How to Easily Remove Acrylic Nails Without Acetone

Tips on How to Remove Hard Acrylic Nails Without Acetone
Tips on How to Remove Hard Acrylic Nails Without Acetone

Removing acrylic nails can be very frustrating and over time it can be detrimental to your natural nail’s health.

This is primarily due to the fact that the standard removal process usually requires that you spend a good part of an hour soaking your acrylic nails in acetone. And acetone can seriously dehydrate and weaken both your nails and your cuticles.

So that’s why in this article, I am gonna walk you through how to quickly and easily remove acrylic nails without using any acetone.

How to Remove Acrylic Nails

Now they are three main methods you can use to remove your acrylic nails:

  1. Dissolving in Acetone
  2. Using either an electric file or a really good nail file to buff away the acrylic
  3. Or use a combination of a nail file and acetone

It’s important that when removing acrylic nails that you use one of these methods. This is because standard acrylic nails are extremely hard and durable and if you do it wrong such as forcefully pulling them off you can seriously damage your natural nails.

Now you might see in some tutorials where individuals use a mixture of hot water, soap, and oil or some variation to this recipe to remove their nails.

But in a lot of these videos, these individuals are usually removing nails that were built using False Nails, Dip Powder, Gel, or Polygel. All of which can be more easily removed when compared to real acrylic nails.

True acrylic nails made from acrylic powder and liquid without a false nail base are very hard to remove and requires either the use of acetone or a nail file

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How Acrylic Ruin Your Nails & Tips to Prevent Damages

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How to Remove Acrylic Nails Without Acetone

The only method that I and most experts recommend to remove acrylic nails without using acetone is to use an electric nail file. Or if you have the time you can also use a really good nails file to buff away your acrylic nails.

  1. The first thing that you need to do is shorten the length of your acrylic nails – this reduces the amount of filing that needs to be done
  2. To do so you can use a nail clipper – try to clip the acrylic as close as possible to your real nail.
  3. Next, proceed to file away your acrylic nails.
  4. If you are using an electric nail file avoid spending a long time on a single spot – this is to avoid heat building up.
  5. Finally, once your nails have been filed down, you can apply cuticle oil to rejuvenate your nails.
  6. For more details you can check out the short video below that will guide you step by step on how to correctly use an electric nail file to remove acrylic nails.

I also usually recommend that you don’t file all the way down to your natural nails. Instead, you should leave a thin layer of acrylic to protect your nails which after weeks of being enclosed in acrylic tend to be sensitive.

Related Article – How Much to Remove Acrylic Nails & How Long does it take

How to Remove Acrylic Nails With Acetone & an Electric File

Electric Nail files are extremely effective at removing acrylic nails. This is because they use rapid rotational power to sand away the acrylic which allows you to quickly file and chip away at the acrylic.

But electric nail files can be a bit technical especially for a beginner which is why I usually recommend that when you are using them for the first time that you:

  • Use the nail file to just remove the top layer of the acrylic nails
  • Then you soak your nails in a cotton pad soaked in acetone.
  • 5 minutes of soaking should be enough
  • And finally, you can scrape the rest of the acrylic away.

By just removing the top layer prevents you from filing excessively at your natural nails. And slowly over time, you would get the hang of using the electric file, and then you can use it to remove all of your acrylics without using any acetone.

Related Article – When to Remove Acrylic Nails & When to Get it Filled

Recommended Tools

For a beginner-friendly electric nail file, I recommend the Makartt Nail Drill – it’s affordable yet powerful enough to remove hard acrylic nails.

You can click here to see the price of the Makartt Nail Drill on Amazon.

And if you plan to just use a regular nail file, you are gonna need one that has 80 grit which is the best at filing down acrylic. Citation.

So you can click here to see the price for a really good salon-quality nail file on Amazon that has 80 grit.

How to Remove Fake Nails Without Acetone

Fake Nails that are made of acrylic but that are glued onto your nails can be removed without using acetone. This is because you just need to dissolve the glue holding down the nails for them to come off.

  1. Firstly mix ample quantities of dish soap and oil with moderately hot water into a large bowl.
  2. Next, soak your nails for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Then you can proceed to use a tool with a flat head to gently lift and push the fake nails up.
  4. Now if you are struggling to lift the nails up you can try soaking them for a few minutes more.
  5. You can check out the video below for a step-by-step guide.

You can use any type of oil such as cooking oil or body oil.

5 Tips on How to Easily Remove Acrylic Nails

1- Do not use a Nail Primer

If you want to make your acrylic nails easier to remove you should avoid using any nail primer during the application process.

You see nail primers are used to amplify the bond between the acrylic and your natural nails. So by not using them, you make your acrylic easier to remove.

But be warned you also make them more prone to prematurely lifting and popping off.

Related Article: Acrylic Nails- How Long to Wear & When to take a Break

2- Use Cotton Pads

If you are gonna use acetone to remove your acrylic nails – I recommend:

  • Applying the acetone by soaking it in cotton pads
  • And then placing them onto your nails.
  • You can then use foil or nail clamps to keep them in place.

You see by using cotton pads only your acrylic nails would be exposed to the acetone. And not your fingers or your cuticles thus preventing them from being damaged and dehydrated.

Also, you should only use 100 % acetone – it is more effective and works much faster.

3- Protect Your Cuticles

When soaking your acrylic in acetone it’s essential that you protect your cuticles from being exposed to too much acetone.

To protect them I recommend applying some petroleum jelly around your cuticle area. The jelly acts as a buffer preventing the acetone from reaching your skin.

Alternatively, if you don’t have petroleum jelly you can use baby oil, cuticle oil, or any type of body oil.

4- Do Not Remove Them too Quickly

Avoid removing acrylic nails too quickly after applying them. Instead, you should at least wait 2 weeks after applying before removing them

You see acrylic nails can be extremely hard to remove right after you have just applied them. And if you do try to remove them prematurely you increase the risk of your nails getting damaged

Once time has passed the acrylic will get weaker and will more easy to come off.

5- Always Use Cuticle Oil

It’s important that you hydrate your cuticles and nails after you have removed your acrylic nails. This is because during the removal process your nails can get dehydrated and weaken.

Now the best way to rejuvenate your nails is to use a good cuticle oil – I recommend Bliss Kiss Cuticle Oil. You can click here to learn more about it.


Now if you are looking to avoid acetone in general I highly recommend peel-off nail polishes.

Peel-Off Nail Polishes allow you to remove nail polishes by just peeling them off. You can click here to read more about them.