How to Get Ink Off Acrylic Nails

Mila, the veteran beauty cosmetics professional and author of this article, while cutting and styling the hair of her client

Hi! I’m Mila. I share my 44-year experience as a Beauty Professional in this blog.This content is for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Consult your Aesthetician for your beauty needs.

Ever smudged your acrylic nails with pen ink and panicked? It’s more common than you might think. With a host of home remedies at your disposal, getting rid of these stains can be surprisingly simple.

This blog will guide you through numerous tried-and-true methods to restore the immaculate look of your manicure. Ready for some nail care magic?.

Key Takeaways

  • Different types of ink, such as ballpoint, gel, rollerball, fountain pen, felt tip, and toner cartridge ink can leave stubborn stains on acrylic nails.
  • Effective methods for removing ink stains from acrylic nails include using acetone or alcohol, applying perfume or hairspray, using toothpaste, or a water and bleach solution.
  • To successfully remove ink from acrylic nails, follow best practices like working in a well – ventilated area and performing patch tests. Avoid common mistakes like scrubbing too hard or not protecting your manicure beforehand.
  • Prevent ink stains by avoiding direct contact with pens or markers on your nails and consider wearing gloves when handling ink. Opt for quick-drying nail polishes to reduce smudging risks.

Understanding Ink and Its Staining Properties

Ink can come in various forms such as ballpoint, rollerball, gel, fountain pen, felt tip, and toner cartridge. These different types of ink have varying staining properties that can leave unsightly marks on acrylic nails.

Understanding why ink stains on acrylic nails is the first step to effectively removing them.

Types of Ink (ballpoint, rollerball, gel, fountain pen, felt tip, toner cartridge)

Ballpoint inks use a paste that is oil-based, making them easy to write with but hard to remove. Rollerball pens offer smooth writing due to their water-based ink, unfortunately, this type also has strong staining properties.

Gel pens gain popularity for their vibrant colors, yet they leave behind stains that are particularly stubborn because of the gel’s unique composition. Fountain pen inks stay bright on paper using dye-based or pigment-based liquid which can seep into nail surfaces leaving significant stains.

Felt tip markers create vivid lines with water-soluble inks which can prove challenging when it comes to stain removal procedures. Toner cartridges used in printers contain powdered ink which might not directly stain nails unless mixed with moisture, yet once wet, these stains can be quite adamant too.

Each kind of ink comes with its own set of cleaning obstacles based on its specific composition and consistency.

Why Ink Stains on Acrylic Nails

Ink stains on acrylic nails can occur due to the porous nature of the nail surface, which allows ink particles to penetrate and adhere to the nail. Different types of ink, such as ballpoint, gel, rollerball, or fountain pen ink, can leave stubborn stains on your manicure.

Additionally, toner cartridges and felt tip pens are also known culprits for leaving unsightly marks on acrylic nails. It’s important to understand why these ink stains happen so that you can effectively remove them using the right methods and products.

Methods for Removing Ink from Acrylic Nails

To remove ink from acrylic nails, you can try using acetone or alcohol, applying perfume, trying hairspray, using toothpaste, or a water and bleach solution.

Use of Acetone or Alcohol

To remove ink from acrylic nails, one effective method is to use either acetone or alcohol. These substances can help break down the ink and make it easier to remove. Simply soak a cotton pad in acetone or alcohol and gently rub it over the ink stain on your nails.

You may need to repeat this process a few times until the ink is completely gone. Remember to wash your hands thoroughly afterward to remove any residual product. Using acetone or alcohol can be an efficient solution for getting rid of stubborn ink stains on acrylic nails.

Applying Perfume

To remove ink from your acrylic nails, you can try applying perfume. Simply spray a small amount of perfume directly onto the ink stain and let it sit for a few seconds. Then, wipe away the perfume and ink with a cloth or cotton pad.

The alcohol in the perfume helps to break down the ink, making it easier to remove. This method is quick and convenient, especially if you have perfume readily available. Give it a try and see if it works for you!

Trying Hairspray

To remove ink from acrylic nails, you can try using hairspray. Apply a generous amount of hairspray directly onto the ink-stained nails. Let it sit for about 10 seconds, and then wash it away with soap and water.

Hairspray contains alcohol, which helps to break down the ink and make it easier to remove. This method can be effective for getting rid of ink stains on your manicure. Remember to always wash your hands thoroughly after using hairspray on your nails to avoid any potential irritation or residue.

Using Toothpaste

Toothpaste can be a useful tool for removing ink stains from acrylic nails. Simply apply non-gel toothpaste to the stained area and let it sit for about a minute. Then, use a cloth dampened with warm water to wipe away the toothpaste and ink residue.

