How to Take off Acrylic Nails without Acetone

Published Categorized as Beauty Tips

Are you looking for the best way to remove acrylic nails without using acetone? While acetone is effective at removing acrylic nails, it is not the best for your nails, so you may be searching for a safer alternative you can do at home. Keep reading to learn how to take off acrylic nails without acetone. We’ll share our top tips to help you save money by avoiding the salon while also protecting your nails and overall health.

Hi beautiful! Just to let you know, we earn a modest commission off of purchases made through Amazon affiliate links on this page. Don't worry, it's of no extra cost to you. We love the products we recommend in this post, and we hope you do, too!

Table of Contents

Coffin Nails Long Fake Nails - Clear Acrylic Nails Coffin Shaped Ballerina Nails Tips BTArtbox 500pcs Full Cover False Nail Artificial Nails with Case for Nail Salons and DIY Nail Art, 10 Sizes

Can You Remove Acrylic Nails Without Acetone?

While acetone works very effectively to remove acrylic nails, but it is very harsh and isn’t good for your nails or skin.  Using acetone can make your natural nails become brittle, and it may irritate the cuticles or make them red or dry.  Acetone can also be harmful to the skin since it removes the natural oils, causing it to become very dry.  This is why many people look for alternatives to acetone to remove their acrylic nails.

Thankfully, there are a number of different techniques you can try to safely remove your acrylic nails at home without using acetone.  If you’re interested in learning some of these techniques and the various acetone alternatives you can try, continue reading!

How to Take off Acrylic Nails without Acetone

So, what is the best way to remove acrylic nails without acetone?  There are a number of different methods you can try.  You may need to experiment a bit to find out which method is right for you.

Does Vinegar Remove Acrylic Nails?

Using vinegar is one method you can try to remove acrylic nails.

  • You’ll want to mix the vinegar with lemon juice in a 1:1 ratio.
  • Before soaking your nails in the vinegar solution, you can start by soaking them in warm water for between 10 and 20 minutes.
  • Starting with the warm water soak can help to loosen the nails and glue a bit to make the vinegar soak more effective.
Lucy's Family Owned - Natural Distilled White Vinegar, 1 Gallon (128 oz) - 5% Acidity

How Do You Remove Acrylic Nails With Hot Water?

When you want to know what can you use instead of acetone to remove acrylic nails, consider using hot water.

  • For this method, you’ll want to start by trimming the nails as short as possible using a nail clipper.
  • Then, use an orange stick to pry one edge of the nail up.  This will make sure the hot water is able to get to the glue to help dissolve it.
  • Next, fill a heatproof bowl with hot or warm water (make it as warm as you’ll be able to tolerate).
  • Leave your nails soaking in the water for 30 to 40 minutes.  You may want to change the water to keep it warm after it starts to cool down.

After soaking your nails for 30 to 40 minutes, the glue should be dissolved enough for you to carefully work the fake nail off.  You can use something like a laminated card, dental floss, or cuticle pusher to help you carefully remove the nail all the way.

6pcs Professional Plastic Handle Hard Rubber Tipped Nail Art Tool Cuticle Pusher Cleaner(Random Color)

How Do You Remove Acrylic Nails With Dish Soap?

How can I get my nails off at home without acetone?  Try using dish soap mixed with warm soap water.

  • Use a grease-fighting dish soap, as this will be most effective for removing the nail.
  • Soak your nails in the dish soap and water (about 2 parts dish soap and 1 part warm water) for 10 minutes.
  • Remove your nails and use a nail tip or laminated card to wedge between the real nail and the fake nail.
  • Move the tool around the cuticle looking for a spot where the nail will start to pop off.  If the nail doesn’t start to pop off easily enough, place it back into the soapy water, so the dish soap can continue to break down the bond in the adhesive.
  • Then, remove the nail again and continue wedging the card into the gap to remove the nail.

You may also want to try using a dental flosser if the glue isn’t dissolved enough for the nail to easily pop off.  After removing the nail, buff the nails with a nail buffer and use a manicure brush to remove the dust.  Then, use a cuticle pusher or orange stick to push the cuticle back.  Finish up by applying nail strengthener to the nails to protect them until you’re ready to apply new acrylic nails.

How Do You Take off Acrylic Nails at Home With Oil?

Ever wondered, “can hot water and oil remove acrylic nails?”  Well, you may be surprised to find out that the answer is yes!

  • Try mixing a few drops of argan oil with warm soapy water.
  • Allow your nails to soak for 20 to 30 minutes in the mixture of oil, soap, and warm water.
  • After soaking your nails for at least 20 minutes, pull them out of the water and gently peel back the nail.

