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Removing Acrylic Nails

I would like to know what the best form is for taking off acrylic nails without causing any rips to my already grown nails.

Thank you.
Erica for Jersey


Removing Acrylic Nails

The only thing that will remove them is Nail Polish Remover (Acetone). While you are watching your favorite shows in the evening, soak your nails in nail polish remover for about 2 hours. The nails should come off easily. GOOD LUCK!! (03/17/2005)


Removing Acrylic Nails

You can also visit the manicurist and have them professionally remove them! (03/17/2005)

By homeschoolin_mum

Removing Acrylic Nails

Try mixing the nail polish remover with some hot water - hot as you can stand, yes it will get cold, but that intial hot causes the nails to lift off the real nail bed, then the remover actually breaks down the glue... I hope that helps you! Enjoy your weekend. (03/17/2005)

By mkneib86

Removing Acrylic Nails

Soak them in a small bowl of acetone. Bought at any beauty supply store. OR take a cotton ball and soak it in the acetone then put it on your nail then wrap with aluminum foil. This only takes about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes. (03/17/2005)

By sholzshu

Removing Acrylic Nails

Even cheaper - go to a hardware store and get generic acetone. Works just as well as the nail remover stuff you get at "Sally's" but dirt cheap. I suggest doing this in a well ventilated area, preferably outside. Your nails will be weak afterwards so baby them and either do your own are get manicures on a regular basis after. (03/18/2005)

By mom2mcar

Removing Acrylic Nails

Just remember that your nail itself have been sanded/filed away to get the acrylic nail glue to stick to the nail itself... so you will not get a smooth nail, it will be very thin and fragile and rough. I don't believe there is an easy transition with this. I had the salon smooth down the acrylic nail until my own grew out. Took about 2 months, Good Luck! (03/18/2005)

By Diamondee

Removing Acrylic Nails

It takes a lot of soaking but fill two small bowls with acetone and let your fingers soak. This has worked for me in the past. Basically, what happens is the acetone melts the acrylic nails.


By peggygv

Removing Acrylic Nails

I'm a nail tech and I can say this much to you folks who've had bad experiences. * BREATHE *

1. Never ever tear or nip off the nails, especially yourself. I wouldn't even let a professional do it that way!

2. Trim down the nails with a clipper or file, before you soak get ready to soak them off.

3. Buff with a coarse grit file 180 or 80 to ware down the nails as best you can before soaking. Although take great caution and care. Files can burn/slice your skin if used improperly. Rub the edges of the file along another file to make sure they are not sharp. File only the acrylic, not your real nail plate! Or it will just cause more damage.

4. I personally just use one bowl. I pour 100% acetone no farther than your first knuckle in.

5. Wait 30 seconds and wipe with a paper towel the residue that has loosened. Repeat till the nails are down to your real nail.

6. Use a white buffer block to buff and smooth the nail. Do not over buff the natural nail. At the most until you see a slight tint of dust producted by the buffer.

7. Treat your nails with lotion, cuticle oil, or oils. At least three times a day. Rub it in well. Best time to add oil and lotion is at night before bed.

8. Remember the only person who can totally remove your nails in the safest way is a trusted licensed nail technician! If you cannot, these are some helpful tips!

9. Nail techs who completely damage your nail plate to put on tips are giving the rest of us great techs a bad name.


P.S. Damaged nails generally (with treatment of lotions and oils) will reproduce and strengthen within 1 - 2 months maximum. You will not have to completely regrow the nails to get them back into shape. Keep them moisturized is key! Remember that if you have major weakness, the only thing that will keep them from chipping, tearing and breaking is moisture! They need nourishment! It's really simple really! (11/17/2005)

By Netalia

Removing Acrylic Nails

I soak my nails in straight Acetone. It takes a while but well worth it. While doing so, I place a paper towel over my hand to keep them warm. (the Acetone can become cold.) After they have been removed I buff them "gently" and wash my hands. I then rub Nexxus Humetrics on each nail. I let sit for 5 minutes, then rinse them (well) with warm water. I dry my hands and nails with a soft towel, and apply a mixture of olive oil and body lotion to each nail. I do this twice a week for three weeks. (Minus the buffing) I hope this works for you! (03/27/2006)

By Candice

Removing Acrylic Nails

You should cut the acrylics down to where you can just see the tip of your real nail. that way they will be short and wont hurt as much. Then just let them come off naturally, it will be less painfull and you wont have to breathe acetone. (04/20/2006)

