How to Remove Nail Glue From Skin

by Jessica Barnhart ; Updated September 28, 2017

Cotton swabs work best to remove glue on the skin.

ear cleaning sticks in a box image by Yasen Pramatarov from

Nail glue is used to apply acrylic nails to natural fingernails. It is similar to super glue in that it has a firm hold and bonds to almost anything. Because the glue is so thin, it is inevitable that it will run onto your skin when using it to apply nails. It is essential to know how to remove the nail glue quickly and carefully so that you do not damage your skin.

Items you will need

  • Acetone nail polish remover
  • Cotton swabs
  • Soap
Step 1

Soak one end of the cotton swab in an acetone nail polish remover.

Step 2

Gently roll the soaked cotton swab back and forth over the affected area to saturate the glue as much as possible. Do not rub it. The acetone in the nail polish remover will break down the nail glue.

Step 3

Wash your skin with soap and hot water to remove left-over glue pieces and nail polish remover. Both of these are flammable and you do not want them left on your skin.

Step 4

Repeat the process if glue still remains on your skin after washing.


  • Clean the area as soon as possible. It will be easier to remove before it sets.


  • Do not use straight acetone on your skin.

    Avoid using nail polish remover around fabrics and clothing. It will discolor them.

Photo Credits

  • ear cleaning sticks in a box image by Yasen Pramatarov from

About the Author

Based in Knoxville, Tenn., Jessica Barnhart began writing in January 2009. She has written numerous articles for online sites such as Squidoo, eHow, and Associated Content. She has a degree in medical billing and coding from National College of Business and Technology.