How to Remove Nail Glue From Skin – 8 Easy Ways

Artificial nails are extremely simple to apply, take half the time it would take in a nail salon, and you save money. The disadvantage is dealing with mishaps like nail glue getting into the wrong places. 

If you’ve ever had quick glue stuck to your skin, you know how difficult it can be to get it off. Nail glue can be dangerous and cause irritation and chemical burns if it gets on your skin. You might even glue your fingers together if you’re not very careful.

Fortunately, it can be removed; it just takes the right techniques that do not irritate your skin. Continue reading to learn simple methods for taking off nail glue from the skin using items you may already have at home.

How Can I Remove Nail Glue Off My Skin?

Although this may seem scary, removing the glue using petroleum jelly or several other techniques at home is relatively easy and painless.

There are different ways to get nail glue off your skin. Some of them are:

1. Soap And Water

You will need the following:

  • Mild soap
  • Lukewarm water
  • Moisturizer

To remove nail glue from your skin using soap and water, follow these steps:

  1. Soak your skin in warm soapy water. The warmer, the better, but don’t scald yourself. 
  2. Make sure the water is foaming before soaking for around 15 minutes. The nail glue on your skin will become less adherent if you do this.
  3. Use a clean toothbrush, emery board, or similar tool to exfoliate the area gently. You can also use a nail buffer or any material that can scrub to help lift off bits of raised glue. Don’t rub or pull.
  4. Apply moisturizer to soothe your skin and prevent dryness.

2. Petroleum Jelly

First, wash your skin with soap and water. Rinse your skin well with warm, soapy water before attempting to remove the adhesive with petroleum jelly. This can help to loosen the glue and prepare your skin for removal.

Once you’ve done this, apply a generous amount of petroleum jelly to the skin stuck with glue, which can help release the product from your skin effectively and painlessly.

Apply petroleum jelly to the affected area and gently massage it in. You can keep doing this until the product is removed from your skin. If petroleum jelly is unavailable, you can substitute vegetable, mineral, infant, or even petroleum-jelly-containing items like lip balm.

Wash and dry the affected area after you’ve removed the glue from your skin. This can aid in the removal of residue that may have remained on your skin. Wash with mild soap and warm water before applying the petroleum jelly.

If the glue is stubborn and will not come off, repeat the washing and petroleum jelly procedure as needed.

SEE: How To Fix A Broken Nail

3. Hand Lotion

Surprisingly, hand lotion can remove nail glue from the skin.

What you’ll need: 

  • Hand lotion
  • Cream
  • Soap
  • Water

Apply the hand lotion in a circular motion while massaging the glue-covered area. Continue doing so until the glue starts to flake away. After that, thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water to remove any remaining adhesive. 

Apply more hand cream to seal moisture and nourish your skin after removing all the glue.

4. Acetone-Based Nail Polish Remover

The best method for removing nail glue from your skin is to use the same acetone-based nail polish remover to take off glued-on false nails. It’s best to do this if you have no skin injury.

What you’ll need: 

  • Acetone
  • A cotton swab or cotton ball

What to do:

Apply acetone with a cotton ball or cotton swab to the affected region.

The product will take some time to penetrate and dissolve the nail adhesive. In addition, depending on how quickly the bond peels off your skin, you might need to reapply.

5. Salt

What You Will Need:

  • Two teaspoons of salt
  • Water

What to do:

Mix the salt and water to form a thick paste. Rub your skin with this paste for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Continue to rub the salt until the glue breaks down. The salt will dissolve quickly, removing any traces of glue along the way.

If you have sensitive skin, it is advisable to avoid this method because the salt may scrape, irritate, and dry your skin.

6. Alcohol

Things You Will Need:

  • Alcohol
  • Cotton balls
  • Toothbrush
  • Soap water

What to do:

  1. Soak the affected region in warm soapy water to soften the skin.
  2. Cover your nails with cotton balls and secure them with strong tape.
  3. Soak your fingertips in a bowl of rubbing alcohol for at least 15 minutes.
  4. Pull the tape gently from your fingers and twist it around the nails to loosen it.
  5. Dip the toothbrush in alcohol and brush any residual glue off your fingertips.
  6. Wash the area with soapy water.

7. Exfoliate The Affected Area

Gently exfoliate the affected area with a nail file or skin buffer, which may remove any remaining glue on your skin. You can use nail files, emery boards, and skin exfoliators like loofahs.

Be as gentle as possible with these products, as repeated rubbing is likely to irritate your skin.

8. See A Doctor

If, despite repeated treatments, you can still not remove the glue from your skin, seek medical attention as soon as possible. This can help prevent infection and remove any remaining adhesive from your skin.

If you notice any signs of infection or severe inflammation on your skin, see a doctor right away.

You should see a doctor immediately if you get glue on your skin, eyes, or mouth.

SEE: How to Remove Gel Nail Polish

Warnings and Precautions

It is critical to avoid pulling off nail glue that has accidentally gotten on your skin. If you attempt to remove the glue without first dissolving or softening it, you risk ripping off your skin.

Some nail glue injuries include:


  • Do not yank or pick at the skin, as this could harm the skin and cause a painful blister.
  • Sharp objects like razors, nail filers, blades, or knives should never be used to remove nail glue.
  • If you have a lot of glue on your hands or have sensitive skin, do not peel off the skin.
  • Touching wet glue spreads it even more. As a result, it is best to wait until the adhesive has dried before attempting to remove it. Grab the edges of the dry glue with your fingertips or tweezers and carefully pull it away.
  • If you can’t get a hold of the edge, loosen it up with a nail file or buffer.

BONUS TIP: Artificial nail glue and acetone contain harsh chemicals that can weaken or damage your nails. Consider using artificial nails only for special occasions or emergencies. If you can’t live without them, try to take breaks as often as possible to allow your nails to breathe.

How to Take Care of Your Skin After Removing Nail Glue

If you used an acetone-based nail polish remover to get the glue off, wash your hands with soap and water to ensure you’ve removed all leftover glue and the remover you used.

After cleaning your hands with acetone, moisturize them since acetone can dry. You can also apply cuticle oil to hydrate the cuticles.

A gel nail healing procedure is also available if you have weak nails from using extensions.

Can Nail Glue Cause Skin Burns?

When nail glue touches your skin, it can result in localized dermatitis, paronychia, and allergic onycholysis. Nail glue-related chemical burns are rare. The cyanoacrylates produce an exothermic reaction when they come into contact with moisture, resulting in a burn.

Unstick It!

When putting on fake nails, it is simple to get nail adhesive on the skin. Nail glue is powerful because of its ingredients, but it is also hard to unstick.

If nail glue accidentally gets on your hand’s skin, rinse it off and then attempt one of the techniques mentioned above to get it off. A small amount of nail glue should not cause any problems. You can wait for it to dry, and it will eventually peel or fall off.