How to Remove Acrylic Nails Without Acetone

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Getting a set of fake acrylic nails can be a fun experience, and a long-lasting one. You can choose your own color, length, and you can make them look as natural or as glamorous as you want.

Many women believe that acrylics are the next big thing and that everyone should hop on board! That is until it’s time to remove them.

Removing any type of a professional manicure can be a challenge, especially if you are inexperienced or if you don’t have the right tools. There are several different reasons why you should consider this method, as well as 5 different techniques on how to do it properly. Want to know all about it? Then keep on reading!

Reasons Why Women Remove Their Nails

Women sometimes prefer to remove their acrylics on their own due to several reasons:

Chipped nail

If one or two of your nails end up being chipped or broken you will probably remove all of them, or at least make them even. This is the number one reason why women often remove their manicures on their own.

Obvious regrowth

If your nails tend to grow fast then the obvious color difference may bother you. Women who hate those obvious color differences often remove their entire manicure on their own since they want to even it all out.


Last but not least, not that many women can handle the same color for an entire month. If you end up being bored and you wish for some diversity you will probably remove your nails on your own.

More: How to Get Nail Polish Out of Clothes

Should You Remove Your Acrylic Nails On Your Own?

In the shortest way possible, yes, you should. Why?

You are in a rush

If you are in a rush you should skip going to the salon. Not that many women (or even men) have up to 3 hours per day that they can spare on any activity. You can skip the long rides and do the entire thing at home, just by using the proper tools.

Tight budget

Acrylics are very expensive and they are a luxury that not that many women can afford. If your budget is tight you can skip the salon and remove the nails on your own.

Afraid of chemicals

Some women are afraid of drills as well as acetone that is used in the removal process. Some have even reported mild skin infections and severe redness on their skin and fingernails due to unhygienic salon surroundings and unsterile equipment. If you want to avoid any possible infections and you wish to go as natural as possible you are at a right place!

Why You Shouldn’t Use Acetone

Acetone is, in general, bad for you. It works as a solvent and it is highly inflammable. If you use it too often it can dry out your nails, your nail bed, and your skin around your nails.

It will also affect your nail moisture and you will have to restore it by using many different treatments and oils.

How to Remove Acrylic Nails Without Acetone

If you are ready to remove your acrylics on your own you should know that there are 5 easy ways for you to do it. All of these options are acetone free, as well as easy to achieve.

1. Removing Acrylics With Dental Floss

Hopefully, you have some dental floss laying around your house. This is an acetone-free method which requires a steady hand or some help from a friend.

Items You Need

  • Dental floss
  • Cuticle stick

Disclaimer: If your nails are still pretty short this may not be the best idea for you. This might be a painful process since the glue underneath is still fresh and it has a better hold of the entire nail.

How To Do It

  1. Make sure that there is a lot of dental floss for all of your nails. Work your nails one by one and try not to hurt yourself.
  2. Take your cuticle stick and push the acrylics as far as you can. Once they are lifted you can go in with your floss.
  3. Slide the floss underneath your entire nail. You can ask someone to help you out if you are not hitting the right angle or if you are too clumsy with the floss. Do the entire surface slowly by doing some up and down motions.
  4. Once all of your acrylics are off you will need to moisturize. Use any hand or nail cream and apply it all over your nails. You can also go for some cuticle as well as nail oil.

More: How to Get Longer Nails

2. Business Card Method

This method is a lot easier than the first one. It doesn’t require anything unusual such as the floss, just your everyday ordinary business card.

Items You Need

  • Business card
  • Cuticle stick

How To Do It

  1. Use your cuticle stick in order to press down your acrylic nails. With the help of a business card place its corner on the other half and start moving it up and down.
  2. Slowly but surely move it around the entire nail. This process is a lot like ”digging” out the nail. Make sure you do one side at the time until it becomes loose. Once it does you can remove it on your own.
  3. In the end, use a nail buffer tool and remove the unwanted glue residue. This excess is pretty common and is easy to remove.
  4. As it is with the first method, make sure you use a lot of creams and any type of moisturizing products.

3. Nail File

This sounds complicated and painful at first, but it is not the case. Women who have a lot of tools laying around should go for this method.

How To Remove Fake Nails Without Acetone

Items You Need

  • Cuticle stick
  • Nail file
  • Nail clippers
  • Buffer
  • Scissors

How To Do It

  1. Take a good pair of clippers (possibly metallic ones) and trim your acrylics as much as you can.
  2. Then, use a nail, and file away in order to get rid of sharp edges. File away until the nails don’t loosen up and become super soft and easy to move around.
  3. With your buffing tool remove the unwanted parts of acrylics, such as the glue and the top coats.
  4. Go back and forth between the filling process and the buffing. Proceed with caution until you don’t remove that extra layer of acrylic.
  5. If any residue is left you should use your cuticle stick and push the excess away.
  6. In the end, as expected, moisturize them and proceed with some pampering.

4. Warm Water

This is a safe, gentle, and easy to achieve at home method. If you are someone who has sensitive skin, as well as nails, you should go for this method.

Items You Need

  • A bowl of warm water
  • Nail clippers
  • Nail file
  • Cuticle stick

How To Do It

  1. Use your nail clippers and trim the acrylics as much as possible. Try to remove the same amount on all of your fingers.
  2. Take a bigger bowl and pour in some warm water. Don’t go for boiling hot, rather mild and warm.
  3. Make yourself as comfortable since you will have to sit and soak the nails for the next 30-40 minutes. This way the glue will dissolve and the nails will become easy to move around.
  4. Make sure that you are constantly adding warm water since your nails will not loosen up in cold temperature.

5. Acetone Free Nail Polish Remover

This method is a weird one, but it works. If you don’t mind spending some extra time while doing the removal process you should do this one. It is also a practical method if you don’t have a lot of tools around your house, but you do have an acetone-free nail polish remover.

Items You Need

  • Acetone-free nail remover
  • Cuticle stick
  • A bowl
  • Nail clippers

How To Do It

Your nails should be as short as possible so make sure you cut them as much as you can. Use your cuticle stick in order to lift them up and this will make the whole process a lot easier.

  1. Apply as much as you can/have of your acetone free remover in your bowl and let the nails soak for 40 minutes. This will dry out your nails, but not as bad as the real acetone could.
  2. Remove your acrylics with the help of the cuticle pusher and keep soaking them until every nail comes off.
  3. Wash your hands properly and add a lot of cream to restore all the lost moisture.

More: Remove Nail Polish Without Nail Polish Remover

In Conclusion

As you can see, there are several DIY options that you can go for. No reason to pay extra money or spend your time at the salon when you can do it all at the comfort of your own house, with some basic and simple tools, and at any given point.

Monika Dimitrovska

A makeup freak who's passionate about books, beauty products, vegan food, daydreaming, and stargazing.

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