How to take off nail glue

Updated April 17, 2017

Fake nails can enhance your look, giving you long, healthy looking nails. The glue used to bond these nails can be difficult to remove from your skin or the natural nail. Fortunately, by softening the glue in warm water and following with the application of an acetone-based nail polish remover and a filing, you can remove all of the glue quickly and safely.

Fill the bowl with warm water. Soak the nails or skin affected by the glue in the water for three minutes; then wipe the area with the towel to remove any loose glue clumps.

File the glued areas that remain on your nails. File in a firm manner over the glue clumps to scrape them off the nail. Do not use the nail file for glued areas on your skin.

Place the cotton ball directly against the opening of your nail polish remover bottle, creating a tight seal. Gently tilt the remover to allow the liquid to soak into the cotton ball until it is moist. Dab the cotton ball onto any areas that still contain glue. Nail polish remover can also be used on skin.

Wait three minutes for the nail polish remover to loosen the glue. Wash your hands in soap and water, and scrub the glued areas thoroughly. Wait four to five hours and repeat filing and nail polish remover application, if necessary.


Nail polish remover can cause damage if it comes in contact with your eyes. Rinse off the nail polish remover immediately if your skin becomes irritated. Never file your nails too thin or they may break. Never attempt to remove nail glue from upholstery or other fabrics. Consult a professional.

Things You'll Need

  • Large bowl
  • Warm water
  • Acetone-based nail polish remover
  • Cotton balls
  • Nail file
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Nathan Joseph began his writing career in 2005. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. As an advanced scuba diver, Joseph covers articles related to diving.