How to remove acrylic nails – 8 methods and step by step instructions

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How to remove acrylic nails at home tutorials


How to remove acrylic nails at home? Sooner or later women come to that question. It is true that acrylic nails have more and more natural appearance but you cannot go against Nature – the real nails will grow and you should either reapply the acrylic or remove it completely. You can go to a salon and pay for the procedure or choose a DIY method. In order to successfully remove acrylic nails at home, it is recommended to use special liquid which dissolves the material. Such liquid can be found in professional shops. However, when you haven’t got the time to go to a salon you can do it at home and we shall give you some ideas how to do that.

Before removing nail extensions at home you need to know some important considerations as extensions, removed incorrectly may lead to nail trauma. The first and most important tip is to not try to forcefully remove the acrylic nails as this may pull out your real nail bed and the result will be a lot of pain, not to mention infection. When you use acetone to remove your nail extensions, remember that acetone is flammable. Make sure you are not around open fire which may lead to ignition of acetone. Do not forget that acetone is a strong chemical and you may see some wrinkling of the skin. This is a temporary effect, but in case that you experience an unpleasant feeling or a burning sensation stop the procedure immediately and look for professional help. Once you remove the extensions, carefully scrape off any remaining glue from the nail beds. Right after the procedure, use a moisturizer. Wait for at least one week before applying new nail extensions. This time is needed to let your real nails restore.

 

How to remove acrylic nails at home with acetone

DIY acrylic nails removal step by step clean nail polish

When you wonder how to remove acrylic nails at home, you can use several techniques. Acetone is a very strong liquid which dissolves acrylic and makes removal a relatively easy procedure. Despite the fact that acetone is a strong chemical it is not that dangerous to human skin. Of course, you should avoid it as much as you can but the side effects that you will experience are some dryness and redness of the skin. Having said that, you need to keep in mind the dos and don’ts that we listed above and take the necessary safety precautions. There are two methods to remove acrylic nails with acetone.

Method 1 – Removing acrylic nails with acetone, cotton buds and aluminum foil

How to remove acrylic nails at home with acetone and aluminum foil

This is a relatively easy procedure and you will need

  • Acetone
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Cotton pads
  • Aluminum foil
  • Nail clipper and nail file

 

Removing acrylic nails at home with acetone and aluminum foil


  1. Begin with clipping the acrylic nails as short as possible;
  2. Remove the top coat of nail polish;
  3. Gently apply petroleum jelly to the cuticles;
  4. Soak the cotton pad in acetone and place it on the nail;
  5. Wrap a piece of aluminum foil over the cotton pad and wait for 20-30 minutes;
  6. Remove the aluminum foil. The nail extension must come off easily but if you feel any resistance, keep the nail wrapped into the cotton pad and foil for some more time;
  7. Remove any leftover acrylic with a nail buffer and rub your hands with hydrating hand cream, moisturizing lotion, body oil or olive oil.

 

Method 2 – Removing acrylic nails with acetone and hot water

How to remove acrylic nails at home with acetone


This method may take a little bit longer. What you need is:

  • Acetone
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Nail clippers
  • Hot water
  • Tweezers
  • Two bowls

acrylic nails at home remove tutorial


  1. Begin with clipping the acrylic extensions as short as possible;
  2. Remove the top coat of nail polish;
  3. Gently apply petroleum jelly around your cuticles to protect them from skin irritation;
  4. Fill a bowl with acetone and larger one with hot water. Put the bowl with acetone inside the bowl with warm water to warm up the acetone. Never use a microwave to warm the acetone! Make sure there is not any source of heat near you as acetone is highly flammable. It is advisable that you do the procedure in a well-ventilated room since acetone has really strong fumes;
  5. Dip your nails in the bowl which contains acetone and wait for 30-40 minutes. Gently try to remove the acrylic nails. If you cannot remove them easily soak the nails in acetone for another 20 minutes and then try again;
  6. Remove any leftover acrylic with a nail buffer and rub your hands with hydrating hand cream, moisturizing lotion, body oil or olive oil.

 

How to remove acrylic nails without acetone?

How to take off acrylic nail extensions at home without acetone

When you feel reluctant to use acetone you need alternative methods. Here are some ideas how to remove acrylic nails without acetone.

 

Method 3 – Removing acrylic nails with dental floss

how to take off acrylic nail extensions without acetone using dental floss

When you want to remove your nail extensions with a dental floss you will need someone to help you as the method is based on pulling the dental floss under the nails. However keep in mind that this procedure usually takes layers off of the natural nail and if you have been using artificial extension for a long time it is better to choose another method. Those who suffer from peeling or brittle nails should not use dental floss to remove acrylic nail extensions.

