How to Remove Acrylic from Nails

Acrylic NailsSource:


Acrylic nails have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their durability and versatility. However, there may come a time when you want to remove them, whether it’s because they have grown out or you simply want a change. In this article, we will guide you through the process of removing acrylic nails safely and effectively.

Gather Your Supplies

Nail Polish RemoverSource:

Before you begin, make sure you have all the necessary supplies on hand:

  • Acetone-based nail polish remover
  • Cotton balls or pads
  • Aluminum foil
  • Orange stick or cuticle pusher
  • Moisturizer or cuticle oil

Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Prepare Your Nails

Preparing NailsSource:

Start by washing your hands thoroughly to remove any dirt or oils from your nails. Trim your acrylic nails as short as possible using nail clippers. This will make the removal process easier and prevent any discomfort.

Step 2: File the Surface

Nail FilingSource:

Take a coarse nail file and gently file the surface of each acrylic nail. This will help break the seal and allow the acetone to penetrate through the layers of acrylic more effectively.

Step 3: Soak the Cotton Balls

Cotton BallsSource:

Take a few cotton balls or pads and soak them in acetone-based nail polish remover. Make sure they are saturated but not dripping. You can also use an old makeup brush to apply the acetone if you prefer.

Step 4: Apply the Cotton Balls

Applying Cotton BallsSource:

Place each soaked cotton ball on top of each nail, making sure the entire surface is covered. You can secure them in place by wrapping a small piece of aluminum foil around each finger. This will create a barrier and prevent the acetone from evaporating too quickly.

Step 5: Wait and Relax


Now, it’s time to sit back and relax. Let the acetone do its magic and break down the acrylic for about 15-20 minutes. You can use this time to catch up on your favorite TV show or read a book.

Step 6: Remove the Foil and Cotton Balls

Removing Cotton BallsSource:

Carefully remove the aluminum foil and cotton balls from each finger. Gently wipe away any remaining acrylic using an orange stick or cuticle pusher. Be careful not to scrape too hard or damage your natural nails.

Step 7: Moisturize Your Nails

Moisturizing NailsSource:

After removing the acrylic, it’s essential to moisturize your nails and cuticles. Apply a generous amount of moisturizer or cuticle oil and massage it into your nails and surrounding skin. This will help restore moisture and keep your nails healthy.

Tips and Precautions

Use Acetone-Based Nail Polish Remover


Make sure to use an acetone-based nail polish remover specifically designed for removing acrylic nails. Non-acetone removers may not be strong enough to dissolve the acrylic effectively.

Avoid Peeling or Forceful Removal

Peeling NailsSource:

Never attempt to peel off or forcefully remove the acrylic nails. This can cause damage to your natural nails and lead to pain or infection. Always follow the proper removal process.

Be Patient


The removal process may take some time, especially if you have multiple layers of acrylic. Be patient and allow the acetone to work its way through the layers. Rushing the process can result in incomplete removal.

File, Don’t Buff

Nail BufferSource:

Avoid using a nail buffer to remove the acrylic as it can thin out your natural nails. Stick to filing the surface gently to break the seal and facilitate the removal process.

Take Breaks Between Removals

Taking BreaksSource:

If you have multiple layers of acrylic or extensions, it’s advisable to take breaks between removal sessions. This will allow your natural nails to recover and prevent excessive damage.


Removing acrylic nails doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can safely and effectively remove your acrylic nails at home. Remember to be patient, take breaks if needed, and moisturize your nails afterward to keep them healthy. With proper care, your natural nails will be ready for their next manicure in no time!