How to Get Acrylic Nails Off at Home Without Soaking Them

by Cooper Veeris ; Updated September 28, 2017

Remove acrylic nails carefully to prevent infection.

Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images

Women often get acrylic nails to elongate the appearance of their own nails with a stylish design. While many women apply the nails on their own, most still go to professionals at nail salons for quality service. After two weeks, some choose to remove their acrylic nails by soaking in acetone nail polisher remover. However, there is another effective way, which works using different materials.

Cut the acrylic nails as short as possible and file them. Be careful not to cut too far and damage the natural nail or skin.

Cut plastic wrap or aluminum foil into 10 squares, one for each nail on your hands. The length of the square should be long enough to cover your fingertips.

Pour acetone into a small bowl and soak a cotton ball.

Place the wet cotton ball on the top of the nail.

Wrap the cotton ball with plastic or aluminum foil. Keep it tightly wrapped for 20 minutes.

Remove the wraps. Push acrylic softly off the natural nail with an orange nail stick. If the acrylic is too tough to remove, repeat the process, but only wrap the nail again for a few minutes.

Rinse your hands with soap and water. Apply moisturizer to the nails and skin in order to rehydrate the nails, which may dry out from the acetone.


  • Be very gentle with cuticles. If acrylic nails do not remove easily, keep applying the cotton ball and wrap process. Do not rip off the nails, or force them.

Our Everyday Video

Brought to you by LEAFtv
Brought to you by LEAFtv

Photo Credits

  • Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images

About the Author

Cooper Veeris holds a bachelor's degree in English from Fordham University and lives in New York City. In addition to contributing regularly to various websites as a writer, she has experience teaching different populations and age groups including early childhood, junior high and high school students, and adults living with mental illnesses.