Expert Advice: The Best Practices for Cleaning Nail Drill Bits

If you have nail drill bits in your kit, it's time to give them the TLC they deserve! In this article we'll go over why cleaning nail drill bits should be an essential part of your nail tech routine. We'll also guide you step-by-step on how to clean, disinfect, and store your nail drill bits to make them last as long as possible!

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Why Should You Clean and Disinfect Your Nail Bits?

Just like with the rest of your nail tools, nail bits need to be properly cleaned after every use. This will help them last longer, work properly, and prevent the spread of germs to yourself or clients.

Common Reasons for Dirty Nail Drill Bits

Common reasons for dirty e-file bits include:

  • Accumulation of nail dust, dead skin, gel polish, acrylic dust, etc.
  • Improper cleaning techniques.
  • Neglecting to clean drill bits after every use.

Understanding Electric File Bits

E-file nail bits come in many sizes, shapes, grit, and materials. The main types include carbide bits, diamond bits, ceramic bits, and mandrels with sanding bands (single-use). Each type is made for specific services - for example, Russian dry manicures VS removing acrylic products. By familiarizing yourself with the different types of nail drill bits, you can choose the right ones to use, and properly clean and care for them.

Preparation for Cleaning Nail Drill Bits

Before cleaning your nail drill bits, gather all the necessary supplies:

💡Tip: Ensure that you have enough time to properly clean and dry the bits. Most 

Step-by-step Guide to Cleaning Nail Drill Bits

To clean your nail drill bits, follow these simple steps:


Start by removing any loose debris from the bits using a nail scrub brush, soap and water.

For stubborn bits of nail products, try soaking your bits in pure acetone for five to ten minutes. Alternatively, you can use an ultrasonic device with soapy water.

Once all the gunk is off, check your bit for damage and wear. If you detect any, it's time to throw it out and get a new one.


After washing the bits, dry them with a paper towel. Next, immerse them in a nail tools sterilizing box filled with a high level disinfectant. Make sure you soak them for the directed amount of time. Depending on the solution, this could take about 20 minutes.


Remove the nail drill bits from the sterilizing box (use gloves!) and rinse any remaining solution off with water. 

Spread your bits on a clean towel or drying mat. Make sure they aren't touching to avoid rust. 


Store your nail drill bits in a clean nail tool container until you are ready to use them again.

Maintaining and Storing Nail Drill Bits

To maintain and prolong the performance of nail drill bits, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Clean the bits after each use to prevent buildup and maintain sharpness.
  • Regularly inspect the bits for any signs of wear or damage, and replace them as needed.
  • Store the cleaned and dry nail drill bits in a designated container to keep them protected and organized.
  • Avoid storing nail drill bits with other tools or metal objects that could potentially cause damage.
  • Keep the storage container in a clean, dry area to prevent contamination and maintain the integrity of the bits.


In conclusion, regular cleaning of nail drill bits is essential for maintaining their performance and preventing infections. By following proper cleaning techniques, you can ensure the longevity of your drill bits and provide a safe and hygienic experience for your clients. Remember to stay consistent with your cleaning routine and store your drill bits properly to avoid damage. Keep those bits sparkling clean and enjoy a flawless nail service every time!

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About the Author Catherine

As a kid, I discovered the world of Japanese nail art through a magazine and since then, I haven't been able to stop thinking about anything related to nails! After following a more traditional educational path and earning my Bachelor's of Science in Food and Nutrition, I decided it was time to pursue my childhood passion. In 2015, I earned my diploma from Blanche Macdonald’s Nail Technology Program. After that, I got certified with YUMI Lashes and opened Sunday Beauty Boutique in 2017. These days, I'm focused on providing a 'no rush' experience to a select clientele, teaching as a nail instructor at Blanche Macdonald, as well as providing resources on beauty related topics to clients and estheticians on my blog.

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