How to Remove Acrylic Nails? July 17, 2017

Acrylic nails are the hottest trend and are the easiest way to add some length and glam to your nails. But then after a few weeks or a month comes the painful day of removing it. The best idea always is to get it done by a pro at a nail salon, but time and money often become a real constraint. Fret not; we are here to show you the easiest ways to remove those stubborn acrylic nails at home with simplest of the items. And no, you do not have to be a pro to pull these off or shell out a fortune.

How To Remove Acrylic Nails At Home?

When it comes to removing acrylic nails, acetone is your best savior. This strong liquid based chemical dissolves the acrylic nails and helps you remove them easily. I know you must be thinking how something so strong can be safe on your skin. Yes, acetone is not something that should come in contact with your skin very often, but apart from a little dryness and in some rare cases, a little redness is fairly safe to use it. Just make sure you take the necessary safety measures, and you should be fine.

Removal of Acrylic Nails With Acetone

So, here are two methods that you can try to remove your acrylic nails expertly using acetone.

Method 1: How To Remove Of Acrylic Nails Using Acetone And Aluminum Foil?

How To Remove Of Acrylic Nails Using Acetone And Aluminum Foil? Pinit

Image: Source

Things You Will Need

  • Acetone
  • Nail clippers
  • Nail buffer or file
  • Cotton balls or pads
  • Aluminum Foils
  • Petroleum jelly

Step by Step Process:

  1. Clip the acrylic nails as short as possible
  2. File away the top coat, nail polish or any color to avoid creating any mess or get your hands full of color.
  3. Apply petroleum jelly on the skin surrounding the cuticles. Now, soak the cotton pads in acetone and place it on your nails.
  4. Tear a piece of aluminum and wrap it over the cotton pad or ball so that it stays in place.
  5. Wait for 25-30 min.
  6. Pull the aluminum foil gently and the acrylic nail should come off with it. If you feel resistance, keep it wrapped for some more time.

Method 2: How To Remove Acrylic Nails Using Acetone And Warm Water?

How To Remove Acrylic Nails Using Acetone And Warm Water? Pinit

Image: Source

 Another alternate method for using acetone is to simply dip the nails in acetone 

Things You Will Need

  • Acetone
  • Orange sticks
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Nail clippers
  • Warm water
  • Tweezers
  • Two bowls

Step By Step Process 

  1. Clip your nails as short as possible and pry your cuticles with the orange stick.
  2. Fill up one bowl with acetone and another one with warm water and put the bowl containing acetone inside the bowl containing warm water to gently warm it up.
  3. Now, apply a generous amount of petroleum jelly on the skin surrounding your cuticles. This will protect them from the harsh effect of acetone.
  4. Now, dip your nails in the bowl containing acetone. Make sure to dip the entire length in the acetone and wait for 30-40 minutes.
  5. Check if the acrylic nails have gone soft and you should be able to pull it out gently with tweezers. If you feel resistance, do not yank, just soak it in acetone for some more time.

[ Read: Pros And Cons Of Acrylic Nails ]

Removal of Acrylic Nails Without Acetone

If you do not want your skin to come in contact with something as harsh as acetone, you can try out these methods that need simple every item, instead of acetone.

Method 1: How To Remove Acrylic Nails Using Acetone Free Nail Polish?

How To Remove Acrylic Nails Using Acetone Free Nail Polish? Pinit

Image: Source

It will take a little more time, but if you plan to avoid acetone, your normal nail polish can also help you to remove those stubborn acrylic nails.

Things You Will Need

  • Acetone-free nail polish remover
  • Tweezer
  • Bowl
  • Nail Clippers

Step by Step Process

  1. Clip the acrylic nails as short as possible.
  2. Pry the edges with the pointy end of the tweezer.
  3. Now, pour acetone free nail polish remover in a bowl.
  4. Soak the nails in the nail polish remover for at least 30-40 minutes.
  5. Once you feel the nail loosened, pull it out gently with tweezers. If it does not come out easily, soak for some more time.

