Nail files keep fingernails and toenails looking smooth and well shaped, but after a few uses, nail files need sanitizing. Nail files, which are made from materials like metal, glass and even cardboard, have different grades of coarseness. Germs and bacteria can build up in the surfaces and edges and put your nail health at risk. Clean and care for your nail files regularly to prevent infections, especially if you share your file with someone else.

Things You'll Need

Fill a sink with warm, soapy water. Place the files in the sink gently and let them rest in the water for a minute or two.

Scrub metal, glass or ceramic nail files with a nail brush. Hold the end of the nail file in one hand and rub the file with the brush with the other. Rub the dirt and grime away.

Unplug the sink and allow the water to drain away. Rinse the clean files under warm running water.

Remove the nail files from the sink and pat them dry with a towel.


  • Toss away cardboard nail files after a few uses. Soaking will ruin them.

  • Keep your nail files clean by replacing the caps on them when you are not using them.