The gossip, the mimosas, the prospect of a soothing 20-30 minutes just being pampered: there’s a lot to miss about going to the nail salon. If you were able to sneak in a fresh set of acrylic claws before lockdown (lucky!) you’re probably missing beauty salons even more now that they’re growing out. Plus they’re probably impeding your ability to knead bread like all your friends on Instagram, and that simply will not stand. While it’s best to leave nail removal to the pros, in the meantime here’s how to remove your acrylic nails at home. 

P.S. This process will also work for most gel manicures too. 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Pure acetone, available at most drug stores
  • Cotton balls 
  • A buffer
  • A small bowl or ziplock baggie 
  • Nail clipper
  1. Start by clipping your nail down to the desired length. Then use the buffer to sand off the shiny top layer of polish. You should be left with a smooth surface where the color is dulled a bit. 
  2. Fill the bag or the bowl with enough acetone to completely submerge your nails. Some sources suggest that warming up the acetone helps it work better but BEWARE: it’s crazy flammable so do this by running hot water over the bottle before pouring into the bowl or bag. Microwaves are for popcorn, NOT nail products. 
  3. Place your buffed nails into the liquid. Before you do this, make sure to switch on some good Netflix or catch up on Youtube tea because you want to keep these soaking for 20-25 minutes. 
  4. Once you’ve soaked, remove your hands from the liquid. Use the cotton balls to wipe off the polish. It should come right off but if it’s hanging on, buff the surface and resoak. 
  5. Apply cuticle oil if you have it and file your nails in whichever shape you want. Finish up with some lotion, between this treatment and all the handwashing you’ve been doing this step is well deserved. 

DIY nail treatments are fun and all, but fear not. Your favorite nail techs will be back in business soon, book your next mani pedi now so that you can get ahead of the post-shelter-in-place stampede!