6 Ways To Take Off Acrylic Nails

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One of the downsides of wearing acrylic nails all the time is having to take them off. While you can have them removed at the salon, it may save you money to simply do it yourself at home. But what methods do you use to remove them? We’ve done a bit of digging to find the best ones, and in this post, we will share them with you.

Here are 6 methods to remove acrylic nails at home:

  1. File The Nails Down With A Buffer
  2. Use A Laminated Business Card
  3. Soak Them In Polish Remover
  4. Soak Them In Warm Water
  5. Soak Them In Acetone
  6. Lift Them With Dental Floss

Removing your acrylic nails doesn’t have to be a day-long project. With the right method and tools, you can take your acrylic nails off in about 20 to 40 minutes. Continue reading to learn about the various ways that you can remove your acrylic nails both with and without acetone. We’ll also cover how to remove them so that it doesn’t damage your natural nails.

solar colored nails using acrylic nail polish. 6 Ways To Take Off Acrylic Nails

6 Ways To Take Off Acrylic Nails

Beautiful manicured nails using acrylic nail polish

Removing fake nails requires patience and a delicate touch. When performing this task yourself, remember that slow and steady wins the race.

1. File The Nails Down With A Buffer

This is perhaps one of the simplest ways to remove your acrylic nails. If you prefer not to use any chemicals, here’s the method for you.

Things you’ll need:

  • Nail clippers
  • 2-sided fingernail file
  • Cuticle stick
  • Cuticle scissors
  • Nail buffer
  1. Start by trimming the tips of the acrylic nails using your nail clipper. Try to cut off as much of the acrylic material as possible.
  2. Next, grab your fingernail file and file down the acrylic nails using the course side of the buffer. Be sure to use a steady left-to-right motion, as you don’t want to file down your natural nail during this step accidentally.
  3. Next, take your cuticle stick and use the edge to pry up the acrylic nail’s top edge. This should be the edge that’s closest to your cuticle. You may need to work the cuticle stick around different points of the edge to lift it off.
  4. Grab your cuticle scissors and place the tip beneath the top edge of the acrylic nail, then clip away the loose acrylic.
  5. Once you have successfully removed the acrylic nails from both of your hands, take your fingernail buffer and buff your natural nails. Then take your nail file and file down your natural nails to remove any frail or jagged tips.

Find a nail buffer on Amazon.

2. Use A Laminated Business Card

Sometimes you’ll have to work with unconventional materials to get acrylic nails off–especially if you don’t want to use acetone or other chemicals. He is a great example of that.

Things you’ll need:

  • A laminated business card
  • Fingernail buffer
  • Cuticle stick
  • Cuticle cream
  • Fingernail file
  1. Take your cuticle stick and use it to pry up the bottom edges of the acrylic nail. This is the area that is closest to your cuticles. Work the cuticle stick around the edge, and be sure to lift the nail in small sections to avoid damaging your nail bed.
  2. Once you have about an eighth of an inch of the acrylic nail lifted, take the business card and gently slide it back and forth at the top of it. Work the business card slowly around the edge of the nail until the acrylic nail lifts off completely. Be sure not to try to lift the entire acrylic nail with the business card too quickly, or you may rip your nail bed.
  3. Repeat this process until all of the acrylic nails have been removed.
  4. Next, take your fingernail buffer and buff the top of your nail beds until they are smooth.
  5. Then, take your fingernail file and file down your natural nails’ tips to remove any uneven or jagged sections.

Check out this cuticle stick on Amazon.

3. Soak Them In Nail Polish Remover

If the aforementioned methods don’t work for you, you may need to use some chemicals to loosen the acrylic first. Here’s a quick method to consider that doesn’t include acetone.

Things you’ll need:

  • Nail file
  • Acetone-free nail polish remover
  • A small disposable bowl
  • Tweezers
  • Fingernail clippers
  1. First, grab your fingernail clipper and cut the acrylic nails as low as possible without actually cutting your natural nail. Next, take your nail file and file down the acrylic nails as low as possible.
  2. Take the nail polish remover and pour about two-fourths of a cup of it into a small bowl.
  3. Place your hands into the bowl fingers first and allow them to soak for about 30 to 40 minutes. You can also take a cuticle stick and gently pry the acrylic nails’ top edge every 15 minutes to help loosen the glue.
  4. Once 40 minutes have passed, grab a pair of tweezers and apply it to the top edge of the acrylic nail to lift it off of your nail bed. It should come off rather easily, but if not, take a cuticle stick and pry it loose. If the glue is still too hard, soak them for another 10 minutes.
  5. Next, wash your hands with soapy water and then clip and file your natural nails.

