Acrylic Nails

How to clean underneath acrylic nails

Not all people are born with thick hair, curly eyelashes, and strong nails. But this shouldn’t stop you from getting beautiful hair or stunning lashes, and strong long nails. 

You can have anything artificial and there is nothing wrong with that. This is especially true for your hard-working fingers. Nothing should stop you from rocking eye-catching acrylic nails!

Like anything artificial that we add to our body, though, nail acrylics need proper care. It is the key to ensuring that your fake nails will look as natural as possible. 

So before you enter into the world of nail enhancements, learn the basics of keeping them clean below!

How to cut your own nails under acrylic 

How to cut your own nails under acrylic

Your nails will continue to grow under the acrylics. It’s natural and you must learn how to keep your acrylics in top shape even with your natural nail growth.

Sure, you can go to a professional nail technician for your regular fill appointments. But if you’re not willing to pay their expensive fees, you can trim your nails yourself. Be cautious not to damage your enhancements, though. 

Here are the things that you’ll need:


Safety Nail Bits

Safety nail bits with a smooth dome-shaped top are great for trimming nails under the acrylics. If you can’t find a round-shaped nail bit that can fit your small pinky nail, choose a corn-head nail bit instead. The narrower tip of these types of nail bits is perfect for your tiny nails. 

Begin at a low speed of about 6,000 to 7,000 RPM and go up according to the thickness of your nails. Go back and forth until you achieve your desired length. Remember to be gentle with your natural nails.


After trimming the nails under the enhancements, remove the dust using a brush. You can use any nail brush for this step. 

Isopropyl Alcohol

After trimming your nails, use an Isopropyl alcohol to clean it. It’s a non-toxic product that isn’t only perfect for cleaning your nails. It will help prevent infection caused by minor scrapes too.

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Dirt between nail and acrylic

Acrylic nails are stunning. But, it can get in the way of your regular cleaning chores. You might have to reduce rigorous tasks like gardening if your beautiful acrylics are on. 

Here are ways to keep your fake nails clean while they’re on:

Personal Hygiene

Proper handwashing is the key to keeping your nails clean. Use mild soap and water. Be careful when washing your hands. Improper hand washing can do more harm than good. If you have to use a brush, opt for a soft-bristled brush. Focus on the surfaces of acrylics as it’s more prone to germs compared to the other parts of your nails.

Protect Your Nails

Protect your nails using rubber gloves when doing some chores. This is especially important if it involves water. Using rubber gloves as you bathe is not a bad idea. This will help in preventing dirt from getting under your enhancements. It will keep your hands dry as well. Bear in mind that excessive moisture will cause fungi growth.  

How do you clean underneath your nails?

How do you clean underneath your nails

It is almost normal for acrylic nails to accumulate dirt underneath. This is because we use our hands to do a lot of tasks. While it’s normal, you mustn’t ignore it. It’s unhealthy and dirty. So do something about it right away. Read below to know how to clean it properly!

You’ll need:

  • Antibacterial soap
  • Soft-bristle nail brush
  • Cuticle pusher
  • Nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol 

You’ll have to:

  1. Use an antibacterial soap and wash your hands in warm water. Do this whenever you do something with your hands. From cleaning your room and gardening, make sure to always take the time to wash your hands after. Be careful about too much hand washing, though. It can actually also compromise the durability of your nail enhancements.
  1. Sterilize a soft-bristled nail brush in warm soapy water. Remove excess moisture. After that, you can use it to carefully brush under your long acrylic nails to remove any gunk. Be extra gentle. Improper brushing can weaken the glue. 
  1. Use a cuticle pusher to push away dirt tucked under your nail enhancements. Before proceeding to the other nails, clean the tool with a towel first. This is to prevent contamination. Be cautious as too much pressure can cause the enhancements to become loose. 
  1. Lastly, soak your nails in rubbing alcohol. Do this when reattaching a loose nail. This essential step will prevent fungal growth on the nail bed. 

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What is the white stuff under my acrylic nails?

Proper acrylic application is vital to prevent problems with your enhancements. Failure to do this can lead to discoloration on your nails. 

That white stuff that you’re seeing under your acrylic nails is probably fungus growing. Incorrect acrylic applications can also cause chipping and flaking on your nails.

Perhaps, it’s not only white stuff you’re seeing in your nails. Maybe, you’re one of those who’ve asked the question “why are my nails yellow under acrylics?”. 

Your loose acrylic nails are the culprit. The broken seal between the  product and your nail will attract fungi growth. The discoloration will then start to appear. It will not only be yellow or white, a green nail discoloration is another sign of fungal growth caused by your loose acrylics too.


