Once upon a time, my friend sheepishly admitted that she removes her acrylic nails by biting and ripping them off. Soon enough, I exploded into a ball of light, the ground cracking under our feet, and centuries of ghosts proceeding to haunt it forever. this is a true story. Why rule number one before doing your nails for the first time? know how to remove acrylic nails the right way.
and surprise, surprise: removing acrylic nails should not be done at home. The safest way to remove acrylic nails is to go to a salon and see a trained nail technician who can remove them without damaging your own nails. “Your natural nails grow regardless of how long your acrylics last, and you will start to see growth in your cuticle beds after two weeks,” Rita De Alencar Pinto, founder of Vanity Projects Nail Salon in New York, told Cosmo.
Which means that unless you’re ready to refill your acrylics again ASAP, you should head back to the salon to have them removed by the professionals, or I hate to say it, try removing them yourself at home strong>. is this the smartest and safest way? No! Is it what any professional would recommend? No! but I also understand that our time is limited, our lives are busy and the world is on fire and sometimes you just need to do something for yourself.
Luckily for you, I’ve scoured the questionable world of nail tips to find the best tutorials on how to remove acrylic nails without damaging them—or, well, as much damage as you’d probably inflict on yourself. read on and watch, and you might consider the easiest gel nails to remove for your next manicure.
How do I remove my acrylic nails at home?
Get in a car and drive to a beauty salon. sry, just had to remind you one last time of the best, and honestly probably the fastest, solution. but if you are at home? The easiest way to remove acrylic nails quickly is to cover them with cotton wool soaked in pure acetone, wrap your fingers in aluminum foil and let them sit for 30 minutes. the acetone will help break down the acrylics, so you can buff or scrape off the rest with an orange stick or cuticle pusher.
confused? I’ve got you stocking up on the essentials above, then keep scrolling for more in-depth tutorials.
how to remove acrylic nails with acetone
ah yes, the classic removal technique for the average dyer. As a ~hot~ tip (literally), try heating up the acetone before you start, which will help it work faster and more effectively on your nails. (note: acetone is incredibly flammable, so don’t microwave it; just run the bottle under warm water for a few minutes.)
- Carefully cut off excess acrylics, cutting them as close to your real nails as possible.
- Using a nail buffer, scrape the surface of the polish until the shine is completely gone. Removing the top layer helps the polish soften faster in the acetone.
- Pour 100% pure acetone into a tray or container and soak your nails for five minutes.
- Using a metal cuticle pusher, gently push the polish off the nails, pushing down from the cuticles.
- wet your nails again for five minutes, then gently push again. repeat until your acrylics have fully soaked.
- polish the rest of the smaller pieces with the nail buffer.
- massage cuticle oil into your nails to rehydrate them, then apply it to your nails with the soft side of a buffer. finish with another coat of cuticle oil.
- Gently and carefully sand the acrylics with a sanding bit, removing the top layer of the acrylics.
- then soak a cotton swab in 100% acetone, wrap it around your fingernails and cover with foil, until all fingers are wrapped in foil.
- After 10-15 minutes of soaking, unwrap your fingers and remove excess acrylic with a cuticle pusher.
- rinse your hands and finish with a cuticle oil.
- cut your acrylic nails (again, get as close to your real nails as possible without actually cutting them).
- Pour 100% acetone into a large ziploc bag and fill it enough to fully submerge your nails.
- Tilt the bag to one side so the acetone collects in one corner, then reach into the bag and allow your fingernails to soak in the acetone.
- let them sit for 15-20 minutes (probably a good time to start a netflix series), then gently scrape off the acrylics with a wooden cuticle stick.
- If the acrylics don’t push out easily, re-soak them for another five minutes and try again.
- buff off any remaining residue to finish.
how to remove acrylic nails with an electric file/nail drill
If you are lazy and addicted to acrylics, you should seriously consider choosing an electric nail file to make the process much easier and safer on the nail bed. yes, technically this is the ~professional~ way to do it and it’s definitely a skill to learn, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try it at home (at your own risk and by watching a bunch of tutorials).
how to soak acrylic nails
If an electronic file seems like too much work and you don’t exactly have a bunch of spare nail trays lying around your house, try the ultra-simple, though not exactly eco-friendly, way of removing acrylics with a plastic bag.