You may have one yourself or have tried one at a local women’s show or fair – the new glass nail file. It’s sleek, colorful, and very classy, but is it worth its $ 7 price tag and is it really superior to the emery boards we buy by the dozen?
Emery boards are cardboard with small grains of sand attached to it and are in fact interchangeable with sandpaper. As you file, the emery board literally rips your nail, that’s the nature of how you file.
With emery boards, you must file in one direction to minimize damage to the nail during the filing process. Sandpaper on a stick, also known as an emery board, comes in different grits so you can file your nail lengthwise, shape it, and then do your best to tame those lethal jagged edges that always form when using a nail file.
Emery boards are rough on the nails, but they get the job done. The roughness of the file you choose to use also depends on whether you have weak, thin, and brittle nails or hard, strong hooves.
Unfortunately, when getting the job done, they are designed so that the grinding wheels do more harm than good to the nails. When you use a nail file, you leave the tip of the nail “open” instead of being “closed”, as are the pores of the face open or closed. Leaving the edge of the nail “open” means that dirt and water can seep into the nail causing chips, cracks, peeling and weakening of the nails. Also, the harshness of sandpaper polishing weakens the nail.
Due to the porous nature of cardboard, glue and sand, dirt and debris can become embedded in the file and fungi and bacteria can grow rampant. Although you may not see it with your eyes, a good microbiologist and a microscope will enlighten you on your science project on a stick. There is no way to clean, let alone disinfect a nail file and they are so subject to bacteria that you have to throw away the nail file after each use. This is FDA-mandated practice in professional salons and this brings us to the environmental factor. The nail file scores very low on the “green-o-meter”. The number of trees used to make millions of files and the landfill space that these little 5-inch sticks take up is more than you might imagine. At least an entire soccer stadium can be filled each year with discarded emery boards and it takes years for one to completely decompose on the ground.
Metal files do a little better than their bacteria on a friendly stick, the cardboard file, but not by much.
Metal files are made in two ways: one, there are small metal flakes attached to a metal or cardboard bar, and two, a metal bar is formed and the bar itself is ground to create the filing surface. In both cases, tiny and tiny pieces of metal are dislodged when filing. While metal is much stronger and more durable than sand granules, the metal used to make files is usually of lower quality and actually quite soft when it comes to metals.
Metal files also grind the nail, leaving the nail tip “open” rather than “closed.” Due to the nature of the metal pieces in the file, dirt and debris can get trapped between the tiny metal “teeth” and can stick to the metal. The metal is not porous, so bacteria are not likely to grow on the file; however, bacteria can grow on nail debris and dirt trapped in the file. You can rinse a metal file, but you must be careful not to form rust in the cracks and crevices between the “teeth”.
Metal files cannot be sanitized to the satisfaction of the FDA for the ultimate in cleanliness.
On the green-o-meter, metal files score slightly higher than their cardboard friend due to the lack of trees used in their production. Metal releases some nasty chemicals during the production process and metal files need to be thrown away after multiple uses as they cannot be efficiently disinfected. They take much longer than grinding wheels to break down in landfills.
Their highest quality glass files are cut from real glass and the glass surface is treated in the manufacturing process to roughen it, creating the filing surface.
The glass file is very smooth as it glides over the tip of the nail. It won’t rip the nail like the emery board or metal file, so you can file in both directions and as an added bonus – no more jagged edges! When you file your nails with a glass file, you will notice how smooth the tip of the nail is.
The glass file closes the tip of the nail and seals it, preventing water and dirt from seeping into the nail. After using a glass nail file for a period of about a month, users report a noticeable difference in that their nails are stronger and “don’t chip, crack or peel as much.”
The glass is not porous and is very hygienic. Bacteria or debris cannot grow on the surface of the file, or become trapped in the rough surface of the glass file. The same goes for the glass pumice file that can be left in the bathtub without fear of mold, mildew, mildew or bacteria growing in it or in it.
Their best quality glass nail files are made from recycled glass. There are some factories that make them from new, large sheets of crystal glass, but their highest quality crystal factories have found a use for the glass left over from making vases and tableware. The glass melts and forms into large sheets. From these sheets, the different sizes of nail files and pumice stone are cut.
There are no different grains in a glass file, with the exception of the pumice file. The pumice file is made with a thicker surface and can be used for calluses, dry skin, toenails, and artificial nails.
Glass nail files meet all FDA disinfection requirements. They can be disinfected in alcohol, under UV light and baked in an autoclave. Due to their hygienic nature, glass files are perfect for diabetics, especially the pumice file. You don’t have to worry about cutting yourself while caring for your feet, like diabetics do.
Glass nail files will last for years, if not a lifetime. Glass is naturally very hard when found in nature. When crystal is formed on earth, it has a slow cooling rate, therefore, crystal molecules have more time to form strong lattice-like formations, which have a strong and resistant bond. Compared to glass, which cools very quickly and molecules don’t have time to form the strong lattice support system, glass is the superior material.
The crystal nail file gets high marks on the green meter because it is made from recycled materials and several factories use lead-free and environmentally safe dyes. They last so long that landfills will be largely unaffected by constant consumption like their cardboard and metal friends. A glass nail file and a pumice file can last a person’s lifetime!