You’d know that it’s a fungal infection if it has the following signs:

  • Nail discoloration (white, green, or yellow)
  • Itching
  • Redness or swelling on the skin around the nails
  • Pain around the nails and on the nail bed
  • Bad smell
  • Brittle nails
  • Pus on the nails


Now that we know the signs of fungi growth on acrylics, let’s dive into its causes below!

Improper Application

If the acrylic nails are improperly attached, they can become loose easily. When that happens, moisture will sip and get trapped into the area between your natural nails and enhancements. Your nails will then become the breeding ground for bacteria. 

Poor Hygiene

This is one of the cons of going to a nail salon. It is because you wouldn’t confirm if they use sterile tools or if they practice proper hygiene.

If you do the nail enhancements, you have control over your hygiene practices. Make sure to sterilize your equipment to prevent exposure to fungal infections.

Not cleaning the gap

There will be instances when you’ll have to remove the enhancement. Perhaps, it detached on its own. Before you re-glue the acrylics to the nail bed, clean it properly. Soak your finger into rubbing alcohol before attaching the acrylics to the nail bed again.


You don’t have to give up acrylics just because they can develop such problems. It’s all about knowing the proper way to attach them to your healthy nails. Here are a few ways to prevent fungal infections from your acrylics:

clean nails


Test your fake nail for a reaction before applying products to all your nails. If it’s your first time using acrylics, apply the products to one nail.

Wait for several days to see whether it causes allergic reactions. Redness, itching, rash, and pain aren’t normal things when applying acrylics. When you notice this, stop using the acrylics and see a professional nail technician.

Sanitize the Tools

This one is very important yet often neglected. Unsanitized tools are actually among the common reasons why nail fungal infections occur. If you’re doing your own acrylic nails, dip the equipment that you are using on a good-quality disinfectant.

Change Nails Regularly

Sure, you can touch up every 2 to 3 weeks if you want to wear your enhancements for more than a month. But this doesn’t mean that you can wear them for a year. 

The longer that you are wearing them, the more you’ll be risking your nails from infection. That’s why you have to remove your fake nails if you have it for more than three months already. 

After that, let your natural nails rest for a month before getting your new enhancements. 


We’ve talked about the symptoms and causes of preventable fungi growth on your nail enhancements. Now, let’s tackle the easiest home remedies that you can do. Read below!

  • Vinegar: Vinegar is well-known for its antibacterial properties. Soak your finger in a 2:1 mixture of vinegar and warm water. 
  • Tea Tree Oil: This miracle oil is not only good for reducing your acne. You can also apply it to your nail two times a day to help treat fungi growth. 
  • Oregano Oil: If tea tree oil isn’t available, use oregano oil instead. In the same way, apply it to your affected nails two times a day. Use a cotton swab for a proper application. 

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How to get rid of nail growth under acrylics

If only nails stop growing for a long while after you get acrylics, right? This way, you wouldn’t need to change your acrylics right away. You can enjoy having beautiful nails for a longer time. 

But no, that’s not the case. Your nails will grow at their natural rate under the acrylic. For this reason, you need to keep it maintained. You have a couple of options when your nails start to grow.

Go with your natural nails

It will take around two weeks for you to notice the growth in your nails under the acrylics. When this happens, your enhancements will not look as good as it was when it’s newly installed. Trimming the nails under the acrylic wouldn’t be easy as well. 

If you want an easy way out, you can completely remove the products and go with your natural nails. You can also get a new clean set after. This option could be costly, though.

Continue wearing your enhancements

Installing acrylics on your own might not be as costly as going to the nail salon. But it also involves a lot of time, energy, and effort. Unless you have a few hours to allot for the nail art yourself, you would want your enhancements to last. That said, you might not want the first option.

You don’t have to remove your current enhancements as the nails underneath start growing. You can continue wearing your enhancements for more than a couple of weeks.

How? Take the time to file the nails under the acrylics. Use a medium carbide cone with a rounded top. Be careful to not cut the underside of your fingers. 


First, put your nails upside down. Shave off the excess nail growth from the center. Be careful not to hit the sidewall of the enhancements. If you do, it will create an unsightly notch or could even damage your acrylics. 

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The takeaway!

Acrylic nails are beautiful and stylish. But only when they’re still clean. The good thing is, you can actually keep them clean and healthy through proper nail care. Our best advice is to always be cautious about your acrylic nails and make sure they don’t get dirty. And when they do, clean them properly! 

That way, you can enjoy having long and stunning nails with no fuss.

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