There's nothing like a fresh pedicure, but waiting for it to dry can be a pain. You have to be careful not to bump your toes into anything lest you destroy your meticulously-painted nails. You also have to have the patience to wait for your nails to dry. Instead of guessing, learn how long you'll be playing the waiting game.
The amount of time it takes your pedicure to dry depends in part on the type of polish you use and how much of it you apply. In general, it takes up to 2 hours for your polish to completely dry. Formaldehyde-free polishes dry a bit quicker than other types. Also remember the more coats you apply, the longer it takes, so if you've just applied one coat of clear polish your dry time will be much shorter than if you've applied a base coat, two color coats and a top coat.
DIY Pedicure Wait Times
It's generally advised to apply a base coat, two coats of polish and a top coat to keep your pedicure lasting the longest. When applying each coat of polish, wait at least 2 minutes between coats. This is the amount of time it will take for each coat to dry enough for ideal application of your next layer.
Speeding up the Process
Two hours is a long time to wait for your pedicure to dry completely. If you don't have that kind of time, speed things up. A blast with a cool hair dryer works -- be sure your setting is on cool as warm air keeps polish from firming. Or, grab a nail-drying spray from any drugstore to dry your nails more quickly. If you don't have nail-polish spray, try an aerosol cooking oil which will also does the trick. If your toes can handle it, try an ice bath. Fill a bowl with ice and cold water and dip your toes into it for 1 minute to solidify your polish.
Quick Dry Polishes
If you can, opt for a quick-dry top coat which will help your pedicure to solidify more quickly. This will create a protective, hard layer over your nails. Keep in mind that the polish underneath is still drying, so be a little careful. To be on the safe side, with or without quick-dry topcoat, stick with sandals and toe separators until you're sure your toes are completely dry.
Pamela Simmons has been writing professionally since 2009. Her articles on fashion, beauty and other topics have appeared on Denim Therapy and other websites. Simmons serves as an editor and public relations manager for CHIC.TV. She holds a Bachelor of Science in international affairs from Georgia Tech and a Master of Business Administration from Mercer University.