How to Take off Acrylic Nails with Hot Water

How to Take off Acrylic Nails with Hot Water at Home

Believe it or not, over 45% of women have unknowingly risked nail damage by improperly removing acrylics.

With years under my belt as a nail care expert, I’ve encountered countless nail mishaps.

If you’re wary of using strong chemicals or are looking for a gentler way to say goodbye to your acrylics, you’re in the right place.

In this guide, we’ll delve into the safe, effective method of using hot water. Curious about the specifics?

Stick around for the following;

  • Can hot water remove acrylic nails?
  • How to remove fake nails with hot water
  • How to take off acrylic nails with oil and water
  • Nail Aftercare and Maintenance
  • Alternatives to Acetone for Acrylic Nail Removal

Stay tuned;

In a hurry, don’t worry;

How to Take off Acrylic Nails with Hot Water

Fill a bowl with hot water. Soak your hands in the water for about 25 minutes. After, you should be able to remove the acrylic nails gently. Soak for a few more minutes if they are not coming off easily. Once the acrylic nails have been removed, taking care of your natural nails is important. You can do this by using a nail filer to file down any rough edges.

Can Hot Water Remove Acrylic Nails?

Yes, hot water can aid in removing acrylic nails. The adhesive bond weakens by soaking the nails in warm water for 20-30 minutes.

This method is safer and avoids harsh chemicals, making it a preferred choice for many seeking gentle acrylic removal.

Other benefits include:

Affordable: Bypassing salon visits for acrylic removal or buying removal products, using hot water is cost-effective, saving you money.

Readily Available: No special purchases needed. Whether at home or on-the-go, hot water is always accessible, making acrylic nail removal straightforward and hassle-free.

Environmentally Friendly: Using just hot water is eco-friendly, eliminating the need for potentially harmful chemicals that can harm the environment.

Skin Nourishing: Regular water, especially when warm, helps keep the skin around the nails moisturized, avoiding the dryness often caused by other nail removal methods.

Important Read: Why Does My Acrylic Nail Hurt?

How to Remove Acrylic Nails with Hot Water

Taking off your acrylic nails with hot water is a simple process. Just follow these steps, and you’ll have them off quickly.

Materials and tools needed:

  • Bowl/basin
  • Candle warmer (optional)
  • Warm water
  • Clean towel
  • Nail clippers
  • Orange stick

Step 1: Gather necessary supplies

You’ll need a large bowl or basin to soak your nails, hot water, a clean towel, and a cuticle pusher. If possible, also have some gentle nail oil or moisturizer handy. 

You can find the materials at most drugstores, beauty supply stores, or even online. The bowl can be from your kitchen, and a clean towel is available at home.

If you have all the materials ready, the acrylic nails will soften and loosen after soaking.

The major blunder to avoid is collecting the items you’ll need to use in bits. Once you start soaking nails, removing your hand from the bowl to find missing materials may hinder the effective removal process.

Step 2: Designate a well-ventilated area

Pick a spot with good airflow, like near an open window or a room with a fan. This helps keep the fumes from the nail polish remover or acrylic softening agent from overwhelming. 

If you don’t have a fan, doing the activity outside can be a great alternative. You can choose your porch, backyard, or patio.  The open air provides excellent ventilation, and the outdoor setting ensures fumes dissipate easily.

This way, you’ll have a smoother process with a breath of fresh air around you. Do not work in a stuffy environment. You will choke!

Step 3: Trim the acrylic nails

Before soaking, trim the acrylic nails down. Use a nail clipper to shorten them as much as possible. 

Trim away the excess length, but be careful not to cut into your natural nails. This makes the soaking process more effective. 

The hot water penetrates the acrylics better, softening them for easier removal. Remember not to trim too close to your natural nails, which could cause discomfort or damage.

Step 4: Prepare the hot water

Prepare the hot water by heating it to a comfortably warm temperature. You can use a kettle or heat water on the stovetop, just like when making tea. 

Be careful not to make it too hot—think warm bath water, not boiling. The warm water softens the acrylic nails during soaking, making them easier to remove. 

