Acrylic nails are perfect, especially for those of us, who just simply can’t grow their own nails long enough. They make your nails seem stronger and thicker, even if your natural ones are short, fragile and brittle. But admit it, regular visits at your favourite nail salon are costly. Fortunately, you can do it in a more frugal way by getting rid of them via DIY methods. Read on to learn how to remove acrylic nails at home and save some money for the next visit!

Prepare your set and get started

First make sure that you have every necessary item like cotton ball or other easily absorbing pad, acetone, some sort of petroleum jelly (for example Vaseline) and foil. You might also need your manicure essentials since very often your own nails get too long with additional false nails on, and you really need to shorten them.

Before removing acrylic nails

What might surprise you, if you do it for the first time, cutting your nails with nail scissors comes first. Shorten them as much as you want to and rub the first acrylic layer off to buff the shine away and then file it until you see that the acrylic layer is becoming thinner and thinner. Acrylic nails are usually quite solid which makes it hard to remove them, so you should rub the layer with a file to leave only a really paper-thin cover. Do it with a smooth side of a nail file, though. This will simplify the actual removal.

Next, smear your skin around your nails with some petroleum jelly of choice to shield it against harmful impact of acetone, which might be a bit rough on sensitive skin (especially on cuticles, if you use it regularly) and lead to its dehydration and irritation. This will keep your fingers soft and intact.

How to get acrylic nails off – two ways

The most popular way of removing fake nails is to wrap your fingertips with cotton pads soaked with acetone and cover them in tin foil. Prepare 10 pieces of pads and tin foil (just big enough to wrap a nail coated with a cotton ball or pad – don’t make tin foil pieces too big, or it’ll be hard to manage), then pour acetone on each pad, and start wrapping.

Start with a hand that is not dominant, as it will be easier, and then repeat the whole procedure with the second hand (remember to make sure that the entire nail plate is coated with a pad).

Leave your fingers covered for approximately 30 to 40 minutes (read instructions of acetone bottle first). This is the quicker way, but you can also do it with one hand and remove the wrappings, and then proceed to the other hand, if you find this way a bit difficult (doing it with these tin foil “hats” might be tricky for sure).

The acrylics should easily slide off your nails while taking off the foil, but if it doesn’t happen, repeat the whole process. Scratching the remaining acrylic varnish might damage your nail plate, so it is better to wait and practice your patience.

Another way is to soak off acrylic nails in a bowl of acetone. Mind you, though, that this might be little harsh on your skin, so don’t do it if you have sensitive skin or damaged cuticles. Simply submerge your nails into acetone and keep them there until you can see that the acrylic layer starts to come off. This will take about 30 to 40 minutes. As in previous version, if the acrylic layer won’t get removed easily, just put your fingers again into the acetone.

Post-removal care

Use a nail file to remove the leftovers of acrylic varnish by gently rubbing it off. Now apply your favourite moisturizing hand cream and use some strengthening and nourishing nail polish. Your fingers are now ready to get new acrylics!