How Do I Remove False Nail Glue?

Updated July 19, 2017

The glue you purchase with false nails is, by design, not easy to remove. Whether you accidentally get some on your skin or are just ready for the false nails to come off, you want to know how to remove it.

Removing the Glue

Soak your nails in warm water for a few minutes to soften the glue, then remove any glue that comes away easily. Carefully file larger clumps of glue with a nail file. On the remaining glue, use acetone nail polish remover. Rub the nail polish remover gently over the affected portions of your nails or skin using cotton swabs or cotton balls.


When filing off excess glue on your nails, don't file too hard. You don't want to file your nails too thinly, because they'll become brittle. You can use plain acetone as a substitute for acetone nail polish remover, but if you choose to, remember that it's hard on your skin and nails. If your skin or nails feel irritated, stop for a while.


When you've finished removing the glue, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Acetone is both flammable and hard on skin, so you'll want to make sure none is left.

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About the Author

Catelyn Millette lives in northern Maine and has been freelance writing since 2010. She covers video games, crafts and animals, and studied animal science at Cornell University.