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A glass nail file is used in the same manner as a traditional stainless nail file or emery board. Of course, the main difference is that the glass nail file is made from glass, which is typically gentler on the nails and more durable. Nails that are filed by emery boards or stainless steel nail files may crack, chip, or develop jagged edges. Filing them with a glass nail file will yield smoother, more even edges.
Care of the glass nail file is a simple as running it under warm water. If desired, the glass nail file can also be cleaned with an antiseptic solution of rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. Emery boards, on the other hand, can not be effectively cleaned or sanitized. Steel nail files, because of the nature of the etching on the file, also are difficult to get scrupulously clean.
One of the drawbacks of glass nail files is that they are fragile and subject to cracking or breaking. Most of the time, however, they can be purchased with break-resistant cases to protect them from damage. They are also made from a slick material, which, when wet, can slip out of the user's hand, fall to the floor, and break. Fortunately, they are not prohibitively expensive and can be replaced cheaply.
The glass nail file is available in many colors, and although the file itself may be clear, the handles are usually available in a multitude of rich colors. In addition, these files have become popular in professional nail salons because they are kinder to the nails and may be less likely to cause a bacterial or fungal infection.
Even though getting a manicure is considered very safe, bacterial and fungal nail infections can still occur. This is why glass nail files are so beneficial to use in the salon setting. Since the nail files are made from non-porous glass that can be sterilized, bacteria is easily removed and less likely to invade the soft tissues of the fingers.
Glass nail files are readily available at beauty supply stores and certain drug stores. In addition, they are becoming more available at big-box stores. Also, they may be more cost effective than emery boards because when emery boards become wet or break, they become less effective, but this is not the case with the glass nail file.