Nail Makeup

How To Remove Nail Glue? An All-Inclusive Guide! 

It is vital to learn how to remove nail glue at home so that you can keep your nail health intact. Here’s a gold mine of nail glue-removing techniques for you.

Written by Jyotshna Agiwal

On Jul 10, 2023 – 12 minutes read

remove nail glue

You can explore the world of nail extensions in a salon or get your favorite ones from the store and do them in your home. There is no rocket science involved in applying these extensions. However, one must proceed with caution while removing the glue used to keep these extensions on your nails. We have an all-inclusive guide on how to remove nail glue for every woman who likes to dress up fine for a significant occasion. 

Press-on nails are trending among all generations of women right now. They have become an indispensable part of the makeup routine in every event as they offer a polished and elegant look to all women. Whether you have to attend a wedding or whether it is your wedding, you simply cannot do without nail extensions! 

How To Remove Nail Glue From The Skin? 

You require glue to keep your extensions attached to your nails. Once the pomp and show of your nails are over, you have to take the extensions out and remove excess glue from your nails. If you applied these extensions at home, you must learn how to remove nail glue from nails using simple remedies to prevent nail and skin damage. 

how to get glue on nails off

Usually, people pick up cotton and water when they hear about how to remove nail extension glue. Apparently, cotton and water can solve all problems arising on human skin. In the case of nail glue, cotton will be far from helpful for you. Cotton and glue can cause a chemical reaction and lead to nail injuries. 

So, what can clear away the glue from your nails without causing damage? Let’s skim through some easy ways to get nail glue off your skin. 

What Removes Nail Glue from Skin? 

The most common way in which you can remove nail glue is with the use of acetone which helps in breaking down the glue and dissolving it. Most women would recognize acetone as a substantial ingredient in nail polish removers. 

This brings us to the next part on how to get acetone. You can either get acetone-based nail polish removers or get acetone from a drug store. Removing your nail glue with the help of acetone can provide confirmed results. However, most people find it harmful for daily usage as it can dry out the nail keratin. Hence, you must limit the use of acetone to only special circumstances. 

Before we learn how to remove super glue from nails with acetone, let’s see what do you need for this glue removal process. Gather these things in one place before beginning the procedure. 

  • Nail cutter 
  • Nail filer 
  • Microfiber cloth 
  • Food wrap or petroleum jelly 
  • Cotton 
  • Aluminum foil 
  • Clean towel 

Now, it’s show time! Let’s learn how to remove super glue from nails with acetone.

easy ways to get nail glue off your skin

Step 1

The first step is pretty easy. All you need is a nail cutter with the help of which you can cut your fake nails to as short as possible. This does not mean you will move away from your comfort zone and expose your nail bed. Just trim the acrylic or fake nails to a comfortable length so that there will be less glue for you to remove. 

Step 2 

You must have noticed that acrylic nails shine like they are bouncing off the rays of the sun. In order to remove the glue, you have to remove the surface that shines with the help of a nail filer. Just use a filer on the acrylic nails until they look matte. Make sure to use the filer evenly to quicken the glue removal process. 

Don’t file the nails if you spot your natural nails. Pick up a microfiber cloth and wipe off the dust to clean the region. 

Step 3 

To protect the surrounding skin from acetone, rub petroleum jelly or put food wrap there. This will prevent the acetone from penetrating your skin and causing damage (1). You should be liberal with the application of both petroleum jelly and food wrap. 

Step 4 

The real action starts now. Take a cotton pad or ball and dip it in acetone. Put the cotton on every nail from which you want the glue to be removed. 

Pro tip: Reiterate this process in a well-ventilated room as acetone fumes can be toxic. 

Take aluminum foil and wrap it around the cotton pad by keeping it in place to ensure that the acetone is getting applied to the right spot. The foil will prevent the acetone from evaporating and increase the glue’s softness.

Step 5 

Relax for 20-25 minutes and then, remove the foil and cotton. In 99% of the cases, the glue dissolves and the acrylic nails come off easily. If the glue has still not come off, leave the foil and cotton on for another 15-20 minutes. Take a clean towel and remove the fake nails. If there is still stubborn glue on your nails, use a filer to scrape it off. 

