How to Take Off Acrylic Nails At Home - Without Acetone?

Taking off acrylic nails on your own can seem almost impossible. When all the nail salons closed down due to the Coronavirus pandemic, many women were seemingly trapped with no way to fill or remove their acrylic nails! This is because most types of fake nails need to be removed by a professional at a nail salon. 

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The most common way to remove acrylic nails is by using acetone. Acetone is a powerful chemical solvent that’s quite potent and isn’t exactly beneficial for your nails (or your health). 

Even though acetone is the most common and effective way to remove acrylic nails, there are other methods that you can try that don’t involve using this strong chemical.


Warm Water

If you don’t want to use harsh chemicals to remove your acrylic nails, another option is to try using warm water. 

You can even add a few drops of soap into the mix. You will need to soak your nails in the warm water for 20 minutes before you try to remove them. You can try moving the nails around while you are soaking so that they can loosen up. 20 minutes should be enough time for the glue to loosen sufficiently that you can then use an orange stick to help you peel off the nails. 

If they still aren’t budging, you can try soaking them again for an extra 10 minutes and repeat the process until they are loose enough to be removed.

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Acetone-Free Nail Polish Remover

You might assume that all nail polish removers include acetone – but that’s not necessarily the case! 


Although acetone is a powerful and effective ingredient that goes a long way towards removing regular nail polish and fake nails like acrylic nails and gel nails, there are gentler alternatives. 


Many non-acetone nail polish removing products include solvents like ethyl acetate, isopropyl alcohol, and propylene carbonate. While these are still chemical solvents like acetone, they are less harsh on your nails. Even though this means that you will have to work harder to remove your acrylic nails since it isn’t as strong as acetone, these products aren’t as drying on your nails and are less harsh than acetone.

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Cuticle Oil

Another way to avoid using harsh chemicals like acetone or isopropyl alcohol is to use cuticle oil instead. 

Clearly, this is a superior method since you are using something that will heal and nourish your nails instead of strip and damage them. You can hold a Q-tip soaked in cuticle oil against each nail for about five minutes – making sure to get the oil under any areas of the nail that have already started to come up. 

If you are looking for a faster approach, you can soak an entire cotton ball in the oil and either hold it there or wrap it with tape or tin foil for a few minutes until the nail is loosened and able to be removed with an orange stick.

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Dental Floss

If you’re looking for a creative way to remove your acrylic nails, then check out this method that uses dental floss! 

This method works best if your acrylic nails have already loosened a bit. If not, you can try to loosen them using the warm water or even cuticle oil methods discussed above. You will need a friend to help you with this since it’s almost impossible to do it on your own. 

Once the nails are slightly loose, lift the edges of the fake nail with a cuticle stick and slide some dental floss under the fake nail. Have your assistant move the floss back and forth along your nail until the entire nail is loosened and eventually pops off. This method may cause some damage, so make sure to buff your nails, apply some cuticle oil, and put on some lotion afterward to help heal and nourish your nails.


How to Repair Damaged Nails

Even if you do everything right during the removal process, certain types of fake nails can leave your natural nails weak and damaged. This is especially true when it comes to acrylic nails, gel nails, and dip nails. Experts recommend that you take a break from super strong acrylic nails every few months or so. Even though it’s easier to just get another fill and avoid dealing with your less-than-stellar real nails, it’s super important to allow your natural nails to regain their strength on their own. If you don’t, then you’ll just continue to damage your nails and become trapped in a vicious cycle. 

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So when it’s time for a break, here are some steps that you can take to help repair your damaged nails in no time:

  • Breakage is a very common result of nail damage from acrylics. In order to help prevent this, you need to keep your nails trimmed relatively short so that there’s really no opportunity for them to break. This might be difficult to do if you are used to super-long acrylics, but it’s a necessary evil at this point.

  • Buff out your nails to even the surface that might contain a lot of bumps and ridges due to damage from the acrylic nails.

  • Apply a strengthening top coat to your nails for the first two weeks after you remove your acrylics. This will help heal your brittle and damaged nails and you can even use it as a topcoat for nail polish once your nails have had a moment to breathe on their own.

  • Religiously moisturize your entire nail area and cuticles with cuticle oil, Vitamin E, or aloe vera to help the area retain moisture and heal properly.

  • Avoid acetone in the area at all costs since it can further weaken your nails and just exacerbate your existing issues.  


How to Avoid Damaged Nails

There’s nothing worse than dealing with damaged nails. And even though you think that damaging your real nails might be worth rocking an amazing set of fake nails – that doesn’t have to be the case! 

In fact, not all fake nails cause damage to your real nails. Acrylics are probably the most popular type of fake nail that you can have applied in a salon but they are also one of the most damaging because they are so strong and durable. We also have gel nails that are a more natural alternative to acrylic nails. They are applied using special polishes that are hardened by exposing them to UV light. Removing them still needs to be done in the salon and it can cause some damage to your natural nails in the process.


Finally, we have press on nails. These nails do not have to be applied or removed in a salon – you can do everything at home on your own time. 

Press on nails are a great option for those looking for a less expensive and less damaging alternative to fake nails like acrylics or even gel nails. Applying them on your own is super easy and all you really need is a bit of nail glue and you’re good to go!

Many people think that press on nails are cheap-looking and flimsy, but high-quality ones from companies like Clutch Nails can look just as good as acrylics and can last up to two weeks if you really take care of them. 

Here are some tips to get press on nails to last as long as acrylics:

  • Clean your nails and wash your hands before you apply your press on nails.

  • Apply a bit of nail glue both on the fake nail and your natural nail as a backup to the adhesive strip that comes on the nail.

  • Press down on each fake nail for at least 30 seconds while the glue is setting so that it’s sufficiently hardened and will be totally durable.

  • Make sure that your hands avoid all contact with water for at least two hours after applying the press on nails.

  • Apply a top hardener coat to your finished set of fake nails to help seal any gaps and harden the surface of the nail.


Clearly, press on nails are a great alternative to acrylics that you can apply and remove on your own without damaging your nails. You can even get your beloved nail art through press on nails as well! 

Companies like Clutch Nails make tons of classy press on nail products with fun designs like flames, cherries, cheetah print, rainbow, stars, and so much more! On the other hand, there are also more natural options available if you’re looking for a more low-key look.

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There are several different ways that you can remove acrylic nails without using acetone. 

However, even if you don’t use acetone your real nails can still experience damage from acrylic nails and gel nails. 

If you are looking for less damage in the first place, you should definitely try out press on nails from a specialty company like Clutch Nails. These nails can look just as good as acrylics and last just as long, but with none of the damage or salon visits! Worry less about acrylic nail removal with our easy to remove press on nails that are delivered right to your doorstep.

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