Need to remove your acrylic nails at home? Here’s how…

Need to remove your acrylic nails at home? Follow our guide.

Nothing feels better than a fresh set of nails. But when they inevitably grow out, removing them can become quite the task, especially when you can’t just pop into the nail salon. Australian COVID-19 restrictions have seen the temporary closure of beauty salons, leaving many of us with outgrown nails needing desperate attention.  

With these 5 simple steps, discover how to remove acrylic nails at home with as little damage as possible. However, please note, where possible please consult your nail technician before undertaking the process. 

Photo by allison christine on Unsplash

5 Steps to Removing Acrylic Nails at Home

It’s important to note while removing your acrylic nails at home is possible, it’s always best to consult a nail technician before undertaking the following process. Removing your nails at home, when done correctly and carefully, can result in minimal damage to your natural nail.

You’ll require the following tools to remove your acrylic nails:

  • Nail clippers.
  • Pure acetone.
  • Cuticle pusher.
  • Nail buffer/file.
  • A small shallow bowl.

Step 1: Clip down your acrylic nails.

Firstly, you’ll need to clip down your acrylic as much as possible. To do this, take your nail clippers and snip off the excess length. Clip your nails, leaving around 2mm of acrylic off the end of your natural nail. This will ensure you don’t accidentally damage your skin underneath. 

Step 2: File down the acrylic nails.

Now your nails are at a more manageable size, it’s time to file them down. Take your nail file, where possible use a 100-grit file, and begin filing the top of the acrylics down. This process should be done evenly, to avoid damage, with overall aim to remove the remaining product on the natural nail. 

When undertaking this step it is important not to file the top of the natural nail. When the product layer has become thin, around 1mm off the nail bed, stop filing and begin the next step.

Step 3: Soak your nails in acetone.

Take a small bowl and fill it with enough acetone to cover your nails with ease, normally around 50% of the bowl. Place your fingers in the bowl and soak your nails. Pop on your favourite TV show because you’re going to be here for at least 20 minutes per hand. The acetone will slowly dissolve the product, making it easier to remove. 

An alternative to this is to soak some cotton wool balls in acetone. Take the cotton wool ball and place it firmly on the nail, wrap the nail and cotton wool together using aluminum foil. Complete this on all fingers and leave for 20 minutes before removing.

Step 4: Remove the remaining acrylic.

Before we begin this step it is important to note, failure to complete this step with due care will result in nail damage. Now that your nails have been soaked, you should notice the product beginning to soften and curl. If so remove them from the acetone, if not place them back in the bowl, checking every 10 minutes. 

Using your cuticle pusher, or orange stick, gently scrape off the remaining acrylic nail. Repeat this process by placing the fingers back into the acetone in 10 minute intervals, then scraping accordingly until the product is removed. If you do however find there is a particularly stubborn piece of acrylic that simply won’t budge, take your nail buffer and buff them smooth.

Step 5: Caring for your natural nail.

Now your acrylic nails have been removed, buff and file your natural nails. If you have a hand cream or cuticle oil, use this to help your nails recover.  

Frequently Asked Questions About Acrylic Nails

How long do acrylic nails last?

When properly cared for and correctly applied, acrylic nails can last weeks 2 to 3 weeks. Having the acrylics filled will help extend their wear time.

Can you remove acrylic nails without acetone?

Yes, it is possible to remove acrylic nails without acetone. However, this will likely cause extreme damage to your nail beds and is best avoided where possible. 

How much do acrylic nails cost?

A full set of acrylic nails in Australia will cost roughly $50, not including polish. Depending on the polish type, standard or shellac, the additional cost will vary. If you wish for additional nail art as well, this will also be an added cost. 

How long does it take to get acrylic nails?

For the application and painting of a full set of acrylic nails, allow at least one hour. 

Get in touch with your local nail technician for advice on how to best remove your acrylic nails at home. 

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      Katrina Stapleton

      Senior Digital Content Specialist

      Katrina Stapleton is a Senior Digital Content Specialist at Localsearch with a background in social media and marketing. Although most of her experience lies in the entertainment sector, Katrina has written content for a vast array of industries including tourism, hospitality, retail and property development. Katrina is an avid dog lover, who finds a way to weave her fur-baby, Mylo, into most conversations. Aside from being a self-confessed bookworm, Katrina can often be found checking out the Gold Coast's latest coffee nook, paddle-boarding or baking up a storm in her free time — all with Mylo by her side, of course! As a Senior Digital Content Specialist, Katrina enjoys sharing her knowledge and passions on the Localsearch Blog.