How To Remove Glue on Nails Without Damage?

If you want to hydrate your nails while removing the glue, we found an amazing way that sits in the dressing of every woman comfortably – hand lotion. They have a creamy texture and moisturizing abilities which make them a perfect counter for the sticky glue. There’s no better way to learn how to get glue on nails off than to utilize easily available products at home. 

Are you astonished? Hand lotions or creams can moisturize your skin and take off the nail glue within minutes. You just need some soap and water to complete the process. 

Take some lotion or cream and apply it to the nails and surrounding skin. Use circular motions to massage the lotion onto the nails. In a flash, you will notice the glue peeling away. When you are satisfied with the successful removal of the nail glue, wash your hands with water and soap. This will cleanse any last remnant of glue. 

Wipe your hands and apply lotion or cream on the nails and skin to nourish and hydrate them. This will reverse any damage caused by the nail glue. 

Pro Tip: Use a vitamin-rich lotion or cream (100% natural) for this process to renourish your nails and skin.

How To Remove Nail Glue From Press-on Nails?

As strange as it may sound, sometimes, women fall short of useful ingredients that can assist in the nail extension glue removal process. If you are too lazy to get these products and want immediate relief from nail glue, here’s how to remove nail glue without acetone, hand lotion, and petroleum jelly. 

The two magic ingredients that you require for removing glue from your nails are soap and water, both of which are happily sitting in your bathroom. Take a bowl, pour lukewarm water into it, and add some soap. Put your hands in the bowl for around 30 minutes. 

If you find the acrylic nails softening and the glue dissolving, take them off gently in 2-3 swift actions. But, if your natural nails are getting hurt, keep your hands dipped in the solution for another 30 minutes. This will make your nails more squishy and certainly remove the glue. If there are any more glue remnants, take a filer, and rub on the nails. 

Once you have taken off the glue and removed the fake nails, dry the affected region, and apply coconut oil to rehydrate the skin. 

Pro Tip: Don’t peel the glue aggressively as it can damage your natural nails and skin. If this method does not work for you, visit a professional. 

How To Remove Nail Glue Without Acetone?

Acetone is a chemical liquid and this fact makes it less popular among many women because of its tendency to damage the nails and skin. Even though they want the glue removed, they want a natural way to deal with the sticky devil. After much experimentation on how to remove nail glue without acetone, we found two natural ways – petroleum jelly and a mixture of salt and water.

How To Remove Nail Glue Without Acetone?

Petroleum Jelly 

Petroleum jelly is an all-rounder when it comes to application and utility. Take a generous amount of petroleum jelly and apply it to your nails and skin to take off the glue. It is best to use circular motions to allow the jelly to penetrate deep into your nails. This will provide the dried-up nails with moisture and hydration. 

Until you see considerable erosion of the glue, keep rubbing the petroleum jelly on your nails and surrounding skin. Once you see the glue soften, keep going for another 10 minutes. Once the acrylic nails are off, you should wash your hands with soap and water. Take a filer and scrape off excess glue. 

Pro Tip: Use petroleum jelly to treat itchy, scaly, and irritated skin naturally. 

Salt And Water 

If we are skimming through easy ways to get nail glue off your skin, there’s no way we will leave out the wonderful effects of salt on nail glue. Take 2-3 teaspoons of salt and add them to lukewarm water to form a thick paste. Don’t dilute the solution and keep it in a semi-liquid consistency. 

Take ample paste in your hands and massage the affected region for a couple of minutes. Soon, the salt will penetrate your nails. Rub in circular motions to dissolve the glue and let the nails fall off. 

If you want to know how to remove nail glue from your skin, salt and water are your best friends. This method works best if you have sensitive skin that reacts strongly to acetone and other chemical solutions.  

What To Do After You Have Removed the Nail Glue?

Your work does not end with removing the nail glue. You must engage in acute aftercare to nourish your nails and surrounding skin. Hence, it is beneficial to treat your nails well after the glue removal process to ensure proper and healthy growth. 

Treating your nails and surrounding skin is a must-nailcare routine after you learn how to get glue-on nails off at home by yourself. This is what you should do. 

