How To Remove Acrylic Nails

Tips for Removing Nails with Nail Files, Clippers and Acetone

Strawberry and strawberry design acrylic nails

First, walk to the nearest door. Then, carefully place your fingernails in the doorframe. Ready? Great, now slam the door. There you go...your acrylic nails are gone!

OK, just kidding, but in all seriousness, removing your artificial nails can be every bit as painful if you don't take proper measures to ensure that the procedure is as easy and non-damaging as possible. In order to achieve naked nails the easy way, you're going to need a few tools:

  1. Nail clippers or nail scissors
  2. Nail files
  3. Pure acetone (you can find this at any beauty supply store)
  4. Large cotton balls
  5. Aluminum foil, cut into long strips
  6. Orangewood cuticle sticks
  7. Nail buffer
  8. Olive oil or heavy hand cream
  9. Patience--remember how long it took to put them on? Well, it usually takes at least that long to get them off.

Once you have everything assembled, I suggest you pop in a Will and Grace DVD and get comfortable, as removing acrylic nails may take awhile. Here's how to remove acrylic nails:

  1. Grab those nail clippers and cut your nail tips down as far as you can--the shorter you can get them, the less acrylic nail you'll ultimately have to pry off.
  2. Using your nail file, file off any gel or topcoat so that they are more susceptible to the acidic qualities of the acetone.
  3. Soak ten of your cotton balls in acetone until they are completely saturated.
  4. Lay one soaked cotton ball over each of your acrylic fingernails.
  5. Use the foil strips to wrap each cotton-topped fingernail as tightly as possible.
  6. Enjoy Will, Grace, Jack and Karen's antics for at least 20 minutes while you sit still and let the acetone work its magic. NO CHEATING!!! If you remove the foil prematurely, the acrylic will immediately start to harden again, so just hold your horses.
  7. After watching at least a full episode, peel back the foils from your nails one at a time.
  8. Using a clean orangewood stick, scrape the acrylic right off! It should come off easily, but if you find some stubborn residue, gently buff it off with your nail buffer.
  9. Finally, give yourself a nail treatment to rejuventate your nails. Massage olive oil or heavy hand cream into your nails and nail beds, as acetone is extremely drying. Continue to apply oil or lotion at least three times every day for the first few weeks your acrylic nails are off--don't forget to do it right before bed! You can certainly keep up this nail care ritual for life if you're craving super-silky, healthy nails!


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I mean, you can use your own fingers inside the bowl to scrap each other to help. Otherwise, it's best to keep the fingers sinking inside the liquid, the acetone will do its job.
I appologize to the author, I don't mean to say your method is not good. I strongly agree w/ you about DO NOT pulling acrylic nails off because it does damage the real nails.

By Lang (Elaine) Ngo

Soaking acrylic nails in an acetone bowl is a lot better & easier than this. Who is going to wrap foils w/ acetone cotton balls for u all ten fingers? If you soak your fingers in the acetone bowl, women need to be patience while waiting to soak their acrylic nails off. If they keep taking their fingers outside the bowl or above the acetone liquid, (which what most women do to peek at their fingers. Let's put it this way, keep peeking at the fingers don't help speeding up the process.) the acrylic will harden again very quickly. Instead of taking only between 20-40 minutes, some women takes 3-5 hours at home. And you can also watch "Will & Grace" DVD, while doing this. Scraping the nails after soaking for 10 minutes will help speed up the precess, but DO NOT remove your fingers outside the liquid. I repeat you DO NOT take the fingers outside the liquid. Thus, using the orange sticks or somekinds of tools don't help in this case, unless you have someone else use the orange stick scraping for you.

By Lang (Elaine) Ngo

i don't get why women bother using acrylics.. and sorry to say, i think it's kinna cheap.. interesting tips though

By Anonymous

Thanks alot , i always seem to damage my nails when am taking my acrylics off

By jaden jade

I never knew taking off acrylics could be so entertaining! Thanks for the tips!

By Amanda Larson