How to Take Off Acrylic Nails With Peroxide

by Lena Freund

Women apply acrylic nails either because their own nails are weak and break regularly or because they want long and decorative nails. Acrylic nails, however, only have a shelf life of a couple of days before they need to be removed; it is because of this that they are often used for special events such as weddings. Hydrogen peroxide is not used to remove acrylic nails; rather, acetone is the chemical of the hour for removing these decorative nail pieces.

Items you will need

  • Small bowl
  • Acetone or nail polish remover with acetone
  • Nail clippers
  • Moisturizer
  • Towels
  • Nail file
  • Olive oil
Step 1

Start by cutting the acrylic nails as short as you can get them. The less acrylic nail is left, the less you will have to remove.

Step 2

File the edges of the acrylic nails with a nail file. This will help to begin the process of detaching the acrylics.

Step 3

Pour acetone into a bowl. Don't use a bowl that you care about particularly. It should not have any special painting; acetone might remove the paint.

Step 4

Soak your nails in the bowl of acetone for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Do not dip your fingers too far into the acetone, as it is rough on skin.

Step 5

Remove your fingers from the acetone and gently start trying to peel off the acrylic nails. If the nails are still stuck on, soak your nails for an extra five minutes. Continue to do this until the nails peel off easily.

Step 6

Dry your hands with a towel once the acrylic nails are completely gone. Apply moisturizer to your hands, concentrating it especially around the nail beds to keep the skin and nail beds moist and healthy.


  • The most convenient source of acetone is in nail polish remover. Read the label before you buy the nail polish remover, however, as some come with acetone and others come without acetone. If you have oily skin, make sure to purchase a moisturizer that is clearly labeled as oil-free. If your skin is not oily, use a small amount of olive oil on the skin to further the moisturizing process.


  • When using acetone to remove acrylic nails, make sure that the room is well-ventilated. Keep the door open and open any windows in the room. If the room contains a fan, turn it on to dilute the smell. Wash your hands thoroughly before you cook or eat anything in order to make sure that no residual acetone gets into food. The same goes when using the bowl to eat.

Photo Credits

  • Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images

About the Author

Based in Washington, D.C., Lena Freund began writing professionally in 2007, while living in Tel Aviv. She holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Middle Eastern studies and Hispanic studies from the College of William & Mary and a Master of Arts in Middle Eastern history from Tel Aviv University. Freund's articles about travel, languages and cultures have been published on various websites.