Maybe one of you out there is in this predicament you got your nails done when salons were open. Now with the third national lockdown, how do you remove acrylics at home?

It is important to remove your acrylics gently as if removed too forcefully, you can be left with damaged and brittle nails. You’d be stuck with these brittle nails until they fully grow out which can take a while!

In this blog, we will teach you, how to safely remove your acrylic nails at home.

What do I Need to Remove Acrylics at Home?

Firstly you will need to get:

  • Acetone – we recommend using 100% acetone
  • Foil.
  • A manicure set – including a file, cuticle nipper, and a buffer (optional)
  • Cotton wool.
  • Vaseline
  • Nail Oil enriched with healthy ingredients.
  • Cotton Bud
tools needed to remove acrylics at home


Once you have all the necessary equipment, let’s get started. You’re going to want to make sure you’re in a well-ventilated area as acetone is damaging to your respiratory system.

Step 1: Clip your nails

Using your nail clippers or scissors (whatever you prefer) clip off as much of the acrylic as possible. Clipping off most of the acrylics will make step 2 a lot easier. 

If you have long natural nails underneath your acrylics, you can skip this step although it might be more time-consuming.

Step 2: File down the acrylics

You’re going to need a strong nail file to remove acrylics at home. Gently file across the whole nail to thin our the acrylic. The thinner you get the acrylic, the easier it will be to remove.

Be extra careful not to cut your skin when filing down your acrylic!

Step 3: Soak your acrylics.

The 100% acetone comes in here! There are two ways in which you can soak your nails in the acetone until the acrylic is fully dissolved.

In the first method, you can fully soak cotton pieces in acetone before wrapping them around each nail with some foil on top.

The second method, whilst not recommended, is dipping your nails in a bowl filled with acetone. This method does take longer and can be quite harsh on the skin. To avoid drying out your skin, try and only get your nails in the bowl.

It should take 30 – 40 minutes for the acrylic to soak off.

Regardless of your chosen method, you should protect your skin. Apply petroleum jelly to the skin around your nail beds.

Step 4: Buff or scrape away any leftover acrylic.

remove acrylics nails at home 1

Once the acetone soaking process if over, you should have little to no acrylic left on your finger. Using a soft foam to buff away those little pieces of acrylics till they’re smooth.

remove acrylics nails at home 2

Step 5: Replenish your nails.

Now on to the final step of how to remove acrylics at home! Your nails have been through a lot today, take your time to massage in some beneficial cuticle oils.

remove acrylics nails at home 3

For easy to follow along with instructions, one of our experienced tutors has filmed a tutorial.



At Ray Cochrane Beauty School, we offer courses that will help aspiring nail technicians achieve their goals.

The VTCT Level 2 & 3 Nail Technician Course is one of our best selling courses that has been carefully curated to be fully comprehensive in teaching. Students will go from a beginner to advanced technician in as little as 10 weeks! Throughout the course students will learn about:

  • Health & Safety considerations & regulations
  • Hygiene & preparing the client, treatment room & trolley
  • Anatomy & physiology: structure of the skin, structure of the nail
  • Nail diseases & disorders
  • Client consultations / contra-indications
  • Manicure & Pedicure
  • UV Gel Nail Extension
  • Acrylic Nails Extension
  • Nail Art
  • Electric Files
  • Nail Wraps

Call us on 0207 486 6291 to find out more and to enrol.