How to Take Off Glue-On Nails

Without ruining your existing nails.

nails of la pink press on nails with gold detail

Melony Forcier / Design by Tiana Crispino

Press-on nails are a great way to achieve a professional-looking manicure in minutes. But removing glue-on nails can be a struggle. So what's the safest, fastest way to remove glue while maintaining a healthy nail bed? We asked celebrity manicurist and KISS Nails brand ambassador, Gina Edwards, to share tips on how to remove glue-on nails easily, without damaging your natural nails.

Materials You'll Need

  • A small glass or ceramic bowl
  • Acetone
  • Baby oil (hand soap if nails have an adhesive backing)
  • Cuticle oil
  • Nail clippers
  • Nail file
  • Nail buffer
  • Paper towel
  • Orangewood stick

Step 1: Soak Your Nails

"If you used nail glue to apply your press-on nails, you'll want to soak them in an acetone-based nail polish remover mixed with a little baby oil, to prevent dry skin," says Edwards. "Soak them for about five minutes and check them regularly."

On the flip side, if your press-on nails have a sticky adhesive backing, it's best to soak your nails in a bowl of warm soapy water before removing them, this will help to loosen the adhesive. To start, pour warm water in a bowl and add a few drops of hand soap. Then place your fingertips in the water and let your nails soak for about 10 minutes.

Step 2: Apply Cuticle Oil

To help loosen the press-on nails and moisturize your natural nails, apply a few drops of cuticle oil to the areas just under the press-ons and let the oil soak in. After a few minutes, check the nails to see if they are loose enough to take off.

"Avoid prying off the nails before they are ready," says Edwards. "You'll know it's time to remove them if you feel a light release between the press-on and your nail bed."

Step 3: Use an Orangewood Stick to Loosen the Press-On Nails

"Slowly take an orangewood stick around the edges of the press-on nails to loosen them," says Edwards. "KISS Glue Off is a favorite of mine, it has an applicator tip that helps to remove press-on nails effectively."

Make sure you take your time and have patience. "Work softly and slowly, this will help to prevent damage," explains the manicurist.

Step 4: Peel Off Any Leftover Adhesive

Once you've removed the press-on nails, use an orangewood stick to gently peel off any adhesive, then apply nail polish remover on a cotton ball to remove any sticky remains.

Step 5: Give Your Nails Some TLC

After you've removed your press-on nails, you'll want to give your natural nails a little TLC. "Push back your cuticles and use a 240 grit buffer to lightly smooth the surface of your nail," says Edwards. "A good hand mask does wonders as well — add your favorite natural oil so it all soaks in."

Related Articles