Best Way to Take Off Acrylic Nails

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Discover the best way to take off acrylic nails

Removing acrylic nails is an essential part of having acrylic nails. If it’s not done correctly, it could leave you with damaged and weak nails, which could take a long time to heal. There are so many methods and DIY hacks it can be difficult to know which one to do and which will give you the best results. So, what is the best way to take off acrylic nails?

The best way to take off acrylic nails would be to go to a nail salon and get them taken off professionally by a nail technician. However, if you are unable to do so, you can remove them at home by soaking them in acetone. In this post, I’ll be sharing the best way to take off acrylic nails, with a step-by-step method of how to do it. I’ll also be sharing key tips to help you remove your acrylic nails at home without damaging them.

Best way to take off acrylic nails

The best way to take off acrylic nails is to get them taken off professionally by a nail technician. Taking off acrylics is done in a specific process and uses chemical products to ensure that they are completely removed, and there isn’t any acrylic left on your nails. Going to a nail technician is the best option as you know that they’re being done correctly, with all the acrylic being removed and your natural nails getting what they need after having acrylics on.

However, everyone has different circumstances, and you may not be able to get to a nail salon or have the money to spend on removing acrylics. If this is the case, there are ways of removing acrylics at home. The best way, and closest to what a nail technician would do, is to remove acrylic nails using acetone.

How to remove acrylic nails at home

What you need

  • Acetone
  • Nail file
  • Nail clippers
  • Foil
  • Cotton wool ball


First of all, you need to start by clipping down your nails. If you have artificial tips, cut them down as low as possible (where your natural nail starts or as close to the tip of your finger if you can’t see your natural nail); if you have acrylic on your natural nail, cut it down as much as your happy with. Cutting them down will help your acrylic come off quickly as there’s less to dissolve. Use a large nail clipper to cut them down to make sure you cut through the acrylic.

The next step is to soak your nails in acetone. There are two ways to do this, the first one is typically used in nail salons, and that is to place wrap each nail with cotton wool and foil. Take a cotton wool ball and soak it in acetone. Place it on top of your nail, and then with a piece of tin foil, wrap it around your nail and the cotton ball.

Make sure they are completely covered to avoid air getting in and drying out the acetone. Repeat for each nail, and leave it on for 30 minutes. If, after 30 minutes, there are still parts of the acrylic that hasn’t dissolved, leave them on for an extra 5 – 10 minutes.

Alternatively, you can fill a bowl will acetone and soak your nails in it for 30 minutes. This is simpler, but it may not get as good results as the first way. Again, if the acrylic hasn’t fully dissolved after the recommended time, leave them in to soak for another 10 minutes.

Once you can see the acrylic has properly dissolved, begin to buff away the excess acrylic on the nail with a nail file. Make sure that all the acrylic has gone and the natural nail is revealed.

Now all the acrylic is removed, you need to rehydrate your cuticles. Acetone can be very drying to your nails and hands, so it is important to rehydrate them and give them the nourishment they need. Vitamin E oil is very good to use, or you can buy a cuticle oil designed for this purpose. Massage the oil into your cuticles, and try to repeat this daily as you allow your nails to breathe from the acrylic.

If you want to know how to remove acrylic nails in a few other ways that are both safe and effective, check out my post on How to Take Off Acrylic Nails at Home with Hot Water and How to Take Off Acrylic Nails Without Acetone.

Key tips to help you remove your acrylic nails at home without damaging them

Research – Research is so important when taking off acrylic nails at home. If you want to take your acrylic nails off at home and want to do it properly, one of the best things you can do is to speak to your nail technician about looking after and removing your acrylics.

They can talk through it with you, give you some good tips, and give you a chance to answer any questions you may have. Equally, you could do some research online or watch Youtube videos to gain a better understanding and a visual representation.

If it doesn’t go to plan, leave them and go to your nail tech asap – Do not try to continue removing your acrylics if it doesn’t work the first time. As mentioned earlier, acetone is very drying to your hands and nails, so you don’t want to overuse it as it can lead to damaging your cuticles.

Also, if the products and tools involved in removing acrylics are misused, it could damage your nails and cause weakened or cracked nails. So, do try to go to a nail technician if you have tried to remove the acrylic, and it hasn’t worked well to ensure that it is removed entirely and safely.

Don’t pull your acrylics off – Pulling off acrylics can cause a lot of damage to your natural nails. Most of the time, if you pull acrylics off, it pulls off the top layer of your natural nails. This can be very damaging as it weakens your nails and makes it hard for your nails to rehydrate, which can lead to more long-term issues.

Make sure to hydrate your hands and nails after – As stated in the method, you should aim to nourish your hands and nails every day during the break from acrylics. This allows your nails to restore and keep their strength. It also helps when you next go to get acrylic nails, as healthy nails provide a better base for acrylic nails to keep them in good condition for longer.


Acrylic nails should be taken off professionally to keep your natural nails as healthy as possible. As we know, acrylic doesn’t really damage your natural nails, but if they aren’t looked after properly, it can cause some issues, so it is suggested to get a nail technician to take them off.

However, there isn’t anything wrong with removing them yourself as long as you follow the process correctly and use the right products. Don’t take shortcuts or use alternatives to the products recommended, as this could damage your nails or make the removal process harder.

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