How to Remove Acrylic Nails with Methylated Spirits

Acrylic NailsSource:


Acrylic nails are a popular choice for many people who want to enhance the appearance of their natural nails. However, there comes a time when you may want to remove them. If you prefer an at-home method that doesn’t require a trip to the salon, using methylated spirits can be a cost-effective and efficient way to remove acrylic nails. In this article, we will guide you through the process of safely removing acrylic nails using methylated spirits.

What are Acrylic Nails?

Acrylic NailsSource:

Acrylic nails are artificial nail extensions that are glued onto the natural nails to create a longer and more glamorous appearance. These nails are made by combining a liquid monomer with a powdered polymer, which creates a strong and durable material when it hardens. Acrylic nails can be customized in terms of length, shape, and color, making them a popular choice for those who want to achieve a specific look.

Why Remove Acrylic Nails?

Removing Acrylic NailsSource:

There are several reasons why someone may want to remove their acrylic nails. Some common reasons include:

  1. Growth of natural nails: Over time, your natural nails will grow, causing a visible gap between the acrylic nail and the cuticle. This growth can make the acrylic nails look less appealing.
  2. Damaged nails: Improper application or removal of acrylic nails can cause damage to the natural nails, leading to weak and brittle nails.
  3. Change in style: Your preferences and style may change, and you may want to switch to a different type of nail enhancement or go back to your natural nails.

Supplies Needed

Nail Polish RemoverSource:

Before you start the process of removing acrylic nails with methylated spirits, gather the following supplies:

  • Acetone-free nail polish remover
  • Methylated spirits (also known as denatured alcohol)
  • Cotton balls or pads
  • Aluminum foil or nail clips
  • Orange stick or cuticle pusher
  • Nail file and buffer
  • Moisturizing hand cream or oil

Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Prepare Your Workstation

Workstation For Removing Acrylic NailsSource:

Find a well-ventilated area with good lighting to set up your workstation. It’s important to work in a well-ventilated area as methylated spirits can produce strong fumes. Lay down some newspaper or a towel to protect the surface you will be working on.

Step 2: File the Acrylic Nails

Filing Acrylic NailsSource:

Using a nail file, gently file the surface of the acrylic nails. This step helps to break the seal and roughens up the surface, allowing the methylated spirits to penetrate and dissolve the acrylic more effectively. Be careful not to file too aggressively, as you don’t want to damage your natural nails underneath.

Step 3: Protect Your Skin

Protect Skin When Removing Acrylic NailsSource:

To protect your skin from the drying effects of methylated spirits, apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly or cuticle oil around your nails. This acts as a barrier, preventing direct contact between the methylated spirits and your skin.

Step 4: Soak Cotton Balls

Cotton BallsSource:

Soak cotton balls or pads with methylated spirits. Make sure they are fully saturated but not dripping excessively.

Step 5: Apply Cotton Balls

Applying Cotton BallsSource:

Place the soaked cotton balls or pads on top of your nails, ensuring that the entire surface of the acrylic nail is covered. The methylated spirits will start to dissolve the acrylic, making it easier to remove.

Step 6: Secure with Aluminum Foil or Nail Clips

Aluminum FoilSource:

Wrap each finger with aluminum foil, securing the cotton balls in place. Alternatively, you can use nail clips specifically designed for soaking off acrylic nails. This step helps to create a barrier that prevents the methylated spirits from evaporating too quickly, allowing for a more efficient removal process.

Step 7: Wait for 15-20 Minutes

Allow the cotton balls and foil/nail clips to stay in place for approximately 15-20 minutes. During this time, the methylated spirits will break down the acrylic, making it easier to remove without causing damage to your natural nails.

Step 8: Remove the Foil/Nail Clips

Removing Foil Or Nail ClipsSource:

After the waiting period, carefully remove the foil or nail clips from your fingers. Be cautious as the methylated spirits can still be present on the cotton balls.

Step 9: Gently Push and Remove Acrylic

Removing Acrylic NailsSource:

Using an orange stick or a cuticle pusher, gently push the softened acrylic away from your natural nails. Start from the base of the acrylic nail and work your way towards the tip. The acrylic should come off easily without requiring excessive force. If you encounter any resistance, use the nail file to further break down the acrylic and repeat the process.

Step 10: Buff and Shape Your Natural Nails

Nail BufferSource:

Once the acrylic nails have been removed, use a nail file and buffer to smooth out any rough edges and shape your natural nails. Be gentle to avoid causing any damage to your natural nails.

Step 11: Cleanse Your Nails

Remove any remaining traces of methylated spirits or acrylic residue from your nails by washing your hands with soap and water. Dry your hands thoroughly.

Step 12: Moisturize Your Hands

Moisturizing Hand CreamSource:

Finish off the process by applying a moisturizing hand cream or oil to nourish your hands and nails. Acetone and methylated spirits can be drying to the skin and nails, so it’s important to replenish the moisture.

Precautions and Tips

Removing Acrylic Nails SafelySource:

While using methylated spirits to remove acrylic nails can be effective, it’s essential to take certain precautions to ensure a safe and successful process:

  • Always work in a well-ventilated area to minimize exposure to fumes.
  • Do not use methylated spirits if you have any open cuts or sores on your hands.
  • Avoid contact with your eyes, nose, and mouth. If accidental contact occurs, rinse thoroughly with water.
  • If you experience any skin irritation or discomfort during the process, stop immediately and consult a healthcare professional.
  • Be patient and gentle when removing the acrylic nails to avoid damaging your natural nails.
  • Moisturize your hands and nails regularly to restore hydration.


Removing acrylic nails at home can save you time and money, and using methylated spirits is a cost-effective and efficient method. By following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article, you can safely remove acrylic nails and restore your natural nails to their original state. Remember to take the necessary precautions and be gentle throughout the process to avoid any damage or discomfort.

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Learn how to remove acrylic nails using methylated spirits in this step-by-step guide. Follow the instructions to safely and efficiently remove your acrylic nails at home.

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Acrylic nails, remove acrylic nails, methylated spirits, at-home nail removal, nail care, beauty tips