We know that waiting for your nails to dry can be a chore, especially because there are so many layers to go: base coat, first nail polish coat, second nail polish coat, and then finally the top coat. If you don’t have the luxury of time, you may consider these three tried-and-tested hacks (using only household items) that will help you save quite a bit of time during your DIY manicure!

1. The cold way

Using a hairdryer to blow your nails dry is quite an old trick we hear all the time. Yes, it does work (remember to use your hair dryer in the cool mode because heat prevents your polish from firming up), but how about an even cooler solution?

Ice water baths! Prepare this before you start painting your nails. Simply fill a mixing bowl (one that is big enough to soak both your hands in of course) with ice cubes and add some cold water. After each layer of nail polish, dip your nails into the mixing bowl for a minute or two. Cold water helps to solidify your nail polish through and through, not just the top layer. This method is much more effective than drying your nails with the hairdryer, which often only dries the polish on the upper most surface.

Just in case you’re wondering, sticking your hands in the freezer does the trick too! The downside is just that you risk contaminating the food in your freezer with the smell of nail polish.

2. Cooking sprays… seriously?

This may come as a surprise but it is an effective drying method worth trying! Cooking sprays such as Pam work as well if not better than quick dry nail sprays. The oil/butter in the cooking spray not only helps to dry your polish; it lubricates your nails and cuticles and prevents smudges. Spray it on after your top coat, let the spray set for a minute or two, then wash the oil off your hands. The only downside of this method is that it may get messy, but to get around it just spray over a sink.

If you’re thinking of olive oil or baby oil, yes, they do the trick too! You can soak your fingers in olive oil or baby oil for 30 seconds to a minute after painting the top coat.

Here’s how to use the “oil” method!

3. Air dusters

Air dusters are high power canisters that are mostly used to clean computers, keyboards, or even the nooks and crannies of kitchens. These dusters contain heat absorbing ingredients and release a cool spray – coincidentally the perfect combination for drying nails! Simply “blow” your nails with the air duster for a few minutes. Do not hold the spray too close to your nails to prevent the pressure from ruining your polish!