The argan oil, soap, and warm water should have dissolved the glue, making the nail very easy to remove.

PURA D'OR Organic Moroccan Argan Oil (4oz / 118mL) USDA Certified 100% Pure Cold Pressed Virgin Premium Grade Moisturizer Treatment for Dry & Damaged Skin, Hair, Face, Body, Scalp & Nails
Buy on Amazon

Can Rubbing Alcohol Remove Acrylic Nails?

When you’re looking for how to soak off fake nails at home, using rubbing alcohol can be a very effective approach.

  • Before soaking your nails directly in the rubbing alcohol, grab some cotton balls.
  • Tape them around your fingernails.  Using the cotton balls can help protect your nails from rubbing alcohol, which can also be pretty harsh.
  • Next, get a bowl large enough to fit all of your fingers and pour about 2 inches of rubbing alcohol into the bowl.
  • Allow the nails to soak in the rubbing alcohol for between 20 and 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, remove your nails from the bowl and gently remove the nails.

You can use dental floss or a laminated card if needed to cut through any remaining adhesive.

Hydrox 70% Isopropyl, Rubbing Alcohol, 16 oz
Buy on Amazon

How Do You Remove Acrylic Nails With Dental Floss?

Dental floss is a top choice for individuals looking for how to get acrylic nails off at home.  It can be most effective when paired with one of the other techniques listed above, such as soaking the nails in hot soapy water or rubbing alcohol.

  • After soaking your nails, pry something under the cuticle end to make a space for the dental floss to get started between your real nail and the acrylic nail.
  • Use a sawing motion to move the floss down the nail to cut through any adhesive that remains.
  • If you encounter too much resistance, return your nails to the soapy water or vinegar to continue soaking, then try again.

After the nail pops off, remove any remaining adhesive using a nail file.

You can try this technique yourself using a dental floss pick, or have someone else use a string of regular dental floss to help you.

Reach Waxed Dental Floss, Mint, Mint, Mint, 1 Count
Buy on Amazon

Can You Use Acetone-Free Nail Polish Remover to Remove Fake Nails?

Finally, consider trying an acetone-free nail polish remover to take off your acrylic nails.  Start by prying the edge of the fake nail away from the cuticle.  Then, soak the nails for 40 minutes in a bowl of acetone-free nail polish remover.

Once you feel that the adhesive is beginning to loosen, remove your nails from the bowl and use a pair of tweezers to gently pull the nail off.  Return the nail to the bowl of nail polish remover if it is not able to be easily removed.

Buy on Amazon


How do you get fake acrylic nails off?

Using acetone is a popular approach to taking fake acrylic nails off and will most likely be the method a nail salon uses to remove fake nails.  However, if you would prefer to remove glue on nails without using acetone, there are a few different approaches you can try.  These include using dental floss, warm and soapy water, or even acetone-free nail polish remover.

How do you get acrylic nails off at home fast?

One of the fastest ways to remove acrylic nails at home is to soak them in warm water with a grease-fighting dish soap.  Use a ratio of about ⅔ dish soap to ⅓ water.  Soak the nails for 3 to 4 minutes.  Next, run an orange stick or cuticle pusher along the edge to get the nail to start to lift.  Then, stick it back in the solution for another  5 to 10 minutes.  Next, use a flosser stick to work under the fake nail to try to remove it.  If the nail isn’t coming off easily enough, return it back to the bowl to soak and then continue working with the flosser.

Removing Acrylic Nails at Home without Acetone

As you can see, acetone is not the only way to remove acrylic nails.  Using one of the acetone alternatives that we shared will allow you to safely and effectively remove your acrylic nails without worrying about the negative side effects that the acetone could lead to.  Which method are you going to try next time you’re ready to take off your acrylic nails?

Read through these related posts on our blog to discover more ideas for nail care and treatment:

By Ellis James

We design luxuriously glamorous bags, organizers and life essentials for you. At Ellis James Designs, it’s all about YOU. Your bag, Your way. Our exclusive designs are timeless, indulgent and most importantly inspired by you. What will be your first Ellis James Design?


  1. This information is very helpful for me! Thank you so much for sharing all information.

  2. Your content is very useful and excellent for acrylic nail removal. I was inspired to see it.

  3. I always leave that job to my manicurist, once I tried to do it myself and almost and I ran out of nails hahahahha

  4. Whoaaa I didn’t know you could use vinegar to remove acrylics! There are so many great alternatives from this list! Thanks for curating this awesome list. I’ll try it next time I’m out of acetone and can’t get to the store in time x

Comments are closed.