How to Clean Under Acrylic Nails for a Flawless Look

If you just finished eating chicken wings or Cheetos, you’re going to want to know how to clean under acrylic nails. 

Let’s be real, no matter how much we love our acrylics, cleaning under them can be a bit of a hassle.

That’s why we’re here to help!

In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the process of keeping your acrylics clean, healthy, and oh-so-pretty. 

From simple home remedies to professional treatments, we’ve got you covered.

So, let’s get started.

How to clean under acrylic nails: 5 ways

When it comes to cleaning under your acrylic nails, you’ve got options! 

Here are a few methods you can try at home:

Washing with antibacterial soap:


This method involves using antibacterial soap and warm water to thoroughly clean under your acrylic nails. 

The antibacterial properties of the soap will help to keep your nails clean and healthy.

What you’ll need:

  • Antibacterial soap
  • Warm water
  • A container (like a bowl or cup)
  • Cue tips or pads
q tips

Step-by-Step Guide:

  1. Get your hands wet with warm water.
  1. Squirt some antibacterial soap onto the back of your fingertips and rub it in.
  1. Take a cue tip or pad and clean under your acrylic nails, removing any dirt or debris.
  1. Rinse your hands with warm water and dry them thoroughly with a clean towel.

And that’s it! 

A quick and simple way to keep the underneath of your acrylic nails clean and healthy.

Using isopropyl alcohol: 

This is a quick and easy solution that’s great for getting rid of stubborn dirt and stains. 

Simply soak a cue tip or cotton pad in isopropyl alcohol and gently swipe it under your nails to remove any dirt and debris. 

You can also dip the tips of your nails in a bowl of rubbing alcohol for a few minutes for a deeper clean. 

Just make sure to rinse your hands with water afterward to avoid drying out your skin.

What you’ll need:

  1. Isopropyl alcohol
  2. A container (such as a bowl or cup)
  3. A towel

Step-by-Step Guide:

  1. Pour some isopropyl alcohol into the container.
  1. Dip your nails into the alcohol mixture and let them soak for 5 to 10 minutes.
  1. Rinse your nails with warm water.
  1. Repeat this process as needed to keep your nails sparkling clean.
  1. Dry thoroughly with a clean towel.

Scrubbing with a soft-bristled brush:

This method involves using a soft-bristled brush dipped in warm soapy water. 

Gently scrub under your nails to remove any dirt and debris. 

This method is especially helpful if you’ve got some stubborn dirt that won’t budge.

What you need:

  • Soft-bristled nail brush or toothbrush
  • Cup of warm, soapy water

Step-by-Step Guide:

  1. Fill a cup with warm, soapy water.
  1. Dip the soft-bristled nail brush or toothbrush into the water.
  1. Remove any excess water from the brush by scraping it against the side of the bowl.
  1. Gently move the brush back and forth under the acrylic nail to remove dirt, being careful not to press too hard.
  1. Repeat the sweeping motion until all dirt is removed.

Note: It’s important to be gentle when cleaning under the acrylic nails to avoid weakening the glue. 

So, avoid pressing hard against the underside of the nails.

Scraping out dirt with an orangewood stick:

This tool is specifically designed to clean under your nails. 

Simply slide the sloped, flat end of the cuticle pusher under your nails to scrape out any dirt or debris.

What you need:

  • An orangewood stick
  • Soap and water
  • A dry, clean towel

Step by step Guide:

  1. Soak your hands in warm water for a few minutes to loosen up the dirt.
  1. Dry your hands well with the towel.
  1. Gently slide the sloped, flat end of the orangewood stick across the back of each acrylic nail to get rid of dirt and debris.

Professional cleaning:

If you’re in need of a professional touch-up, you can always schedule an appointment with your local nail salon. 

They’ll be able to give your acrylics a deep clean and make sure they’re in tip-top shape.

No matter which method you choose, the important thing is to make sure you’re cleaning under your acrylics regularly to keep them looking and feeling their best.

Why do my acrylic nails look dirty?

why do my acrylic nails look dirty

There are a few reasons why your acrylic nails might look dirty or discolored, but the most common culprits are a buildup of oil, dirt, and bacteria. 

This is especially true if you’ve been doing a lot of handiwork, cooking, or just generally being active with your hands. 

All of these things can get trapped under your nails and cause them to look dingy and unclean.

In addition to the buildup of everyday grime, your acrylic nails can also become discolored or stained due to hair dye, exposure to chemicals, or certain foods. 

This can result in yellow or brown discoloration under your nails, which is definitely not a look we’re going for!

So, how do you fix it? The answer is simple: just give them a good cleaning! Use one of the methods we’ve outlined in this post and you’ll be back to flaunting your gorgeous acrylics in no time!

Also, here’s a top tip: putting top coat under the nails prevents them from getting dirty!

Dirt and acrylics: what to do about it: 

While acrylics are a great way to add some glam to your nails, they can also be a trap for dirt and grime, especially if you’ve been out and about in the world. 

But don’t worry, we’ve got some tips for keeping your acrylics looking as fresh as the day you got them.

Here are the best ways to remove dirt from under your acrylic nails:

  1. Isopropyl Alcohol: Soaking your nails in a bowl of isopropyl alcohol for 5-10 minutes is a quick and easy way to get rid of dirt and grime.
  1. Scrubbing with Soapy Water: Using a soft-bristled brush dipped in warm, soapy water, gently scrub under your nails to remove dirt.
  1. Antibacterial Soap: Wet your hands, apply some antibacterial soap, and use a cotton swab to reach under your nails and remove any dirt or debris.

