How to remove acrylic nails with a soak To remove acrylic nails start by putting some warm water in a bowl. Put your hand in the water for about 20 minutes. After about 20 minutes the nails will become loose and you can then remove them. Take a towel and dry your hands off after you have removed the nails. Then push the cuticles back and trim them. After you trim your nails buff them off. Use a brush to brush away the dust. Buff the nails again to make them shiny. Use some cuticle oil to moisturize and hydrate the cuticles. Once you have put on the oil rub it in with your fingers. Then moisturize your hands with hand cream. Removing the old acrylic nails and giving yourself a manicure is very easy.