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Easy & Fast Acrylic Nail Removal

by Kimberly Johnson, studioD

Acrylic nails are a quick fix for those who long for perfectly manicured tips but just can’t keep their own nails from breaking. But when you tire of them, you may find that getting your talons off isn’t as easy or quick as getting them on. A quick soak in a chemical solvent along with an unconventional item from your pantry is all you need to do the trick. Soon your nails will be tip free and ready to go au naturel.

Look at the underside of one of your nails, and note the line where your natural nail stops and the artificial tip begins. Clip the artificial tip down as close to the natural nail as possible using nail clippers. Clip down all other artificial nail tips using the clippers.

Buff the top of your acrylic nails with a fine-grit emery board to roughen the surface, which allows them to come off easier.

Pour pure acetone onto a cotton swab until it is saturated, and then lay it on top of one of your acrylic nails.

Tear off a piece of aluminum foil approximately 2 inches square. Place it over the cotton ball, then fold it down under your nail and over the sides of your finger.

Apply a cotton ball soaked with acetone and a piece of aluminum foil to each of your other acrylic nails.

Lay a heating pad over both hands to heat up the nails, which speeds up the removal process. Leave the pad in place for 15 minutes.

Set the heating pad aside, and push down on the foil and cotton swab to pull it off of one finger. The acrylic nail underneath should come off with the cotton ball and foil. Discard the cotton swab and foil, then remove them from each additional finger.

Scrape off any residual acrylic immediately using an orange wood stick.

Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water to remove the acetone.

Apply cuticle oil to the skin around each nail, and massage it in thoroughly to restore moisture that the acetone stripped out.

Items you will need
  •  Nail clippers
  •  Fine-grit emery board
  •  Acetone
  •  Cotton swab
  •  Aluminum foil
  •  Heating pad
  •  Orange wood stick
  •  Cuticle oil


  • Only use acetone in an area with adequate ventilation since the fumes are strong.
  • Acetone is flammable, so keep it away from heat sources.

About the Author

Kimberly Johnson is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in various online publications including eHow, Suite101 and Examiner. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and began writing professionally in 2001.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images