How to Remove Acrylic Nails

By Jay White

February 11, 2015   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

Acrylic Nails have a lot of benefits. They are strong, hard to damage, and they stay on for a long time when applied properly. However, the drawback to this is that when you are ready to have your acrylic nails removed, it is often not very easy. There are a few good ways to remove your nails when you need to. Some require the help of another person, while others can be done on your own:

Dental Floss (Requires two People):

Using a cuticle stick, push up the bottom of your acrylic nail just enough to get a string of dental floss beneath it. Hold still while your friend “flosses” down the length of the nail, basically sawing the glue off of it. Be careful to use the floss down the entire length of the nail, and to avoid ripping it off on the last portion, or you may rip your nail off at the same time. Once the first nail is complete, repeat this step until all nails are done. File the remaining glue off, or push off with a cuticle stick until the nails are clean.


Acetone is a great solvent, and one of the best ways to dissolve the glue that holds acrylic nails to your own. However, acetone is known to strip your skin of its own natural oils, and can be very damaging to the health of your cuticles. Because of this, it is always a good idea to protect your fingers with vaseline before you soak your fingers in acetone. The solvent will get to the glue more easily if you trim nails down as short as possible before you begin to apply it. When you have the nails ready, you can soak them in a bowl, or you can soak cotton balls in acetone, and wrap them with aluminum foil. Plastic wrap will be melted by the acetone, so be sure to use foil. Once this is done, be sure to add lotion again to return some moisture to your nails.


The final option is to take the time to file the acrylics completely off. This can be very time consuming, but it is the least damaging option to both your nails and your surrounding skin that you can do by yourself. Once you get to the bottom of the acrylic portion of the nails with the file, you may be able to push the nail glue and remaining acrylic off in part with a cuticle stick.

Jay White

I started Dumb Little Man many years ago so great authors, writers and bloggers could share their life "hacks" and tips for success with everyone. I hope you find something you like!

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