How To Clean Under Acrylic Nails Perfectly At Home |6 Proven Methods|

To keep your acrylic nails healthy and long-lasting, you’ll have to clean them properly, especially the underside as it is the place where dirt and oils are accumulated and form a hard layer. 

To clean dirt under acrylic nails, you can employ various techniques including using alcohol, lemon, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, denture tabs, or simple soap.

I’ll discuss all these cleaning ways in detail and the precautions associated with them.

Moreover, I’ll provide you with effective tips to maintain your nails, preventing you from infections, nail lifting, and hurting them. 

The information shared in this blog post on how to clean under acrylic nails has been carefully curated from reputable sources like Paintbox, Tenoverten, and Jin Soon Salon New York, and backed by expert advice from our experienced nail technicians. 

We encourage healthy nail care practices and share valuable and helpful content to help you retain the beauty and longevity of your acrylic nails by cleaning them the right way.  

Method 1: Clean Under Acrylic Nails Using Alcohol 

Alcohol is a common item that is available at home easily. However, if you don’t have it, just buy it from the nearby store. It is one of the strongest ways to remove dirt from nails. 

Supplies Needed

  • Isopropyl Alcohol/Denatured alcohol
  • Cuticle pusher
  • Cotton buds
  • Cuticle Oil
  • Soap 

Cleaning time = 15 mins

Instructions On How To Clean Under Acrylic Nails With Alcohol 

Step 1

First of all open the lid of the container having alcohol and directly dip one side of the cotton bud into it.

Step 2

Now start rubbing under the nails with the alcoholic cotton bud and try to go deep inside the underside junction between the fake nail and the natural nail. 

But don’t press vigorously the cotton bud against acrylic, as this can cause the lifting of nails. Repeat this with all your nails. 

Step 3

Some debris under acrylic nails may have got hardened. To get rid of this hard layer of dirt and oils, you’ll have to put in some effort. 

Take the cuticle pusher and start scrubbing the hard layer. But be very careful and do it gently, as pushing the tool too hard against the nail may lead to nail breakage. 

You can also apply alcohol under the acrylic and leave it for a few seconds to soften the hardened layer of dirt and start scrubbing. 

Keep in mind one thing, never apply alcohol on the above surface of the nails, near the smile line or the edges, as this dissolves the nail glue and can cause lifting or complete removal of the nails. 

Step 4

Now wash your hands with antibacterial soap and water. Wash under the nails entirely and try not to leave the soap on the nails for too long, as this may damage the acrylic. 

Now dry your hands and nails with a clean towel. Be careful while drying your nails as you may have caught your nails in the towel and have them damaged. So do it very gently.

Step 5

Finally, apply cuticle oil under the acrylic nails area for soothing effects. You can use any oil consisting of Vitamin E. 

It will nourish the nails but also provide protection against harsh environments.  You’re done and can now show off your clean fake nails. 

Method 2: Clean Under Acrylic Nails Using Lemon

It is one of the most affordable ways to clean your synthetic nails. Lemon is almost available in every house. I’ve tried this method many times and believe me the results were impressive. 

Materials Required 

  • Lemon
  • Small cup
  • Cotton buds
  • Toothpick/Cuticle pusher
  • Baby oil
  • Tissue paper

Cleaning Time = 10 Mins

Directions On How To Clean Underneath Acrylic Nails With Lemon 

Step 1

Cut a lemon from the middle and squeeze its juice into a small cup. 

Depending on the level of debris accumulated under the nails, you’ll have to squeeze a suitable amount of juice.

Step 2

Sink the cotton bud from a side into the lemon juice and begin rubbing the nails from the downside. 

If the cotton bud is covered with dirt, change it and pick another one. Repeat this procedure with all the nails.

Step 3

For stubborn and dried-out oily dust or dirt, you’ll have to employ a toothpick or cuticle pusher. Simply scrub the hard coating of dirt gently. 

Try to hold the nail from the upper side near the nail bed when scrubbing. It will reduce the pressure coming from the inside, helping to prevent breaking. 

Step 4

Now wash your hands in the sink using good-quality soap. Dry them with a clean and neat cloth or tissue paper.

Step 5 

Lastly, as usual, don’t forget to provide some relief to your nails after they have gone through the vigorous cleaning process. Nourish them with good skin oil. 

