Acrylic Nails: Your Complete Removal Guide

Acrylic nails can be a beautiful enhancement to your look, However, they require regular maintenance and tend to only last around two or three weeks before needing to be removed or redone. Instead of running back to the nail salon every few weeks, why not learn how to safely remove them yourself? With this complete removal guide, you will get all the tips needed for easy DIY acrylic nail removal that won’t damage your nails

From the tools and products needed to remove acrylic without damaging your natural nails, our guide will set you up for success when it comes time to remove your acrylic nails – so let’s get started!

What are Acrylic Nails?

Acrylic nails are a type of artificial nail that is created by combining a liquid monomer with a powder polymer. The mixture is then applied over the natural nail and sculpted into any desired shape before it hardens. Acrylic nails can be used to create longer, stronger nails or to fill in gaps on the natural nail plate.

They offer a more durable and longer-lasting alternative to gels or nail polish. Acrylic nails must be filled every two to four weeks to maintain their shape and strength. With proper care, acrylic nails can last for several weeks before needing to be reapplied.

However, it is important to find a professional nail artist who can safely apply acrylic nails and provide the proper aftercare. Properly cared-for nails can look beautiful and add a touch of glamour to any outfit.

What do you need to remove acrylic nails?

-Nail clippers: To shorten the length of your acrylic nails.

-Acetone: Acetone is a key element in removing acrylic nails, as it will not only break down the glue that binds the nail to your natural fingernail but also will soften and thin out the acrylic itself.

-Cuticle pusher: To gently remove the acrylic nail from your natural fingernail.

-Nail file and buffers: These are used to gently file off the remaining bits of acrylic on your nails after they have been removed.

-Cuticle oil or moisturizer: To rehydrate your nails and cuticles after they have had contact with acetone.

-Cotton balls and foil: To wrap your nails in the acetone and help it to penetrate the acrylic nail.

-Vaseline or petroleum jelly: To protect your skin from contact with the acetone.

-Citrus oil: To help remove stubborn bits of glue that may remain after removing the acrylic nails.

-Nail polish or lacquer: To give your nails a finished look after removing the acrylics.

-Cuticle remover: To clip away any excess cuticles and skin around the nail bed.

-Emery board: To buff away any rough edges around the nail bed.

-Nail primer: To help prepare your nails for a new set of acrylics after they have been removed.

How To Remove Acrylic Nails Safely At Home?

Following are the ways to remove acrylic nails at home:

1. Soak the nails in warm water or acetone:

Submerge your hands in a bowl of warm water for at least 5 minutes or use an acetone-soaked cotton pad to gently remove the acrylic nails.

2. File the nail surface:

Use a nail file to buff away any remaining bits of acrylic on your nail surface.

3. Apply cuticle oil:

Massage some cuticle oil into your nail beds to rehydrate them and promote healthy growth.

4. Moisturize the hands:

Slather on some moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated and prevent any dryness or irritation caused by the nail removal process.

5. Use a nail buffer:

Smooth out any rough edges or ridges on your nails with an emery board or nail buffer.

6. Apply a base coat of polish:

Once the acrylic is removed, apply a base coat of your favorite nail polish color to protect your nails and add some shine.

How to remove acrylic nails with the Acetone method?

First, you will need to gather the following supplies to remove the fake nails: cotton balls, aluminum foil, an acetone-based nail polish remover, a nail clipper, and a cuticle pusher. Once you have all of your materials ready, let your nails soak in acetone for at least five minutes. Place a few drops of acetone onto a cotton ball and press it against your nail to help the acetone penetrate the acrylics. Wrap each finger in foil, allowing the acetone to work its way through the nails for 10-15 minutes.

Once enough time has passed, remove the foil and use a cuticle pusher to gently push the remaining acrylic off of the nails. If the acrylic is still firmly attached, re-soak in acetone and repeat. Be sure not to push too hard as it can damage your natural nails. Once all of the acrylics have been removed, use a nail file to buff away any remaining residue. Finish with a soothing cuticle oil or lotion to nourish your nails after the removal process.

By following these steps, you can safely remove acrylic nails using the acetone method. Just remember to always take caution when removing any type of nail product as over-exposure to chemicals can cause skin irritation or other problems. Additionally, ensure that you are in a well-ventilated area when using acetone or any other chemical products.

How to remove acrylic nails without acetone?

If you don’t have access to acetone nail polish remover, there is a way to remove your acrylic nails without it. To begin, soak your hands in warm water for 5-10 minutes. This will help loosen the adhesive that holds the nails in place. Once they are softened, use an orange stick or cuticle pusher to gently pry the nails off. If they don’t come off easily, you can trim down the tips with a nail clipper or file.

