How To Remove Fake Nails Glued On

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Fake nails are awesome. With them, you can instantly beautify your nails simply by gluing on a style. Perfect for all occasions, parties, and days that you just want to feel special.

However, when the events are gone or when you want to change them, you first need to remove the nails. The glue used is durable so they can be challenging to remove!

You might be wondering how to remove fake nails glued on. Today, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to do that. With this guide, you can minimize the damage that your natural nails receive when you decide to take the fake ones off.


What Is Nail Glue?

Nail Glue

Before we try to remove fake nails that have been glued on our natural nails, let us first understand the substance that binds them together. 

Nail glues usually have a cyanoacrylate base. This is the active ingredient in nail glue that helps create that bond between the natural nails and the fake nail. 

It is always best to use real nail glue  instead of substituting it with other super glue like Krazy glue.

That’s because nail glue is specifically formulated to be used for the body. It is much more refined than the usual superglue that’s designed for general home use.

The nail glue that you use to attach your fake nail is very important in the removal process. When you use nail glue, your natural nails are less likely to get damaged as compared to using glue. 

Nail glues and superglues may have similar active ingredients, but nail glues also have other ingredients that help protect your natural nails from damage, and are sure to be safe for use on the body. 

How To Remove Fake Nails Glued On

Removing fake nails that have been glued on can be challenging. That’s because nail glues are meant to be durable and to create a strong bond between the two surfaces. 

But with patience and by following the procedure, you can successfully remove the glued fake nails with minimal damage to your natural nails. Here’s how to do that. 

Step 1: Use High-Quality Nail Glue

High Quality Nail Glue

It could be tempting to use super glue to attach fake nails. After all, they are also made with a similar active ingredient. However, you should resist that urge and use products that are specifically designed for their purpose. 

The first step to removing fake nails that have been glued on is to carefully select the nail glue  to use. There are different nail glue brands available in the market. However, there are also special ones that make removal easier. 

Step 2: Soak Your Nails

Prepare a bowl of warm soapy water then soak your fingernails in them. The soapy water will help loosen the bond. When the fake nails are loose, it will be much easier to remove them using a wooden stick. 

This reaction is why press on nails aren’t waterproof, and you need to be careful with fake nails and washing your hair.

Don’t rush this process. If you think that the fake nail is still very attached to your nail, don’t try to pry it off. Instead, give it more time to soak in soapy water again. 

You can also try to gently loosen it then soak it up once more. That will give the soapy water better access to the nail glue. 

By using warm soapy water, it would be possible for you to reuse the fake nails. Soapy water won’t damage them but you have to remove the excess glue sticking in them before reusing them once again. 

An alternative way is to use acetone as a soak. This could be done by adding some acetone on cotton balls then wrapping your fingertips with foil. The cotton with acetone will react better with the nail glue when it is covered with foil. 

However, if you use acetone as the soaking agent, the press on nails may be damaged so that they can’t be reused anymore. 

With whatever soak you use, you must remember to be patient and let them loosen first. Removing the fake nails forcefully will just damage not only your fake nails but your natural nails as well. 

Step 3: Buff Away Excess Glue

Even after removing the fake nails from your hands, it is still possible that there are still remnants of the nail glue. These would be loose, but don’t just pull the bits off. 

A safer way to remove the rest of the nail glue is to use a nail buffer. Use this only in areas that need them. 

Step 4: Nourish Nails With Cuticle Oil

Cuticle Oil

Due to the glue and acetone that you use, your nail may receive some damage. Now is the best time to give your nails some love. Nourish them by using cuticle oil to soothe them. 

Cuticle oil will nourish the nails and the cuticle. It helps moisturize it and prevent your nails or cuticles from cracking. There are many formulations but they usually contain nourishing oils and butter for moisturization.


Nail glue is a very reliable adhesive that can be used to attach fake nails onto your natural nails. It forms a strong bond so you can wear your fake nails for a longer period of time. 

However, there will come a time when you would want to remove them. Whether you want to change them or just let your natural nails breathe a little bit more, it could be a challenge. 

Prying the fake nails off your natural nails is the worst thing you can do. That will just damage your natural nails, and can lead to breaks, future heat spikes, and more. 

Instead, you should be patient in soaking your nails in warm soapy water or acetone to loosen the bond. When the bond is loose, you can use a wooden stick to gently remove the fake nail.

Repeat soaking if it still doesn’t come loose. After removing them, don’t forget to buff out the remaining nail glue on your nails. Additionally, use cuticle oil to nourish and moisturize your nail, cuticle, and skin after the fake nail removal.

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Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).