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How to Remove Acrylic Nails at Home

How to remove acrylic nails at home

Manicures are one of the best ways to show off your personality and complete an outfit. However, if you can’t get to a technician and your nails start to grow, they may not be looking their best. But don’t worry, there is an easy and safe way to remove polish from your fingers and keep them healthy. Whether you’re into the stiletto shape with diamonds or a classic almond in just one shade, here’s how to remove acrylic nails safely at home.

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How long do acrylic nails last?

On average, an acrylic manicure will last six to eight weeks. However, to keep them looking healthy and polished, you should have them refilled every two to three weeks. This will fill in the gaps between the natural bed and the color, giving them a clean and tidy look.

How long do acrylic nails last

What to avoid

There are several ways to keep your finger healthy over the weeks before charging. It’s a good idea to avoid biting your nails and the cuticles around them, as they may become infected. Although it’s hard to completely prevent it, try not to soak your hands in detergent or anything that can dry out the surrounding skin. At all costs, do not pull or peel the manicure from the natural bed, as this will rip and tear the layers and cause damage to the area, as well as a little pain.

What to avoid acrylic nails

Tools you will need

To successfully remove acrylic nails, you will need a few tools. To prepare, you will need a set of nail clippers, metal cuticle pusher, nail file and buffer, 98% acetone nail polish remover, aluminum foil, cotton wool and petroleum jelly or cuticle oil. You may find that a battery-operated buffer can help remove the top layers faster. It would also be a good idea to get a bowl, a towel, and wear comfortable clothes in case of a spill.

Tools for removing acrylic nails

How to remove acrylic nails at home

Step 1: Remove shine

Before you start anything, make sure your nails aren’t too long. To do this, use your clippers to cut them to a natural length, and one that won’t break easily after soaking in acetone. When looking for a file, make sure it is 100 grit as it will remove color faster. Next, begin the process of polishing your acrylic and removing the shine. Cover the whole nail and shave them off as much as possible. This will speed up the action of the acetone and make your hands healthier.

Remove Shine

Step 2: Acetone, cotton and aluminum foil

After filing excess shine from your fingers, dip a cotton swab in acetone and allow it to fully saturate. Then place the ball on top of your nail and wrap a piece of aluminum foil around it to secure it in place. This will heat the chemical and speed up the process. When choosing the right nail polish remover, be sure to choose something with 98% acetone because it will soak in faster. Since this is a very dry solution, you can further prep your cuticles by applying petroleum jelly to the skin surrounding the bed. Continue the process on each of your fingers.

Acetone, cotton wool and aluminum foil

Step 3: Leave on for 10 to 15 minutes

Here comes the tricky part. Without moving your hands for 10-15 minutes, let the acetone soak in and remove the acrylic from your nails. It takes a bit of patience, but if you remove the foil with your fingertips too soon, the color won’t come off as quickly or effectively. If you don’t know how to spend your time, this is a great opportunity to chat with someone on the phone or watch a new TV show. Every ten minutes, check how the process is going. If you need a little more time, soak them for another five minutes.

Leave on for 10-15 minutes Remove acrylic nails

Step 4: Remove the acrylic with the cuticle pusher

After letting the acetone sit and soak for 15 minutes, gently peel off the foil with your fingertips. Using a cuticle pusher, you can start peeling the acrylic off your beds. Now is the time to be extremely careful. If the top coat does not move, re-roll the foil and let it soak a little longer. The important thing to remember here is to avoid being rough – it’s better to keep it soft and gentle. To maintain the health of your nails, push down from the cuticle to the tip of your finger.

Remove the acrylic with the curticle pusher

Step 5: File and shape the nails

Once you remove all the acrylics from your fingers, they may look a bit lumpy. This is the perfect time to grab a nail file and start shaping the tips. Be sure to polish the top of the bed as well, keeping it smooth and removing any excess polish on top. There are many shapes that suit different hands, but the most popular shape is the oval or almond-shaped nail. Make sure to be gentle with this process and be careful not to tear any remaining layers.

File and shape nails

Step 6: buff the nails

If you want to restore the shine to the tops of your fingers, use a stamp to create a natural shine. It’s also a great way to flatten and smooth the nail, making it look and feel healthier. Again, the surest way to harm your natural texture is to polish too hard. Be gentle and move the block around in varying motions to completely cover the tips. Watch as the spark returns and begins to glow.

Polish the nails

Step 7: Apply Topcoat

Acetone and acrylic can often damage your nails, so to keep them as safe as possible, add a top coat or two. Choose a bold color or a clear sheen – the choice is entirely yours. Apply a single coat of strengthening varnish or add a few for more thickness. It may also be a good idea to choose a polish that provides extra protection for your cuticles and nail bed.

Apply the top coat

Step 8: Moisturize cuticles with nourishing oil

To add an extra layer of protection to your nails, it’s a good idea to massage a nourishing oil into your cuticles. This will help soften and moisturize the skin around your hands and gently relax them after being soaked in the chemical. Apply these creams a few times a week, and if you want to add an extra step for more luxurious hands, wrap your fingers in a warm cloth for five minutes with the lotions. You will feel like you have just returned from a massage.

Moisturize curticles with nourishing oil

How to remove acrylic nails

Sometimes you need a video to help you through the process. Check out this step-by-step tutorial from Kiara Sky Professional Nails, which will help you with tips and tricks, and show you how to remove your acrylic nails quickly and easily.


What is the easiest way to remove acrylic nails at home?

Acrylic nails look great and are a fantastic way to show off your hands as they lend themselves well to a variety of shapes and designs. That said, most women worry about the removal process, which can be messy and can damage the nails if not done properly. There is a way to remove acrylic nails at home, and to do this you need to start by cutting them as short as possible. Next, begin the process of polishing your acrylic and removing the shine. Never lift the nails off the natural nail bed. Place a cotton ball in acetone, then place it on your nail and wrap it in foil. You will need to let the acetone soak in for about 10-15 minutes, so stay still. To complete the process, remove the acrylic with a cuticle pusher and file, shape and buff the nails. To ensure that your natural nails are now protected, apply a top coat of varnish and moisturize the cuticles with nourishing oil.

How to remove acrylic nails at home without acetone?

Acetone helps remove acrylic nails faster, especially 98% acetone remover, which absorbs faster. You can also opt for an acetone-free nail polish remover or a mixture of vinegar with lemon juice. If you choose this option, you can dip a cotton ball in the mixture, which should be equal parts vinegar and lemon juice, then place it on your fingernails and cover it with foil. You can then wait about 15-20 minutes.

Does vinegar remove acrylic nails?

Vinegar can remove acrylic nails, although it may take longer or be less effective than acetone. For this option to work, mix equal parts vinegar and lemon juice in a bowl. You can also soak your hands in lukewarm water for 10-20 minutes to speed up the process.

How to remove acrylic nails without hurting?

Perhaps the worst part of getting acrylic nails is the removal process, which is time consuming and sometimes painful. To make sure the experience is as easy and hassle-free as possible, you need the right tools and be diligent in following all the steps to remove nails without damaging your natural nails. The steps are as follows: cut the nails short, file the top coat, soak the acrylic in the mixture you prefer, wait enough time for the acrylic to lift. Then remove it with a cuticle pusher and a file. Finally, be sure to give your nails some love and care by adding nourishing oils and top coats.


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