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How to Remove Acrylic Nails Safely at Home

Updated on February 17, 2012

It is not that difficult to remove acrylic nails safely. You don’t have to visit a salon for this. Follow any of the methods mentioned below, check the tips section and you will be able to remove acrylic nails safely without any hassle.

How to remove acrylic nails by soaking your fingernails in acetone based nail polish remover

Things you will need

  • Acetone based nail polish remover or 100% Acetone
  • A Bowl (Glass or ceramic)
  • Old newspaper
  • Nail Buffer
  • Hand moisturizing lotion or cream
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Nail repair polish
  • Cuticle oil


Apply petroleum jelly on your fingers nearby the nails. This is to protect your skin from the dryness that would occur when you soak your fingers in nail polish remover.

Fill the bowl with acetone nail polish remover. Dip your fingertips in the bowl for about 15 to 20 minutes. To speed up the process you can do either of these two things,

  • Put the acetone filled bowl in hot water to make it warm
  • Or put your nails in warm water for a while and then soak them in the bowl

Remove your hand from the bowl and gently push the acrylic nails away. Don’t put too much pressure; usually the nails should come off without any resistance. If not, dip your fingers for another five minutes or so.

After you have removed the acrylic nails, wash your hands thoroughly with water.

Apply cuticle oil on the nails and if any glue residue is left over your nails, use the nail buffer to remove those completely.

Dry your hands with a towel and apply moisturizing lotion on your fingers. You can use olive oil instead.

Apply a nail strengthening polish to protect your tender nails.

How to remove acrylic nails by using cotton balls and aluminum foil

Cut the aluminum foil in square shapes. You will use those to cover your nails tightly.

Soak the cotton balls in acetone. Put those cotton balls over your nails and cover those with the aluminum foil as tightly as possible. You should do it one by one for each nail.

Wait for 15-30 minutes.

Push the acrylic nails gently with a wood pusher or orange wood stick. The nails should come off easily. If not, repeat the procedure for another 5-10 minutes.

Check the video below to see how you should wrap your nails with aluminum foil.


There are different types of acrylic nails in use and the time required for removal may vary from one type to another.

Acrylic nails last for a long time but you should always replace an application in 3 months or less.

After removing the acrylic nails, wait at least 24 hours before applying a new set.

Use a ceramic or glass bowl only. Plastic bowls will melt reacting with acetone.

Lay newspaper over the table where you are going to remove your acrylic nails. This is because acetone can take the varnish off your table.

Acetone is flammable; never use a microwave to heat it up.

If you only want to change the acrylic nail color, use a nail polish remover that doesn’t contain acetone.

If acrylic nails seem too complex for you, you may want to check out gel manicures. Gel manicure is a bit pricier but performs better and is considered safer than acrylic nails.


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      Grace 3 years ago

      That wasn't my question