How To Remove Nail Glue From Fake Nails [2 Methods Explored]

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Nail glue can be tough to remove once it is applied. However, there are a few different methods that you can use to remove nail glue, depending on if your nails or acrylic or gel-based. We researched how to remove nail glue from both types of nails.

Here are two methods to remove nail glue from fake nails:

Method 1. Buff the Acrylic Nails Down

  1. Remove the nail polish
  2. Clip the nails
  3. File the nails down
  4. Wash your hands
  5. Buff your nails
  6. Apply cuticle oil

Method 2. Use Goo Gone to Remove Gel Nails

  1. Clip the gel nails
  2. Apply Goo Gone onto a cuticle stick
  3. Apply the Goo Gone to your gel nails
  4. Buff your nails
  5. Wash your hands

It’s always best to have a game plan for your nail removal if you don’t plan to go to the salon to have them removed. The best method for nail removal will depend on the type of nails you have and how much time you are willing to spend taking them off. Continue reading to learn about ways to do this.

Woman attaching false nails, How To Remove Nail Glue From Fake Nails [2 Methods Explored]

Methods To Remove Nail Glue From Fake Nails

Nails saloon nail polish remover with manicure tools

Method 1. Buff the Acrylic Nails Down

You don’t always need to soak acrylic nails to remove them. If your nails are a week or two old, you can buff the nails down using a fingernail buffer. If you prefer not to soak your acrylic nails in acetone or nail polish remover, here is a method that you can use to loosen the glue and take them off.

Things you’ll need:

  • Fingernail buffer
  • Small disposable bowel
  • Cuticle stick
  • Cuticle cream
  • Cotton balls
  • Fingernail file

1. Remove the nail polish

Start by removing any nail polish from the acrylic nails. Apply the polish to cotton balls and them on the acrylic nails until the polish is completely removed.

Check out these cotton balls on Amazon.

2. Clip the nails

Next, take your fingernail clippers and clip the acrylic nails until they are just a tad longer than your natural nails.

Find this nail clipper set on Amazon.

3. File the nails down

Use your nail file to file the nails down around the edges and top. File them until the layer of acrylic is as thin as possible. Use the coarsest side of your file or nail file for this step. Next, remove any remaining glue with the finer side of your file. You’ll want to be especially careful with this step, as you don’t want to file your natural nail accidentally.

If the glue is still too hard after it’s filed down, let your fingernails soak in soapy water for about 15 minutes to help loosen it up. Then repeat this step.

Learn more about this nail file on Amazon.

4. Wash your hands

Once you remove all of the remaining glue, wash your hands with warm soapy water to remove any remaining residue from your skin and nails. Pay special attention to the areas around your cuticles.

5. Buff your nails

After drying your hands, take your nail buffer and go over the top of your nails to smooth out your nail bed. Your nails may appear rough and jagged at this time, but don’t fret. The nails are in a frail state at this point and will need time to recover.

Find nail buffers on Amazon.

6. Apply cuticle oil

Take a dab of cuticle oil and rub it on all of your nails, especially on top of your cuticles and around the edges of your nail bed.

Check out this cuticle oil on Amazon.

Method 2. Use Goo Gone to Remove Gel Nails

You’ll be surprised to know that you can use an everyday household product to remove gel nails quickly. Goo Gone Bandage and Adhesive Remover is made from orange oil and is a non-irritating and alcohol-free adhesive remover that’s safe to use on your skin. Let’s look at how to use it.

Things you’ll need:

  • Goo-Gone
  • Cuticle Stick
  • Fingernail Clipper
  • Nail Buffer
  • Cotton Balls
  • Cuticle Cream
  • Cuticle Oil
  • Fingernail File

1. Clip the gel nails

First, use your fingernail clippers to clip the gel nails down as low as possible without clipping your natural nails.

2. Apply Goo Gone onto a cuticle stick

Cut a cotton ball into four pieces, and then wrap one of the pieces around the flat end of your cuticle stick. Next, dip the cuticle stick in the Goo Gone until the cotton ball is completely coated in the solution.

Find Goo Gone on Amazon.

3. Apply the Goo Gone to your gel nails

Once the cotton ball is soaked, place it on your nail bed and hold it on each nail for about 30 to 40 seconds. Move the cotton ball back and forth so that the solution can loosen up the glue and penetrate the entire nail bed. Repeat this step until the glue is soft enough to remove the gel nail completely.

4. Buff your nails

Next, take your fingernail buffer and buff away any remaining glue or residue. If the residue is still too hard, re-apply the Goo-Gone and repeat the previous step.

