How to Take Off Acrylic Nails

The Best Ways to Remove Acrylic Nails with Ease

Hello Challenger,

We know that taking off acrylic nails can be quite intimidating, especially if you haven’t done it before. However, with the right tools and knowledge, the process can be quick and easy. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll show you how to take off acrylic nails in the most effective way possible. So, whether you’re taking them off to pamper your natural nails or simply want to switch things up, you’re in the right place.


Acrylic nails have been around for quite some time and have become incredibly popular amongst women. They are an excellent way to beautify the hands, but they can cause damage to the natural nails if not removed correctly. Taking off acrylic nails too aggressively can cause the natural nails to become weak, brittle or even split. Hence, it’s important to approach this task with proper care and follow the right methods.

Firstly, it’s essential to know that acrylic nails are applied using a combination of liquid and powder polymers. As a result, you’ll need acetone to remove the acrylic nails. It softens the polymers to enable the nails to come off quickly. Secondly, be aware that removing acrylic nails too fast, too soon, or using the wrong tools can be damaging to the natural nail bed, resulting in pain or sensitivity. Thirdly, while it’s possible to remove acrylic nails at home, we recommend visiting a professional nail technician for the best and safest results.

Now, let’s dive into how to take off acrylic nails properly, step by step:

Step-by-Step Guide

Tools You’ll Need What They Are Used For
Acetone To soften and break down the acrylic nails
Cotton balls or pads To hold the acetone and cover your nails
Tin foil To hold the cotton and acetone in place
Nail file To file down the top coat and make a small break in the acrylic nails
Orange stick To lift and scrap off part of the acrylic nails

Step 1: Buff the Acrylic Nails

The first step in taking off acrylic nails is to buff the topcoat to remove the shine. You can do this by gently filing the nail’s top layer, being careful not to file too hard or damage the underlying nail. The point of buffing is to break the seal of the acrylic nails, making it easier for the next step.

Step 2: Prepare the Acetone and Cotton Pads

Soak cotton balls or pads in acetone and place it on each of your nails. Wrap your nails with tin foil to keep the cotton pads and acetone in place. Leave them in there for 20-30 minutes so that the acetone can fully penetrate through the acrylic nails.

Step 3: Check the Progress of the Removal

At this point, the acetone should have worked its magic, and the acrylic nails should begin to dissolve. Carefully remove the foil and cotton pads from one of your nails. You can use an orange stick to see if the nails are lifting off naturally. If they don’t, it’s time to return your nails back to the acetone soak for at least another 10 minutes.

Step 4: Scrape off the Acrylic Nails

Using an orange stick, carefully scrape off as much of the acrylic nails as possible from your nails. Be sure not to force or pry the nails off, as it can damage your natural nails. Instead, use gentle pressure, and the nails will start to come off quickly.

Step 5: Moisturize Your Nails

After removing the acrylic nails, you should moisturize your nails to replenish the lost moisture caused by the acetone. Apply a cuticle oil or moisturizing lotion to your nails and massage it in properly. This keeps your nails from becoming brittle and looking healthy.


1. Can I remove acrylic nails without acetone?

While it’s possible to remove acrylic nails without acetone, the process can take longer and be more tedious. Some alternatives include using warm water and soap, dental floss, or a nail clipper.

2. Can I remove acrylic nails with plain nail polish remover?

No, it isn’t recommended to use plain nail polish remover to remove acrylic nails because it’s not potent enough to break down the acrylic polymer.

3. Can I use alcohol instead of acetone to remove acrylic nails?

No, alcohol doesn’t have the chemical properties to dissolve acrylic and hence, is not recommended for use to remove acrylic nails.

4. Why should I not rip off my acrylic nails?

Ripping off acrylic nails can damage the underlying nail bed and cause more harm than good. It can also cause pain, sensitivity or even expose the nail bed to infection. So, always opt for a gentle approach and use the prescribed methods to remove acrylic nails.

5. Can I reapply acrylic nails immediately after removal?

We don’t recommend it. After removing acrylic nails, you must let your natural nails breathe and regenerate before reapplying another set of false nails. Give it at least a week before heading back to the salon or applying acrylics again.

6. How often should I give my nails a break from acrylics?

It’s recommended to give your nails a break from acrylic every 3-4 months to allow them to grow, breathe and recover from damage.

7. How do I prevent damage to my natural nails when removing acrylic nails?

To prevent damage to your natural nails, use gentle pressure when lifting off the acrylic nails with an orange stick. Don’t rip the nails off, and if you feel any pain or discomfort, stop and give your nails a break. Additionally, moisturize your nails and keep them healthy to promote faster and healthier growth.


In conclusion, removing acrylic nails could be straightforward and safe when you follow the right method. We’ve covered everything you need to know about removing acrylic nails in this guide. Just remember to be gentle, use the appropriate tools and materials, and most importantly, let your nails breathe and recover before reapplying acrylics. With these tips, you can confidently take off your acrylic nails at home without damaging your natural nails.

Take care of your natural nails, and they will continue to look great for years to come.

Closing Statement with Disclaimer

We hope this guide has been informative enough to help you take off your acrylic nails without damaging your natural nails. However, as with every beauty treatment, it’s essential to use caution, and if you feel any discomfort or pain, stop immediately and seek the assistance of a professional. We shall not be held responsible for any damage or harm caused by the use of this guide. Please proceed with caution and at your discretion.