How to Remove Press-On Nails Like a Pro

Press-on nails have grown in popularity quite a bit since the pandemic in 2020. Not only is it a much cheaper option than $40 or $50 nail trips, but they can be put on from home with little to no practice. While there is not much to learn about putting on press on nails other than finding the right size and applying glue, many people might not know how to take off press-on nails without significantly damaging their nail beds.

Today, I am going to give you some safe and easy removal methods, so you can continue your press-on nails ritual without any guilt of damaging your nails! Let’s dive in. 

Type of Press on Nail

Before we learn how to remove press on nails, we need to distinguish what type of press on nails you have. There are two main options: glue press-ons and adhesive press-ons. Each method is very different, and the removal process will be as well. 

1. Glue Press On Nails

Most people are more familiar with this type of press-on nails. Whether you use heavy-duty professional nail glue or the small glue bottle that comes with your press on set, glue on nails are fairly simple. Apply glue to the majority of the nails, especially the middle, and hold the nail on for about 10 seconds to let the glue stick. 

Try not to mess with your nails or touch anything for 5 to 10 minutes to ensure that the glue fully locks in and voila! Fresh nails. This method is a bit harsher on your nails, and it is more durable and lasts longer. Be aware of this when we discuss removal options. 

2. Adhesive nails

This method is growing in popularity due to better adhesive methods. Personally, this method is frustrating and not worth the effort. In my experience, adhesive nails struggle to stay on for more than a few days. 

However, there are new adhesive nails with better results than ever before, so it is worth giving a shot. This method is also much less harsh on your nail bed since it does have less stick than glue. This doesn’t mean you can just rip them off though. While they do stick less, even a small batch can latch on and you can have a section of your nail bed ripping off with it. 

How to Remove Press Ons

Now that we know which category we fall in, let’s talk about the methods of removal. 

1. Warm Water and Soap

This is the least hash removal method and the easiest to do. Pour some warm water in a bowl, add a bit of soap, and let your nails soak for about 10 minutes. Hopefully, the press-ons will fall right off. This will likely be more effective for adhesive nails since it is not a harsh chemical to loosen the nails. 

If you have some success but have a few nails not coming off, repeat the process and try again. Some nails can be stubborn.  

2. Acetone

For more difficult to remove press-ons, most likely glue on nails, try using acetone. Pour the acetone into a bowl or grab 10 cotton balls and soak them in acetone. You can soak your nails in the bowl, or wrap the cotton balls around your nails with tin foil. 

Let the acetone soak into the press on nails for at least 10 minutes and see if your press ons are wanting to come off yet. If not, repeat the process or give another option a try!

3. Baby Oil

Lastly, if you are still not having success, try using baby oil mixed with acetone. This is a more time-consuming method but less harsh on your nails. Mix the oil and acetone together in a bowl and soak your nail for about 45 minutes to an hour. 

This is also good for your nails to lock in moisture compared to the harsh chemicals in acetone that will dry out your hands. Pull your nails out of the bowl and the press-ons should come right off!

In Conclusion

So there ya have it. Three simple ways to properly remove press on nails. While it can be inconvenient to set aside the time to properly remove nails, it is much more beneficial for your nail health and for your next set of press-ons. 

If you remember anything at all, please remember that no matter how much you want to, do NOT rip off your press-ons!

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