Does Vinegar Remove Acrylic Nails? (We’ve Got The Answer)




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The majority of ladies choose to go to their favorite nail technician for the process of applying acrylic nails, as well as for the process of removing them and putting new ones instead. 

Sometimes, the nail technician might not be available, or due to circumstances, we have to remove our acrylic nails at home. This can be a very slow and time-consuming process since acrylic needs a lot of time and effort to dissolve. One of the most popular home remedies for acrylic is vinegar.

Soaking your nails in cider vinegar mixed with lemon juice, alcohol or surgical spirit will dissolve the glue holding the acrylic to your natural nails and eventually remove it. The whole process might take from 20 to 60 minutes, depending on the type of acrylic used and your nail structure and overall condition.

Not only it will remove the acrylic, but vinegar will also have multiple benefits to your nails – it can improve your nail quality and help you with cuticles, the nails will also grow stronger and healthier. To learn how you can achieve this, stick with me for a little longer, I will explain everything in detail further in the text.

What Does Soaking Nails in Vinegar Do?

The best results when removing acrylic nails can be achieved by going to a professional salon. This is because acrylic requires specific tools and steps to be followed in order to remove it properly, and without damage. But if you haven’t got time to visit a nail technician, here is what you can do to remove the nails at home.

First of all, you must be very patient with the process. Just as putting the acrylic nails requires some time, removing them is also very time-consuming, especially if you do it at home with non-professional tools, like using vinegar instead of 98% acetone.

In order for the vinegar to work, you must prepare the nails first. Trim them down – you will be removing them anyway, so there is no point in keeping the length. Try to cut them as much as possible. This is crucial to ensure the health of your natural nails and avoid breakage. If you decide to keep them long, after the acrylic is off, your natural nails may become very weak and prone to damage.

The next step requires using a nail file to file any excess shine and acrylic, in order to allow the vinegar to work faster. The right nail file should not be too hard, because it can be very harsh on the nails. On the other hand, it should not be too soft, because in that case, the filing may take up some time. The most important thing to take care of when filing the nails is to not overfile them and damage the natural nail.

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The third and most crucial step is to prepare a vinegar mixture. Soaking your nails in pure vinegar won’t do much, but finding the right solution might be the perfect replacement for acetone. 

Of course, bear in mind that 98% acetone in combination with aluminum foil is always the fastest solution. It creates a chemical reaction causing heat which helps with removing the acrylic nails. But if you don’t have this at home, vinegar mixed with lemon juice or surgical spirit will do the work.

Usually, it is recommended to use a 1:1 solution, meaning that if you put in one cup of vinegar (cider for example), you must also use one cup of other liquid (lemon juice or alcohol or surgical spirit). This is because mixing vinegar and another liquid will create a chemical reaction that will speed up acrylic nail removal, making it more effective.

Although it has not been scientifically proven, there are testimonials saying mixing salt with vinegar mixture is going to increase the speed of nail removal. It does not hurt to give it a try!

How Long Should You Soak Your Nails in Vinegar?

The truth is that you can’t expect some super quick results. In order for the vinegar mixture to work, it would require at least 20 to 30 minutes of your hands being soaked in the solution. If after the first round the acrylic nails are not coming off, you need to soak them for another 20 to 30 minutes. My advice is to play your favorite TV show and the time will pass by unnoticed!

Besides just simply removing the acrylic, apple cider vinegar has a lot of benefits to your natural nails. It is known that acetone can dry up the skin around the nails and cause cuticle problems due to long exposure to it. 

Soaking nails in apple cider vinegar will make your cuticles healthier. You can practice this even on a regular basis when you are not on a mission to remove the acrylic. Just soak your nails for 3 minutes in the vinegar and in three to four weeks you should see the results.

Another thing you will notice after applying this technique regularly is that your nails will become stronger over time. Vinegar is acting as a “food” for the nails, providing them with nutrients so they can grow strong and healthy. If you ever noticed any white stripes on your nails, it is a sign of nutrient deficit, and this can also be solved with vinegar.

If you have a problem with fungal infections, before using the medicine, try soaking the nails in apple cider vinegar for 5-7 minutes every two days. The vinegar will act as a disinfectant, killing the fungus and allowing the skin and nails to breathe and heal. 

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At the same time, it is stopping fungal growth. It would require a lot of effort in order for this to work – try making a schedule and stick to it. Making a too big difference between two soaking treatments will not do the work and it will allow the fungus to spread.

If you have concerns about what would happen if you oversoaked the nails, the answer is – nothing. Vinegar makes acrylic and nails themselves softer, but it’s not affecting the natural keratine in nails, thus it is not damaging.

After soaking your nails in the mixture, you should thoroughly wash your hands with running warm water and soap, to ensure you washed off everything from the nails. Using a thin pointed tool peel off the nails. They should come off easily. If that is not the case, it is either that you didn’t soak them long enough, or that you diluted the vinegar too much with the other liquid of your choice.

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Don’t be desperate, there is a simple solution – just repeat the process and soak the nails for another 20 to 30 minutes. After the second round, the nails will come off very easily, leaving your nails fresh and not damaged. Check for acrylic residue and remove it. In the end, just apply some oil to your nails and around cuticles, for extra care and you are good to go!

If you want to read more about acrylic nails you can read about them here.


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