How to Get Acrylic That Has Yellowed Back to Being Clear

Written by tabitha harwell
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How to Get Acrylic That Has Yellowed Back to Being Clear
Acrylic nails may turn yellow under nail polish with dark pigments. (Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images)

No one wants unsightly nails, including acrylic nails that become yellow and discoloured. There are a variety of reasons why acrylic will yellow -- air between the acrylic nail and the natural nail bed, use of dark polish and staining from other substances. Bring your acrylic nails back to a pristine appearance with the help of a yellow-reducing nail polish, available at chemists.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Non-acetone nail-polish remover
  • Nail glue
  • De-yellow nail polish

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  1. 1

    Remove nail polish currently on nails using a non-acetone nail-polish remover. Acetone will break down acrylic and is used to remove nails completely. The acrylic nails must be completely clean from old polishes before applying the de-yellowing polish.

  2. 2

    Check each acrylic nail to make sure it is still intact with the nail bed. Air circulation under acrylic nails that are lifting from the nail bed can cause yellowing. If this is the case, remove the acrylic nail completely and apply the de-yellow nail polish to the nail bed. Once the nail bed is free from yellowing, reapply a fresh acrylic nail. Glue down nails that are starting to lift, but not yet yellow, to prevent fungus or yellowing of the nail bed.

  3. 3

    Allow the nail to dry completely before applying the de-yellow polish. Read and follow the manufacturer's directions. Most directions are standard, however, some polishes have individual warnings and precautions.

  4. 4

    Apply the yellow-reducing coat directly on the acrylic nail. Allow the polish to dry completely. Repeat with a second coat. To help speed the drying process, hold nails near a cool air vent.

  5. 5

    Paint nails after one to two days. Avoid painting nails with a dark pigment nail polish for seven days after using the de-yellow polish.

Tips and warnings

  • Use pale colours to paint over the de-yellow polish until your nails are completely clear.
  • When applying self-tanner to your body, wear gloves. Self-tanner can stain acrylic nails yellow.
  • Some sunscreens will turn acrylic nails yellow. Wipe sunscreen from nails after application.
  • Do not use the de-yellow nail polish as a top coat.

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