Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

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Toenail polish

6 May, 2003


I often paint my toenails and before getting married would sometimes leave the polish on for long periods of time without bothering to remove it. I recently married and I have been removing any nail polish before going to mikvah, but I've found that sometimes there will be minute traces of the polish that are difficult to remove or even to see. Do I need to be concerned that those traces of polish constitue a barrier between me and the water? Thanks for your response – this site and the services you offer are greatly appreciated.


Nail polish is considered a barrier for mikveh immersion because it covers part of the body. Incomplete nail polish is actually more problematic because it is not attractive and women generally prefer to remove it. Therefore, it is important to try to remove all traces of the polish. You may want to remove the polish a day or two before mikveh so as not to feel time pressure while trying to remove it.  A Q-tip soaked in polish remover might be helpful in getting into the hard to reach areas. If it is absolutely impossible to remove some traces then you may still immerse. If you find slight traces afterward that you hadn't been aware of, you do not need to redo your immersion.

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