Quick Tip: Normal acetone free nail polish remover tends to evaporate after some time. So it is better to keep adding more nail polish remover from time to time.

Method 2: How To Remove Acrylic Nails Using Dental Floss?

How To Remove Acrylic Nails Using Dental Floss? Pinit

Image: Source

Head to your bathroom closet and get your dental floss out. Apart from your oral hygiene, these strong threads are an excellent way of removing acrylic nails. However, this cannot be done by you alone, so make sure you have someone who can help you out with it.

Things You Will Need

  • Orange sticks
  • Dental Floss
  • A partner

Step By Step Process

  1. Pry your cuticles with the orange sticks to make a little inlet.
  2. Ask your partner to insert the floss through the inlet and move it in a sawing motion. Continue till the acrylic nail pops off.

Quick Tip: This method can be a little uncomfortable or painful, depending on your threshold. Prepare yourself accordingly and have patience.

[ Read: 50 Cute Acrylic Nail Designs ]

Method 3: How To Remove Acrylic Nails Using Nail Filers?

How To Remove Acrylic Nails Using Nail Filers? Pinit

Image: Source

 Another way of getting rid of an acrylic nail is to file them away. Yes, it can be a little time consuming, but it makes sure your skin does not come in contact with any chemical, and does a fairly decent job of removing the acrylic.

Things You Will Need

  • Nail filer or buffer
  • Orange sticks
  • Nail clippers
  • Cuticle scissors
  • Cuticle oil

Step By Step Process

  1. Remove all the color and design from nails, and clip them to the shortest length possible.
  2. Now, start filing them using long strokes. Keep filing till you feel you have reached your actual nail bed. Just be careful and stop before you file off your actual bed.
  3. If you notice some of it still remaining on your nails, take a cuticle scissor and pry open the edges and clip it. Make sure to clip only small pieces at a time and do not try to pry open too much.
  4. Once all the acrylic nail is off, take the orange stick and scrap off all the acrylic glue.

Quick Tip: This procedure can be a little harsh on your nails, follow it up with some cuticle oil.

Method 4: Removal of Acrylic Nails Using Laminated Business Card

Removal of Acrylic Nails Using Laminated Business Card Pinit

Image: Source

 If you are in an urgency to take your acrylic nails off, this is one of the fastest ways to do it. All you have to do is look inside your purse, and fish out a laminated business card.

Things You Will Need

  • Laminated Card
  • Orange sticks

Step By Step Process

  1. Use the orange sticks to pry the edges of the acrylic nails and make a small inlet.
  2. Now take the laminated business card and slide it into the inlet while applying gentle pressure in an upward motion. Do this one side at a time to avoid ripping a layer of your actual nail bed. And, the nails should pop right out.

Quick Tip: You can also use a debit/credit card instead of a laminated business card for this method

Method 5: Removal of Acrylic Nails Using Warm Water (Without Acetone)

Removal of Acrylic Nails Using Warm Water (Without Acetone) Pinit

Image: Source

 This is one of the easiest and gentlest methods of removing those stubborn acrylic nails. It is also the safest method.

Things You Will Need

  • Warm water
  • Nail filer
  • Orange sticks
  • Nail clipper

Step By Step Process

  1. Trim the nail to the shortest length possible and pry the edges with the stick.
  2. Pour warm water into a bowl. Make sure the temperature is comfortable as you have to soak for long.
  3. Soak your nails in the warm water for at least 30-40 minutes so that glue dissolves. Try to dip at an angle where the warm water can seep through the inlet you made with your orange stick. If the nails do not come out, add some more warm water and soak for some more time.

Quick Tip: As you have to soak for long, the water will start getting colder. Keep pouring warm water now and then maintain a constant warm temperature.

Also Read – How To Remove Gel Nail Polish Without Acetone At Home.

