How to Take Off Acrylics at Home

Acrylics are lovely on nails, but may need to be removed.
Acrylics are lovely on nails, but may need to be removed. (Image: George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images)

When applied to nails, acrylic dries to a hard surface, making nails stronger and less breakable. Longer lasting nail polish is another advantage of acrylic nails. Generally, women go to a nail professional to have acrylics applied, and although manicurists often advise their clients to return to the salon to have them removed, you can take acrylics off at home with a little patience.

Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper
  • Large toenail clippers
  • Small bowl
  • Acetone
  • Hand cream
  • Nail buffer

Place several layers of newspaper on a table or desk where you can sit comfortably.

Cut your nails down as short as possible with a pair of large toenail clippers.

Pour about two cups of pure acetone into a small bowl and soak your fingernails in it for about 15 to 20 minutes. The acetone will cause the acrylic to loosen from the surface of your nails.

Take your hand out of the acetone and try to lift off the acrylic. It should come easily off in one piece. If some of it is still adhering to the nail, soak it in the acetone for another 10 minutes or longer until it can come right off with no trouble.

Pull off all the acrylic and repeat with the other hand. Wash your hands well to remove all traces of the acetone. Use a moisturizing hand cream on your hands.

Buff your natural nails lightly to remove leftover nail glue. Do this carefully, as your nails will be thin and brittle after removing the acrylics.

Tips & Warnings

  • Nail polish remover with acetone can be used in place of pure acetone, but the removal process will probably take longer.
  • Avoid pulling the nail off. This could be painful and may result in nail injury.

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