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How To Remove Glue On Nails Without Acetone – The Best Ways

If you have stumbled upon this article, then you are here to return your nails back to their healthy, glowing natural state.

You want to possibly learn how to remove your Acrylics, but you definitely want to remove any residue of glue.

Ultimately, you want to do so in the safest, easiest, and most effective way – which, by nature means that you are not using Acetone.

I wrote this article with two audiences in mind.

  1. You want to remove your Acrylic Nails without using Acetone.
  2. You want to remove the Glue that remains on your nails, having already removed your Acrylic Nails.

I get both of these questions a lot and have a lot of experience of both scenarios in the Salon.

Often, clients come into the Salon in one way or another and ask me what are the best ways to actually go about removing Acrylic Nails – not just for the immediate removal, but in a way that will be benefiting their long term nail health.

As such, I’ve started to document the most effective ways to Get Rid Of Nail Glue.

In that first article, I mainly focus on the use of Acetone, because despite a lot of the negative effects of using an Acetone solution, it is very effective at getting the job done fast.

However, I know that for a lot of you – using harsh chemicals such as Acetone is neither desired nor always required.

The following methods and step-by-step tutorials are written for the purpose of those of you who are currently wearing Acrylics.

This does not mean that if your Acrylics have already been removed but you just have that annoying glue these steps and tutorials will not be of benefit.

Instead, if you just have glue and want to remove that, then you can always skip a few steps.

The following methods are for use for both scenarios and will benefit you greatly.

How To Remove Glue On Nails Without Acetone

You’ve had your fashionable Acrylics on for a few weeks or even a month, and now it’s time to cut back on the length and the elegance back to your normal and natural nails.

Maybe you no longer want them, or maybe it’s time for you to let your nails breathe.

Either way, removing Acrylics/the resulting glue can be difficult, to say the least.

It isn’t actually necessary to get them removed at your nearest or favorite nail salon, this isn’t actually necessary but is the common but wrong advice.

You can save a lot of time and money by doing this yourself at home.

Plus a lot of Salons will actually go ahead and use Acetone anyway.

So I’d like to run you through some of the most effective methods and easiest ways to remove acrylic nails without Acetone.

And no, you do not need expensive items or a lot of experience to follow one of these!

Method 1: Use a Natural Acetone Free Nail Polish Remover (Recommended) 

Acetone Nail Polish remover is a lot more gentle and harsh then Acetone, but it’s formulated to help remove Nail Glue and Acrylic Nails.

The Pure Vitality brand is fantastic and one in which I use regularly and recommend to all of my friends and colleagues.

It also strengthens and moisturizes your nails at the same time so it has multiple uses.

What You Will Need

What To Do

Step One:

Start off using your Nail Clippers and clip your Acrylic Nails as short as you can from the tip.

Step Two:

In a small bowl, pour some of the Acetone Free Nail Polish remover.

Step Three:

Place your nails into the bowl, and soak your nails for between 1-2 minutes.

Step Four:

Once you feel that the fake nails have loosened, pull each of them out gently using a pair of tweezers.

Do not rip your fake nails if they are not coming off easily.

Instead, soak them back into the solution for some a few more minutes.

Method 2: Use a Nail File

It is possible to remove your acrylic nails with a file.

Whilst this method takes a bit more time, and you have to be particularly careful not to catch your skin and file away too abrasively, you will be able to remove your Acrylics with most Nail Files that you have lying around your house

What You Will Need

What To Do

Step One:

Again, always start when trying to remove your Acrylic Nails by cutting them with your Nail Cutter, being sure to keep them as short as you can from the tip.

Step Two:

Using a stroking-technique, file gently but firmly until you have filed through the Acrylic and you in fact reach your natural nail bed.

When doing this, remain cognizant of where your natural nail bed is, and once you reach it – stop filing.

You want to get to your natural bed and then stop.

Step Three:

Once you have filed all of your Acrylics off, you will then need to use the Orange sticks to remove all of the nail glue.

If you find that some Nail Glue remains, and is difficult to displace with the Orange Stick – you can always go back and file this Glue off.

Step Four (Optional): 

Whilst I recommend that you stop short of filing your natural nail, accidental damage is inevitable with this method.

I, therefore, advise that you use Cuticle Oil to help protect, rejuvenate and restore your natural nails.

Method 3: Use Warm Water

Now before you think that I have completely lost my mind, you can in fact use warm water to remove Acrylics and the resulting Nail Glue.

What I love about this method is that it is so easy, cheap and gentle on your nails.

What’s more, it’s very safe and you can always try this method out before you try the other methods above.

The slight downside is that, with most Nail Glues, you are going to really struggle to dissolve it fully.

That’s where the other methods are likely to be required. However, its worth a shot and this is how you do it.

This method will probably take around 45 minutes to an hour, so be sure to have enough time before you give it a try.

What You Will Need

Step by Step Process

Step One:

Again, always start when trying to remove your Acrylic Nails by cutting them with your Nail Cutter, being sure to keep them as short as you can from the tip.

Step Two:

Add some warm water (needs to be hot but not boiling as you will be submerging your hands and nails into it for some time).

Step Three:

Place both of your hands into the bowl of warm water, and Soak your nails.

Be sure to keep your nails and Acrylics submerged in the water. If the water starts to cool and your Acrylics do not seem to be weakening, you may have to add some more water.

Step Four: 

Once your Acrylics feel soft, remove your hands from the bowl and slowly and gently peel away at your Acrylics.

They should come off nice and easily. If not, return to the bowl!

Final Thoughts – Concluding Tips

  • You should never try and pull your Acrylic Nails out, especially if you have not followed one of the recommend methods above. Even if you have followed the steps as outlined above, you should be sure that your Acrylics and Glue are loose enough to remove before you apply any force. If your Acrylics/Glue has not dissolved or weakened enough, you may end up tearing your nail bed which is excruciatingly painful, will prevent your nails from growing healthily and strongly and may even cause infection.
  • If you do decide to use Acetone, and that the methods above are not for you, I suggest you read this article. You will need to take extra care of your nails following the removal process, and a good Cuticle Oil is always recommended to restore moisture and promote good nail health.
  • A Cuticle Oil is in fact recommended following a period of Acrylic Nail Use. A good Cuticle oil will have the formulation and properties to help regenerate your nail bed, moisturize and add essential vitamins and minerals that will re-strengthen your nails.
  • Be sure that all Nail Glue has been removed once you have taken off your Acrylics. You can use an Orange Stick or a file to do this. This is imperative, particularly if you are looking to paint your Natural Nails following the removal.
  • Once you have removed your Acrylics, I recommend that you give it a least a month before you apply your next set of fake nails. This will help to promote the health of your nails and to prevent damage and weak, brittle nails.

So there you have it. Three effective and easy methods to completely remove Glue on Nails (Acrylics), or Glue on your Nails.

These are a great place to start and they can be done right from the comfort of your own home.

With these methods, techniques, and tips, you will be able to get your Acrylics done without the worry of the removal process in the future. You can always bookmark this page.

Looking for other removal tips? Check out my below guides for more!