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SaveBeauty & Style How to Remove Acrylic Nails at Home

How to Remove Acrylic Nails at Home

Learn how to remove acrylic nails at home yourself. Save time, energy, and money. Skip a trip to the salon with this easy-to-follow DIY guide.

Acrylic nails are awesome because they’re long-lasting, add eye-catching length, and protect your natural nails. You can skip a trip to the salon (and save time and money) when you take off your acrylic nails yourself at home. But you also want to follow certain steps to keep your nails safe and healthy.

Here's how to remove acrylic nails safely and effectively without damaging your nails. 

Acrylic nails how to remove at home

First, gather your supplies. You’ll need:

  • Aluminum foil and cotton balls, or a small bowl
  • Metal cuticle pusher
  • Nail cutter
  • 100-grit nail file or nail drill
  • 100% acetone nail polish remover

You may also want a nail buffer and cuticle oil on hand to smooth out your nails after removal.

Steps to prep acrylic nail removal

To begin, you’ll cut off the excess nail. Use a nail cutter to trim off the top of the nail that’s not attached to your natural nail.

Then, use the nail file to buff off the polish part of the acrylic nail. A regular emery board won’t have much effect. You’ll want to use a coarse 100-grit nail file or a nail drill to remove as much acrylic as possible.

Next, soak each nail in the acetone polish remover. You can do this two ways.

  1. Pour enough acetone nail polish remover into a bowl to cover the entire nail when you dip your hand into the bowl. Place your nails in the bowl and let your fingertips soak in the polish remover for 5 minutes each time during the process of removing the nails
  2. Soak a cotton ball with acetone. Place the ball over the nail, then wrap the finger with aluminum foil. Let soak for 30 minutes.

The method of placing your fingers in the bowl will typically take longer and can be harsher on your skin. Opt for option #2 if possible, since it's easier and faster. 

Remove acrylic nails

Pull your nails out of the acetone remover or remove cotton balls. Using your metal cuticle pusher, gently scrape the acrylic off your natural nail, from the nail bed to the top.

If you're using the bowl method, you'll want to re-dip your fingers into the bowl, soak for 5 more minutes, scrape, and repeat until the acrylic's removed. With the foil method, it should take 30 minutes of a single application to enable you to remove the acrylic. 

Once all the acrylic is removed, you can use your nail buffer to remove any stray pieces of acrylic left and buff out your natural nails.

You can then apply cuticle oil to your nails, massage it in, and buff some more for a smooth natural nail look.

Get more at-home nail care tips

There you have it! Removing acrylic nails at home is fast, simple, and easy when you have the right tools. 

Love your nails? Want to save time and money by DIY-ing your nail care at home? Check out more nail care tips on our blog. Get some nail inspiration with some of the top nail trends for 2022.

Check out more at-home beauty treatments to try. Save money on products like nail polish remover, nail cutters, nail files, and more. Sign up for the free Save coupon book delivered straight to your home.