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Removing Acrylic Nails

How do I remove acrylic nails?

Donna from Chester Co., PA


Removing Acrylic Nails

(submitted via email)

I only have the the felt pad removers and I cut them up, taped them to each nail and in 30 minutes, my fake nails were gone. They were a little gooey and the under nail felt dry and weak so put lots of lotion on afterward.


Hannah (10/22/2008)

By jess_admin

Removing Acrylic Nails

I just spent about an hour and a half trying to take mine off. I don't like the way they look filled in and it does a number on your nails and bacteria junk anyway. Read most of these and they didn't work for me. It was soak and pick. I tried the foil, the warm water, everything. I got most of them off, but my nails look awful. I would suggest growing them and cutting them so you have fresh new nails. (10/22/2008)

By ktj8125

Removing Acrylic Nails

I had acrylic nails put on by a professional, and was told by all my friends that the best way to remove them was to have them soaked off. I read with interest many of the ways suggested here, and ultimately decided to have them also removed by a professional. She soaked cotton in 100% acetone, applied it to my nails and then wrapped each one with foil.

In about 20 minutes, after unwrapping each nail, the acrylic became very gooey and she simply but gently filed it off. I did notice some damage to my regular nails and for a day or two afterward, my fingertips burned slightly when I immersed them in hot water (as in doing dishes). But I believe this was probably the best way to have them done. (10/27/2008)

By Cindy

Removing Acrylic Nails

I took off the nails by wrapping them in cotton soaked in acetone as suggested here. I spent a whole Sunday afternoon doing this, as you can only do one hand at a time. I can't say that the stuff turned to got softer and was easier to pick off, but it was an ordeal. I was trying not to spend too much money, but after doing what I did, I think I would suggest going to a salon and having it done if you have the money (someone said it's only $ they charge $25 to remove them).


I bought some polish at the beauty discount shop for "thin" nails...boy are they thin! I had my nails for almost 3 years. I am putting this polish on every other day to help keep them strong. As they grow, I end up cutting them off because they are so thin that they split/break easily. Judging by how much they have grown in 2 weeks, I guess it'll take about 3 months for them to completely grow out. What a process! I loved my acrylic nails and only took them off to help our budget a little. Hopefully, I'll get them back on in a few months, especially if my nails don't get stronger. (10/27/2008)

By dl1017

Removing Acrylic Nails

The way that I remove my acrylic nails is by pouring pure acetone in a glass bowl and putting my hands in the bowl for 10 - 15 minutes. And with a nail file, filling the acrylic nails off. (11/09/2008)

By Kay

Removing Acrylic Nails

Yeah I did the same, I just took some acetone and I poured it into a bowl and I just soaked them for about an hour to an hour and a half, then just tore them off. I had to go to the nail salon again to get them to polish my nails and buff them so they weren't so rough. So that's what I would suggest. (11/11/2008)

By Zoey

Removing Acrylic Nails

I wanted to let everyone who reads this, to know something, as a professional that I know. When using 85%-100% acetone you want to be careful (especially if you do it often). Acetone is great at taking lots of things off. You must know more if its a frequent occurrence that using it could be hurting you. Acetone will soak through the skin and enter the blood stream. Acetone isn't as toxic as you would think, but it will over time corrode your arteries and veins. One of our trucker's nephews died from only three years exposure. This is a very, very extreme case. But you do want to be cautious. The girl at the top who soaked them in a bowl for an hour, yeah, I would not suggest that at all. That is a bad idea! The rest of it sounds alright. The pro's use cotton swabs affixed to the top of the nail for a reason. Less exposure to the skin, means safer to use. (11/11/2008)

By Dustin

Removing Acrylic Nails

It seems that no matter which method you try, your nails will never be perfect after trying any of these home remedies. I'm not very high maintenance and basically "lazy" when it comes time to take these things off. I didn't feel like burning my finger tips with acetone or going through all the fuss with the foil, so I kept reading some of the other postings and the best one that suited me and the least expensive was the "hot water, toothpick and dental floss". I had all these things already and it took no time to do. Granted, yes, SOME of my nails were ripped and damaged afterward but I'd say seven out of ten weren't too bad!

Basically, soak each hand in hot water for 10-15 mins. Trim your nail as far down as you can go. Take a toothpick and gently lift the nail around the edges (without popping it off). Then take a strip of dental floss, slide it under the nail and pull. Voila! Done! After that, I just buffed them, filed them and stuck a bunch of clear nail hardener on them. Nothing to it. Good Luck. (11/13/2008)

By Tanya

Removing Acrylic Nails

I have worn acrylic for over five years and how I keep my natural nail strong is to ask the nail tech to put a thin layer of acrylic, this minimizes the bonding of the acrylic to your real nail. I also change the acrylic nails every 6-8 weeks.

I buy 100% acetone from Walmart. Fill a large bowl with warm water and place a smaller bowl inside the warm water bowl, put enough acetone in smaller bowl to immerse the tips only. Before immersing your finger tips cut tips off and put a layer of petroleum jelly on your whole hand, but especially around tips. Immerse tips for about 15-20 minutes. Nails should soften and can be filed off or may just fall off. If you have a thick layer of acrylic it may take longer. After you have removed all the acrylic, gently buff any remaining acrylic and apply a layer of carmex (yes the lip balm) on each nail. This will help the nail heal. Apply 2 coats of Sally Hansen hard nails. I leave a weekend between new sets but if you are through with the acrylic phase this should get you back on track. (11/25/2008)


By Annie.

Removing Acrylic Nails

Rubbing Alcohol. This is what I did, and it worked pretty well!
Soak each finger in rubbing alcohol for 5-10 minutes, and then take the finger(s) out of the rubbing alcohol and let dry. Do not dry off your hands, let the rubbing alcohol sit. After about 10 minutes of letting the hand, or fingers, sit. Slightly push something (I used the edge of flat tweezers) to lift the nail, from the tip ( at your cuticle ) and slightly pull up. The nail should come off, and if it doesn't, just re-soak the nail and try again. (12/04/2008)

By Mira-Carlen

Removing Acrylic Nails

You need 2 bowls. One needs to be able to fit in the other. In the bigger bowl put really hot water, but not too much, you don't want it to overflow the smaller bowl. Then in the smaller bowl, put acetone. Put the bowl of acetone in the bowl of hot water. This is how my nail salon does it. It is painless. (12/04/2008)

By Leslie

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