5-Minute Crafts
5-Minute Crafts

How to Remove Acrylic Nails at Home Without Damaging Your Natural Nails

Many of us resort to wearing acrylic nails with the intention of adding a colorful, eye-catching detail to our hands. But after a few weeks, we have to remove them, and if going to a professional isn’t an option, we’re forced to do it at home.

5-Minute Crafts will show you some methods to remove acrylic nails at home without damaging your natural nails, using materials that you probably already have in your bathroom and kitchen.

Method 1: with acetone

What you’ll need:

  • Acetone (approx. 200 ml)
  • 10 cotton balls
  • 10 strips of aluminum foil
  • Nail clippers
  • A nail file
  • Nail polish
  • Moisturizing lotion


1. Using a nail clipper, cut the acrylic nails as short as possible. If they’re too thick and it’s difficult to cut them, use a file and sand them down until they are very small.

2. Then, with a nail buffing block, remove the paint and the acrylic. Be sure to file the entire surface of the artificial nails. Be careful not to damage the natural nails while doing this.

3. Pour acetone into a small container and soak the cotton balls. It’s important to keep in mind that this liquid is flammable, so avoid placing it near electrical appliances.

4. Place a soaked cotton ball on each of your fingertips and wrap them with aluminum foil. Let your nails soak in the acetone for at least 20 minutes.

5. Remove the foil with the cotton balls. The acrylic nails should come off by pulling them lightly. You can also use a cuticle pusher or a wooden stick to gently push them off. If the nails are still firmly stuck, repeat the process for another 20 minutes.

6. Finally, wash your hands thoroughly and moisturize them with moisturizing cream or lotion. Acetone may irritate or dry out your skin. Also, to restore and keep your nails healthy and strong, add a coat of nail strengthener to each nail.

Method 2: without acetone

What you’ll need:

  • Option 1: warm water + a cuticle pusher
  • Option 2: cuticle oil + cotton balls + a cuticle pusher


Trim your acrylic nails by cutting or filing them until they are as short as possible.

  • Option 1: Pour warm water into a container and soak your nails for 20 minutes. Try to move them gently while they are in the liquid so that it penetrates, little by little, and loosens them. If the liquid gets cold, pour a little more warm water in.
  • Option 2: Moisten cotton balls with cuticle oil and place them on the acrylic nails. You can wrap your fingertips with aluminum foil or tape to keep the cotton balls in place. Allow the method to work for several minutes.
  • After the soaking time, in warm water or cuticle oil, remove the acrylic nails using the cuticle pusher on their edges. If they’re still attached, repeat the previous step until the glue softens.
  • When removing acrylic nails, it’s recommended that you wash your hands to remove any glue residue on your nails. Then apply moisturizing lotion.
  • It’s important to perform your regular care and moisturizing routine because it’s possible that your natural nails may look dry and unhealthy after removing the artificial nails.
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