Time to remove those falsies? Whether your nails have outgrown or you simply just want to take them off, we have put together a couple of easy ways to remove those glue-on/stick-on manicure nails at home. Once you have removed them don't forget to treat your hands and nails to a little TLC.

The most common way by nail salon professionals is it to use acetone. This is a no fuss and removes them quickly. Acetone is a powerful and effective ingredient that goes a long way towards removing regular nail polish and fake nails like acrylic nails gel nails and glues. However this is a strong chemical and there are gentler alternatives, these will just require a little more work to get your nails off.

Non-acetone nail polish removing products include solvents like ethyl acetate, isopropyl alcohol, and propylene carbonate. While these are still chemical solvents like acetone, they are less harsh on your nails. You will have to work harder to remove your fake nails since it isn’t as strong as acetone, however, these products aren’t as drying on your nails and are less harsh than acetone.

And how could we forget the one we all have at home... If you don’t want to use harsh chemicals to remove your fake nails, another option is to try using Warm Soapy Water.

It is important to never use force when removing your false nails as this can damage your natural nails underneath. Keep in mind that, with nail art on your false nails, the nails may not retain their integrity when removed and you may need to use a fresh set.

Soak off: with warm soapy water

Submerge your nails in a bowl of warm, soapy water for at least 20 minutes before you try to remove them. Ensure the water is not super hot so that it burns, but as warm as you comfortably can, as this will help it loosen quicker.

Whilst your nails are soaking you may want to gently work your way around the false nails trying to loosen the edges, a cuticle pusher works well for this. Please note; you should not use excessive force as you will damage your natural nail bed. After 20 minutes carefully try to pry and fully remove the false nails and re-soak if required.

Tip: Using a little cuticle oil soaked on a Q-tip/cotton wool on the edges of your nail will help loosen the false nail prior to soaking it in warm soapy water. Soak the edges of your nails for approximately 5 minutes, ensuring to try get it under any lifted nail.

Using this method there is a good chance that you can remove your false nails without damage and re-use your press-on nails.

Soak off: with acetone nail polish remover (or similar)

The most common way to remove your false nails is by soaking them in acetone-based nail polish remover for a few minutes. This can be done in two ways.

The first method is to pour aetone into a bowl and place your finger-nails into the acetone for a couple of minutes.
The second method is to soak lint/cotton wool in acetone, place over your nail and then wrap it with foil for a few minutes.

As your false nails start to loosen up, you can gently peel them off. If they are still firmly attached, soak again as required. Please keep in mind, you will not be able to reuse your false nails with this method as the acetone will have serverely weakened the false nail.


You may be left with some residual glue on your natural nail as well on the inside of the false nail. Remove this by buffing your nail with a file. This should remove most of the glue. You can also use an acetone-based Gel Polish Remover to wipe away any remnants of glue that weren’t buffed off.

How to restore your nails

Removing false nails may dry out your hands so don’t forget to moisturize your hands, nails and cuticles with a natural oil like almond oil or olive oil. You may also use cuticle oil that is specially formulated to nourish and replenish your cuticles.