Can Rubbing Alcohol Remove Acrylic Nails?

Acrylic nails are all fine and lovely until it’s time to take them off; but how do you accomplish this without risking an infection on your fingernails or injuring yourself?

So, can robbing alcohol remove acrylic nails? Yes, rubbing alcohol can remove acrylic nails but it takes time compared to the other conventional method I will be discussing in this article.

The use of alcohol in the acrylic nail remover process helps to soften the nails until they are easy to pull off without injuring the nail beds, and until you are sure of what you are doing, I suggest you see an expert to help you remove your acrylic nails if you feel the need to change them.

Can You Remove Acrylic Nails With Rubbing Alcohol?

Yes, you can remove acrylic nails with rubbing alcohol. The key to successfully removing them is patience, so be prepared to have some time to let the nail soak in the alcohol. While you could use any type of alcohol, it’s best to use the highest concentration of ethanol (rubbing alcohol) available at your local pharmacy. Make sure it’s at least 90% volume, which will make a big difference in how long it takes for your nails to come off.

How to Remove Acrylic Nails

Materials needed

  • Acetone
  • Nail file
  • Nail clippers
  • Fine-grade buffer
  • Small glass bowl
  • Aluminum foil
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Foil strip
  • Cotton balls
  • Moisturizer
  • Mild soap and water (will be used to wash your hands)

Step 1: Cut your nails using the nail clipper

The first and necessary step to take when removing acrylic nails is to trim them short using nail clippers.

Some acrylic nails tend to be thick making the use of nail clippers almost impossible, in this case, use the nail file to reduce them, but ensure you look out for your nail beds so you don’t injure yourself in the process.

Step 2: File off the top coat of your acrylic nail

Using a fine-grade buffer, file off the nail polish used in beautifying your nails, and in the process try removing as much acrylic nail as you possibly can.

Experts have suggested you use long strokes to save you time, but you have to ensure you don’t destroy your natural nails in the process.

Step 3: Get your acetone ready

Before opening the bottle of acetone, ensure the room you are using is properly ventilated due to the strong fumes acetone has.

Acetone is also very flammable, so keep it far from every source of heat and resist the temptation to put it in a microwave, also avoiding any form of smoking when the liquid is exposed.

After taking the above precautionary measure, pour the acetone into a medium-sized glass bowl. Acetone will help dissolve the acrylic plastic and since you will be applying the acetone to your nails, you have to protect your skin from any irritation that might arise as a result.

Apply petroleum jelly to the skin surrounding your fingernail to keep that area from harm’s way.

Ensure you don’t apply the petroleum jelly directly on the fingernail as it would prevent the acetone from having the desired effect on the acrylic nails, to prevent this from happening, use a cotton-tipped wooden applier to apply the petroleum jelly more accurately.

Step 4: Apply the acetone to your acrylic nails

Apply the acetone on the acrylic nails by slightly immersing a cotton ball into the bowl of acetone, then place the cotton ball on your fingertips.

Ensure they are tightly wrapped around the acrylic nail by using aluminum foil to keep them in place – this process should take about 30 minutes tops.

A hack you can use in place of aluminum foil is non-plastic tapes to hold the soaked cotton balls in place, or a tougher option you can consider is simply immersing your hands in the bowl of acetone – that’s if you are hundred percent certain it won’t irritate your skin in the process.

Step 5: Remove the acrylic nail from your fingertips

Once the time elapses, remove the acrylic nails from your fingertips by gently removing the cotton ball and the nail simultaneously – try being manipulative about the entire process, the acrylic nails might not come off on their own.

if you soak your fingernails in the bowl of acetone, use an orangewood stick to carefully pry off the acrylic nails which should be soft by now.

If by chance the acrylic nails are still stubborn to come off, you can soak them for another 20 minutes – I’m certain they won’t survive another wave of acetone bearing on them.

Step 6: Scrape off the remnant acrylic nails

Using your nail buffer, scrape off the remaining acrylic nails from your finger – they would easily come off due to the acetone bath.

There’s a slight chance the leftover acrylic nails might begin to harden again – do not panic – simply use a cotton ball soaked with acetone and apply it on the finger and you are good to go.

Step 7: Apply fine touches to your natural nail

Once the acrylic nails are completely off, use your nail file and nail clipper to adjust and fine-tune the edges of your natural nails.

To minimize damaging your nails during this process, file your nail in only one direction and avoid the zig-zag motion, and since the top layer of your natural nail might have been removed with the acrylic nails, be gentle when filing and buffing them.

Step 8: Wash your hands with soap and water

Since acetone tends to leave you with dry skin – especially if you immersed your finger inside the bowl – rinse off the effect by washing your hands with mild soap and water.

Dry your hands with a good towel then apply olive oil or any moisturizing lotion of your choice – lavishly rub the lotion on every area of your finger to get the best result.


  • Acetone will deteriorate any plastic they come in contact with and probably ruin it, use only glass material to put acetone.
  • As stated earlier, acetone is very flammable and does well to keep them away from every source of heat or fire.
  • If you experience any sort of pain during this process, simply visit a salon and seek the help of a nail expert to get it done for you in no time.
  • Don’t file your acrylic nails completely as it can affect your nail bed.
  • If you notice any discoloration on your natural nail after removal, kindly visit a dermatologist for proper consultation – don’t leave it to chance.