The abrasive texture of the toothpaste helps lift the stain while gentle scrubbing action helps to remove it completely. This method is an easy and affordable option that can effectively eliminate ink stains from your acrylic nails without causing any damage or discoloration.

Give it a try and say goodbye to those stubborn ink marks!

Water and Bleach Solution

To remove ink stains from acrylic nails, you can try using a water and bleach solution. Mix equal parts water and bleach in a small bowl. Soak your stained nails in the solution for a few minutes, then gently scrub the ink stain with a nail brush or soft toothbrush.

Rinse your nails thoroughly with warm water afterward. The bleach may help to break down the ink and remove it from your acrylic nails effectively.

Tips for Successfully Removing Ink from Acrylic Nails

To successfully remove ink from acrylic nails, follow these tips for best results.

Best Practices

To effectively remove ink from acrylic nails, it is important to follow some best practices. First, choose the method that suits your needs and preferences. Whether you opt for acetone, alcohol, hairspray, or toothpaste, make sure to use it in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling fumes.

Additionally, always perform a patch test on a small area of your nail before applying any solution to ensure you don’t have an adverse reaction.

Next, take caution when using abrasive substances like toothpaste or bleach water solutions as they may scratch or damage the surface of your acrylic nails. Gently apply and scrub with a soft brush in circular motions instead.

If you choose to use acetone or alcohol, be mindful not to soak your nails for too long as this can weaken them.

Lastly, remember that prevention is key. To protect your manicure from ink stains in the first place, consider wearing gloves while handling pens or working with ink-related materials.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

To successfully remove ink from acrylic nails, it’s important to avoid common mistakes that could make the situation worse. One mistake is using a harsh or abrasive method, such as scrubbing too vigorously with a nail brush or using excessive force.

This can damage the surface of the acrylic nails and make it more difficult to remove the ink stain. Another mistake is not being patient enough. Some methods may require some time for the ink to dissolve or lift off, so it’s important to follow the instructions carefully and give them enough time to work.

Lastly, not protecting your manicure before attempting any removal method can lead to unwanted consequences. Applying a layer of clear topcoat or base coat can act as a barrier between the ink and your nails, making it easier to remove later on while preventing staining in case of accidental smudging or spreading.

Other Ways to Protect Your Manicure from Ink Stains

Prevention Tips: Keep your manicure looking fresh and ink-free by taking some proactive steps. Avoid using pens or markers directly on your nails, as this can lead to accidental smudging or staining.

If you must write or handle ink around your nails, consider wearing gloves to protect them. Additionally, opt for quick-drying nail polishes that are less likely to smudge when exposed to ink.

Take care when handling documents or papers with wet ink, ensuring they do not come into contact with your freshly painted nails. By following these prevention tips, you can keep your manicure pristine and free from pesky ink stains.

Choosing the Right Nail Products

Selecting the right nail products is crucial for maintaining beautiful and healthy nails. When it comes to removing ink stains or preventing them in the first place, using suitable nail polish removers and acetone-based solutions can be highly effective.

Look for products that are specifically designed to remove stubborn stains without causing damage to your acrylic nails. Additionally, consider investing in a high-quality nail brush and cotton pads as they can help you achieve better results when applying these products.

By making informed choices about the nail care products you use, you can keep your manicure looking flawless and free from ink stains.


In conclusion, removing ink from acrylic nails can be a relatively simple process with the right methods and products. Whether you choose to use acetone, alcohol, toothpaste, hairspray, or other solutions, it’s important to test them on a small area first and follow proper instructions.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to effectively remove ink stains and keep your acrylic nails looking flawless.


1. What are some effective methods to remove ink from acrylic nails?

Rubbing alcohol, water mixed with bleach, and soakoff gel are among the most effective methods to get rid of ink stains on acrylic nails.

2. Can I perform DIY solutions for removing ink from my nails?

Yes, using a cotton swab soaked in rubbing alcohol is a simple and popular DIY solution to remove pen ink from your acrylic or shellac nails.

3. How can I prevent getting ink stains on my gel nails?

Preventing ink stains on gel or dip nails involves being cautious when writing or handling pens; you could also opt for nail product options resistant to staining such as BIAB (Builder In A Bottle) Nails.

4. Are there specific products that aid in removing ink from acrylic nails?

Some specialized nail salon products include soaking solutions like ‘soakoff gels’ that help in effectively eliminating stubborn pen-ink-induced discoloration off painted or shellac-based artificial enhancements like dip and biab nails

5. Should I seek professional assistance if the stain doesn’t come off?

If the home remedies fail, it would be advisable to consult with your nail technician at your local Nail Salon who offers expert techniques in caring for stained Acrylics using professional-grade removal tools like files or abrasives.

How to Get Ink Off Acrylic Nails
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