Remember, the key to keeping your acrylics looking their best is to give them a good cleaning on a regular basis.

How to clean under gel X nails

Gel X nails, they’re the new sensation in the nail world and they’re just as fab as they sound. 

But like all good things, they require a bit of maintenance to keep them looking their best. 

And that means keeping them clean, especially under the nails. 

But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here’s how to clean under Gel X nails:

  • Soaking in Alcohol: Just like with acrylic nails, soaking your Gel X nails in a bowl of isopropyl alcohol for 5-10 minutes is a quick and easy way to get rid of dirt and grime.
  • Scrubbing with Soapy Water: You can also use a soft-bristled brush dipped in warm, soapy water to gently scrub under your Gel X nails to remove dirt.
  • Antibacterial Soap: Wet your hands, apply some antibacterial soap, and use a cotton swab to reach under your nails and remove any dirt or debris.

It’s that simple! 

Just remember the key to keeping your Gel X nails looking their best is to give them a good cleaning on a regular basis. 

So don’t neglect them and you’ll be sure to enjoy their beauty for a long time.

How do you keep your nails clean underneath?

how do you keep your nails clean underneath

Keeping your nails clean and fresh doesn’t have to be a hassle. 

Here are some tips to make sure that dirt and grime stay out from under your nails:

Regular Maintenance: 

A little bit of effort goes a long way when it comes to keeping your nails clean. 

Take 5-10 minutes each week to give your nails a good soak in alcohol or scrub with a soft-bristled brush and soapy water.

Avoid Dirty Activities:

If you’re someone who’s always getting their hands dirty, try to be mindful of when and how you get them dirty. 

Gardening, playing with pets, and cooking can all lead to dirt and grime under your nails, so try to minimize your exposure to these activities or wear gloves when you can.

Hydrate Your Nails: 

Keeping your nails hydrated can help to keep them looking healthy and strong. Apply a good quality cuticle oil or hand lotion to your nails and surrounding skin to keep them moisturized.

Practice Good Hygiene: 

Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, especially after activities that may get dirt or germs under your nails. 

You can also carry hand sanitizer with you for those on-the-go moments.

Apply Topcoat: 

To add an extra layer of protection, you can apply a clear topcoat to the underside of your nails. 

This will create a barrier that can help to prevent dirt and grime from getting trapped under your nails.

By following these tips, you can keep your nails clean, healthy, and beautiful, even under acrylics or Gel X nails. 

And you’ll be ready to show off your manicure anytime, anywhere!

How do I keep my nails healthy under acrylics?

Keeping your nails healthy under acrylics can be a bit of a challenge, but with a little extra care, you can make sure your nails stay healthy and strong. 

Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Moisturize regularly: Keeping your cuticles and surrounding skin hydrated will help prevent dryness and cracking. 

Use a cuticle oil or lotion to keep the area moisturized.

  • Give your nails a break: Taking a break from wearing acrylic nails every once in a while will allow your nails to breathe and recover.
  • Practice good hygiene: Make sure to clean under your nails regularly, and keep your nails and surrounding skin clean and dry. 

This will help prevent any infections or other issues from developing.

  • Maintain a balanced diet: Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of vitamins and minerals will help keep your nails healthy. 

Make sure to get enough of nutrients like biotin, vitamin B12, and zinc to support healthy nail growth.

By following these tips, you can help keep your nails healthy and strong even when you’re wearing acrylics. 

And remember, if you ever notice any redness, itching, or other symptoms of infection, be sure to see a doctor right away!


What happens if you don’t clean under your nails?

If you neglect to clean under your acrylic nails, you may find yourself with a build-up of dirt, grime, and other debris.

This can lead to unpleasant odors, yellowing of the nails, and even fungal or bacterial infections.

 Fungus thrives in warm, moist environments, and if you don’t regularly clean under your nails, you could provide a breeding ground for these harmful organisms.

In addition, bacteria can accumulate in the debris, and if left unchecked, can cause an infection that can be painful and difficult to treat. 

To avoid these issues, it’s essential to make cleaning under your nails a regular part of your hygiene routine.

Why is my nail brown under my acrylic? 

There are several reasons why your nail may be brown under your acrylics. 

One of the most common reasons is a fungal infection. 

Fungus thrives in warm, moist environments and can cause discoloration and thickening of the nails.

If you notice brown discoloration and a musty odor, it’s important to seek treatment from a doctor or dermatologist as soon as possible.

Another possible cause of brown discoloration is the use of hair dye.

If you frequently dye your hair, you may be inadvertently staining your nails as well. 

The chemicals in hair dye can penetrate the nail bed and cause discoloration.

Discoloration can also occur as a result of contact with certain chemicals, such as detergents or cleaning products. 

If you frequently expose your nails to harsh chemicals, it’s important to take steps to protect your nails, such as wearing gloves or applying a barrier cream.

Finally, it’s possible that the discoloration is simply a result of the buildup of dirt and grime under the nails. 

Regular cleaning can help prevent this from happening. 

If you’re unsure what’s causing the discoloration, it’s best to consult a doctor or dermatologist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.


  • Phoebe Meadows

    Phoebe Meadows is a self-proclaimed nail addict, always on the lookout for the latest trends and techniques. When she's not creating stunning nail designs, you can find her researching the latest nail care products or experimenting with new techniques.