How to Remove Acrylic Nails

You did it-you finally gave up those pricey salon nails in lieu of temporary at-home acrylics.  You’re saving time by not having to go to the salon for applications and fills, and you’re definitely saving a ton of money by not having to pay for upkeep!  But there’s just one problem; how do you remove at-home acrylic nails?  Can it even be done?  It’s absolutely easy and doable at home.  In fact, the entire process shouldn’t take longer than fifteen minutes and is easier than taking a selfie.  Here’s how to remove temporary acrylic nails at home.  


The first step in removing temporary acrylic nails is to soak them in warm, soapy water.  A lot of users skip this step, or at the very least skimp on it because they think they can rush the process.  Trust us, the five to ten minutes you spend soaking your temporary acrylic nails will be well worth it when you begin to remove them.  Fill a small, fingertip sized bowl with warm water and add a mild soap.  You can use hand soap or even mild dish soap.  Soak your nails for approximately five to ten minutes.  Pat your nails dry when you remove them from the bowl.


Next, begin to gently wiggle the nail at the sides from the tip to the base.  If you’ve applied your nails very recently (say, within the past two days) you may find it harder to loosen the adhesive bond.  If that is the case, we recommend soaking a bit longer after you try to wiggle them loose.  Once you’ve broken the adhesive bond a little, you can soak them and let the warm water infiltrate and further break down the adhesive.  

If, however, you wiggle your nail and it begins to loosen naturally from the edge of your nail, it’s time to remove it.  You can usually do this simply by carefully and gently peeling the temporary acrylic nail from the side of your natural nail and removing it.  If at any point in the removal process you feel you cannot remove the temporary acrylic without forcing it, move on to the next step.  

The Nail-Pry Trick

If you can’t get an acrylic nail to detach by soaking it and wiggling it loose, you can use one of the extra temporary nails in your nail kit as a wedge to pry the acrylic nail from your natural nail.  Simply tuck the edge of the extra nail under the nail you wish to remove and gently wiggle it until the adhesive bond breaks.  At this point you can soak the nail more to further loosen it before wiggling it to pry it off.  

Clean it Up

Once you’ve removed all of your temporary acrylic nails, you can then take an acetone nail polish remover on a cotton ball and gently swab your natural nails to remove any remaining adhesive or other debris.  You may notice that your natural nails seem dry.  This is a completely normal side effect of the adhesive that is only temporary.  You can alleviate the dryness and restore your nail’s natural moisture by applying a few drops of cuticle oil or your favorite lotion.  Any dryness should dissipate completely within two to three days of acrylic nail removal.  

Removing acrylic nails is an easy process that is completely painless and non-damaging.  The key is to take your time and remain patient.  Nails that have been freshly applied will take longer to remove than nails that are at the end of their use.  If at any point you feel that the nail is resisting removal, simply go back to the soak step and then try again.  If you are careful and patient, you’ll be able to master acrylic nail removal in a very short time.