How to Remove Acrylic Nails at Home- Without Acetone, with Hot Water & Nail Polish Remover

How do you remove acrylic nails at home, without acetone, with hot water, with nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol? Are there kits that can help take off fake at home? If you have acrylic nail layers attached over your natural nails, there is actually more than one way to remove them DIY at home without having to visit a professional salon.

Most of the methods highlighted in this article are relatively fast and take less than 20 minutes each, depending of course in the method you will use.  So if you are wondering on how to safely go about the whole process at home, read on the rest of the article.

How to remove Acrylic Nails without Acetone Fast at Home 

It’s possible to remove nails without acetone, by using a clipper and a heavy duty buffer or electric file.

remove acrylic nails without acetone at home
Acrylic nails removal without acetone

Here is the main process:

  1. Clip your nails with a nail clipper and trim the tips as much as your nails have grown or even more to help the acrylic nails slide of easier. If nails feel too thick and stiff, use a buffer to thin them out but not too much as a nail of medium thickness is the most easy to cut.
  2. File your nails with the buffer or electric file. If you are using a buffer, use the coarse/grainy side to buff away the outer acrylic layer. Continue to buff until the acrylic layer is no longer visible and has thinned out. Be careful not to overbuff though your nails as this will make them paper thin and will most likely lead to breakage afterwards. You must only buff away the acrylic layer, not your natural nails.
  3. If you want to remove all traces of the Acrylic nail, you will have to use optionally a cuticle stick to slide away any residue. If you are using a mini cuticle scissor, simply place the tip under the acrylic nail and clip away the acrylic layer.Note: Try not to pry/trim away too much at a time as this will trim and damage your natural nails as well.
  4. Finally, do a final swipe with your buffer and voila, your acrylic nails are removed.

Note: If you want to know How to remove acrylic nails fast you can use an electric nail file. An electric nail file will make the process much easier and fast but you need to be careful not to go overboard and buff away your natural nails as well. For best results, begin with medium pressure from one side to another. Always follow one direction to avoid damage and breakage of your nails.

How to take off Acrylic Nails with Hot Water at Home

Although this method can take up to 20 minutes, it’s the ideal method to use in case you don’t have much tools to use and isn’t damaging to your nails compared to the acetone and electric file method.

how to take off acrylic nails with hot water
Hot water in a bowl

Here is how to do it:

  1. Place some hot water in a bowl big enough to soak and cover your nails. Make sure the water covers your nails as well. Note: the water must be hot enough but not too hot to the point that causes a burn so make sure that you can tolerate it. Place ideally one finger to test it and if it’s fine, soak the rest of your fingers and nails.
  2. Soak your hand into the water for 20 minutes. This is necessary for making the nails easy to slide on their own or with the help of cuticle pusher.
  3. Dry your hands and nails with a towel and use a cuticle stick to push back the nails with ease and remove any residue.
  4. Trim optionally the tips of your nails and buff them off using the shiny side of the buffer.
  5. Brush away any dust with a cotton soak and some oil or a special fan nail brush.
  6. Use optionally cuticle oil or hand cream to moisturize your cuticles and skin of your hands.

How to Remove Acrylic Gel Nails with Nail Polish Remover-Acetone

Nail polish remover method is probably the most popular way to remove acrylic nails and this is a method also used in many salons. This method works for talking of acrylic gel nails very well so if you are wondering how to  take off acrylic gel nails, this is one of the best methods to use.

remove acrylic nails with nail polish remover-acetone
Taking fake nails with acetone nail remover

For this method you will need;

  • Aluminum foil
  • Nail polish remover with at least 80% acetone in its formula,
  • Cotton pads
  • Nail clipper
  • Cuticle pusher
  • Nail buffer

Here are the basic steps:

  1. Cut your aluminum foil into small rectangular shapes around two inches in height and 3 inches width.
  2. Soak each cotton pad in the nail polish remover, press directly on your nails and wrap the cotton pad with the aluminum foil piece to hold the cotton pad together. Make sure that the cotton pad’s wet side stays directly over your nails and doesn’t slide off as your wrap your nails in foil.
  3. Repeat the above process in each of your nails until you finish with one hand.
  4. Leave them on to soak for 15-20 minutes. In general, the more the acetone the formula has, the fastest and easiest the acrylic gels will come off. However, a high acetone formula can be damaging to your nails if used more than once a month so only do this when you are in a rush.
  5. After 20 minutes have passed, unwrap one nail to see if it comes easily off with a cuticle pusher.
  6. Apply a medium yet firm pressure to slide off the acrylic gel layers with a cuticle pusher.
  7. If the layers don’t come off very easily, let your fingers soak wrapped in the acetone coated pads and aluminum foil for another couple of minutes.
  8. Buff lightly to remove any residue and apply some cuticle oil to soften and nourish your cuticles.