Once the acrylics are removed, use a nail buffer to remove any remaining residue and smooth out your natural nails. Finally, moisturize with cuticle oil or lotion to keep your hands hydrated and healthy.

Another method is to use dental floss, Begin by cutting the acrylic nails as short as possible with nail clippers. Then, use a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol to clean and disinfect your nails. Next, wrap the dental floss around the base of the acrylic nail, and gently pull back and forth until the nail starts to loosen. When the acrylic nail lifts slightly from your natural nail bed, remove it with tweezers or your fingers

Tips for safely removing acrylic nails

removal of nail polish on a natural white background

following are the tips that you should follow for the safe removal of acrylic nails at home:

Under no circumstances should you try to forcibly remove your acrylic nails. Doing so can result in serious pain and/or infection as it may tear out the real nail bed. If you want to try methods involving acetone, make sure there is no fire nearby as this chemical compound is highly flammable. Additionally, acetone can cause dehydration and wrinkling of the skin if applied to it.

If you experience burning or redness, be sure to seek professional help right away. For additional safety, cover the surface on which you are performing this procedure to prevent damage and staining from acetone. This process can take a while so make sure you are seated in a comfortable place.

Once the acrylics are removed, your nails may look dry and unhealthy but a little TLC can help them heal. Be sure not to skip the following steps after removing your acrylics.

Aftercare of nails after removing acrylic nails

Now that you have removed your acrylic nails, there are some important steps that you should follow to ensure your natural nails stay healthy and strong.

1. Give your nails a break:

After removing acrylics, give your real nails a few days’ rest before reapplying any additional products or filing them down too much. This will help keep your nails from drying out or becoming weak.

2. Moisturize:

After removing acrylics, it’s important to moisturize your nails with a nourishing oil or cream such as tea tree oil, vitamin E, jojoba oil, shea butter, or coconut oil. Massage the product into your nails and cuticles to help keep them hydrated.

3. File and shape:

Once your nails have had a few days to heal and you’re ready to go back to the salon, use an emery board or nail file to shape and buff your nails into the desired shape. Be sure not to over-file as this can cause damage to the nails.

4. Reapply nail polish:

Once your nails have been shaped and buffed, it’s time to apply a fresh coat of nail polish. Use a base coat followed by your favorite color, then top with a clear topcoat for extra shine and protection.

5. Protect your nails:

As you get back into the habit of regular manicures and pedicures, use a protective topcoat before applying any polish. This will help protect your nails from any additional damage.

6. Give yourself an at-home spa treatment:

To pamper your nails after removing acrylics, try giving yourself a mini hand or foot spa treatment at home. Soak your hands or feet in warm water with some essential oils and massage your nails and cuticles with nourishing oil. This will help keep them looking healthy and strong.

Following these steps after removing acrylics will help keep your natural nails looking good as new!


How do professionals take off acrylic nails?

Professionals use a variety of methods to safely remove acrylic nails. The most common method is soaking the nails in acetone, which helps soften the acrylic and makes it easier to scrape away. A professional may also use a drill or an e-file machine to gently buff away the acrylic. This helps ensure that no damage is done to the natural nails.

In some cases, a technician may use an acrylic nail remover solution that helps to slowly dissolve the acrylic and then quickly wipe it away with a cloth or cotton swab.

Can you take off acrylics with 100% acetone?

Yes, you can take off acrylics with 100% acetone. Acetone is a solvent that effectively breaks down the polymers and other molecules that make up acrylic nails, allowing them to dissolve into a solution.

It is important to use 100% acetone instead of any diluted versions as these will not be as effective. To remove your acrylic nails, soak them in acetone for about 20 minutes or until the acrylic has softened and can be peeled off easily. You may need to use a cuticle pusher or some other tool to help remove the acrylics completely

How can you remove acrylics without damaging natural nails?

Acrylic nails can be removed without damaging natural nails. It’s important to remove them correctly and in the right order. First, it’s best to take a small nail file and gently go over the edges of the acrylics to help break down the adhesive that is holding them on your nail bed. Next, use an acetone-based nail polish remover to soak your nails for about 10 minutes.

This will break down the acrylics and make them easier to remove. After soaking, take a cuticle pusher or an orange stick and gently push the acrylics off your nail bed. Once the acrylics are removed, use a gentle cleanser such as dish soap and warm water to remove any remaining residue.

The Bottom Line

Removing your acrylic nails can be a difficult and time-consuming process. However, by following the steps in this guide, you can remove your acrylic nails quickly and easily at home.

If you have any questions or concerns about removing your acrylic nails, please consult a professional manicurist or cosmetologist. Thanks for reading!

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