By Tara

Removing Acrylic Nails

If you put pure acetone in a glass bowl then set it inside another bigger bowl or pan with the hottest water you can get (i boil mine). The hot water in the pan heats the acetone in the bowl and makes it take the nails off easier. Mine came off in half an hour. I buffed them afterwards and made them shiny again and put on a major amount of lotion. Acetone dries out your skin. It has worked for me time and time again. Its the best way I have found to do it and it leaves your grown out nails in good condition. (05/17/2006)

By Jennifer

Removing Acrylic Nails

Just a warning to all of you using acetone, it is suspected to cause kidney and liver damage and is bad to inhale. Soaking your fingers in it for two hours is probably a bad idea. Clipping, filing, and letting them grow out is probably the healthiest way to remove them. (05/18/2006)

By Mel

Removing Acrylic Nails

I learned this tip from my salon. It only takes 15-20 minutes top. It is so easy you won't have to stop getting them. Also, make sure you are using real acetone and not the non-acetone. This is a common mistake. Gather all materials first, this gets kind of messy.

Soak cotton balls in Acetone. Drain excess acetone then place over nail. Wrap the finger with cotton in aluminum foil. When each finger is done. Place hands in warm oven mitts. Leave on for 15-20 minutes and then watch the nails fall off.

When I do this there is hardly any damage. I leave my nails off then for a week to let them recover and use good hand lotion and cuticle oil. (05/22/2006)

By Candis

Removing Acrylic Nails

I would suggest that you try and grow them out, it will take about a month and a half to two months but that is how long it would take your nails to recover from removing them.

Decide on a length you can live with, soak your hands in warmish water, scrub your nails gently with a nail brush, push back your cuticles, dry your hands well. GENTLY buff the acrylic overlay to remove any lifting bits, try not to buff the natural nail much. Massage in some cuticle oil, give your hands a good massage with a body butter, then wipe each nail with an acetone free nail varnish remover , then paint with a clear base coat, apply the desired colour or a good quality top coat. Do this once a week, twice if you have the time. It takes a bit of effort but your hands look good all the time and your nails are not damaged in the process, in fact they can come out healthier in the end. It just takes time. (05/23/2006)

By Diane

Removing Acrylic Nails

I get my nails done quite often. I usually start breaking the edges a little bit , then try sliding a thing but strong card under the nail moving it towards the other side, living the nail from you natural one. It may hurt a little but I find it much easier than ripping the acrylic ones off, and its cheap! (05/27/2006)

By Nat

Removing Acrylic Nails

This is in response to a post by Candis, 22 May 2006.

Even though I also found directions similar to yours on the web I decided it was worth a try, but with very disappointing results.

I did my hands separately and started with my left. I left my acetone soaked cotton foil wrapped fingers under a cloth filled bag of rice, that I'd heated in the microwave, for no less than 30 minutes and found that the only nail to peel off easily was the one that I had mostly peeled away on my own.

The right hand I did the same thing EXCEPT after I peeled the little that would come off after the 1st half hour, I put the foil back on with more acetone soaked cotton and let them soak another 20 minutes.

The nails definitely DID NOT "fall off." I had to work at getting the nail and glue off and I still have residue glue that will have to be buffed off or grow out. AND this definitely was not a 15-20 minute easy fix. (05/29/2006)

By Red

Removing Acrylic Nails

Well I just got acrylic nails for the first time about 2 weeks ago just to see what all the fuss was about and I will never get it done again. I researched various ways to remove them, acetone etc. but I decided to just lift them off slowly with a thin nail tool. I just started by separating my real nail from the acrylic one and slowly separating the rest of the nail by going around the edge of the nail. Of course there was some damage to my real nail but a quick file and buff, treatment oil and a coat of clear nail polish have made them remotely pretty and easy to maintain until they get stronger. (06/08/2006)

By Steph

Removing Acrylic Nails

Well, I tried all of the tips listed - soaking in acetone for a long time, etc...only after much pain and effort, only 3 nails came off with some extra work - the others did not budge - so perhaps they used that type of acrylic they're not supposed to. So I painted all of my nails again, and will just wait it out till the others loosen (the 3 that came off had loosened at the bottom of the nail bed). This is the 2nd time I've had acrylic nails, and I don't really believe there is an "easy way" to remove them - and no way to not damage your nails. Mine are always tissue paper thin, and it usually takes a full YEAR for them to come back to normal. (06/11/2006)

By Diane

Removing Acrylic Nails

Soak your nails in hot water or cheap real acetone from the hardware store for about 10 minutes, with a toothpick start carefelly separating your real nail from the fake nail at the tip of it, once you separate it a little bit, take a large piece of dental floss and wrap it around one finger and hold it with another finger and start wedging it slowly between the nail and fake nail, now keep working yourself down the nail. sounds complicated but its not and it works without tearing up your nails. you will be surprised how quick and easy it is. The nails will be very weak afterwards, cut them down short, file the tips to get rid of any jagged edges and put a great nail topper and put a new coat everyday. good luck. I do this every 3 months when I get a new set. (06/19/2006)

