10 Best Tips To Remove Press On Nails Safely & Quickly

It’s the end of the day and you’re ready to remove your press-on nails. You want to finish up your make-up application for your night out, but you haven’t been able to get that penultimate nail off. Instead of using a toothpick or other sharp implement, which can actually damage the skin around your nails, use these safe and effective tips to safely remove them.

How Do Press-On Nails Work?

Press-on nails look like real nails and come in various colors, but they’re generally made of acrylic, gel polish, or other hard substances. They work by using an adhesive activated by air. All you do is place them on your fingers and then perform your everyday tasks.

To discover the difference between different brands, always make sure to buy the same brand. Peel the top layer of paper off your nail; then, place the strip of gel over your nail and gently press it down until you hear a click.

The best way to apply press-on fingernails is to start with clean hands. Use an emery board or nail file to push back the cuticles and clean up the skin around your natural fingernails, making sure to keep the surface of your nails clean. Place a little bit of nail glue on each fake nail and wait until it is tacky, then press the nail onto your real nail. Since they are thin, press-on nails are easy to file off if you need to remove them.

These nails are made from a special plastic resin and come in a variety of colors. They are easy to put on and take off, so you can wear them for a long time. If they break or get too dirty, follow our instructions to remove them.

Tips To Remove Press-On Nails Safely

We’ve all been there. You’re rushing to get your nails done and you accidentally snag a polish brush on the fake nails. Rather than remove them entirely, you decide to just fix the broken nail. However, the more you try to file those bad boys down, the harder it becomes (and more likely for you to lose a clear coat in the process). Is there a way to safely remove press-on nails? I went straight to my favorite nail techs to get their tips on how they would get rid of my acrylics.

1. Use Cotton Balls

Use Cotton Balls for press on nails

The secret to removing press-on nails is a base coat that has soaked long enough to detach from the natural nail. Cut a cotton ball into thirds and soak them in acetone. Wrap the cotton balls around each nail and secure it with tin foil. The sharp tip will keep you from cutting yourself, and the acetone will soften the glue for easy removal.

2. Use Nail Glue Remover

Use Nail Glue Remover

If you apply nail glue to your nails and then try to peel it off, you can remove the glue but damage your nail. Use cotton balls moistened with acetone. Apply adhesive tape to your nails and wait for about 15 minutes before removing the tape. Soak your nails in acetone to remove any sticky parts of the glue and residue. This method is easy, but you should be careful not to damage your nails with the tape or cotton balls while getting rid of the glue.

3. Use A Nail Clipper

Use A Nail Clipper

Here’s a fast and easy way to clean up nails with a little glue residue left on. First, use a nail file to remove as much of the dried glue as you can. Then dampen a cotton ball with nail polish remover and carefully rub the spot until all the glue is gone. Finally, use an alcohol swab to remove any nail polish remover from your skin and nails.

4. Buff Your Nails

Buff Your Nails

Here’s an easy way to remove those press-on nails. Careful, though: It might be tempting to use your nails as a tool, but this can damage them. Once the polish is removed, file the artificial nails gently with a nail file or a nail smoothing stick and apply cuticle oil to your natural fingernails to moisturize them.

5. Try A Nail Drill Machine

Try A Nail Drill Machine

No matter how good you are with your manicure, it is almost impossible to safely remove press-on nails without cutting yourself with nail clippers or scissors. If you are going to do this anyway, why not use the machine to make it safe and easy? The process is much easier than you might think — all you need is a flat surface and something to prop your hand on, like a piece of leather or (if you don’t have leather) a towel or rolled-up magazine.

6. Use Olive Oil

Use Olive Oil

If you’ve been wearing fake nails, olive oil is great for removing glue residue. Just soak some cotton balls in olive oil and secure each nail with one. Let them sit for 10 minutes while they dissolve the glue and you’ll be ready to go barefoot, with your real nails all shiny!

7. Use An Orange Stick

Use An Orange Stick for nail

To take off fake nails, use a pair of tweezers to grasp the fake nail from the side and pull it away from your fingernail. If it won’t come off easily, try applying a small amount of baby oil or olive oil over the glue surrounding the fake nail. Wait a few minutes, then use an orange stick to gently push it out. Then wash your hands with soap and water to remove any residue.

8. Use Soap And Water

Use Soap And Water

To remove fake nails try soaking them in warm, soapy water for a few minutes. Be sure to use a bit of liquid dishwashing soap as well. Gently pull the nails off along with any leftover glue residue. Wash your natural nails in soapy water to remove any traces of solvent.

9. Use Baking Soda

Use Baking Soda

Fill a small bowl with warm water, add a squirt of liquid dishwashing soap, and soak each fake nail for 5 to 10 seconds to soften the glue. Gently pry off each nail along with any remaining glue. Wash your hands with soap and water to get rid of the remaining solvent.

10. Visit A Nearby Salon

Visit A Nearby Salon

If you are having trouble getting your fake nails off due to the length of time they have been on, or if you are nervous about damaging your natural nails, visit a nearby salon and let an expert take them off for you.

Be careful when removing press-on nails! If done improperly, the nails can cause damage to the real nails from glue residue or by thinning them out. To reduce this risk, soak your nails in an acetone-based nail polish remover and then gently scrape off the remaining glue with a small nail clipper. You may also use olive oil to remove any leftover residue.



1. How long do press-on nails stay on?

The number of days a design will stay in place will depend on whether you use glue or adhesive. Glue can be expected to stay on for about five to seven days and adhesive backing around three to five days.

2. How many times can you reuse press on nails?

A nail salon specialty, press-on nails are a good option for when you don’t have time to clip your own nails. With the right nail glue, press-on nails can last up to two weeks.

3. Can I paint press on nails?

If you naturally have short nails, press-on nails are a great way to add a pop of color without having to wait for them to grow. Adhere the back of each press-on nail to a cotton swab using adhesive tape or a tack to keep them secure.

4. How long does press on nails last without glue?

You can wear press-on nails for two weeks before they need to be replaced. They look just as amazing as acrylics or gel polish, but they are much simpler to remove than those other types of nail enhancements.

5. Are press-on nails waterproof?

These artificial nails are proven to be waterproof for up to a week. They can be worn in the shower, while doing the dishes, or swimming with them on and your hair will never become tangled in these nails. Another great thing about these nails is that you can take them off at any time.

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