A Complete Guide on How to Remove Acrylic Nails

how to remove acrylic nails
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Acrylic nails are used for cosmetic purposes and they provide length and shine to the natural nails. It is necessary to give a breath to natural nails after a certain time, therefore, you must remove the acrylic nails. This can be a difficult and time-consuming process because it requires a lot of attention to be protected from any sort of damage.

To remove acrylics, you require specific tools that allow you to remove your acrylics without damaging your natural nails. In this guide, we are going to tell you how you can remove your acrylics with different methods without damaging or ensuring your nails’ care and beauty. So, let’s start learning how to remove acrylic nails easily and effectively!

Different methods of how to remove acrylic nails

Here are the three most effective methods to remove acrylic nails at home:

1. Remove Acrylic Nails with Acetone

Below are some tools required to remove acrylic nails with acetone:

  • Acetone: A solvent used in nail polish remover, it would help in breaking the acrylic nails, making them easy to remove.
  • Cotton balls: Used to dip in acetone to apply on acrylic nails.
  • Nail clippers: To make the removal of acrylic nails easy, it is better to cut the acrylic nails smaller.
  • Aluminum foil: After applying the acetone with cotton balls, the aluminum foils are required to wrap around the nails to trap the heat around the nails, which provides ease to the removal of acrylic nails.
  • Nail file: Filing the top layer of acrylic nails would provide ease for acetone to penetrate the acrylic and make it easy to remove.
  • Buffer block: To smoothen the natural nails, a buffer block is used after the removal of acrylics.
  • Vaseline, cuticle oil: Required to moisturize the natural nails to prevent dryness.

Follow the given simple method to remove acrylic nails with acetone:

Step1: Cutting the acrylics

If your acrylics are long, cut them into small. It will provide an ease to remove the acrylics more conveniently. Be careful, don’t cut close to your natural nails to prevent any damage to natural nails.

Step 2: Buff the Acrylic nails

To make the acetone more penetrating inside the acrylic nails, it is essential to buff the acrylic nails with the help of a nail filer or nail buffer. The removal of the product would allow an ease to acetone to penetrate inside the acrylics and make the nails clean and smooth.

For this, it is necessary to choose a filer or buffer and move it back and forth on the nail. Better focus the top layer to prevent any damage and after the surface becomes less glossy, stop the process.

Step 3: Soaking the cotton balls or cotton pads in acetone

To apply the acetone on acrylic nails, it is necessary to soak these cotton balls or cotton pads inside the acetone. Take acetone in a bowl in a reasonable amount and soak about 10 to 20 cotton balls inside it until the cotton balls are completely drenched with acetone. Be careful because acetone is a highly flammable solvent so better do this step in a highly ventilating space.

Step 4: Cut the aluminum foil

Cut the aluminum foil of the size 13cm x 13cm while the cotton balls are soaked in the acetone.

Step 5: Apply acetone with the help of cotton balls

Apply these cotton balls soaked in acetone on the acrylic nails by placing them on the nails. Better cover your nails completely with cotton balls and press them gently. Put these cotton balls on your nails for 20 to 30 minutes to allow the acetone to completely soak inside the acrylic nails so that they can easily break down and be removed.

Step 6: Apply petroleum gel around the nails

It is necessary to apply the petroleum gel around the nails as acetone is very hard on the skin and it is essential to protect the skin around the nails. Don’t apply the petroleum gel on the nail directly because it would prevent the acrylic nails from being removed.

Step 7: Place the aluminum foil around your nails

The soaked cotton balls will be placed inside the aluminum foils and then these aluminum foils will be placed on the acrylic nails. The aluminum foil will place the cotton balls in their place. To fasten this aluminum foil around your nails, apply the non-plastic aluminum foil. Don’t use plastic tape for this purpose because plastic tape would dissolve the acetone. If you don’t have non-plastic tape, just soak your nails inside the acetone for 30 minutes.

Step 8: Removal of aluminum foil

After waiting for 20 minutes, till the acrylic becomes loosened from the nails due to acetone applied to it, remove the aluminum foil. Be careful while removing the aluminum foil, remove the aluminum foils one by one, while removing the foil, be calm and slow, don’t forcefully pull the aluminum foil otherwise, you will damage your natural nail. If the acrylics were not removed in the first attempt, soak them again in acetone for 30 minutes and then again wrap them with aluminum foil to loosen the acrylics.

