How to remove acrylic nails safely at home

Acrylic nails are a challenge to remove (Picture: Getty)

With the nation now entering its ninth week of lockdown, many people have turned to home beauty treatments.

From doing your brows to trimming your fringe and looking after your eyelashes, there’s a whole lot of beauty DIY you can do at home.

But one thing many of us have been long-putting off is dealing with gel or acrylic nails which were put in before lockdown and are now hanging on for dear life.

So, what’s the best way to remove them?

We spoke to Kirsten Maine, co-founder of Live True London who gave us some expert tips.

How to remove acrylic nails at home

Firstly, except in exceptional circumstances, such as the current ones, it is advised you avoid removing your own nails.

Kirsten said: ‘We normally wouldn’t ever advocate removing your own acrylic nail extensions at home. This really is a job that is best done by your nail technician because you can cause a lot of damage to your natural nails trying to remove them without care and knowledge of how to do this properly.

‘However, during these strange and highly unique circumstances of lockdown, we all need to do the best we can from home to look after ourselves.’

AYou’ll need an orange wooden stick/cuticle stick (Picture: Getty)

You need

  • 100-grit nail file
  • Foam block nail buffer
  • Orange wooden sticks
  • Pure acetone (100%)
  • Cotton pads
  • Small bowl
  • Foil
  • A high-quality cuticle oil and hand lotion


File off as much of the acrylic as possible with the flat base of your file. The aim here is to remove as much of the remaining product as possible.

Do this very carefully and try your hardest not to catch the skin at the side of your nails as this delicate skin will cut and tear very easily.

If you’re using a new file, you can blunt the edges slightly with another file to soften it and reduce any risk of cutting your skin.

Firstly, you’ll need to file off your acrylics (Picture: Getty)

Soak off any remaining acrylic in 100% acetone. For this step, you can either saturate a cotton pad in acetone, place it on your nail plate, and cover it in foil for approximately twenty minutes.

Alternatively, you can soak your nails directly in a small bowl of acetone, but note this method is more damaging and extremely drying to the skin. If you do use this method, ensure you only dip your nail tips in the solution, and use the acetone in a well-ventilated area.

Keep checking progress every 10 minutes.

Use acetone in a well-ventilated area (Picture: Getty)

After 20 minutes, scrape the product off with an orange wooden stick (cuticle stick) and finish off with a foam buffer.

By this point, the acrylic should be soft and come off easily, without you having to apply force.

If the product is still hard, soak for a further 10 minutes until it’s softened.

Remove all remaining product with a block foam buffer, again ensuring you don’t tear the skin around your nails.

If you don’t have a wooden orange stick, a metal cuticle stick or cocktail stick surrounded in cotton wool could work.

Finally, wash your hands thoroughly and condition your hands and nails daily, using hand lotion and high-quality cuticle oil.

Nails looking worse for wear? No worries! (Picture: Getty)

MORE: Should you tint your eyelashes at home and can you make them grow faster?

MORE: Woman says salon left her with the ‘world’s sh*ttest eyebrows’ and she could’ve done a better job blindfolded

Follow Metro across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Share your views in the comments below.


READ  Tips For Choosing Good Parking Management

Leave a Reply