How Do You Remove Fake Nails From Your Toes?

Many women enjoy having their fingernails and toenails beautifully polished and looking good at all times. Whether you prefer having your nails professionally done at your local salon or like experimenting at home, it will sometimes be necessary to remove nail polish, acrylic, gel, or other fake nails. If you have fake nails on your toenails, you might wonder how to remove them in the easiest, most effective way. Here is a complete overview of removing fake toenails from your toes, which will hopefully help your experience to be as hassle-free as possible.

Collect Your Supplies

colorless nail polish nail varnish remover and cotton pads

Before you start the fake toenail removal process, you will need to ensure that you have all the proper supplies in advance. Here is a list of supplies to be sure you have in your collection, so your fake toenail removal can go effortlessly:

  • 100% pure acetone
  • Aluminum foil (there are pre-cut wraps available)
  • Nail file/emery board
  • Toenail clippers
  • Heavy duty nail clippers, if your extensions are particularly long and thick
  • Cotton balls
  • Paper towels and hand towels
  • Cuticle tools
  • Cuticle oil

Once you’ve gathered all these supplies, then you’re ready to start removing your fake toenails, so you can move on to your next amazing pedicure.

Preparing Your Toenails for Fake Nail Removal

fake nails on toes removal process

You’re not likely to be successful with removing fake nails until you make certain preparations first. One way to prepare your toenails for easier removal of fake nails is to soak them in warm, soapy water for about 15 minutes. Soaking them softens the glue, enabling the fake nails to loosen more easily. Once your toenails have been soaked, simply dry them off thoroughly, using a towel.

Removing the toenails extensions

pedicure procedure nipping cuticles

For the next step, you’re going to take the toenail clipper (the heavy duty ones, if necessary) and clip off the edges of any long extensions. This step will make the entire removal process easier. Once you’ve trimmed off the edges of the extensions, you can then take the rough side of the emery board and begin buffing off the shiny coat, or the inhibition layer, of the nail decor. By removing this coat in such a manner, the acetone can more effectively do its job.

Soak Off the Remainder of the Fake Toenails

woman using acetone while doing pedicure at home

Next, it’s time to use acetone to remove what’s left of the fake toenails. Be sure that you have covered the area where you’re working with a waterproof cloth, as acetone is a strong chemical that can remove paint and finish from tables and other pieces of furniture. Using a cotton ball, apply an ample amount of cuticle oil to your toenails, from tip to cuticle. Acetone can dry out your natural toenails, and cuticle oil can prevent this fake nail remover from causing excessive dryness.

Once you’ve treated all your nails with the cuticle oil, you can saturate a cottonball with acetone and place one on each toenail. Wrap each toenail with an adequate amount of aluminum foil, which has a dual purpose. First of all, the foil keeps the cotton balls in place so the acetone can do its job of disintegrating the layers of gel or acrylic. The second purpose is that aluminum foil conducts heat, and heat accelerates the rate at which acetone works.

After approximately ten or fifteen minutes have passed, use your cuticle tools to push back the cuticle of each toenail and check to see if the product can be removed. If it comes off easily, then use the cuticle tool and additional cotton balls in order to clean up each toenail until all traces of the fake toenails are gone.

The more layers of product that your nails have on them, the longer you’ll need to soak them, and ten minutes may not always be long enough. If you check your toenails and the fake toenails don’t appear to be quite ready, you may need to soak them for another ten minutes or so. Once they’re ready, use the supplies that you have to ensure that all the fake nails are removed.

Aftercare for toenails

beautician applying cuticle oil to her client

Once you remove the fake nails, your toenails will need some TLC. It’s a good idea to add more cuticle oil or some other type of oil to your toenails, as a way to replenish any oil that may have been lost while wearing the nail decor, as well as while your nails were being soaked in acetone. You may also want to invest in a nail treatment that can be applied once a day, which can help to reverse any damage that your toenails may have sustained.


As long as you follow the instructions provided in this guide, you can quickly and effectively remove your fake toenails with little to no negative effects. There is no need to settle for possibly damaging your natural nails by removing the fake toenails in an improper manner. Once the toenail extensions have been completely removed, you can quickly get your toenails back in shape, so they will be in optimal condition for your next pedicure.

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