How to Get Nail Glue Off Nails (4 Best Ways)

Using press-on nails for a quick and budget-friendly DIY manicure is fantastic, but the occasional mishap with nail glue can be a bit frustrating. If you’ve found yourself with nail glue stuck to your skin, you know the struggle of trying to unstick something designed to stick. The good news is that it can be easily removed with the right techniques that won’t irritate your skin.

What Happens When Nail Glue Ends Up on Your Skin?

In most cases, getting nail glue on your skin results in minor irritation. However, if you accidentally glue parts of your fingers or other body parts together, it can lead to more significant irritation and skin tears.

While it’s not common, leaving the glue on your skin without prompt action can even cause a chemical burn, as explained in a study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information. So, it’s essential to take immediate steps to address the situation.

How to Get Nail Glue Off Nails

Discover four straightforward methods using common household items to get rid of dried nail glue from your skin.

1. Nail Polish Remover

If you’ve found yourself with dried nail glue on your skin, the go-to solution is often nail polish remover. Here’s how to use it effectively:

Materials needed: Cotton swabs, nail polish remover, a toothbrush.

To tackle dried nail glue, opt for an acetone-based nail polish remover for its effective glue-dissolving properties. Dip a cotton swab into the acetone remover, then apply it to the affected area.

Allow the acetone to soak in, reapplying as necessary. Continue this process until the glue starts to dissolve. Once it begins to break down, use a clean toothbrush to gently rub away the remaining glue residue.

Be cautious, as acetone can be drying to your skin. While using a cotton swab helps control the application, you may still get some nail polish remover on areas without glue. Afterward, restore moisture to your hands by applying a hydrating lotion.

2. Petroleum Jelly

For an acetone-free option, petroleum jelly can effectively remove nail glue from your skin. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Materials needed: Petroleum jelly, soap, water.

Generously apply petroleum jelly to the area with dried nail glue. Massage the petroleum jelly in circular motions, working it onto the glue. Continue this for a few minutes until you notice the glue starting to loosen.

Once the petroleum jelly has broken down the nail glue, thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water to eliminate any remaining residue.

3. Removing Nail Glue with Soap and Water

If you need to remove nail glue and lack specialized products, soap and water can come to your rescue. While it may take some time, it’s a convenient method that doesn’t involve acetone.

How to Remove Nail Glue Using Soap and Water

Materials needed: A bowl, soap, water.

  1. Fill a bowl with lukewarm water and add some soap to create a soapy mixture.
  2. Dip the affected area into the soapy water and let it soak for several minutes. The duration depends on how quickly you noticed the nail glue; it could take anywhere from 10 to 40 minutes.
  3. Keep an eye on the glue, and when you see it starting to dissolve, gently peel it away from your skin.
  4. Afterward, apply a hand cream to restore moisture to your skin.

To prevent nail glue from reaching your skin during the nail application process, keep a cloth and bowl of warm water nearby. If you accidentally get glue on areas other than your nails, dip the cloth into the water and wipe away the glue before it dries and becomes a more significant issue.

4. Hand Lotion Method

For another effective option, hand lotion can be used to remove nail glue from the skin.

How to Get Rid of Nail Glue With Hand Lotion

Materials needed: Hand lotion or cream, soap, water.

  1. Apply the hand lotion to the affected area and massage it into the glue using a circular motion.
  2. Continue massaging until the glue begins to flake away.
  3. Once the glue has flaked away, wash your hands with soap and water to remove any remaining residue.
  4. After ensuring all the glue is gone, apply more hand cream to lock in moisture and nourish your skin.

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