Step 9: Clean your hands and apply moisturizers

After the removal of acrylics from the natural nails, it is necessary to clean the hand to remove the acetone and remaining acrylics from the natural nails. Applying the moisturizer is necessary to hydrate the nails because the hydrated nails grow healthily and are prevented from damage.  

2. Remove acrylic nails with dental floss pick

Below are essential tools required to remove acrylic nails with a dental floss pick:

  • Dental Floss Pick or Cuticle stick: This stick is moved back and forth to loosen the acrylics from natural nails.
  • Nail Buffer: To clean the nails and remove the remaining acrylics.
  • Moisturizer: To moisturize the nails after the removal of acrylics.

Follow the given simple method to remove acrylic nails with dental floss pick:

Step 1: Moving the bottom of the acrylic with dental floss

Move the dental floss or cuticle stick gently between the acrylic and natural nail at the nearest corner of the cuticle to loosen the acrylics as much as possible.

While loosening the acrylic nail, be patient and move the dental floss as slowly and softly as possible to decrease the chances of damage. To make the procedure easy, apply acetone.

Step 2: Slide the acrylic nail with the end of the dental floss

After loosening the acrylic nail for the cuticle, slide the acrylic nails back and forth slowly and apply slight pressure so that the acrylic comes out. Repeat this procedure with every acrylic.

Step 3: Buff and apply moisturizer

Buff your nails to clean the remaining acrylic and apply moisturizer for the healthy growth of your nails.

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3. Remove acrylic nails by using an electric filer

Gather the below-mentioned tools before removing your acrylic nails at home by using an electric filer:

  • Electric filer: This is used in different frequencies to remove the acrylic from the natural nails.
  • Manual filer: This is used to remove the acrylic that is left after removing most of the acrylic with an electric filer.
  • Nail clipper: To shorten the acrylic nails.
  • Moisturizer: To moisturize the natural nails.

Follow the given simple steps to easily remove acrylic nails with an electric filer:

Step 1: Clip the nail with nail clippers in small size as much as possible

Cut your nails with the help of the edge of the nail clipper as near to the natural nails as you can and work your way unless the tip of the acrylic is removed.

Step 2: Remove the top coating and polish with an electric filer

Use an electric filer by moving it in one direction, that is towards you at the frequency of 12000 revolutions per minute. Move the electric filer back and forth so that the polish and color of acrylic products are sanded out.

Step 3: Use small rapid back-and-forth movements

Start making brush stroke movement and when the natural nail becomes visible, set the frequency of the electric filer at 7000 revolutions per minute. When the acrylics become segmented, clip off the sanded part and if the use of an electric filer is irritating, soak the acrylic nails inside the acetone to remove the remaining acrylics.

Step 4: Use the manual filer

Now use the manual filer to remove the remaining acrylics from the nails by moving it back and forth on them. Continue until the entire natural nails are exposed.

Step 5: Clean and moisturize your nails

Wash your hands and then moisturize them to keep them hydrated.

How to take care of your nails after removing your acrylic nails?

You can take care of your nails by following methods:

1. Buff nails

After removing the acrylics, there may be remainings of the acrylics on natural nails. It is necessary to buff your nails to remove those residues.

2. Treat nail buds

The cuticle of nails requires tender loving care after the acrylics are removed from the surface of the nails. The periphery of the nails should be applied with a cuticle.

3. Hydrate nails

Keep your nails hydrated with lotion, gel, or moisturizers to keep them healthy and ensure better growth of them.

What to use on nails after removing acrylic nails?

Many beauty tips experts or makeup tips advisors recommend using any of the following cosmetic products just after removing acrylic nails from your fingers:

1. Cuticle oil

Cuticle oil can be used before, during, and after the removal of acrylic nails. It is necessary to keep your nails moisturized after the removal of acrylics.

2. SPF

SPF can also be used on hand after the removal of acrylic nails. While using SPF on acrylic nails, UV lamp application is not required but still it is necessary to protect the hands from being damaged.

3. Hand cream

It is necessary to keep your hands hydrated and for this, hand cream should be used after the removal of acrylic nails.


Acrylic nails are used for aesthetic purposes to make the nails look longer, beautiful, and shiny. Several methods are used to remove the acrylics but the most widely used method to remove acrylics is by acetone. After the removal of acrylics, it is necessary to moisturize the hands, buff them, and apply hand cream to keep your hands hydrated.

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