Will Isopropyl Alcohol Remove Acrylic Nails?

Yes, isopropyl alcohol will remove acrylic nails. Isopropyl alcohol is commonly used to remove nail polish. I know this from personal experience because when I was younger, it was my preferred method for removing my manicure. I’d soak a cotton ball in it and scrub away until the polish came off.

You can use isopropyl alcohol to remove acrylic nails as long as you don’t submerge your hands in them or let them sit on your nails too long. The main ingredient in most nail polishes and acrylics is ethyl acetate, which dissolves in isopropyl alcohol. If you have a bottle of isopropyl alcohol at home, then you’re all set to try this method.

The best way to do it would be to get a small bowl of warm water and put it next to your sink. Then take a cotton ball and soak it in some isopropyl alcohol from the bottle then wrap your nails with the cotton ball, and remove after a few minutes, the nails should be off your hands by then. After removal, you can soak your hands in warm water. Massage your nails with cuticle oil after you are done.

Rubbing Alcohol Alternatives to Remove Acrylic Nails

1. Acetone

Acetone is a chemical used in nail polish remover. While it can be harmful to your skin, some people use acetone to remove acrylic nails because it’s an effective way to dissolve the glue that holds them on. However, this method isn’t recommended because it can cause dry or flaky skin.

2. Non-acetone nail polish remover

If you’re looking for an alternative to acetone nail polish remover, try using a non-acetone nail polish remover instead. This type of product comes in handy when removing acrylic nails with a peel-off base coat or doing repairs on your manicure.

Use this method only if you’re sure that the product is made specifically for use on acrylic nails otherwise, it could cause damage. Follow these steps:

Apply the remover to each individual nail and let sit for a few seconds before wiping it away with cotton balls. If necessary, repeat this process until all residue has been removed and your nails are clean.

3. Foil method

If you don’t have rubbing alcohol on hand, there are other ways to remove the acrylic nails. One method is to put a piece of aluminum foil over your nails and then place a towel on top to keep it in place. Then soak your hands in warm water for 15 minutes. After this time has passed, remove the foil and then peel off the remaining acrylic nails. The foil will soften up any remaining glue so that they can come right off.

4. Vinegar and lotion

Vinegar and lotion are also effective at softening and removing acrylic nails. Apply a generous amount of lotion to your hands, then add vinegar until it becomes a milky consistency. Let the mixture sit for five minutes or so before wiping off the lotion and vinegar with a paper towel. Repeat this step as necessary until all traces of acrylic have been removed from your nail beds.

The combination of vinegar and lotion will break down both types of nail polish, but they will not necessarily dissolve them completely, so don’t expect this method to work instantly.

5. Use the soaking method

For this method, you’ll need to soak your nails for about 10 minutes in warm water. You can also add a few teaspoons of Epsom salts to the water, which will help soften the glue and make it easier to remove.

The next step is to soak your nails in lemon juice and water for a few minutes; this will soften any remaining chemical residue from acrylics. If you’re using a nail polish remover that contains acetone, it’s best to wait until after removing the acrylic nails before soaking them in this solution so as not to dry out their skin too much (although some people use acetone-free nail polish removers).

Alternatively, you could try soaking your fingers in white vinegar or baking soda and water instead these solutions will work similarly well at breaking down adhesives on artificial nails but may leave behind more residue.

6. Remove Acrylic Nails Using Nail Filers

If you’re looking for a simple way to remove your acrylic nails, using a nail filer is the way to go. This product allows you to gently push back the cuticle and remove the acrylic nail by lifting it off of the natural nail plate. It’s also great for removing gel polish from natural nails.

Using an orange stick isn’t ideal because it can damage or tear your nails if not done properly. Use caution when filing down acrylics with this method: only use gentle pressure on your natural nails; too much pressure may pull off part of your actual fingernail as well as any excess material coating them (which could cause damage).

7. Remove Acrylic Nails With Hot Water

One of the most common ways to remove acrylic nails is by soaking them in hot water for a few minutes. You can do this using a regular bowl or any other container that has a small opening, such as a glass jar or cup.

Fill the container with warm water, and then submerge your hands for 5-10 minutes. When you’re done soaking, use a towel to dry your nails before repeating this process until all of the artificial nails have been removed from your natural nail beds.

8. Remove Acrylic Nails With Hydrogen Peroxide

If you’re looking for an alternative to rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide is a great option. In fact, it’s probably the most popular one out there. It has a unique property that allows it to dissolve acrylic nails without damaging your skin or nails underneath.

First, soak your nails in hydrogen peroxide for 10 minutes. Next, remove the acrylic nails with cotton balls soaked in hydrogen peroxide until they come off completely. Finally, file down any residue left behind by using an emery board and apply cuticle oil on top of everything, it’ll help moisturize and strengthen those weak bits of skin on the bottom of your fingers.


I will always suggest visiting a salon to fix and remove acrylic nails if you want the best result, however, if you follow the steps outlined in this article on how to remove acrylic nails, you will be fine. Kindly drop your comments and observation in the comment section. Cheers!!!