Can You Reuse Press-On Nails?

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So you’ve got this last-minute social event. You’re dressed to impress and your makeup’s on point. But you look at your nails and… they’re a bit wonky.

Let’s face it. There are times when we don’t have well-manicured nails. Maybe you’re growing out your natural nails or you’re just overdue for your next appointment. 

You’ve got press-on nails, but they’re already used. Can you reuse press-on nails?

They are fabulous, fast to apply, and yes, reusable — assuming you follow the right steps. Read further to figure out how to do that.

But first, let’s tell you what press-on nails are and what makes them reusable.

What Are Press On Nails?

Press-On Nails

Press-on nails are a type of fake nails that come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles. They are usually made of acrylic or plastic material. Depending on the brand you purchase, the ingredients they use could vary.

Regardless, they can all be attached to natural nails in a variety of ways. 

The great thing about press on nails is that they come in a variety of designs and styles. Back in the day, press on nails might just come in a solid color .

Nowadays, there are lots to chose from. Some may also have glitter  or rhinestones  attached to them.

Clutch nails  have become a long-lasting press-on nail favorite.

Press-On Nails Rhinestones

Also, there are sets that give you a variety of designs  for each nail but they have one cohesive theme. It’s just like acrylic nails or a nail art manicure.

Additionally, they come in different sizes and you can further file them down to make sure that they fit your nails perfectly.

The perfect fit will make it difficult for people to decipher whether you’re wearing press-on nails or if you just had a perfect manicure. 

Sometimes press-on nails look fake, but proper technique and application can make them look fantastic.

What Makes A Press On Nail Reusable?

As we’ve mentioned, press-on nails are produced by many different manufacturers. They also come in a variety of price points. Although we are not saying you have to choose the expensive ones, more often than not, those that are of better quality are more expensive than the cheapest ones. 


However, even if you bought the cheapest ones, you can still reuse the nail as long as it still looks good and isn’t damaged. You certainly wouldn’t want to use nails that looked chipped or peeling.

As long as they look presentable, you can still use them. In case you were using long nails and only tips got damaged, you may use them again as long as you file off the damaged area so it won’t be that obvious.

If you want to improve your chances of being able to reuse your press on nails, it is best to buy high-quality ones in the first place. They are less likely to get damaged because they are more durable.

Most of the time, they also look better and feel more comfortable on the nails. 

How Can You Reuse Press-On Nails?

The key in reusing press on nails is making sure that you take care of the nails well while using them. Just like how you would take care of your acrylic or natural nails, don’t use them haphazardly.

That would not only damage the press on the nail, but potentially your natural nail as well. Press-ons have a reputation for ruining your nails, but that is really due to improper application, rather than anything with the press-on nail itself.

Remember that they are secured on your nails. The adhesive you used could be so sticky that you could also snag your natural nail when the press-on nails are snagged.

Another thing that could potentially damage the press on nails is the way you remove them. After the even you need to go to, you may not want to wear the press on nails all day all week and just reserve it for special occasions.

That is perfectly fine too as long as you carefully remove them.

The method you remove your press-on nails depends on how you attached them. 

How To Attach And Remove Press On Nails

There are two ways on how you can attach the press on nail. You can use sticky tabs or nail glue. Let’s look at both here.

Sticky Tabs

Press-On Nails Sticky Tabs

The sticky tabs  are like double-sided adhesive tabs that come in different sizes, perfect for each nail. One side sticks to your natural nail and the other to the press-on nail.

These may not be as sticky as the nail glue, but they can still last. 

Nail Glue

Press-On Nails Glue

If you choose to use nail glue  don’t try to substitute any other superglue to stick your fake nails. They’ll be very difficult to remove and could also potentially damage your nail.

Plus, they are not meant for use in contact with the human body although they have similar properties to nail glue.

Stick to nail glue because they are specifically formulated to be safe to use on nails. Krazy glue isn’t an ideal substitute!

Removing Sticky Tabs and Nail Glue

To remove either sticky tabs or nail glue, you just need to soak your hands in warm soapy water. Others also choose to add a bit of oil to the soak.

The sticky tabs are easier to remove and you just might need a 5-minute soak to remove them.

For nail glue, you may have to soak it for abt 10-15 minutes.  After soaking, you can feel the adhesive loosening. 

You can help further remove the press-on nails by using an orange stick from the sides. Do this gently and don’t force it! Don’t just rip it off or you’ll damage your nails and the press on nails in the process.

If it feels difficult to remove, soak your nails for a few more minutes in warm water. 

Alternatively, you can also use acetone as a soak. Just be warned that acetone may damage press-on nails. Some aren’t built to withstand pure acetone, but some better quality ones won’t fade even when it is used. 

See this article for more information.


Press-on nails are a good option for instantly improving the appearance of your nails. Plus, you can reuse them as long as they aren’t damaged during the removal process. You can improve your chances of being able to reuse them if you buy high-quality press-on nails, and take care while wearing them and while removing them.

Written by Kayla Young

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