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How To Get Ink Off Acrylic Nails [These Options Work!]

Everyone who gets acrylic nails will encounter a problem or two with their manicure every now and then. Stains, breaking tips or edges, unexpected loss of color or even ink stains are some of the most common examples. As much as we type nowadays, nothing will ever replace a pen with ink and we will always need to use one. Sometimes, stains also occur from printer ink along with permanent and non-permanent markers.

Have you ever gone home after a work day and noticed ink stains on your acrylics? Surely, it must have happened at least once – and its frustrating! The sight is annoying and you immediately start thinking of ways to get rid of the ink. But what is the recommended way?

So, how do you get ink off acrylic nails? There are a couple of different ways to remove ink from acrylic nails. The best ways include using hairspray, alcohol, perfume, toothpaste, water mixed with bleach, and also using acetone on the stain. Don’t be tempted to use too much of any of these products all at once as this can damage the acrylics or result in fading to any coloring. If you cannot manage to remove the stains with the listed items, consider getting a new manicure, even if it is not the time for a new one yet.

When it comes to removing any stains; starting slow and using the minimal amount of any product is advised.

If you pour too much acetone or use too much bleach, your acrylics can get damaged to the point where they may even need to come off.

Apply small quantities on nose swabs or cotton pads and add more .from the substance gradually.

And remember: in most cases, ink is easily removable and your manicure will not get damaged!

So, let’s look at some reasons why ink stains and why it creates problems for your well-designed nails.

We will then walk you through a step by step process of how to remove ink so be sure to keep on reading to the end to get all the information you need!

Why Does Ink Stain?

Ink leaves stains because it contains pigments or dyes. A pigment is a colour material that is almost insoluble in water.

Dyes are usually soluble, or at least at some stage of their use. They are often organic compounds, while pigments are most often inorganic.

Ink is liquid or paste and it is a material with whom designs and prints are produced. Its properties can vary, depending on its thickness, color, flow and permanence.

The thicker and stronger the color, the more likely it is to leave long-lasting stains. It also consists of resins, lubricants, solubilizers, surfactants and other chemicals.

The chemicals in both dyes and pigments are strong because ink was originally invented to leave ‘stains’.

Meaning, people began writing with it because it proved almost impossible to wipe out.

Thanks to modern life and contemporary chemistry, ink can be removed with other chemicals such as acetone, if found on undesirable surfaces like acrylic nails.

Amongst the most annoying places to stain with ink are clothes, skin, furniture and you own nails.

Let’s take a look at what items you will need to remove stains from your acrylics.

Items Needed For Ink Removal From Acrylics

Prepare different items in advance, depending on the method you choose:

  • Clean cloth
  • Cotton pads
  • Nose swabs
  • Water
  • Soap
  • Acetone
  • Alcohol
  • Hairspray
  • Toothpaste
  • Perfume
  • Bleach
  • Bowl

Next, we are going to look at how to apply each method step by step!

How To Get Ink Off Acrylic Nails (Step By Step)

1. Hairspray

Grab your hairspray (or buy one, if you don’t have it).

Spray a generous amount on a clean and dry cloth. On the cloth itself, it is safe to spray more as the fabric will absorb most of the hairspray.

After that, start scrubbing the stain gently enough not to damage the nail but firmly enough to remove the stain.

Alternatively, you can spray directly on the stained nail. Begin with a smaller amount to make sure your acryl is safe.

After spraying, you should see the ink slowly sliding down. Try to wipe it out. If it persists, keep spraying.

Straight after removal, wash your hands with warm water and soap. Don’t forget to hydrate your hands and cuticles around the nails with cream, oil or moisturizer.

2. Acetone, Alcohol or Perfume.

Another very easy way to remove ink stains from your acrylics is to spray perfume.

Spray directly onto the nails and you should see the stain slowly disappearing. If you think the perfume you have chosen is not strong enough, try alcohol.

