Nail care

Is it Bad to Soak Nails in Acetone to Remove Acrylic?

By Sara . Updated: January 16, 2017
Is it Bad to Soak Nails in Acetone to Remove Acrylic?

Acrylic nails are a life saver for people whose nails grow very slowly or who can’t maintain long nails all the time. Acrylic nails can be applied on the real nail to enhance the length and look of the nails. But great care must be taken when you are trying to remove it from your real nails as there is always a possibility of damage to the real nail. Most people prefer to use acetone to remove acrylic nails but acetone contains chemicals that might harm the nails. In this OneHowTo article we're going to explain you whether it is bad to soak nails in acetone to remove acrylic.

You may also be interested in: How to Nourish and Protect Your Nails


  1. What is acetone
  2. Is acetone good or bad?
  3. Other methods to remove acrylic nails

What is acetone

Acetone with chemical formula CH3COCH3 also known as propanone, is a liquid solvent which is widely used all over the world as nail polish remover and also to remove paint and glue. It is also being used to remove acrylic nails.

Is acetone good or bad?

Acetone removers are strong so they dry out the nail by stripping it off its natural oil and moisture. People having dry and brittle nails must avoid using acetone removers as it will be too harsh for their nail bed and cuticle.

How to use acetone to remove nail polish

Removing a layer or nail polish from nails requires just a single swipe of cotton ball dabbed in acetone. Acetone is highly volatile and it quickly dries off the nails.

However, using acetone on a regular basis to remove nail polish may dry the cuticle causing hang nails and splits on the surface of nails.

Using acetone to remove acrylic nails

To remove acrylic nails, the most common method used is to soak the nails in acetone. Cotton balls soaked in acetone are placed over the acrylic nails and then the nail is covered with aluminum foil. Then the nails are dipped in bowl containing acetone. Often people apply petroleum jelly over the skin surrounding the nail so that the skin is not stripped off its natural oils and moisture.

But this process is quite taxing on the nails and sometimes on the surrounding skin and cuticles. Since acrylic doesn’t dissolve easily people need to repeat this process again to get the acrylic completely off the nails. Also, soaking your nails in acetone bath for 30 minutes continuously can prove extremely hazardous if not done under professional care. It can make the surrounding skin red and irritated if exposed to acetone for a short period of time. But continuous exposure for 30 minutes can lead to red, dry and cracked skin.

Another minor danger of acetone is the strong smell it emanates, which can cause respiratory problems if the exposition to this chemical is usual.

Is it Bad to Soak Nails in Acetone to Remove Acrylic? - Is acetone good or bad?

Other methods to remove acrylic nails

Removing acrylic nails with acetone is a widely used method, however this method can irritate the skin surrounding the nails and damage the health of the nails.

Another method to remove acrylic nails is using dental floss. You won't need any acetone to carry out this removing method but you'll need the help of someone else. In this article we eplain more in detail how to remove acrylic nails with dental floss.

A third method to remove your acrylic nails is by filing them away. To do so, follow the instructions below:

  1. Clip your nails with a nail clipper to make them short. You should cut off as much of the acrylic part as possible.
  2. File your nails one at a time. You should file them until the acrylic has become a thin layer.
  3. Now your nails will look almost as if they were free of acrylic. If you keep filing your nails you might take off a few layers of the natural nail, which could cause damage. If you think your nails look fine you can leave them like this. If you still want to get rid of the remaining acrylic, go on to the next step.
  4. Use a cuticle stick to remove the edge of the acrylic nails. When you've lifted the edge you can start removing it by clipping it. Be very careful with this step as you could rip off layers of the nail.
  5. Polish your nails with a buffer to remove the last traces of acrylic.
  6. Apply nail moisturizer.

If you want to read similar articles to Is it Bad to Soak Nails in Acetone to Remove Acrylic?, we recommend you visit our Beauty & Personal Care category.

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Is it Bad to Soak Nails in Acetone to Remove Acrylic?