  1. Gently pry up the nail cuticle with a cuticle stick to make a tiny inlet;
  2. Your partner has to insert the dental floss under the bottom edge of the nail, holding the two ends of the floss;
  3. The person helping you has to slide the floss back and forth under the nail and gently pull it up in order to loosen the nail and keep on with the sawing motion until the extension is removed. You partner should take his time and do not rush the procedure;
  4. Remove any leftover acrylic with a nail buffer and rub your hands with hydrating hand cream, moisturizing lotion, body oil or olive oil.

 

Method 4 – Removing acrylic nails with nail files

 

how to remove acrylic nail extensions at home with nail filer

Removing acrylic nails with nail files is a time consuming method but has the advantage of not using any chemicals. However, you need to be careful not to overdo it and damage your natural nails.

You shall need:

  • Nail clippers
  • Cuticle sticks
  • Nail filer or buffer
  • Cuticle scissors
  1. Remove all nail polish and clip your nails as short as possible;
  2. File the nails until you reach your natural nails. Once again – be careful to stop before you damage the actual nail bed;
  3. Remove anything remaining with the help of cuticle scissor. Carefully pry up the edge of the acrylic nail and clip it. Work carefully and clip small pieces at a time. Repeat until the acrylic is removed completely;
  4. 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;
  5. Remove any leftover with a nail buffer and rub your hands with hydrating hand cream, moisturizing lotion, body oil or olive oil.

 

Method 5 – Removing acrylic nails with hot water

how to take off acrylic nail extensions with hot water

This is the most gentle and the safest way of removing acrylic nails at home.

  1. Begin with clipping the nails as short as possible and use cuticle sticks to gently pry the edges;
  2. Take a bowl and pour hot water in it. Make sure it is not too hot and the temperature is comfortable to the touch;
  3. Soak your nails in the water for about 40 minutes until the glue is dissolved. You will notice how the acrylic swells which means that it can be removed easily from the nails. You may need to add more water and soak for some more time, so do not hurry;
  4. Remove any leftover with a nail buffer and rub your hands with hydrating hand cream, moisturizing lotion, body oil or olive oil.

 

Method 6 – Removing acrylic nail extensions with acetone free nail polish remover

How to take off acrylic nail extensions at home with and without acetone

You can use acetone free nail polish remover. Keep in mind that the polish remover may evaporate and you will need to add more to the bowl.

  1. Begin with clipping the nails as short as possible and use cuticle sticks to gently pry the edges;
  2. Pour the acetone free nail polish remover into a bowl;
  3. Dip your fingers in the nail polish remover for at least 30-40 minutes until the acrylic softens;
  4. When the nail loosens gently pull it out with tweezers or scrape it off with a wooden stick. If you feel resistance and the nail does not come out easily, soak for some more time. You can repeat the procedure to remove leftover;
  5. When the acrylic is removed completely use a buffer to trim your nails and rub your hands with hydrating hand cream, moisturizing lotion, body oil or olive oil.

 

Method 7 – Removing acrylic nails with alcohol

acrylic nail extensions removal without acetone pure isopropyl alcohol

Removing acrylic nails with alcohol is more or less the same as using acetone. Alcohol can dissolve the acrylic easily but you need to keep in mind that alcohol can be damaging to your skin.

You shall need:

  • Nail clippers
  • Cuticle sticks
  • Petroleum Jelly
  • A Glass Bowl
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Nail filer or buffer
  • Cuticle scissor
  1. Clip the nails as short as possible and use cuticle sticks to gently pry the edges;
  2. Apply petroleum jelly on your fingers around the cuticles to protect them from irritation;
  3. Pour some alcohol into a bowl and dip your fingers for 15 to 20 minutes until the acrylic is soft;
  4. Use a cuticle stick and gently scratch the acrylic off your natural nails until you remove it;
  5. When the acrylic is removed completely use a buffer to trim your nails and rub your hands with hydrating hand cream, moisturizing lotion, body oil or olive oil.

 

Method 8 – Removing acrylic nails with laminated business card

How to remove acrylic nail extensions at home with laminated business card

This method is similar to using dental floss for removing acrylic nails but is a lot easier. Make sure you use a business card that is strong enough. In case you haven’t got a laminated business card you can use a debit/credit card instead.

  1. Gently pry up the bottom edge of the acrylic nail with the help of a cuticle stick to open a small inlet;
  2. Carefully slide the card into the inlet and apply gentle pressure up and down until the acrylic nail pops out. Be careful not to rip your natural nail;
  3. When the acrylic is removed completely use a buffer to trim your nails and rub your hands with hydrating hand cream, moisturizing lotion, body oil or olive oil.

 

removing acrylic extensions with without acetone step by step

As you see, there are different ways to remove acrylic nails at home. However, if you feel uncertain or uncomfortable, the best option is to visit a salon where the professionals are well trained and you will have your nails removed without damages.

 

 

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