When it comes to brittle, dry or otherwise damaged nails, the cause is often attributed to lifestyle habits or activities that involve frequently exposing the hands to water. Although water is often the culprit, it’s the additional chemicals, substances and other elements that may cause most egregious cases of dry and damaged nails. Here are some household items that are harmful to fingernails, along with ways to help avoid potential damage resulting from their use.

Hand soap

Although regular hand washing is critical to maintaining proper hygiene, even gentle hand soaps can be detrimental to fingernail health. Soap is designed to strip oils from the surface of the skin. When washing the hands, it makes its way down into the nail bed and strips the nail bed of its natural oils. The long-term consequence of overexposure to soap is dry nails that crack and split. It’s best to moderate hand washing and periodically moisturize the nails after long bouts of soap exposure to mitigate the potential damage.

Dish & Laundry Detergent

Dish and laundry detergent pose the same risks as those of hand soap but on a more severe scale. These highly concentrated household cleaning substances are designed to cut through even the worst of grease and grime. They have a potent drying effect that tends to strip oils and moisture out of the hands and fingernails. Individuals who frequently expose their hands to dish or laundry detergent have a much higher chance of suffering from dry and brittle nails than someone who protects their hands while using such products. For optimal nail health, always wear gloves when washing dishes and avoid exposing your hands to soapy washing machine water.


Although many homeowners have found alternatives to bleach, it remains a popular household cleaning product with many advantages. Unfortunately, one of the advantages doesn’t include positive nail health benefits. Even in small amounts, bleach can drastically dry out the nail bed and hamper the development of healthy, moisture-rich fingernails cheap cialis overnight delivery. If bleach is still the solution of choice in your household for handling dirty socks and stain removal, make sure you protect your hands while you’re using it.

Floor Cleaning Solvent

Floor cleaning solvents are notorious for their detrimental dermatological effects, yet millions of homeowners still drench their bare hands in mop buckets every week in their quest for cleaner floors. Unfortunately, the solvent responsible for stripping your floors of grime, wax and dirt also removes the oils that form the foundation of full, healthy nails. When mopping or doing similar activities that require exposure to these substances, wear gloves to provide a barrier between your nails and these potentially harmful substances.

When it comes to household items that damage the fingernails, these four items are the culprits to watch for. If you haven’t sustained any significant fingernail damage or dystrophy as a result of long-term nail drying, take action now to avoid future damage by eliminating these household risks.