Scalding hot water can harm your skin and nails, so do not overheat. Ensure the Water temperature is bearable, hot to the touch, and not boiling.

Step 5: Fill a bowl with hot water

Fill a bowl with comfortably warm water. Not too hot, but the right temperature, like a cozy cup of tea.

The warmth helps soften the acrylic nails for a smoother removal process. You can add drops of cuticle oil.

The water should be deep enough to submerge your fingertips fully, giving your nails a nice, relaxing soak.

Using a plastic bowl ensures a safe and efficient soaking experience. Avoid using a metal bowl, as it can get too hot and potentially burn you.

Step 6: Dip and soak your nails

Dip and soak your nails in the warm, water-filled bowl. Submerge your fingertips completely. Ah, feels relaxing! 

The acrylic nails will soften during this soak, making them easier to remove. It’s like a mini spa day for your nails. 

You must be patient, so don’t make the mistake of hurrying the process. After all, it’s a nice feeling. Give your nails 20-30 mins to soak. Rushing can make the removal process harder. So, sit back, relax, and let the warm water do its thing. 

Step 7: Gently test acrylic nail flexibility

Test the acrylic nail’s flexibility by trying to bend or wiggle them. They should feel more flexible and slightly pliable, meaning the warm water has softened them and ready for removal. 

Do not be too forceful. If they don’t budge easily, soak a bit longer so you don’t damage your natural nails. 

Step 8: Monitor and adjust water temperature

 You need to monitor the water temperature to ensure it stays comfortably warm. If it starts cooling down, add warm water to maintain that cozy temperature.

You can use a candle warmer. Place the bowl of water on top of the warmer, and it works wonderfully.  

If, in your flexibility test, the nails proved difficult to remove, adjusting the water temperature will help keep the acrylic nails soft this time. 

Again, do not overdo it and end up with too cold or letting it get too hot. Keep an eye on that water, keep it just right, and enjoy the soak!

Step 9: Use an orange stick to assist removal

Use an orange stick to assist in acrylic nail removal. Gently slide the flat end of the orange stick under the softened acrylics, starting from the cuticle area. 

You can also use a nail filer, toothpick, tweezers, or a cuticle pusher. The acrylics will lift and peel off with this gentle assistance.

You don’t want to hurt your fingers, so don’t be rough. Take it slow and steady to avoid any discomfort or damage to your natural nails. 

Orange Wood Sticks, Nail Art, Cuticle Pusher Remover, Manicure Pedicure Tool (50 Pieces)
  • Manicure tool used for cleaning fingernails, pushing back cuticles and Nail Art.
  • Flat end and a pointed end for optimum performance.
  • Ideal for use at home or salon.

You did it! Your nails are on their way to freedom! But hey, the nail party doesn’t end here! Stay tuned for some epic post-removal nail-care hacks. 

We’ve got the secrets to keep those nails looking fierce and fabulous!

How to Take off Acrylic Nails with Oil and Water

Removing acrylic nails with oil and water is an effective method that utilizes natural ingredients.

By soaking your nails in a mixture of warm water and olive oil for about 20 minutes, the adhesive holding the acrylics becomes loosened.

After this, a nail file can be used to gently scrape off the nails.

Post-Removal Nail Care and Maintenance

Now that your nails are free and fabulous, it’s time for some TLC! We’re diving into tips and tricks to ensure they stay dazzling and strong, ready for anything.

Let’s keep those nails on point. 

Addressing leftover nail glue

If you’ve got some sticky situations after removing acrylics, follow these steps:

  • Start by soaking your nails in warm, soapy water. This will help loosen the glue, making it easier to remove.
  • Use a soft brush (like an old toothbrush) to scrub your nails gently. Focus on areas with leftover glue, but be gentle to avoid hurting your nails.
  • Dampen a cotton ball with a nail polish remover that contains acetone. Rub it over the glued areas. Acetone helps dissolve the glue.
  • If the glue is still hanging on, use an orange stick or a cuticle pusher to remove the softened glue from your nails.
  • Apply a generous amount of moisturizer or cuticle oil to nourish your nails. Acetone can be drying, so this step is essential.
  • If there’s still some residue, you can lightly buff your nails.

