How can I painlessly remove acrylic nails

Last updated 1st of September 2018
Times are bit tough at the moment and you could use the extra money that you would have otherwise spent on removing your acrylic nails. If only you could remove them by yourself in the comfort of your own home… Well you are in for a surprise because this article will teach you exactly how to remove acrylic nails. You will find 2 different easy methods within this article so make sure to read both and chose the one that best suits you.

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A Word Of Caution

Before we begin it must be said that you should always primarily visit your nail technician to have your fake nails removed and have any other nail related issues attended to (provided they are not of medical nature, otherwise you should visit your doctor). Below we have two unique methods on how to remove acrylic nails depending on what your prefer doing.  

How To Remove Acrylic Nails

Method One – Things You Will Need

  • Nail Polish Remover
  • Nail Clipper
  • Olive Oil
  • Glass Bowl
  • Moisturizing Lotion
  • Clean Towel
  • Petroleum Jelly
  • Water
  • Orange-wood Stick
  • Nail Buffer
  • Nail File

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1. For the first step you want to begin by cutting your acrylic nails as short as possible without hurting yourself. This will make the job quicker and easier as there is less acrylic nail to deal with.

2. Fill up a small glass bowl of acetone nail polish remover before getting any lotions or substances on your hands.

3. Buffer your nail with a file to remove the gloss from your nails. Make sure to move around the nail a lot, in an even fashion, and not to focus on one spot. Clean off the dust once your finished with this part.

4. Apply a thin coat of petroleum jelly around the skin that is touching the nail bed in order to protect your skin from the acetone nail polish remover. In this scenario a bit too much is better than too little.

5. At this point dip your nails into the bowl of acetone nail polish remover until the glue that binds your acrylic nail to your natural nail bed starts coming off. This process can take up to 15 – 20 minutes.

6. Once the acrylic has gone all mushy and jelly like after 15 – 20 minutes remove your hands from the bowl of acetone. Gently try to remove the acrylic nail from your natural nail, if you meet some resistance dip them back in the bowl of acetone for another 5 – 10 minutes. NEVER FORCE OR PRY YOUR ACRYLIC NAILS OFF. This can damage your natural nail and lead to INFECTION and all sorts of other nasty things that will take weeks for your natural nail to recover from. So don’t rush the process. 

7. QUICK TIP: For the above process I like to use the kitchen roll and keep wiping the dissolved acrylic layer of my nails. This way I don’t damage my natural nails by using excessive force. I do this until I have reached the natural nail.

8. Once you have removed the acrylic nails wash your hands thoroughly under water and to remove the petroleum jelly and acetone nail polish remover from your hands.

9. For any left over glue on your nail use a buffer to remove it.

10. Apply cuticle oil (or olive oil) to your nails and massage it into your nails and hands. This will help moisturize your nails after being dried out by the process of removing acrylic nails.

Your nails will look rough for a couple days. You can buff them a little to reduce the roughness.

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Method Two – Things You Will Need


For this method you need two people to do this. This method is faster but far more injury prone than the first method but it saves a lot of time and resources. This method is also not recommended for those who suffer from weak or peeling nails. If it were up to me I would use the first method over this one preferably. 

1. At the cuticle end of your nail use a metal nail file to work up the edge of the acrylic nail a bit there so there is enough space for you to slip the dental floss underneath the acrylic nail.

2. Using about 12 inches of dental floss, wrap it around the index finger of the second person on each hand.

3. Slip the floss under the edge you just created.

4. Remember to NEVER force anything. This will only lead to injury and regret. A lot of regret when it comes to nails.

5. The second person should use a sawing motion and gently pull towards the end of the nail bed.

6. The acrylic nail should pop off.

As you can see from the above process it is a lot quicker than method one but leaves a lot more room for injury or infection. One user reported the floss actually slicing through one of her acrylic nails!!! Use with caution.

Well there you have it, two methods on how to remove your acrylic nails at home without having to visit the nail salon (which I stress is more advisable than using these methods)

I hope you found this article helpful and have learned how to remove acrylic nails. Let us know what you think in the comments section below. Don’t forget to share and like this page. Thank you!

For more information on how to remove acrylic nails click here, here and here.