How to Remove Press-On Nails at Home without Damaging Your Real Nails?

If you don’t want to spend even a single day without a manicure, but you suddenly find yourself with no time to visit a salon to get one, a viable solution would be to use natural-looking and easy to apply press-on nails. However, just like with artificial nails such as acrylic, you cannot just remove press-on nails anytime you feel like it. There are safety measures to keep in mind.

Read on to learn how to remove your press-on nails without damaging your natural nails.

How Long Does It Take for Press On Nails to Come Off?

If you used glue to keep your press-on nails in place, it will take anywhere from 2 to 3 weeks for the glue to lose its bond. However, if you want to remove the press-ons earlier, you can do so, BUT not on the same day they were applied. Doing so will definitely be harmful to your real nails.

Is It Easy to Remove Press On Nails?

Because press-on nails are typically made of plastic, it wouldn’t be too difficult to remove them. The easy-to-put and easy-to-remove features contribute to the popularity of press-on nails. You can easily remove them unlike fancy nails like gel and acrylic.

How Long Does It Take to Soak off Press On Nails?

Whether your press-ons are the adhesive type or you glued them yourself, you can start the removal process by immersing your fingers in a bowl with warm, soapy water or an acetone-based solution for around 5 minutes.

If your press-on nails come with adhesive, 5 minutes of soaking time should be sufficient, but if you glued the press-ons yourself, you need to soak for around 10 to 15 minutes before the glue breaks off.

Best & Safest Way: How to Take Off Press-on Nails at Home

Best & Safest Way: How to Take Off Press-on Nails at Home

Similar to removing acrylic or gel nails, the best and safest way to remove press-on nails is by using acetone. Soak your fingers in a bowl of acetone-based polish remover for a few minutes or until the glue disintegrates or the nails loosen to the point that you can easily pry them off your nails.

This “soak in acetone” method works for press-ons that come with built in adhesives or those that you glued yourself. If you want to try an easier way, you can buy a nail removal kit, specifically for artificial nails.

Whatever method you prefer, however, it will require some patience as you have to wait for some time for the nails to be ready for removal. If you yank the press-ons too early, you might damage your natural nails when the top layers are forcibly stripped off. If the natural nails are damaged, you’ll have to wait for the nails to improve before getting a new manicure.

Things You’ll Need

Before starting the press-on nail removal process, prepare the following materials.

  • Small bowl (if using acetone, it must not be plastic)
  • cuticle nippers
  • nail clippers
  • nail buffer
  • pure acetone or liquid soap/water
  • nail file
  • metal pusher or orangewood stick

Step by Step Instructions (Best & Safest Method):

Just follow the step by step instructions below to safely remove your press-on nails at home.

Step 1 - File your nails.

This step is optional and only necessary if your press-ons have 3D accents like rhinestones. Filing will thin out the press-on nails and create a rough surface that the acetone or soap can easily penetrate. This will help the press-ons to lift faster. Before proceeding to the next step, use the cuticle nippers to chip away the remaining accents.

Step 2 - Soak your fingers in acetone or liquid soap.

 Soak your fingers in acetone or liquid soap.

Prepare to soak by filling the bowl with acetone or liquid soap and warm water. Submerge your fingers for about 15 minutes. 10 minutes into the process, start pressing the press-on tips to help loosen them from your natural nails. But be careful when doing it to avoid damaging your nails. Do not pluck or pick.

Step 3 - Gently take the press-on nails off.

Use nail file gently to take the press-on nails off

After soaking, the press-ons should be soft or mushy (if using acetone). Use an orangewood stick to lift the press-ons gently. Don’t force it. If the glued nail doesn’t come off easily, soak the finger again in acetone for a few minutes. You can put a cuticle oil drop under the glued nail to help loosen the bond.

Step 4 - Buff the remaining adhesive away.

Some adhesive may remain on your nails after removing the press-on nails. If large chunks remain, soak your fingers again. Use the buffer when only a small amount of adhesive is left.

Step 5 - Re-hydrate your nails and hands.

Soaking in acetone usually causes your hands and fingers to dry up. Use a good hand moisturizer to re-hydrate your hands and nails, and improve the skin’s outer layers. Put cuticle oil on your nails for nourishment.

Here’s a video you can check out for another way to achieve the same results.

How to Remove Press On Nails without Acetone?

How to Remove Press On Nails without Acetone

If you don’t want to use acetone or it’s not available, you can instead use rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer (alcohol-based). Apply it around the press-ons, then leave it on for around half a minute to loosen the adhesive. Then, rock the press-ons from side to side gently to make it easy to lift from the nail bed. Apply more alcohol as necessary or until the press-ons are loose enough to lift easily.

Final Verdict

Press-on nails are a good way to get a quick “manicure” if you don’t have time for a salon visit. However, you can’t just remove it on a whim. You can remove your press-on nails at home safely, but it requires some patience. You have to do the process gently and without rushing. Just follow the step by step guide in this post, and you’re good to go.

Leave a comment below if you found this post helpful or give your own tips.

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