Moisturizing and protecting

Acrylic nail removal can leave your nails a bit parched and fragile. Think of moisturizing as a refreshing drink of water for your nails. 

Hydration is key in restoring moisture and maintaining the flexibility of your nails, preventing them from becoming brittle and prone to breakage. It’s like giving your nails a boost of vitality, promoting healthy growth and strength.

Recommended Oils

i. CND SolarOil Nail & Cuticle Care

A cult favorite, this product is a potent blend of jojoba oil and sweet almond oil. It’s designed to deeply penetrate and moisturize, leaving your nails and cuticles supple and revitalized.

CND SolarOil Cuticle Oil, Natural Blend Of Jojoba, Vitamin E, Rice Bran and Sweet Almond Oils, Moisturizes and Conditions Skin, Pack Of 1, 0.25 oz.
  • Made from a CND blend of four naturally light oils (Jojoba, Vitamin E, Rice Bran and Sweet Almond). Rice bran oil contains prebiotic properties that moisturize and condition the skin
  • The sparkling scents of fresh raspberry, cherry, strawberry, and grape become enriched with a bouquet of violet, cherry blossom, jasmine, and lilac. Vanilla, soft woods, and musk leave a beautiful fragrance experience
  • Vitamin E is an antioxidant known to neutralize free radicals associated with premature aging of the skin

ii. Cuccio Naturale Revitalizing

Cuccio Naturale Revitalizing is my go-to! It’s a hydrating overnight oil that works wonders on repaired cuticles. 

Not only does it remedy damaged skin and thin nails, but it also provides intense moisturization and protection. The blend of top-notch vitamins and natural cold-pressed oils strengthens my brittle nails like a charm.

Cuccio Naturale Revitalizing- Hydrating Oil For Repaired Cuticles Overnight – Remedy For Damaged Skin And Thin Nails – Paraben /Cruelty-Free Formula – Milk And Honey – 2.5 Oz
  • ADVANCED THERAPY FOR DRY HANDS; Give your cuticles some much-needed love and care; Our Vitamin-infusedoil conditioner deeply penetrates your skin with moisture, working to prevent peeling, while healing damaged, cracked nails and hands;
  • ARFITICIAL INGREDIENTS BEGONE. Obtain salon-quality results without unnatural chemicals touching your skin; 100% paraben free with cruelty free ingredients, this oil is formulated with plant-based preservatives and highly curated natural ingredients;
  • INTENSIVE HYDRATION WITH NO HEAVY RESIDUE; This oil is the solution to dry, damaged cuticles, and it won’t weigh your hands down with excess product; This grease-free formula melts directly into skin, blessing you with healing moisture and shine;

Recommended moisturizer

i. Blue Cross Moisturising liquid

Blue Cross Moisturizing Liquid is a cuticle care champion! Being an industry leader, it never disappoints. Packed with natural ingredients, it’s gentle yet effective. 

The ease of use is a game-changer, making nail care a breeze. A must-have for nail enthusiasts.

Blue Cross Hydrating, Moisturizing, Strengthening Cuticle Remover Liquid + Cream for Brittle Nails, Hang Nails + Dry Cuticles, Made in USA, 2oz Cream + 6oz Liquid Remover
  • INDUSTRY LEADER IN CUTICLE CARE: For over 90 years, Blue Cross has been the preferred choice of manicurists, cosmetologists, nail artists, influencers, and beauticians for cuticle care – leaving nail beds clean, moisturized, and nourished
  • NATURAL INGREDIENTS: With a blend of high quality, premium ingredients nail beds, cuticles, and hang nails soften, condition, and repair damaged nails for healthier, stronger nails. Safe enough for most nail types (natural, acrylic, gel, nail polish, dip and more)
  • EASY TO USE: Simply apply the Blue Cross moisturizer serum to cuticles, wait a minute, and massage cuticles back gently with a cuticle stick/pen. Makes a great add on gift or stocking stuffer for Christmas, Easter, Birthday and make up enthusiasts

ii. Sally Hansen Kwik Off Moisturizing

Sally Hansen Kwik Off Moisturizing is a nail polish remover superhero. It’s lightning-fast at removing polish and nourishes nails simultaneously. 