An alternative method that many salons use for removing acrylic gel tips is using acetone in a glass shot. Here is how to do it at home as well:

  1. Pour a bit of acetone nail polish remover in glass shot (must be enough to cover your nail tips).
  2. Place your nail tips into the glass and let your nail tips soak in the polish for 10-12 minutes.
  3. Use a cuticle pusher to scrape off the peeled acrylic layers away from your nails. If they don’t come off easily, saturate in the nail polish remover for another couple of minutes.
  4. Buff away any residue with a nail buffer and repeat the process with the other nails as well.

Ideally you want all your nails at once, into one glass shot for each nail as otherwise you will need more than 1 ½  to finish them all one by one.

his method is same like using the acetone for acrylic nail removal. You need following items necessary to start the process.

How to Remove Acrylic Nails with Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is anothe ingredient you can use to take fake nails at home. Below is a recipe borrowed from


  • A nail clipper
  • A Glass Bowl
  • Cuticle pusher
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Towel
  • Petroleum Jelly
  • Nail buffer
  • Soap


Make sure you collect everything needed before you kick off removing acrylic nails. Here we go as you are done with:

  1. First of all, get rid of extra acrylic nails on your fingers with the help of a nail clipper. Clip your nails from the top in such a way that you touch the natural nails top. This would help you consume lesser amount of rubbing alcohol to dissolve the acrylic on your nails.
  2. Apply some amount of petroleum jelly or any other available moisturizer on your fingers but avoiding the nail surfaces at the same time. Don’t let it apply on the nail as it would take rubbing alcohol more time to dissolve the acrylic right after fighting through the layer of moisturizer.
  3. Get some amount of rubbing alcohol and put that into the glass bowl to a level that your nails could be soaked into that easily.
  4. Soak your fingertips in the rubbing alcohol solution for a period of 15 to 20 minutes. Use only one hand fingers at a time. With the help of other hand, lay a cloth or towel piece on the bowl covering your hand so that it works faster on the acrylic.
  5. After the said time, bring out your hand, get a cuticle pusher. Right from the bed of your nails, scratch the acrylic off the natural nails with gentle digs and strokes. The acrylic would have gone softer and easy to pull off from your nails. Once done with the first hand, repeat the same process with the second hand.
  6. Soap wash your hands with a bit warmer water, dry them with a towel, apply the moisturizer again and that’s done.

Acrylic Nail Removal Kits

In the market, both online and offline most nail removal tools and solutions are sold separately, usually next to each other in the nail section of beauty supply stores. However, there are a couple of options that have two or more tools or solutions in one kit.

Kiss all or One Artificial Nail Remover

This acrylic nail remover kit comes with a soak-in solution, a file and a nail cuticle stick to push off the fake, acrylic, or glued on nails.

kiss all or one artificial nail remover
Kiss Kit

Most of the reviewers online have found that this works faster than acetone in as little as two minutes. On the downside, since the solution is powerful, it may damage your nails if used frequently.

Gel Nail Removal kit from Procare

This is originally intended for gel nails but it contains the same tools and solutions to remove acrylic nails as well. The kit comes with foil wraps, an acetone solution, nail form soaks, 1 wooden stick, and 1 grit nail file.

So if you are looking for a kit that has everything you need together, this kit is a great choice. Kit is available online at Amazon and Ebay although it mostly ships within the UK and certain countries.

How to remove Acrylic Nails Fast at Home: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers 

Question: Does acetone free nail polish remover work to remove my acrylic nails fast?

Answer: To effectively remove acrylic nails, you’ll have to use a solution that is at least 80% acetone based if not 100%. Otherwise, your acrylic nails will take much more time to slide of easily. If you don’t want to use acetone, use any of the above methods we’ve mentioned in the article like soaking them in hot water or using an electric file.

Question: My acrylic nails don’t come off easily. What should I do without damaging my nails?

Answer: This may happen for a couple of reasons. It either means that you haven’t use a strong solution with acetone or you haven’t soaked your nails enough. In general, most solutions need at least 10 minutes to work. You can extend the time a couple of minutes more but no more than 30 minutes as this is damaging for your natural nails. If you still can’t remove all the layers and residue from your nails, you’ll have to consult or visit a salon to help remove them.

Question: Can I use a nail clipper to clip the acrylic nails off?

Answer: Nail clippers are mostly used to cut excess length. If you try to clip around the corners, especially if you are new to this, you might scarpe and clip your natural nails as well. Professionals with experience might do this with minimal damage but this method is not recommended to try at home.

How to remove acrylic nails at home safely- Video Tutorial

Originally posted 2020-12-31 03:23:47.

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