Buy acetone-free nail polish remover on Amazon.

4. Soak Them In Warm Water

You can also use warm water to remove acrylic nails. This method works especially well for nails that are over three or four weeks old.

Things you’ll need:

  • Nail file
  • Warm soapy water
  • Cuticle sticks
  • Nail clippers
  • A small disposable bowl
  1. Start by trimming the acrylic nails down with your fingernail clipper. Next, take your fingernail file and gently buff the acrylic nail’s edges to make them as thin and short as possible.
  2. Next, grab your cuticle stick and gently go around the top edges of the acrylic nail. Note that you may not be able to lift the nail much, as the glue is still hardened.
  3. Then pour warm water into a small bowl and add two drops of mild dishwashing soap to it.
  4. Use your hand to swish the soap around a bit. You may need to boil a pot of water to replace the warm water in the bowl– you want the water as hot as you can stand it but not scorching hot.
  5. Let your nails soak in the bowl for about 30 to 40 minutes.
  6. After 40 minutes have passed, take your cuticle stick and work it around the acrylic nails’ top edge again to loosen them and lift them up.

Once you have removed all of the nails, take your fingernail file and clippers and give your natural nails a little maintenance to remove any jagged tips. You’ll also want to buff your nails.

Find a nail file on Amazon.

5. Soak Them In Acetone

If you prefer to remove your acrylic nails the old-fashioned way, you can also soak them in acetone.

Things you’ll need:

  • Nail file
  • Acetone nail polish remover
  • Cuticle sticks
  • Nail clippers
  • A small and large disposable bowl
  1. Take your fingernail clipper and cut the acrylic nails down as low as possible. Be careful not to cut your natural nail. Then grab your nail file and file down the acrylic nails as low as possible.
  2. Next, pour enough acetone into the bowl so that your nail beds are completely submerged in it. The level of the acetone should be about 1/2 inch high. Then place the small bowl inside a larger bowl and fill the larger bowl with hot water. The hot water will help warm the acetone so that it works quickly to loosen up the acrylic.
  3. Place your hands inside the small bowl with your fingernails touching the bottom.
  4. Soak your fingertips in acetone for about 10 to 12 minutes. Be sure to angle your fingers forward so that the acetone makes the most contact with your nail bed instead of the front of your fingertips.
  5. After 10 minutes have passed, wash your hands with warm soapy water to quickly get the acetone off of your skin.
  6. Next, take a cuticle stick and go over each acrylic nail’s edge to loosen it up and then lift it away.
  7. Once you’ve completely removed all of the nails, grab your fingernail file and smooth down any jagged tips. Next, buff your nails and apply a cuticle moisturizer or oil.

Find acetone on Amazon.

6. Lift Them With Dental Floss

Here is a rather unconventional method that you can use to remove acrylic nails if you do not want to use chemicals.

  • Stick dental floss
  • Fingernail clipper
  • Fingernail file or buffer
  1. Start by clipping the acrylic nail until it is the same length as your natural nail. Then file down the edges as much as possible.
  2. Next, take a cuticle stick and go around the top edge of your critical nail acrylic nail to help lift it slightly.
  3. Take the floss stick and place it under the top of the acrylic nail. Work the stick slowly back and forth to loosen up the glue from the acrylic nail.
  4. Continue working the floss stick across your nail until you reach the end of the acrylic nail. You may need to use your cuticle stick to help the edge of the acrylic nail off completely.
  5. After you have removed all of the acrylic nails, go over your natural nails with your file’s fine side to smooth down your nail bed and then buff and clip your nails.

Find dental floss sticks on Amazon.

Which Method Removes Acrylic Nails The Fastest?

Stained cotton swabs with nail polish removed from nails

 

The fastest way to remove acrylic nails is to first file them down and then use a cuticle stick to lift the acrylic nail from your nail bed slowly. Keep in mind that this method is also the most dangerous method to use, as you can easily damage your nail bed.

How Can You Remove Acrylic Nails At Home Without Damaging Them?

The best way to remove acrylic nails without damaging them is to first soak your nails in nail remover, acetone, or soapy water to help loosen the nail glue and lessen the likelihood of damage.

Find nail polish remover on Amazon.

Can You File Down Your Own Acrylics At Home?

Yes. You can absolutely file down your own acrylics at home if you prefer not to go to a nail salon.

Wrapping Things Up

We hope that this post has helped you learn about the various ways to remove your fake nails at home. And note that it’s always better to soak the nails first to help loosen up the glue before removing them.

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

What Are The Best Nail Fillers For Acrylic Nails?

How Long Do Acrylic Nails Last?

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