No more dry, unhappy nails! Plus, the smell is bearable. It’s my go-to for hassle-free, happy nails after every polish change. 

Alternative Methods for Acrylic Nail Removal

There are a few other ways to remove your acrylic nails at home.

Acetone or Nail Polish Remover

Acetone soak off is an effective method for removing acrylic nails. It helps soften the acrylic, making it easier to remove. 

Soak a cotton ball in the acetone and place it on your acrylic nail. Then, wrap each finger with aluminum foil to hold the cotton ball in place. Wait about 20-30 minutes. It’s like giving your nails a cozy blanket. 

You’ll end up with your natural nails, but they might feel a bit dry. Don’t worry, we’ll fix that! 

Choose “100% pure acetone” for best results. It’s strong and gets the job done. Ensure the room is well-ventilated so you’re not breathing in strong smells.

Read: Can you put an acrylic nail on a missing fingernail?

How to remove fake nails with Warm Soapy Water

The warm water works its magic, softening the glue and making it a breeze to remove the fake nails. You’ll be left with your natural nails intact, no harm done.

Get a bowl and fill it with warm water mixed with a bit of mild soap. Place your fingertips in the cozy water bath, letting the warmth do its thing. 

Keep them soaked for 15-20 minutes, allowing the fake nails to loosen. Gently wiggle and slide the fake nails off—thanks to the warm water magic, they should come off easily. 

Rubbing Alcohol

Using rubbing alcohol to remove fake nails is a quick and efficient method. Dab some alcohol around the edges of the fake nails, wait a bit, and gently lift them off.

The alcohol helps dissolve the adhesive, making the nails easier to slide off. You’ll have a clean removal, leaving your natural nails intact. I recommend using 91% isopropyl rubbing alcohol for best results. 

However, use it in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling fumes, and moisturize your nails after to prevent dryness. 

White Vinegar

The vinegar works to loosen the adhesive, making it simpler to remove the fake nails. After the process, you’ll have your natural nails back, which may need moisture to rejuvenate. So, what’s the trick to remove acrylic nails using vinegar?

Soak a cotton ball in vinegar, apply on the fake nails, wait 25 minutes, and gently slide them off. It’s a fuss-free approach.  Be cautious not to over-soak, and moisturize your nails afterwards to prevent dryness. 

Additional Resources


Does hot water loosen nail glue?

Yes, hot water can help to loosen the adhesive holding your acrylic nails in place. Simply soak your nails in a bowl of hot water for 15-20 minutes, and then use a nail file or orange stick to scrape off the nails gently.

How long should you soak your nails in vinegar to remove them?

Soak your hand in the mixture for about 15-20 minutes. You can then gently remove the nails with a nail file or orange stick.

How do you get acrylic nails off quickly?

If you need to remove your acrylic nails quickly, the best way to do it is by soaking them in acetone. Simply pour some acetone into a bowl and soak your nails in it for 15-20 minutes. Once the nails have loosened, use a nail file or orange stick to gently scrape them off. Be sure to moisturize your hands and nails afterwards to prevent dryness and irritation.

When were acrylic nails invented?

Acrylic nails were invented in the 1950s. Their creation is attributed to a dentist named Frederick Slack. He made the first acrylic nail system while searching for a solution to help his patients with broken or damaged nails.

Read: How Many Times Can You Fill Acrylic Nails Before Replacing Tips

How to remove acrylic nails at home with hot water summary

There you have it, a comprehensive guide on how to take off acrylic nails with hot water.

Be sure to follow the steps carefully and always moisturize your nails afterwards to prevent dryness and irritation.

Thanks for reading!


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