How to Remove Acrylic Nails Safely

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

There is something about long, perfectly manicured nails that make the hands elegant. For those who does not have the time (or patience) to grow their nails, there’s always acrylic nails. Think of acrylic nails as an extension of the nails.  Acrylic nails are artificial nails glued on top of the actual nails. The synthetic nails mimic the color and appearance of real nails. Although acrylics can be removed in a variety of ways, not a lot of them are gentle on the real nails. And in today’s post, we are listing down the safest ways to remove acrylic nails to minimize damage.

Method 1: Using an Acetone Solution

Acetone solution is a nail polish remover. Some types of acetone solution can remove acrylic nails, some don’t. If you’re unsure, consult a manicurist about it.

You will need:

A bottle of acetone
a clean bowl
Petroleum jelly
a nail file or buffer
a cuticle remover


Acetone is known to damage certain furniture so start by covering your work area with towels. Pour enough acetone on a clean bowl to dip your fingertips in. Coat your cuticles and the underside of the fingernails with petroleum jelly. Leave the nails bare and dip them in acetone for about 15 to 20 minutes. Once the acrylic gel softens, gently scrape it with a cuticle remover. The glue will be sticky after removing the acrylic nail. Soak the fingernails until the sticky glue is removed but do not scrape the nails.

Once you’re done, wash your hands and air dry completely. Get a nail file or buffer to remove remnants of the glue. Acetone can be extremely drying so finish up by applying a generous amount of hand lotion.

Method 2: Using Dental Floss and Metal File

You will need:

12 inches of dental floss
a metal file


This method can’t be completed without two people assisting you in the removal of the acrylic nails. Start by using the cuticle remover side of the nail file to lift the acrylic nail. The lifted area should be enough for the dental floss to get under the nail. Then, wrap the dental floss around the index finger of the second person on each hand.

After slipping the floss under the acrylic nail, use a sawing motion to gently pull the acrylic nail to the end of the nail bed. The fake nail should come right off. We can’t stress this enough, do this gently to minimize nail damage!

Method 3: Using Acetone Solution and Cotton Balls

You will need:

10 cotton balls
Aluminum foil
cuticle remover

This is a variation of the first method. Soak ten cotton balls with acetone. Then, place the saturated cotton balls directly on the nails. Wrap each cotton ball on the nail with aluminum foil. The foil will hold the cotton ball in place. Then, wait for at least 20 minutes to soften the acrylic glue. Remove the acrylic nail one by one using a cuticle remover. Soak further to remove the leftover glue.

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