How to Nail Your Next Acrylic Removal

Jul. 29, 2020
Removing acrylics at home is tricky, but not impossible.
Acrylic nails are a striking, long-lasting way to beautify your hands. Thanks to their sturdy nature, they can handle daring lengths and designs. But with great looks comes great responsibility. Acrylics need fill-ins once every 2-3 weeks. If you can’t keep up, they’ll have to come off. 
Ideally, acrylic removal happens where it started: at the salon. But sometimes you’re busy, not feeling well, or on a budget. There are ways to do it at home while still being kind to your hands.
Let us guide you through a safe at-home acrylic removal.
Can’t I Just Wait for My Nails to Grow Out?
Without fill-ins, acrylics will begin to detach from the natural nail. This usually within 2-3 weeks. Once this starts happening, it is essential to take care of your nails right away. Either re-visit your nail tech, or remove the acrylic entirely. Why?
It can cause infection. The gap between your acrylic and natural nail is warm and moist, making it a breeding ground for bacteria. Removing acrylics safely is the best defense against infection. 
It can damage your nails. When your acrylics start to separate, they may rip or peel off on their own. This can damage your natural nails, causing them to thin or crack.
I Want to Remove My Acrylics at Home, What Do I Need?
First, gather your supplies. You may be anxious to remove your acrylics, but it’s important to do it right. Don’t worry, your local drug store probably has everything you need.
Next, clear up your schedule. Doing a proper job takes time, so set aside at least an hour in your day. This can be a great excuse to watch an old favorite movie or catch up on the latest binge-worthy series.
  • strong nail clippers
  • a coarse nail-file (80-100 grit)
  • pure acetone polish remover 
  • an orange stick or metal cuticle pusher
  • a bowl of warm water
  • an empty bowl 
  • tinfoil
  • cotton balls
  • plastic baggies (optional, see step 4.)
Set everything up on a clean dry surface. Now you’re ready to get started.
Step One: Bring The Heat.
Acetone nail polish remover works most efficiently with gentle heat. It is a flammable product, so do not put it in the microwave. The best method is to fill a bowl with warm (not hot) water, and let your bottle soak in it for a few minutes.
Step Two: Snip, Snip.
Using your clippers, cut the acrylics as short as possible, avoiding your natural nail. This is going to make them much easier to remove. Work slowly and start cutting from the sides. This way you avoid shattering the acrylic, which can damage your nail bed.
Step Three: Get In The Buff.
Using your nail file, buff the top layer of your acrylic until it looks dull, not shiny. Getting rid of this top layer will soften the nails, making it easier for them to come off. 
Step Four: Soak It In.


This is the most time-consuming part of the process. Your acrylics need to soak in acetone for proper removal. Your first soak should be at least 10 minutes, 20 for maximum effect. You may have to repeat this step later for a shorter amount of time.
There are a few ways to soak your nails:
  • Soak one cotton ball per finger in the acetone. Using your foil, wrap the cotton ball around your nail. The foil holds the cotton ball in place, but it will also use your natural body heat to make the acetone work faster. This is the most comfortable option for your first soak, because you still have some mobility.
  • Fill your empty bowl with enough acetone to cover your fingers. Soak your nails in the solution and wait for it to take effect.
  • Fill your plastic baggy with enough acetone to cover your fingers. With all the liquid in one ‘corner’ of the bag, put your hand inside and play the waiting game.
Step Five: Just Push It.
When you remove your foil, or take your hands out of the solution, the acrylic should look soft. Take your chosen cuticle tool and gently push from the cuticle outward. Do as much as you can with a gentle touch. If some bits stay behind, don’t apply force. Just soak your nails for another 5 minutes and try again.
Step Six: Aftercare.
Your hands have been through a lot. Make sure to give them the TLC they deserve. Buff them into a uniform shape, then give yourself a mini manicure.
Give yourself a hand massage with your favorite lotion, then follow up with a cuticle oil. Your nails will need a break from color, but you may want to apply a fortifying treatment. We love Nails Inc. Superfood Base Coat for its natural, nail loving formula.
A visit to the salon isn’t always in the cards. But with a little patience and the right tools, you can remove your acrylics as well as the professionals.
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