Important Tips And Precautions To Be Followed While Removing Acrylic Nails:

  • Under no circumstance, try to forcefully yank your nails out. It might pull out your real nail bed and end up in a bloody mess or infection, not to mention, it will be extremely painful.
  • If you are planning to try the methods that include acetone, make sure there is no fire around you, as acetone is highly flammable. Also, in most cases the side effects of acetone include a little dehydration of the skin and wrinkling of the skin temporarily because it is a strong chemical compound, things can often go wrong. If you feel a burning sensation or serious redness, do not push your boundaries. Seek professional help immediately.
  • Use a cuticle oil right after you remove the acrylic nails to restore your real nail bed. Also, these procedures can be really harsh on skin, so apply a gentle moisturizer after the process.
  • After removing the nail, scrape off the remaining glue or whatever residue of acrylic nails remains on your nail bed.
  • Cover the table or the surface you do this procedure on to safeguard them from acetone stain or damage.
  • This process usually takes longer. So have patience and be seated in a place in which you can stay comfortably for a while.
  • After you remove your nails, wait at least a week to let your real nails restore some balance before putting on the next pair of acrylic nails.

Now with all the tips and tricks, go and rock those killer designer acrylic nails and forget about the pains of removing them. You now know how easy it is, right?

Do tell us if you found this article helpful and share with us if you know any more such methods to remove acrylic nails, in the comment section below.

Recommended Articles:

The following two tabs change content below.
Profile photo of Avipsha Sengupta

Avipsha Sengupta

  • LJ

    As a cosmetologist, I have to say that the idea of pulling acrylics off with tweezers makes me cringe…it would be much safer to simply push the acrylic off with an orange wood stick (available at any beauty supply store or walmart even) and it will also help to cover the bowl of acetone with a warm wet towel to keep the helpful fumes in.

  • CC

    Clipping off acrylic nails can hurt severely… Not sure if that’s the best way to go about it.

    • Bonny

      Agreed. Better to just file them short and start to soak

  • Trudy

    Do not soak nails in acetone use a cotton ball with acetone on it and wrap each nail in foil takes about 30 min. Do not keep removing to look every time you expose to air acrylic will harden back

  • melanie

    What about gel nails ?

  • Bonny

    I agree. Do NOT pull them off. Your nail underneath will come off with it. Either use the orange stick or just keep wiping with a cotton ball until there is no more acrylic. And in my experience your nail is going to be SUPER sensitive after you do this because they take some of your natural nail off to “roughen” it. But be patient and wait for the nail to grow out. The sensitivity will abate. It is a terrible feeling, and keeps me from EVER getting acrylics applied again.

  • Allison

    I cut my acrylics down, it didn’t hurt at all. Then I put acetone in a bowl and soaked one hand at a time. I put a heating pad underneath the bowl to heat up the acetone. I also covered the bowl with a warm washcloth. Every 10 minutes, I would take my hand out and immediately file directly onto the acrylic. In total it took about 2 hours. Pain free removal!

  • nailpro91

    As a licensed nail tech I’d like to add a few suggestions…first of all, if the acrylic has a gel overlay you must use a file to break that seal. If not, no amount of soaking will get past that. Second, when soaking the acrylic, keep the nails in the acetone and scrape with an orangewood stick or cuticle pusher. When you take the nails out of the acetone it starts to set up and makes the removal harder. Also, scraping is less damaging to the nails than picking off the loss acrylic with nippers. You will also damage/dull your nippers if you use them in this manner.

    • http://www.stylecraze.com/ StyleCraze

      Thank you for your useful tip !!

  • Ruby

    does anybody know if this will work if you just got them done? I don’t know why I got thaw, they’re so uncomfortable!!

    • Zaina

      Yes! I got my nails done last monday and then took them off Thursday. I don’t use tweezers to get them off though I use a towel to rub them off once they have been soaking for a little while.

    • Anna

      I did did when I had my on for two three weeks it dies week but it won’t take them off. I cut my off this pass firday. I let them fall off or when I change my nail polish it does come off. Good luck

    • Anna

      It does work but it won’t take it off I had mine on for three or two weeks they came off when I change my nail polish. Just let them fall of by them self

  • Anna

    I just don’t use acryllic nails. I’ve heard that acetone is not the best stuff to use on your nails.