How to Get Nail Glue Off Skin, Nails, Clothes and Carpets

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Like everything in life, nail glue certainly has its pros and cons. While it’s one of the best inventions since sliced bread, nail glue can certainly be annoying when it ends up in places it doesn’t belong, like on your skin, in your clothes, or even on your carpet!

woman applying nail glue on natural nails

Nail glue can be challenging to remove if you’re not using the right methods. But never fear, because we’ve taken the time to outline the most efficient ways to get nail glue off of where it doesn’t belong! Your days of frustration are over, baby! Take a deep breath, and read on as you learn how to get nail glue off your skin, clothes, nails, and carpets.  

How to Get Nail Glue Off Skin

Nail glue on the skin, while unsightly, can be easy to remove in the following steps:

  1. Fill your sink with warm, soapy water (the warmer, the better, but make sure you don’t scald yourself!) Either hand soap, dish soap, or even laundry detergent is fine to use. 
  2. After soaking the area for a few minutes, begin scrubbing the glue with a toothbrush, emery board, nail buffer, or loofah to help loosen up the glue.
  3. If you do not have any broken skin around the affected area, apply some acetone to a cosmetic cotton pad or cotton ball, then place it onto the area.
  4. Leave this on for about 10 minutes.
  5. Remove cotton ball/pad, then brush the area again to help remove the remaining glue.
  6. Voila! You should be glue-free and happy. Remember to rinse the area after. When dry, apply some moisturizer, as acetone can be very drying.

How to Remove Nail Glue Without Acetone?

No acetone in the house? No worries! If you’re looking for a way to get nail glue off without using acetone, just use the following sources. Remember to use a scrubber with a little elbow grease after you’ve let the product work its magic on the glue.  

  • Add 3-4 tablespoons of lemon juice to your sink or bowl of water. Soak the area for 10 minutes, then remove the glue. (However, don’t soak your nails in this water as it could damage the décor. Choose another method). 
  • Soak a cotton pad in baby oil and apply it to the affected area. Leave on for 15 minutes.  
  • You can even use vodka or other spirits if you don’t have baby oil in the house. Why not enjoy a mimosa while you wait for the alcohol to work on the glue? Treat yourself! 
  • Margarine or coconut/avocado/olive can also help break down the bonds of glue when applied to the affected area.  
  • Make your own sugar or salt scrub (only if you don’t have sensitive skin!) Add 2 tablespoons of salt or white coarse sugar crystals to the palm of your hand and just enough water to make a paste.  

How to Remove Nail Glue from Skin Without Removing Nails?

This is where creativity will undoubtedly come in handy (pun intended). 

To remove glue from the skin without destroying your nails, grab some petroleum jelly, and follow these steps:

  1. Apply a generous amount of PJ to the skin.
  2. Massage it into the glue for 5 minutes.
  3. The glue should start to flake away. When it’s completely gone, wash your hands and the area with soap and water.  

PJ is tough on glue, but it will undoubtedly save your nails. No PJ in the house? You can use hand lotion instead or just stick with the soap and water method. These are the most natural ways you can remove nail glue, and your nails will thank you! 

How to Get Nail Glue Off Clothes?

Getting nail glue on your favorite outfit may make you want to cry, but I promise there’s no need for tears. The trick to this one is letting the glue dry before getting to work.

  1. Scrape off as much of the glue as possible with a toothbrush or other scrubby tool.
  2. Do a small “test” patch on in hidden seam of the clothing with a drop of acetone to make sure the clothing will not discolor. 
  3. If the fabric passes the test, apply some acetone to a cotton ball, then rub the cotton ball on your clothing stain until the glue is loosened. 
  4. Rinse the clothing under cold water to rinse off the acetone.
  5. Apply stain remover to the affected area of the clothing, let it sit for 20 minutes, then wash your clothing on an appropriate temperature cycle.
  6. Allow the piece to air dry after washing.
  7. Your clothes should be good to go! If the clothing is dry-cleaning only, be sure to leave it to the pros! 

How to Get Nail Glue Out of Carpet?

nail manicure tools and nail glue

Did you accidentally spill some nail glue on your carpet? Not to worry! You’ll just need some warm water, dish soap, and white vinegar. Wait for it to dry, then just follow the steps below to get your carpet back to normal:  

  1. Mix together 1 cup of hot water, two tablespoons of white vinegar, and one tablespoon of dish soap (Dawn brand is best). 
  2. Using a sponge or toothbrush, dip your tool into your solution and get scrubbing on the glue.  
  3. Use as much elbow grease as necessary. You should be able to feel the area when you’re done to make sure it’s no longer hard or sticky.
  4. Blot the area with a clean cloth and some water. 
  5. Use another dry cloth to blot the carpet so it will dry faster.  
  6. If you have a darker carpet, it may be hard to see if all the glue is out. Once the carpet has air dried, you’ll be able to easily check that all of the glue is out. 


 A popular mistake some younger people have been making (especially on TikTok) is to use nail glue to glue-on fangs on other dental decorations. That will certainly result in an expensive and potentially painful trip to the dentist for removal. Not to mention, this glue can be poisonous when ingested. Be smart, and never purposely use nail glue anywhere on your body except on your nail beds! 

If you can easily peel the glue off your skin, go for it. 

Be very careful, because your skin can come off with it. Stop immediately if you feel any pain. Any break in the skin’s integrity opens your skin up to other problems like infections and scarring. No thanks!!

Because nail glue was invented for tough jobs like holding onto your nails, it can take some time and patience to remove. Follow this guide step by step, and you should get the results you need. To prevent getting nail glue on carpet or other areas, keep a clean cloth or paper towels around the area to reduce spillage and be extra vigilant of where your glue is at all times.  

Thanks for stopping by! We hope you enjoyed this article on how to get nail glue off of your skin. We hope you nail it ;).

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