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Answer Angel: How to safely remove your fake nails

By Ellen Warren, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Fashion Daily News

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: How can I remove my acrylic nails without tearing up my own poor nails underneath. I have 1/4 inch of my own nails showing and with nail salons closed where I live, it is time to do it myself?

- Genevieve J.

Dear Genevieve: For acrylic, gel or powder dipped nails:

_Get yourself a nail file 180 grit or less. The lower the number, the higher the grit. (I just ordered some 100s for a few bucks on Amazon because I'm confronting the very same DIY nails problem.)

_File the surface of the nail to get rid of as much topcoat as you can.

_Use your COVID-19 face mask so you don't have to breathe in the powdery acrylic that is now flying around, and do this over a towel because it's messy.


_Soak a cotton ball, cotton pad (or paper towel corner) with a generous dose of acetone. (I got mine at the drug store.)

_Place soaked pad on nail and wrap individually in aluminum foil.

_Wait 15 minutes. Scrape off the softened acrylic/gel/gunk with an orange stick or the like. If necessary, repeat using the same foil for another 10-15 minutes. (Option: Soak nails in a bowl of acetone.)

_Apply cuticle oil (optional).


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