Method 3: Clean Acrylic Nails Using Vinegar

If you want to clean your acrylic nails at home, vinegar is an amazing choice. It is a mild acid that can help peel off dirt, debris, and bacteria from the nail bed. 

Here’s how to clean the underside of acrylic nails with vinegar. 

  1. To dilute the acid, mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a small bowl. I usually mix 1/2 cup of vinegar with 1/2 cup of water.
  1. Apply the vinegar under the nails utilising a small piece of cotton to loosen any dirt or residue that may be trapped under the acrylics.
  1. Now for cleansing, you can use both a toothbrush with flat bristles or a nail scrub. Just like you clean your teeth, move the brush under your nails the same way but be very peaceful and gentle.  
  1. Next, rinse your hands thoroughly with water to extract any vinegar residue. Pat your hands dry with a neat towel and don’t forget to moisturise the nails. 

Method 4: Clean Under Acrylic Nails Using Denture Cleaning Tablets 

Denture tabs, also known as denture cleaning tablets or denture cleansers, are specially formulated tablets developed to clean and sanitize dentures. 

They are made of effervescent ingredients that dissolve in water to release cleaning agents and disinfectants.

Denture tabs are used to remove stains, plaque, bacteria, and food particles from dentures and help them stay clean and fresh

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use denture tabs for cleaning acrylic nails. 

  1. Dissolve the tabs in water. Make sure the water is comfortably warm, but not hot, as hot water can remove acrylic nails.
  1. Follow the instructions on the packaging to determine the correct number of tablets to use based on the volume of water.
  1. Let the tabs fully dissolve in the water. This usually takes a few minutes.
  1. Next, use them to scrub the nails, followed by washing and hydrating with oil (as discussed above in other methods)

Method 5: Clean Under Acrylic Nails Using Hydrogen Peroxide 

Hydrogen peroxide is a pale blue liquid that appears similar to water. It is normally used as a mild antiseptic and disinfectant due to its ability to kill bacteria and viruses.

Moreover, it is also used in various industries, such as healthcare, beauty, and cleaning, for its oxidizing and bleaching properties. 

To clean under acrylic nails with hydrogen peroxide, start by diluting it with an equal part of water. 

Then, take a cotton ball, apply the diluted solution to it, and softly massage it onto the nail bed and beneath the acrylic nails. 

Lastly, wash out your nails after the cleaning process.

Method 6: Clean Under Acrylic Nails Using Direct Soaping 

If you are a lazy person and don’t want to put struggle with the methods above, you can clean your nails by making a leather of soap and warm water, followed by simply messaging this solution under the nails until most of the dirt and oils are pulled out.  

How To Clean Under Nails Without Brush?

You can clean under nails without using a brush. For this, employ a cotton bud. It is small and soft, helping it reach the dirty regions underside of the nails easily. 

Just soak these cotton in cleaning agents like alcohol or vinegar to make them more effective in rubbing out contaminants. 

How To Remove Stains From Acrylic Nails?

In order to remove stains from your acrylic nails, just mix baking soda with lemon juice to prepare a soft paste. 

Now, with the help of a soft and flat bristle toothbrush, start scrubbing the nails until the stains are lightened. Finally, rinse your hands.  

How To Clean Nails With Tooth Paste?

Toothpaste has good cleaning properties. You can employ it to get rid of junk particles from your fake nails by massaging them with the paste using a scrub brush. 


Why are my under acrylics so dirty?

Dirt and oils under acrylic nails may accumulate due to household activities with time. However, if you’re not taking it seriously to clean them regularly, it may lead to infections. 

What brush to clean under acrylic nails?

You can use any brush that possesses soft synthetic bristles and a flat tip for cleaning your nails from the downside. It may include a toothbrush, scrub brush, or even a dust brush.  

How do you remove dirt from acrylic?

To remove dirt from acrylic nails, you may employ various strategies and can find their videos and tutorials on YouTube and Google. You can also opt for the ways I’ve discussed in the post above.

What is the brown stuff under my acrylic nails? 

The brown stuff under your acrylic nails may be fungal growth or a hardened layer of oil and dirt. They are formed if you ignore proper hygiene, cleaning, and caring for nails.  

Conclusion On How To Clean Under Acrylic Nails

There can be many home remedies for removing debris from your fake nail extensions, but using the one with fruitful results depends on how you practice and employ it.

So I recommend you try these, and if you find any kind of problem, you may comment below. It will be a pleasure for me to resolve your query.    

Marissa Arnold

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