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How to Remove Press‐On Nails without Damaging Your Nails

Removing Press-ons is pretty straightforward. However, it could also be a downside for your natural nails. If the procedure is not followed correctly, or if you try to pull them off directly, they may cause damage to your real nails by splitting, breaking, or even peeling. And you don’t want to experience that for sure.

So, if you’re wondering how to remove Press-on nails without damaging your nail bed, then you’re at the right place.

This blog will provide a step-by-step guide to help you with safe and sound removal. Let’s get into the details!  

Can Press-on Nails Be Removed Easily?

As the Press on-nails are made of plastic, they’re easy to remove compared to your acrylic or gel nails. All you need to ensure is before you try to peel them, the glue breaks down by making your nails soak in hot water or acetone. And once the bond comes loose, you can easily take them off or remove them.

Why Is It Important To Remove Press-On Nails Properly?

Press-on nails are considered safe compared to Salon-based manicures, Acrylics, or Gel nails. The primary reason is that there is no use of harmful chemicals. However, the only focus is on ensuring that the nails are removed gently.

Due to the application of solid adhesives, if the user tries to pull out the press-ons forcefully, multiple layers of your natural nail may come off along with the nail. 

It could even lead to the breaking or splitting of the nail. It would be excruciating and time taking to recover. Therefore, it is highly recommended for all Press-on users to remove the nails with utmost care.

How to Remove Press-On Nails Without Damaging Your Real Nails

To ensure you can remove your Press-on nails safely without damaging your skin or real nails, we have shared below the step-by-step procedure to do the same:

  • Make sure you use a Good Glue before Applying.

To ensure safe and easy removal of your Press-on nails, you must use good quality nail glue during the application process. Also, always review the expiration date of the glue before applying it.

If you’re mindful of these two factors, the Fake nail removal process would be pretty smooth for you without getting your nails damaged.

  • Soak Your Nails in warm water

The safest method for removing Press-on nails at home is to soak your nails in a small bowl filled with warm soapy water. Keep your fingernails submerged in the solution for at least 10-15 minutes.

After that, check if the nail glue has broken down by gently trying to pull the nails for their tips. If it comes off easily, remove the nails. However, if it requires you to pull the nails with more strength, let them soak more for a while and try the same technique.

This step may require you to be patient. However, it also ensures the safe removal of Press-ons simultaneously, ensuring no damage to your natural nails.

  • Use a Soft Nail Buffer 

After soaking your nails in hot water solution for 20-30 minutes, push the fake nails gently to check they are still firmly glued. If yes, try using a soft nail buffer or cuticle pusher to work on each and carefully remove the Press-on nails.

However, remember that you may not pull them by applying force or harshly. If you push them too hard, it will peel off multiple layers of your natural nails, leading to severe damage.

  • Re-Hydrate the Hands and Nails

Press-on nails are less likely to damage your natural nails than acrylics or Gel nails. However, the soaking process may cause certain dryness or irritability on your skin. So, wash your hands with hand soap and remove the leftover adhesive.

If you experience any such issues, use a good hand moisturizer regularly. It’d help rehydrate your skin and prevent itchiness or irritation.

After using Press-ons, your cuticles would also require a certain amount of hydration. Apply cuticle oil to your nails. It would help your nails recover faster.

Note: If your real nails get damaged after using Press-on nails, you’d need to wait for them to grow to see the improved nail quality. You may buff the nails or use nail strengtheners to protect them. However, it’d require time to repair itself.

Should you Soak Press on Nails in Acetone?

If you cannot remove your Press-ons by soaking them in hot water, then soaking them in acetone will do wonders for you. The only downside is that if you soak your Press ons in acetone, it will break down the plastic particles making the nail quality deteriorate. 

It implies the nails would not be presentable for re-use. Else, this method helps in removing the nails quite conveniently.

How to Remove Press on Nails With Acetone

If soaking your nails in hot soapy water did not help you remove your False nails, you may want to try making use of a nail polish remover.

Here’s the procedure to follow if you want to remove your False nails using acetone:

  • Dip your nails in Acetone

Take a glass or ceramic bowl and add acetone or nail polish remover to it. Now, submerge your fingers up to the cuticle area in it.

Let them soak for about five minutes. After that, take them out and check if the nails have loosened and can be peeled off easily.

Note: Only the pure acetone-based nail polish remover will help dissolve adhesive. Non-acetone will not.

  •  Dab acetone over your nails

This is an alternative to the first step.  Instead of dipping your fingers in the acetone, you may use a cotton ball soaked in nail polish remover and apply it over your fake nails and around their edges.

Also, if you’re able to spread the acetone under your Press on nails, it would help in breaking down the adhesive in a quick manner.

  •  Pull them off as the adhesive weakens.

Once soaked in acetone or water for the previously mentioned durations, the nails should start to come loose. You may peel these nails off gently if they are easy to remove or use an orangewood stick to work on it gradually.

However, if some nails still feel firmly glued from any sides or edges, allow it some more time and patience, and once they are ready, you may pull them out.

  •  Wash the nail polish remover and hydrate your hands

Once all the fake nails have been removed safely, you must remove any remaining adhesive over your nails and then wash your hands with lukewarm water with a few drops of mild soap. 

The acetone may cause the nails and skin area around the cuticles to get dry and irritated. So, once done cleaning nails, apply a gentle moisturizer to rehydrate the skin.

Apply olive oil or baby oil around the cuticles as well to hydrate them and keep them healthy. And also, apply a thin layer of base coat on the nails to help them strengthen.


Press-on nails add life to your attires with a professional-looking manicure for any social event. But you must be extremely cautious and patient while removing Press-on nails as you are at the time of the nail application.

You may find it boring to wait. However, it would help the safe removal of Press-ons if you allowed the glue to loosen up. 

Whether you wish to have a manicure from a celebrity nail artist in a nail salon or do your nails at home, your nails must be healthy for you to be able to experiment with them and to avoid any severe damage or injuries.

So, it is highly recommended that you go through the blog post and follow the instructions for removing the press-on nails.

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