5. Wash your hands

Wash your hands to remove the Goo Gone, and then massage a few cuticle oil drops onto your nails.

Does Acetone Ruin Fake Nails?

It’s not fair to say that acetone “ruins” fake nails, but it definitely won’t help them stay on longer. Acetone is typically used to help break down the glue used in acrylic and gel nails. It is a fairly strong solvent, so many women prefer not to use it when removing fake nails.

Will Nail Glue Eventually Come Off On Its Own?

Nail polish remover

Yes, it will. Despite what you may have heard, acrylic and gel nails do not last forever. Over time, nail glue will eventually wear down and peel off. This will usually happen over a period of several weeks. During this time, not only will your natural nails grow out, pushing the glue further down on your nail bed.

It’ll also wear down from general wear and tear, humidity, and moisture from your hands. This can take anywhere from six to eight weeks to occur, and most women will typically have their fake nails removed or replaced before this time.

Does Nail Glue Ruin Your Nails?

If you wear acrylic or gel nails too often without gaps between their applications, the nail glue can negatively affect your natural nails. The reason is that your nail bed will not have time to breathe and repair itself in between each application. Nail beds need air and oil to stay healthy. Nail glue strips your natural nail bed of oil and can wear down the skin cells on it. Also, if you’re someone who has sensitive skin or allergies, nail glue can irritate your natural nails as well.

However, there are ways to help prevent your nails from becoming ruined when wearing fake nails.

Let’s look at some of the ways to keep your natural nails healthy:

  1. Have your fake nails applied at salons with a state license and properly sterilize all of their equipment and tools. It is easy to get a nail infection from nail glue and even harder to get rid of it once you have one.
  2. Allow your natural nails to rest at least a month or two before getting a new acrylic or gel nail manicure.
  3. Ask the nail technician if they have any hypoallergenic or nail glue specially formulated for sensitive skin.
  4. Request that the nail technician does not clip your cuticle. Sometimes technicians may cut your cuticle while clipping them to apply acrylic nails. This can cause an infection once the nail glue is applied, as it can irritate the cut.

If you find that your natural nails’ condition has noticeably deteriorated from fake nails, there are ways to make them healthy again. Let’s look at some of the most popular ones.

Ways To Repair Damaged Natural Nails

The chemicals in acrylic, gel, and nail glue solutions can make your natural nails dry, weak, brittle, and prone to breaks and splits. While it may take time to regrow healthy nails and reverse the damage caused by fake nails, there are a few ways to speed up this process.

Soak your nails in oil daily

Soak your nails skin olive oil for about 10 to 12 minutes a day. Do this for three to four weeks to restore your nails’ strength and improve your nail bed condition.

Check out this extra virgin olive oil on Amazon.

Apply cuticle cream daily

Apply a nightly cuticle cream to your fingernails to provide your nail bed with the nourishment needed for cell growth. It’s best to find a cuticle cream that contains vitamin E and vitamin C, as both of these vitamins promote healthy skin and moisture replenishment.

Read more about this nail cuticle cream on Amazon.

Apply a clear strengthening nail polish

If your natural nails are weak and brittle, consider applying a strengthening nail polish every two to three days until the nails have healed. There are tons of strengthening nail polish solutions available; however, it’s best to find one with minerals, including calcium and protein, to help bind the layers of your nail together. This will make them stronger and more resilient.

Learn more about this strengthening clear coat on Amazon.

Wear hand gloves when performing chores

A good pair of hand gloves can do wonders for your damaged nails. Protect your nails when performing daily chores such a scrubbing or whenever you handle harsh chemicals. These tasks can make dry or damaged nails even worse.

Find moisturizing hand gloves on Amazon.

How Do You Soak Off Nail Glue?

The easiest way to soak off nail glue is to use acetone, acetone-free nail remover, or warm water to first loosen up the glue. Once the nail glue is loosened and soft, use a cuticle stick to gently pry the glue up from the edges around the nail until you’re able to remove the nail completely. Depending on the solution you used to soak the glue and the age/length of the nails, you’ll need to soak the nails anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes.

Wrapping Things Up

If you are new to wearing fake nails, you may find that removing the glue for the first time is challenging, but practice will make perfect. So whether you choose to soak your nails, apply Goo Gone to them, or buff them down, be sure to do so with caution to avoid damaging your natural nail bed during the process.

Before you go, be sure to check out our other posts:

How Long Do Acrylic Nails Last?

What Are The Best Nail Fillers For Acrylic Nails?

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