Isopropyl alcohol is a non-toxic product used to clean surfaces, sterilize beauty implements and prevents infection of minor skin injuries, such as cuts.

Grab a nose swab, dip it into the substance and start scrubbing the stain.

Since you may not have this alcohol at home, take some acetone and again, with a nose swab or a cotton pad, scrub.

Be careful with acetone and apply minimal amount. Acetone is used for removing nail polish in general and works also for removing acrylics. If you overdo it, you may risk damaging the fake material itself.

This is the acetone I personally get off Amazon. Its amazing, but it is strong so you will need to be careful.

3. Toothpaste

Although not as strong as the methods above, you can try removing ink stains with toothpaste.

Scrub some toothpaste on the stain directly. Prior to that, leave the toothpaste for 1-2 minutes on the stain to dissolve it. However, this method is more effective for ink stains on the skin.

One good thing about it is that toothpaste is not anywhere near as harmful as chemicals like acetone and does not have the drying effect of alcohol, hairspray, acetone and perfume.

Toothpaste is an abrasive cleaner that will exfoliate your fingernails.

4. Water and Bleach.

If nothing else works, you can opt for the method with water mixed with a small amount of liquid cleaning bleach.

In a bowl, mix one part bleach to 10 parts water. Then, dip the stained nail directly or with a nose swab soaked in the mix, scrub the stain.

Bear in mind that bleach is very drying for the nails and your skin. Try the other methods first, before you go for this one.

Even if all other methods fail, this one will most likely work. Cleaning bleach is a chemical product originally invented for removing color from fabrics and to clean stains.

Best Practices When Removing Ink From Acrylic Nails

The most important thing when dealing with acrylic nails is to treat them gently.

Ripping them off, when removing can be very damaging for your natural nail and leaves long-lasting injuries. Same goes when removing ink stains.

Depending on the ink’s qualities, the writing substance can be quite stubborn after it has once touched you manicure.

You may find yourself tempted to apply large quantities of whichever cleaning material you have selected. However, you need to be careful not to damage your skin and nails.

Here are some tips and best practices to consider, when removing ink from acrylic nails:

  • Always use soft, dry and clean cloths or cotton pads. Go for fabrics that are natural such as cotton or linen, as they are the least likely to scratch your nail or compromise its surface in any way.
  • Bear in mind that all products listed above for removal are aggressive. They can dry your skin, leaving a persistent dry sensation. If you find yourself having to remove ink stains regularly, remember to always hydrate you fingernails and cuticles. It is advisable to avoid direct skin-chemical contact. Try scrubbing only the stain itself as much as possible. Don’t worry too much about your natural nail. The acryl protects it enough and chemicals cannot penetrate at all.
  • In case you opt for acetone, use very little amounts – just enough to remove the stain and not a drop more. Acetone is originally used to remove nail polish. Overdoing it may lead to damaging the acrylic surface. Never dip your entire nail in it or soak it, because this will, for sure, damage the acryl. The soaking method is used for dissolving and removing the acryl altogether and you risk damaging the wholesomeness of the entire surface.
  • Finally, if you suffer from regular staining of your nails, try discovering where the problem comes from. This is one of the most common issues with acrylic manicures and can be annoying and time consuming if you have to deal with it on a regular basis. Is it your pen, your printer, markers? It is more effective to pinpoint the initial source of the problem than treating the symptoms regularly.


To sum up, removing ink stains from your acrylic nails is easy.

You need some household items such as: clean cloth; cotton pads; nose swabs; water soap; acetone; alcohol; hairspray; toothpaste; perfume; bleach; bowl.

Spray perfume or hairspray directly on the stain, apply acetone or alcohol with the help of a nose swab or cotton pad; scrub bravely with toothpaste or opt for plain water mixed with bleach.

Always remember to be gentle to your nails and moisturize whichever removing method you choose to apply. 

Ultimately, there are things you can do that do not necessarily mean that getting ink on your acrylics is the end of them.

Try these methods above, and you’ll soon see for yourself!