  • If you have learned the usage of acetone on how to remove nail glue in easy steps, you must definitely wash your hands with warm water with soap. This will eliminate excess acetone from your skin. Make it a habit to use natural soap with essential oils. 
  • Use glycolic acid peels. Glycolic acid has proven benefits for damaged nail. (2)
  • Moisturize your nails and skin with natural oil, preferably almond or olive oil. These oils have moisture-boosting properties which make them popular ingredients in natural nail supplements. Apply generous amounts of natural oils on your nails to prevent them from drying or becoming scaly. 
  • Once your fake nails and glue are removed, wait for a few days before getting another manicure. It is true that nail extensions make you look prettier and complete your appearance but they take away a lot of nutrition from your nails. Taking a break of 7-10 days can allow your nails to rejuvenate. 

Don’t just leave your nails unattended after you remove the glue from acrylic nails. Not every company uses skin-friendly glue to attach the nails. Hence, you must take steps to offer your nails a healthy treatment to avoid itchiness and dryness in the region. 

Also, if you use nail extensions every now and then, you must definitely indulge in the aftercare of your nails as glue and acrylic nails can tarnish your nails to an irreversible extent. 

Precautions And Warnings

Fake nails look great but the glue holding them to your nails can prove to be a real nuisance. Many people have a habit of peeling off excess skin while sitting. If you find yourself peeling the glue away from your nails forcefully, withdraw your hands promptly. This can cause more damage if you accidentally pull off your natural nails or skin strongly. 

Sneak a quick look at the warnings on how to remove nail glue from the skin. 

  • Don’t prick at your skin with force as it might take off extra skin and lead to the formation of blisters. These blisters can prove painful and difficult to deal with on your own. 
  • It is not recommended to take the help of sharp objects like pins, knives, razors, or blades to scrape off excess glue from your nails. Only use a nail filer in the right way to smoothen your nails. If you don’t know how to use a nail filer, refrain from using it. 
  • If your skin is dry or chapped, abstain from using powerful abrasives to remove glue from your nails. 
  • If you have sensitive skin, don’t carry out the glue removal process at home. Visit a professional to get the glue removed with the appropriate paraphernalia. 

Keep soap, salt, lotion, and petroleum jelly handy if you are learning how to remove glue from your nails. These things can provide relief to the affected region by offering hydration and nourishment. They can moisturize your nails and surrounding skin and help in the prevention of redness and inflammation. 


Read the solutions to the most common questions people have on how to remove nail extension glue. 

What is the easiest way to remove nail glue?

The easiest way to remove nail glue is with the help of acetone. Take a cotton ball, dip it in acetone, and wrap it around your nails to take off the glue. 

How do you remove fake nail glue?

You can remove fake nail glue by applying acetone, hand lotion or cream, or petroleum jelly. You can also use soap and water or salt and water for a more natural removal. 

Does nail glue damage nails?

There is a slight possibility that nail glue can dry the nails and take away their natural shine over repetitive use. So, you must use nail glue cautiously. 

How do you get nail glue off without acetone?

You can take off nail glue without acetone by dipping your hand in lukewarm water mixed with soap or lukewarm water mixed with salt. 

Final Verdict 

There is no point in keeping glue on your nails after all the extensions have fallen off. If you want to sidestep a rough ride and want things to go smoothly, choose the safe nail glue removal tips and tricks mentioned here. These methods can be easily followed by anyone at home with minimal hassle. 

You can use soap, acetone, petroleum jelly, and hand lotion to remove nail extension glue without any nail or skin injury. Just don’t use a sharp object to scrape the glue off your nails as it can damage your nails and surrounding skin. It is no longer a drag to deal with nail glue with these foolproof techniques of removing glue completely! 

  1. Chen, Andrea F., et al. "Nail damage from gel polish manicure." Journal of cosmetic dermatology 11.1 (2012): 27-29.
  2. Banga, Gurvinder, and Kalpana Patel. "Glycolic acid peels for nail rejuvenation." Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery 7.4 (2014): 198.

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Jyotshna Agiwal

Jyotshna is a seasoned writer who creates captivating and educational content that engages readers. Through her words, she inspires women to embrace their individuality, encouraging them to find their unique beauty within and accentuate it through self-care rituals.

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