are a fashion-forward beauty trend that can elevate your look. Whether it’s for a professional finish or an edgy addition, matte nails can achieve it all! 

However, if you fail to keep them well-maintained, they can quickly become a dreary, unattractive mess!

Avoid the headache of having to constantly re-do your manicure, and keep your matte nails clean.