How to Clean White Acrylic Nails

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Discover four methods to clean white acrylic nails and ways to stop them from turning yellow

A classic white manicure is timeless, elegant, and everyone’s go-to; however, it is a hard manicure to maintain. White nails are hard to keep looking clean and as fresh as they did when you first had them done. Although many people want to get them done, they are not very practical for everyday life. So, how do you clean white acrylic nails?

There are a few ways to clean acrylic nails, but using lemon juice and baking soda is one of the most common ways. The acid in lemon juice helps dissolve the dirt particles on the nails, and the baking soda is a natural bleaching agent, which makes the nails look brighter and lighter. 

In this post, there are four ways to clean your white acrylic nails and some information on why your white acrylic nails turn yellow and how to prevent it.

Why are my white acrylic nails turning yellow?

Acrylic nails are more porous than other types of manicures, which means they soak up liquids they come in contact with and are more likely to get stained by certain substances.

The discolouration will be entirely different for everyone, some may experience more than others, but the key thing to figure out is what is causing your white nails to turn yellow and try to illuminate it. 

Although there is no exact reason why white acrylic nails turn yellow, it is often due to exposure to certain substances and chemicals. For example, too much exposure to sunlight and UV rays, exposure to harsh chemicals in everyday products like cleaning products or hair dyes, and cigarettes can also cause discolouration. 

It can also be caused by the low quality of the gel or products that have been used, so if you get your nails done at a nail salon, it is hard to know the quality of the products they are using.

However, if you notice that the price for a full acrylic set is cheaper, this signifies that the products they use might be cheaper, lower quality. If you are doing them at home, then do some research for the best quality products to prevent your nails’ discoloration.

How to Clean White Acrylic Nails

There are many different methods to clean white acrylic nails; the good thing with the four explain below is that they all use accessible items that means you can do it at home.

Not only will they save you a trip to the nail salon and save you money, but they will also save your white acrylic nails and help them last longer.

Here are four ways to clean white acrylic nails.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is a great way to clean white acrylic nails; it is a cheap option, and it is very effective. The lemon juice’s acidic properties dissolve the stain particles and make the nail look brighter; however, it is cleaning the nail. 

There are a few different ways you can do this; the most simple one is lemon juice on its own. All you need to do is squeeze half a lemon into a bowl, using a cotton bud, allow it to soak in the juice for about 10 seconds.

Once the cotton bud is soaked in the lemon juice, wipe it all over the stained nails; do each nail individually soaking the cotton bud for each nail. Once all nails are covered, leave the lemon juice on your nails for about 2 – 3 minutes. When the time is up, scrub the nails with a dry washcloth. 

Lemon Salt Scrub

Another way you can clean white acrylic nails with lemon juice is a lemon salt scrub. The lemon juice will get rid of the stains, and the salt scrub will gently bull the nail and polish it too. 

To make a lemon salt scrub, you need to add two tablespoons of lemon juice and two tablespoons of salt and mix the two together. Apply the mix to your nails, gently scrubbing your nails to help activate it.

Leave it on your hands for 5 minutes, and then wash it off with warm water and soap. To keep your hands moisturised after, you can apply some oil to your hands and nails.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide has whitening products, which would be very useful if you want to clean your white acrylic nails. 

All you need to do is add one teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide to 100ml hot water and mix the two together. Ensure that the water isn’t too hot to burn you, and it is a comfortable temperature for you to put your hands in.

Once it is ready, place your hands in the mixture and leave to soak for 10 minutes. When you have finished, wash your hands with warm water and soap.

Hydrogen peroxide can be very harsh and will dehydrate your hands, so you do need to moisturise your hands straight away and keep them moisturised throughout the day.

Essential oils

Some essential oils are great at removing stains, for example, tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is a natural stain remover; however, it will be slower than some other options, but it is one of the most natural ways to clean your white acrylic nails.

Add two tablespoons of your chosen oil and 100ml of warm water, and mix them together. Let your hands soak in it for 10 minutes; once the time is up, rinse your hands with water. As stated earlier, this is a slower process, so you can repeat this one a day until your nails are white again.

This is a great method if you want to prevent your nails from turning yellow, you can add this to your daily routine, and it may make your nails last longer and may stop them from getting stained at all. 

Scrub it off

If you are trying to clean your white acrylic nails straight after the staining or contact a certain product, then scrubbing your nails can help clean them.

All you need to do is wash your hands with hot water and soap, using a nail brush, scrub your nails for a few minutes. You don’t want to scrub too rough; otherwise, it can chip the nail polish, but use enough force to help lift the stains.

This is a suitable method for, as said earlier, stains that have just happened, so for example, if you eat certain foods or you spill something like cleaning products on your nails. This may not work for stains that you’ve had for a while, so it is important to bear that in mind.

How do I keep my white nails from turning yellow?

Although you may never completely stop your nails from turning yellow, there are so many things you can do to make your nails last longer and stop them from discolouring for as long as possible. 

For example, if you are going to be in contact with products you know cause your nails to turn yellow, you could wear gloves. To some, this may seem simple, and to others, it may be a hassle, but wearing gloves when using cleaning products or eating heavy coloured foods then the gloves will create a barrier that protects your nails.

Re-applying a top coat can help prevent your nails from turning yellow; some think that topcoats should only put on once you’ve had your nails done, but this isn’t true.

Topcoats create a seal over the nail polish and protect any damage from happening to the colour. If you keep topping up on the topcoat, it will make sure the seal is still strong, which will help your nails last longer.

You could also use a gel topcoat; if you have regular nail polish, you can still use a gel topcoat. Gel topcoats are a lot stronger than regular topcoats, so applying one to your acrylic nails will keep your nails protected long and keep them in better condition for a more extended amount of time.

Remember to cure the topcoat with either a UV or LED light, depending on what the gel is compatible with; this will help keep your nails from turning yellow. 


If you find that you can’t get the stains off, it would be best to remove the existing nail polish and re-paint; as much as it is frustrating to do this, you want to make sure you keep your nails and hands as healthy.

Even though these methods are not harmful to you, the constant scrubbing and application of different products can irritate your skin, which you want to avoid.

I hope this has been useful and help you find great ways to clean your white acrylic nails. Preventing your nails from staining or any discolouration is key, so it is important to add things into your day to day life to protect your nails and to keep them looking the best at all times.

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