DIY: How to Unstick a Stuck Nail Polish Lid

We’ve all been there. You find a polish you haven’t worn in a while and decide it’s time to wear it again only to find out the lid is basically glued on and no amount of super human arm strength is going to get it unstuck. I had this experience just the other day with OPI Lunch at the Delhi. Seemed like the perfect opportunity to do this kind of post!

There is one thing you can try before doing the full on process below the jump if the issue is simply that the cap is too slick. Try wrapping a rubber band around the lip to create some traction. Often times this will work.

If the rubber band trick doesn’t work, the method below the jump should 🙂

What you need:

  1. A cup or glass (I find wine glasses work really well…)
  2. The bottle of nail polish that is stuck (obviously)
  3. Hot water

Fill the glass with HOT water. As hot as your tap will allow! Put the nail polish bottle in the glass upside down. The water level should only be high enough to cover the lid.

Wait 2 minutes, dry off the polish bottle, and see if it will open. Usually this method works for me the first time, but if the bottle is still stuck, repeat the process.

Once you do get the lid off make sure to clean the top of the polish bottle with nail polish remover. That way hopefully it won’t get suck again!

Here are a few things you SHOULD NOT do:

  • Hit the nail polish lid against the counter (or any hard surface for that matter). While this may help loosen the lid, you could end up breaking the bottle. And no one wants that.
  • Force the bottle open, whether it be with your hand or a wrench or pliers. This could end up breaking the bottle or it could end up causing the lid to separate from the brush (like I did here!).

Hopefully some of you found this post to be helpful. If you have any tips for unsticking nail polish lids leave them in a comment!


28 responses to “DIY: How to Unstick a Stuck Nail Polish Lid

  1. Thank youuu! I bought a bottle of China Glaze ( Fifth Avenue) months ago & neither myself or my hubby could get the damn thing open!!! This worked! Yay!!! Can’t wait to try out the polish now! Thanks!!! 🙂

  2. You can also prevent it from sticking again by ottomg the tiniest amount of Vaseline around the neck before putting the lid back on. 🙂

  3. Great tips!! Much appreciated. When that happens to me I usually soak a cotton ball in nail polish remover and rub it all around the base of the lid until it un-sticks. Sometimes I hold the bottle upside down so the remover can run into the lid a little. 🙂

  4. Thanks for this tip! I’m sure it’ll come in handy someday 🙂

  5. the mustache makes this all worthwhile

    • I’m glad I wasn’t the only one amused! As I was editing the pictures I seriously thought to myself “you know what this nail polish needs? It needs a mustache!”

  6. Oh god, I really hope this works with my Seche Vite base polish, because I had to go out and buy a cheaper base just because of it!

  7. Good post! Mine always get stuck. I hope you don’t mind if I send readers of my blog to this post.

  8. And then, once you get it unstuck, put a little vaseline around the jar lip to keep it from sticking again! 😀

  9. Pingback: 2012 Round Up and Top Posts (+ the best manicure I never posted) | The Daily Varnish

  10. What do you think of putting vaseline on the rim to keep it lubricated? (once it’s open of course)

    • I’ve heard people do that but I’ve never tried it myself. I worry that the Vaseline would somehow mess up the nail polish! But those fears are probably unwarranted.

  11. I literally just got open my seche vite base coat. I tried everything you listed above but it didn’t work. I even threw it against the wall. I put on a rubber glove and it opened like magic.

  12. Thanks for the tip! i found OPI DS Desire and Passion hiding in a display case at a nail salon yesterday. I was worried when I couldn’t open them at home. The hot water trick worked perfectly.

  13. The rubber glove worked perfectly!!!

  14. Thank you, it worked great!

  15. OMG I have literally been doing my nails for over 15 years religiously and have NEVER been able to open stuck bottles (just an excuse to buy new ones lol) and this TOTALLY works!! Best advice! Thank you so much!! X

  16. Thanks for a great tip, I will continue to use and pay it forward! Worked wonders for me on the Seche Clear base coat. Appears there is a tendency for that brand to stick perhaps.

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