How to Remove Acrylic Nails at Home?

As far as blistering fashion trends go, acrylic nails are right at the top. Acrylic nails add instant length and glamour to your nails, without the hassle of filing your actual nails regularly. However, after acrylic nails serve their purpose, the painful and treacherous day of nail removal arrives. Removing acrylic nails isn’t as simple as snapping a Band-Aid off a wound that has healed. In an ideal scenario, it is strongly recommended to avail a nail salon’s professional services for it. However, in the real world, both time and money can be a problem. Learning about ways to remove acrylic nails at home using easily available equipment is very useful. Don’t worry, professional-level skills or an inexhaustible bank balance won’t be necessary.

How to safely remove acrylic nails at home?

In the world of acrylic nail removing, there probably isn’t a more powerful and useful item than acetone. This strong chemical easily dissolves the glue used with acrylic nails and makes their removal an absolute breeze. Of course, with a chemical strong enough to dissolve the glue used with acrylic nails, some protective measures need to be taken. Luckily enough, a little dryness and redness is the worst that can happen to your skin if it repeatedly comes in contact with acetone. As long as you follow the required safety measures, you should be totally fine.

How to safely remove acrylic nails with acetone?

1. How to remove acrylic nails using aluminium foil and acetone?


  • Acetone
  • Aluminium foil
  • Petroleum Jelly
  • Nail clippers
  • Nail file/buffer
  • Cotton balls/pads

     Steps for removal:

  • Clip the acrylic nails.
  • File the top coat/nail polish away to avoid a mess.
  • Rub petroleum jelly on the area surrounding the cuticles (to protect it from acetone) and place acetone soaked cotton pads on your nails.
  • Use aluminium foil to wrap the cotton pad around your nails and keep it in place.
  • After about 30 minutes, gently pull the aluminium foil away. The acrylic nail should come out with it. In case it doesn’t come out easily, wait a little longer and try again.

2. How to remove acrylic nails using warm water and acetone?


  • Acetone
  • Warm water
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Tweezers
  • Nail clippers
  • Orange sticks
  • A couple of bowls

Steps for removal:

  • Clip the acrylic nails.
  • Take the bowls, fill one with acetone and the other with warm water. Warm the acetone bowl by placing it in the warm water bowl.
  • Rub petroleum jelly on the area surrounding the cuticles (to protect it from acetone).
  • Dip your hands in the warm acetone bowl, ensuring that the entire length of the acrylic nails is submerged in water. Wait for about 40 minutes.
  • Take your hands out and gently pull the softened acrylic nails out with tweezers. If they don’t come out easily, soak them for a little longer.

How to safely remove acrylic nails without using acetone?

1. How to remove acrylic nails with dental floss?

For this method, you need to use a tool which keeps the space between your teeth clean. The sturdy threads of a dental flossing kit are great for removing acrylic nails. This isn’t a single person job though, so get your friend/partner to help you with it. Also, this technique can be slightly painful, so operate as per your pain threshold.


  • Dental floss
  • Orange sticks
  • Partner

Steps for removal:

  • Make an inlet in your acrylic nails with the orange sticks.
  • Ask your partner to insert the floss in the inlet and start sawing your acrylic nail off. Adjust the intensity as per your pain threshold and continue till the acrylic nail falls.

2. How to remove acrylic nails with hot water only?

As far as safety and ease go, this is by far the best method of the lot. You don’t need any chemicals or hard to find equipment or a partner for this. Just ensure that you keep pouring warm water repeatedly to stop it from getting cold while you soak your hands.


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

Steps for removal:

  • Use the clippers to trim your nails and use the orange sticks to pry the edges.
  • Pour some comfortably warm water (not steaming hot) in a bowl.
  • Soak your hands in the warm water in a way that the water gushes through the inlets and dissolves the glue. If the nails don’t come out easily after about 40 minutes of soaking, add some more warm water and soak for a little longer.

3. How to remove acrylic nails with a laminated business card?

This is one of the fastest ways to remove your acrylic nails without going to a salon. Just rummage through your purse for a laminated business card and you are good to go.


  • Laminated business card/any laminated card (credit or debit card)
  • Orange sticks

Steps for removal:

  • Pry the edges of the acrylic nails using the orange sticks to make an inlet.
  • Slide the laminated card into the inlet and apply some gentle pressure in the upward direction. Apply the pressure on one side at a time and the acrylic nail should pop out. Be careful not to rip up your actual nail bed.

4. How to remove acrylic nails with acetone-free nail polish remover?

If you happen to own an acetone-free nail polish remover, you can use it to remove your acrylic nails as well. An acetone-free nail polish remover evaporates on its own when left open, so keep adding more in the bowl throughout the process.


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

Steps for removal:

  • Use the clippers to trim the acrylic nails.
  • Use the tweezer’s pointy end to pry the nails.
  • Pour the acetone-free nail polish remover in a bowl and soak your nails in it for about 40 minutes.
  • Once the nails start feeling loose, gently remove them with the tweezer. If they don’t come out easily, soak for a little longer and try again.

5. How to remove acrylic nails with nail filers?

This is another chemical-free method of removing acrylic nails. It might require a little patience as it takes a long time to complete, but it also keeps chemicals away from your skin, so it’s definitely worth trying.


  • Nail filers/buffers
  • Nail clippers
  • Cuticle oil
  • Cuticle scissors
  • Orange sticks

Steps for removal:

  • Use the nail clippers to trim the nails really short.
  • Now, just take a nail file and start filing the nail till you reach the actual nail bed. Ensure that you don’t file your actual nail bed away.
  • Use the cuticle scissors to get rid of any leftover acrylic nail debris.
  • Use the orange sticks to remove the acrylic glue.
  • Apply some cuticle oil after finishing the process.

General precautions and safety measures while removing acrylic nails

  1. Never pull your nails out by force. Yanking them out might lead to wounds which might get infected.
    1. While using acetone for removing your acrylic nails, ensure that there is no fire around you. Acetone is a highly flammable liquid and it can cause a lot of damage. Acetone can also react with the skin and if there is serious redness with persistent burning sensation, seek medical help immediately.
    1. After your acrylic nails are removed, use a cuticle oil on and around the nail bed, to moisturize and nourish the area after it underwent a harsh process.
    1. Ensure that no acrylic glue residue remains on your actual nail bed.
    1. Once you remove your acrylic nails, wait for at least one week before putting on new ones.

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