Home Remedies for Removing Fake Nails

Fake nails can give you the long nails that you want, but they require constant upkeep. When you're ready to get rid of them, a salon will take them off for you. However, if you want to avoid the cost, try home remedies for removing fake nails. No matter which way you choose, you'll incur some damage to the natural nails underneath.

Remove your fake nails in the comfort of your home.

Acetone Soak

Pour an acetone-based nail polish into a small bowl, and soak your nails in it for 15 minutes. This starts to break down the nails, which means you'll be able to use your nail tools to pry the nail off your real nail. If it's still hard to get off after soaking, you may need to soak the nails longer.

Oil Soak

Acetone may damage your real nails, so try an alternative, such as oil. Place about a teaspoon of olive or sesame oil into a small bowl of warm water and soak your nails in this mixture for 15 minutes. Then, try to pry the nails off. The oil will soften and weaken the fake nails.


If the thought of prying off your fake nails makes you feel squeamish, file them down. Start with a hard nail file to file down the ends of your nails, then use it along the top of the fake nails. As it gets closer to your real nail, switch to a soft nail file to avoid damaging your real nails.

Growing Out

To remove your fake nails with the least amount of damage, allow them to grow out. Unfortunately, this means you'll deal with unsightly nails for a few weeks, but your nails will look healthy once the fake nails fully grow out. As the nails grow, file down the ends to keep them at the length that you want. When the fake nail reaches the end of your nail bed, cut off the remaining part off.

Maggie McCormick

Maggie McCormick is a freelance writer. She lived in Japan for three years teaching preschool to young children and currently lives in Honolulu with her family. She received a B.A. in women's studies from Wellesley College.