Common houseplants could make nail salons safer

Common Houseplants Could Make Nail Salons Safer

Plants can do some amazing things. Most recently, new research found some common house plants can absorb potentially harmful indoor pollutants.

The research for presentation at a meeting of the American Chemical Society looked at pollutants called volatile organic compounds, which can be found in paints, furniture, dry cleaning and acetone — the common ingredient in nail polish remover.

RELATED: 15 unusual uses for nail polish

15 Unusual Uses For Nail Polish
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15 Unusual Uses For Nail Polish

Smudge Proof Labels

Don’t let a little water ruin your label! Apply a light coat of nail polish over any label and it is instantly waterproofed! Perfect for potted plant labels or a set of keys.

Photo Credit: Flickr/sciondriver

Seal an Envelope

Need an extra seal or trying to seal an envelope that just won’t stick? Try a dab of clear nail polish on the corner of each side for an extra hold.

Photo Credit: Fickr/Special Invite

Threading a Needle

A quick fix for fighting with a needle and thread is dipping the end of your thread in a small amount of nail polish for easier entry.

Photo Credit: Flickr/ilkin.

Prevent Jewelry from Tarnishing

We love fun costume jewelry as much as the next girl, but HATE that hint of green that winds up on our fingers or wrists! Prevent this by painting a clear coat on the inside of that fab ring you just bought, and presto: no issues!

Photo Credit: Flickr/HA! Designs - Artbyheather

Keep Laces and Rope from Unraveling

You can burn the ends of your laces or rope to keep it from unraveling, but for a fun spin, use nail polish instead! Color makes it fun, but clear works just as well.

Photo Credit: Flickr/Eek the Cat

Tighten Loose Screws

For an extra hold, coat your screws in nail polish.  After setting the screws let the polish dry.  This should give you added durability.

Photo Credit: Flickr/izik

Color Code Objects

Color code objects that look similar so you can tell them apart. Paint different shades on your set of keys so your roommate stops grabbing yours by mistake!

Photo Credit: Flickr/GraceOda

Mark Levels on Things

Mark different levels on your buckets or other objects used for measurement - mark one line for soap and another for water!

Photo Credit: Flickr/chrisinplymouth

Stop Runs in their Tracks

Stops runs in stockings by dabbing polish at both ends. This way you can get more wear out of your hosiery, even after a tiny tear.  If they're torn beyond repair, use them for something else!

Photo Credit: Flickr/Kashif Haque

Waterproof Matches

Put clear nail polish on the tips of matches to protect them from rain when you head outdoors. Helpful if you’ll be using lanterns or planning a picnic (candlelit dinner, anyone?).

 Photo Credit: Flickr/dhammza

Smooth Splintered Furniture

Coats splinters in furniture so you don't rip or snag your clothing. Apply a light coat or two over the problem area ensuring you won’t damage your clothing any further.

Photo Credit: Flickr/Humberto Marum

Add a Little Glitter

Add a little glitter to any top coat for an added glam. You can also try adding glitter to a base coat for dimension and texture to your nails.

 Photo Credit: Flickr/y-a-n

Paint the Sole of Your High-Heels (think Christian Louboutin):

An easy (and cheap!) way to model your shoes after the highly coveted brand, and give them a fresh new look.

Photo Credit: Flickr/y-a-n

Cover Up Your Scuffs

Cover up a scratch on scuffed shoes or boots by applying a coat of black or brown (or red) nail polish to your shoes!

Photo Credit: Flickr/Tuba a la mode

Mark Your Thermostat and Shower Settings

Place a small marking on your ideal thermostat or shower heat settings, and never take a shower that’s too hot (or too cold!) ever again.

Photo Credit: Flickr/hsivonen


The lead researcher said, "Inhaling large amounts of VOCs can lead some people to develop sick building syndrome, which reduces productivity and can even cause dizziness, asthma or allergies."

The plants include the jade plant, Caribbean tree cactus, spider plant, bromeliad and dracaena.

Researchers say all five houseplants studied could absorb acetone from the air, but the dracaena absorbed a remarkable 94 percent of the chemical in the experiment.

SEE MORE: Apparently, Plants Know How To 'Gamble'

Next, the lead researcher wants to test the plants in nail salons to see if they can reduce acetone exposure for workers.

The findings could eventually make way for plants to replace more expensive ventilation systems.

(Additional reporting by

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