How to Remove Acrylic Nails Yourself

Acrylic nails are a popular choice for many people who want to have long and glamorous nails. However, there may come a time when you need to remove them, whether it’s because they have grown out or you simply want to give your natural nails a break. While it is always best to have your acrylic nails removed by a professional, you can also remove them safely at home if you follow the right steps. In this article, we will guide you through the process of removing acrylic nails yourself.

Gather the Necessary Supplies

To successfully remove your acrylic nails, you will need a few supplies. These include:

Nail Polish RemoverSource:
  • Acetone-based nail polish remover
  • Cotton balls or pads
  • Aluminum foil
  • Orange sticks or cuticle pusher
  • Nail file or buffer
  • Moisturizer

Make sure you have all these items ready before you start the process.

Trim and File the Acrylic Nails

Nail FileSource:

Before you begin removing the acrylic nails, it’s a good idea to trim them down as short as possible. This will make the removal process easier and less likely to cause damage to your natural nails. Use a nail clipper to carefully trim the acrylic nails down to a manageable length.

Next, you should file the surface of the acrylic nails. This step is important as it will help break the seal and allow the acetone to penetrate the nails more effectively. Use a nail file or buffer to gently file the top layer of the acrylic nails. Be careful not to file too vigorously, as this can damage your natural nails.

Prepare the Acetone Soak


Acetone is a key ingredient in most nail polish removers and is effective in dissolving acrylic nails. To prepare the acetone soak, follow these steps:

  1. Pour enough nail polish remover into a glass bowl to fully submerge your fingertips.
  2. Warm the nail polish remover slightly by placing the bowl in another bowl filled with warm water. This will help speed up the process.

It’s important to note that some people may be sensitive to acetone, so if you experience any discomfort or irritation during the process, stop immediately and consult a professional.

Soak Your Nails in Acetone

Now that your acetone soak is ready, it’s time to start removing the acrylic nails.

  1. Dip a cotton ball or pad into the acetone, ensuring it is fully saturated.
  2. Place the soaked cotton ball or pad directly on top of one of your nails.
  3. Wrap the fingertip with aluminum foil to hold the cotton ball or pad in place.
  4. Repeat this process for all your nails.

Let your nails soak in the acetone for about 15-20 minutes. During this time, you can relax and catch up on your favorite TV show or read a book.

Remove the Acrylic Nails

After the soaking period is over, it’s time to remove the acrylic nails.

  1. Take off one of the aluminum foil wraps from your fingertips.
  2. Gently press on the nail with your orange stick or cuticle pusher to see if the acrylic nail loosens.
  3. If the acrylic nail does not come off easily, re-wrap it with the soaked cotton ball or pad and aluminum foil and let it soak for a few more minutes.
  4. Once the acrylic nail becomes loose, use the orange stick or cuticle pusher to gently pry it off your natural nail.
  5. Repeat this process for all your nails.

Be patient and avoid forcing the acrylic nails off, as this can cause damage to your natural nails.

Clean and Moisturize Your Nails


After successfully removing the acrylic nails, it’s important to clean and moisturize your nails to promote healthy growth.

  1. Use a nail polish remover to wipe away any remaining residue.
  2. Wash your hands with warm water and a gentle soap to remove any acetone residue.
  3. Pat your hands dry with a clean towel.
  4. Apply a generous amount of moisturizer to your nails and cuticles to hydrate and nourish them.

Allow your nails to breathe and recover for a few days before applying any new nail products or getting a fresh set of acrylic nails.


Removing acrylic nails yourself can be done safely and effectively if you follow the right steps. Remember to gather all the necessary supplies, trim and file the acrylic nails, prepare the acetone soak, soak your nails, remove the acrylic nails with care, and finally, clean and moisturize your nails. By following these steps, you can successfully remove your acrylic nails at home and give your natural nails the care they deserve.