By lili

Removing Acrylic Nails

If you soak the acrylic nails in acetone, they don't just 'pop off'. You have to soak them for at least an hour. The acetone dissolves the acrylic. So take your nails out every 15 minutes and lightly file down the top layer of acrylic that has been dissolved. After about an hour (maybe more, depends on how thick of a layer acrylic you have on), they should be completely free of acrylic. Yes, they will be thin, yes they will be weak, yes they will take 6 months to a year to return to their 'normal' state. The best advice I can give is to keep some kind of Gel Hardener on them. Remove every third day and then re-apply. It helps your nails to get strong a little faster. HTH. (06/26/2006)

By KDubb

Removing Acrylic Nails

I got "tips" put on a couple of weeks ago. The only fake part is the green bit on the end of my nails. The rest is like some sort of clear fill. Not sure what its called. Any way, my nails are a mess. I tried removing the clear stuff from my thumb nail with Acetone free nail polish remover as my Step-Mom didn't have any with Acetone in it. Is seemed to be working but it was taking ages! Is there any "safe" way to remove them without using Acetone? My thumb nail is dry and I'm getting a weird pain up my arm. This sounds terribly dramatic but its true! Puh-lease help!!! (07/04/2006)

By Ellie.

RE: Removing Acrylic Nails

Removing Acrylic Nails

I get fake nails every once and a while, and at my salon it only costs 5 dollars for take off. They soak the nails in acetone (its the ONLY way to get acrylics off ladies!), then they wedge a metal nail file in between the fake and real nails and "pop" them off. (Yes, it is painful but only last a split second per nail and they are professionals and can "pop" the nail off with one try. If you do this at home YOU WILL REGRET IT as it can take HOURS.) Then they use a mechanical buffer to smooth the real nail and then once all the acrylic is off, they file and add a coat of nail protectant and clear coat. ITS MUCH BETTER TO PAY 5 DOLLARS FOR TAKE OFF THAN TO DO IT YOURSELF. Trust me!!!! You won't regret those 5 bucks! (07/16/2006)

By Vanessa

Removing Acrylic Nails

This sounds absurd but it works, I used to get fake nails a lot and it was horribly painful to pop them off, I never wanted to go to the place to get them taken off because they cut them off, soaked them and it just always hurt. I play guitar a lot which was a reason i wanted them off.

Go to a guitar supply store, tell them you want the thinest most flexible guitar pick they have. You can use the tiny thin flexible pick to gently pry up the nail, it never hurt me. I never had to soak them i just eased up the sides that were lifting and they popped right off. (07/26/2006)

By Meg

Removing Acrylic Nails

I just want to say I tried the foil idea posted by Candis on 5/22/06. It worked WONDERFULLY. The acrylic came off so easily. There was a little bit of damage to my nails, but not nearly as bad as anything I've ever done before. I was amazed at how the acrylic just slid off. My suggestion is to do one hand at a time, though, because once it starts to dry (dries VERY quickly) you have to sorta resoak. After I got the acrylic off I just buffed my nails so they weren't ragged and went from there! (07/29/2006)

By Erin

Removing Acrylic Nails

I just got acrylic nails for the first time and when it came to removing them I had some trouble. I tried just about everything suggested here and I only found two that really worked:

1. The trick listed earlier with foil... well i had to improvise some so here is what I did: I soaked pieces of paper towel in acetone nail polish and then wrapped that in foil. Then I wrapped up my hand (one at a time please) in a rag then in a heating pad and let it go for about 15 minutes. Then one finger at a time I removed the foil and peeled the nails off (they should turn into a gel if not put your hand back in) if I couldn't get all of the gel off just put your finger back in the foil/heating pad...

NOTE: this still damaged the real nails a fair amount but was a lot easier/less painful/less damaging then just pulling them off

2. Is the classic just soak them (one at a time) in acetone until they started to turn into a gel, then filing that off then repeating this process until all of the nail is off the doing it over on the next nail.

NOTE: This barely damaged that nail (the only damage was what was done by getting the nails put on) just make sure not to file your real nail much.

FINAL NOTE: No matter what you try after you get the nails off rub some lotion or oil over the nails and once that dries put some kind of strengthening coat of polish on (preferably one designed for use on nails that have just had acrylic nails removed)

I hope I've been helpful to anyone that needs it! (09/17/2006)

By Nikki

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