How to Use Manicure Tools

By LeafTV Editor

Doing your own, at-home manicures saves you money, but before you attempt one, learn how to use all of the manicure tools properly. Knowing how to use the manicure tools helps achieve a clean, safe, professional-looking manicure.

Accessories for manicure lie around a female hands
credit: iprogressman/iStock/GettyImages
How To Use Manicure Tools


Wash the manicure tools with warm, soapy water. After you wash them, soak them in a sanitizer to kill any bacteria that may be present on the tools. Pour 1 part bleach to 4 parts water in a bowl. Soak the manicure tools for at least 10 minutes. Rinse them thoroughly and dry them with a clean towel before using.

Take the fingernail clipper's top metal handle and turn it around 180 degrees. Place the fingernail that you want to trim in between the two metal blades. Press down gently on the upper metal handle, until the nail clips off. Repeat the process for each fingernail. Trim the fingernails to your desired length.

Master the nail file. You need to file the nails after you trim them. File the nails to look short and straight. Hold the file with one hand against a fingernail on the other hand. Move the nail file back and forth. Start at the edge and move toward the top to achieve rounded edges. Repeat the process for each fingernail.

Try the orange wood stick. The orange wood stick is used to push back cuticles. Wrap a small piece of cotton around one end of the orange wood stick. Place the stick against the cuticles and apply gentle pressure. The cuticles should move back as you apply pressure. Repeat the process for each fingernail. Throw the orange wood stick away after using it.

Attempt the cuticle clipper. Use it only if the cuticles stick up or you have hanging nails. Hold and operate the cuticle clipper like you hold and operate scissors. Take extra caution to avoid cutting the skin.


  • Soaking manicure tools in rubbing alcohol is also effective for killing bacteria.