You would be forgiven for thinking that polishing, one of the new features introduced in Animal Crossing: New Horizons‘ Happy Home Paradise expansion (which is quite a mouthful), looked a bit… duff. After all, why would you want to make our furniture sparkle?
We thought the same thing too, when we first unlocked the ability to polish. For the first few days (or house designs) the polish feature did exactly that: made things sparkle. And we didn’t necessarily want things to sparkle.
But after starting the design of our 12th house, we were given an entire catalogue of polish effects — and we put them to good use for this feature. Here are all the polish effects, plus a couple of ideas on how to use them!
How To Get, And Do, Polishing
How do I unlock polishing?
After you have completed your fourth house, you’ll get a little cutscene in Happy Home Paradise about how Wardell loves to polish things. During your fifth home design, Niko will teach you how to do it yourself!
What does polishing do?
It adds effects to furniture! Whether that’s adding sparkle to something shiny, or raindrops to something that you want to look drippy, you can breathe life into your homes and your villagers’ homes with polishing.
How do I polish?
When you’re inside a house — your own, your villagers, or the vacation homes in Happy Home Paradise — you can press the L shoulder button to switch into polishing mode and don your polishing gear.
From there, walk up to the item you want to apply the effects to and press A, or hold A to intensify the effect. Sometimes this makes more particles appear, and sometimes it just makes them bigger, or faster.
How do I undo the polish effect?
Just walk up to the item again and press A or Y!
While designing your twelfth home design (you get a letter after your tenth one, so just two more after that), Niko will teach you all the remaining 13 polish effects for a total of 14.
What are the effects, and what do they do?
There are 14 effects, and each one adds different particles to an item of furniture of any size — anything from a cup of coffee to the Moon. Here’s all of them, as well as some suggestions on how to make them work for you!
Adds small white sparkles to the item, which glitter and glow like teeny tiny stars. Use this to make something look clean or magical, like a crystal ball or something gold.
Makes little hearts appear and float up from the item. You could use this to make an entire room unbearably twee, if you wanted to — or to surprise a loved one with a heart-shaped box of chocolates that has hearts coming out of it.
Makes spinning blue spirals rotate up and around the item. We’re not really sure what this is good for.
A sort of Star Trekky “beam me up, Scotty” effect that makes things look like they’re either being vworped up to a spaceship, or like they’re falling.
An effect that makes things drip with water. Use it in your rainy rooms, or to make laundry look like it’s drying.
This one gives a “bokeh” effect to things, which has the result of just making something look very, very pretty. Honestly, everything looks good with a fuzzybubs effect.
A creepy, cursed effect that can be used to make something look like a portal into somewhere you definitely don’t want to go.
Makes things steam. A brilliant effect for a lot of purposes: make food steam, make your sauna/spa/bathroom look toasty, or make your New York sewers authentically nasty.
Makes a cold fog emanate from the object. Fantastic for haunted houses, fridges, and generally anything cold and/or spooky.
Adds a crackly lightning effect to an item. Mad scientists and torturers alike will love this one.
A few purple rays buzz out of the item, apparently indicating that it’s stressed. Are your items stressed? Let the world know with the stressbuzz effect.
The kind of effect used in anime to indicate that someone is nervous, freaked out, or scared, the bobbleshock effect can make your furniture look like it’s afraid of you with bold, jagged blue lines.
Makes butterflies fly around the item. Great for gardens, or just making your house look adorable.
A speech bubble will appear above the item as if it’s talking. The more you polish, the larger and more “insistent” the bubble will appear. If you get lonely, why not have your furniture talk to you?
The secret best effect: Press X with any of the above effects highlighted to replace the particle with a design of your choice. Better yet, make one specifically for whatever purpose you need, like this:
This article is part of our Animal Crossing: New Horizons walkthrough, which includes a Complete Fish List, Complete Bug List and Complete Sea Creatures List. If you’re looking for specific fish or bugs, we can tell you how to catch the elusive Coelacanth, Mahi-Mahi, Giant Trevally, Stringfish, Golden Trout and all the Sharks and Beetles, along with a full list of critters leaving at the end of the month (unless you visit Kapp’n’s Boat Tour islands, of course!).
We can also help with How to Spot Redd’s Fake Paintings and Statues, How to Make Bells Fast, How to Breed Flowers, How to Get more DIY Recipes, How to Upgrade Nook’s Cranny, where and when to find special characters like Gulliver, Sable, Label, Wisp, Celeste, Pirate Gulliver and Jack, plus tips on using the Star Wand, Tool Ring, Rock Trick, Cutting Down and Moving Trees, using amiibo on Harv’s Island, How to Back Up Your Island Data, How to Time Travel, How to Get a 5-Star Island Rating and a whole lot more.
If it’s new content you’re looking for help with, we can help you find gyroids, unlock Brewster’s café, use the new Pro Camera App for selfies, enact new ordinances, get the beloved Froggy Chair, and even learn How to Cook.
And finally, Where to Buy Animal Crossing: New Horizons on Nintendo Switch, if for some reason you haven’t yet picked up the game, and How To Buy The Happy Home Paradise DLC, too!
Have you tried polishing yet? Let us know your tips in the comments.