Nails » How to Remove Acrylic Nails at Home

How to Remove Acrylic Nails at Home

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You should no way remove acrylic nails by filing away the hardened acrylic paste or snapping off the nail tips, as you are likely to cause damage to your own natural nails by following any of those methods of removing acrylic nails. Below, you’ll find the detailed explanation on how to remove acrylic nails at home without causing any damage to your natural nails.

In this article:

Method 1: Splitting the Acrylic from the Nail

With this method, you use either a fake nail to slide beneath and pry off the false nail or the preferred splitting method using dental floss. When using the fake nail to split the acrylic from your fingernail, it can be done alone or with help. When returning to the salon, most places use another fake nail to remove the acrylics.

If you are using dental floss, you will need help from someone else because it requires 2 hands to use it properly. Here are the steps:

  • Step 1: Clip down the acrylic nail to where your nail ends.
  • Step 2: Find the seam and slide either the tip of the fake nail or the dental floss into the seam.
  • Step 3: Gradually and carefully work either the nail or the floss further into the seam until the acrylic pops off completely.
  • Step 4: When using the floss, have the person move the floss side to side lightly to help work it under the acrylic.
  • Step 5: Moisturize your hands and use a nail strengthener afterwards.

This method will completely remove the acrylic nail without chemicals, but your nails will likely still be weakened beneath the acrylics. Taking care of them right away is the best way to go.

Method 2: Soak Your Acrylic Nails off with Acetone

When soaking your acrylic nails off with acetone, you can do so one of two ways. You can soak your fingernails in a bowl of high acetone nail polish remover or pure acetone, which will essentially melt off the acrylic nails.

The other method involves soaking a cotton ball in the acetone or nail polish remover, placing the soaked cotton ball on your fingernails and securing them to your nails using foil. In either case, soaking the acrylic nails off will take at least 20 minutes. Here are the steps:

  • Step 1: Remove your nail polish. The color can cloud the liquid, making it difficult to judge how much the acrylic nails have disintegrated, and the color can also redistribute on the cuticles.
  • Step 2: Wash and dry your hands and under your nails.
  • Step 3: Push back your cuticles.
  • Step 4: Apply Vaseline or coconut oil to your cuticles and the skin around your nails to protect them from the acetone.
  • Step 5: Fill a small bowl with acetone or soak your cotton balls in the acetone.
  • Step 6: Start the soaking process either by using the soaked cotton ball and foil or holding your fingernails in the acetone in a small bowl.
  • Step 7: As the acetone melts off, push it off with a craft stick or an orange cuticle stick.
  • Step 8: Continue removing the acrylic until there is just a thin layer left on the nail.
  • Step 9: Let your hands dry, then use a buffer to remove the remainder of the acrylic.
  • Step 10: Moisturize your hands and use a nail strengthener afterwards.

Please note that when using acetone to remove acrylic nails you should work in a well ventilated area because of the fumes and be aware that you will need to moisturize your nails afterwards. The nail glue from the application and the acetone from the removal will dry them out. Many people leave a thin layer of acrylic on the nails to offer some protection, as they will be thinner than normal.

There are at-home acrylic nail removal kits available that will help you remove the acrylic nails, but most of them utilize a version of the two methods mentioned above, which will also cost you much less and can be used in other ways. The benefit to the kits is that they usually include a cuticle oil or nail hardener in the kit as well.

Photo via @misslaladoll