Close-up photo of a gloved hand holding a bottle of air freshener, spraying a fragrant mist into the air, effectively neutralizing the lingering smell of acrylic nails in a stylishly decorated living room.

How To Get Rid Of Acrylic Nail Smell In Your House

The strong chemical smell from acrylic nails can quickly permeate your home and linger for days. If you’re looking to banish that bothersome odor, you’ve come to the right place.

If you’re short on time, here are some quick solutions: open windows to air out the space, set up fans to improve airflow, place bowls of vinegar around the room to absorb odors, or invest in an air purifier.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to get rid of acrylic nail smells throughout your house, including identifying the source, handy household remedies, prevention tips, and when to call in the professionals.

Identifying the Source of the Smell

Locating Where the Nails Were Done

Acrylic nails often give off a strong chemical odor, especially right after they are applied at the salon. This is because acrylic nail products contain chemicals like ethyl methacrylate, which help harden and shape the artificial nails.

When these chemicals are freshly applied, their odor can be quite potent. The smell is strongest at the nail salon itself, where numerous clients are having acrylics put on throughout the day. The odor tends to linger in the air and permeate the whole space.

Even after you leave the salon, the smell clings to your hands and nails. The odor eventually dissipates after a few days as the products fully dry and cure.

Understanding Why Acrylic Nails Smell

The distinctive odor comes from the liquid acrylic monomer and polymer powder used to sculpt and build the artificial nails. The monomer is an acrylic liquid that contains chemicals like ethyl methacrylate, which help the product harden. The polymer powder contains polymethyl methacrylate beads.

When the monomer and polymer are mixed together, a chemical reaction occurs that results in the strong acrylic smell. As the artificial nails dry and cure over 24-48 hours, the odor gradually decreases. However, traces of the smell can linger for up to a week or two afterward.

Proper ventilation at nail salons is important to prevent buildup of acrylic vapors. Technicians should also wipe down surfaces and dispose of nail products properly to minimize lingering odors on tools and furniture.

Household Remedies for Removing the Odor

Opening Windows and Using Fans

One of the easiest ways to get rid of acrylic nail smells in your house is to open up the windows and let fresh air circulate. Turn on fans or put a box fan in the window to help blow odors out of the room.

This can help dissipate the smell quickly, especially if there is a breeze outside.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

Baking soda is great at absorbing odors. Put some baking soda in small bowls around the areas where you notice acrylic nail smells. Let it sit for a few hours to absorb the odor, then vacuum up the baking soda.

You can also mix baking soda with water to create a paste and scrub surfaces that may have absorbed the acrylic smell.

For extra odor-fighting power, use white vinegar with the baking soda. The combination of vinegar and baking soda produces a chemical reaction that breaks down odor molecules. Wipe surfaces with a cloth soaked in undiluted white vinegar first. Follow up by sprinkling baking soda onto the wet surfaces.

Let it fizz and bubble for 5-10 minutes, then wipe clean with a damp cloth.

Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal has incredibly absorbent properties and is great for trapping odors. Place bowls of activated charcoal around the smelly areas of your house. You can also buy charcoal-infused bags and hang them near odor sources. The charcoal will help purify the air.

An easy DIY air purifier can be made by putting charcoal pieces in an old sock or stocking. Tie a knot and hang the charcoal sock up in a smelly room. Replace the charcoal every month as the odors become trapped in the charcoal over time.

Essential Oils

Essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint and tea tree oil can help overwhelm acrylic nail odors and leave your house smelling fresh. Add a few drops of essential oils to water in a spray bottle. Shake well and mist smelly areas, fabrics and carpets.

You can also put the oils in a diffuser to scent the whole room.

Citrus oils like lemon, orange and grapefruit can be very powerful against acrylic smells. Place a few drops on cotton balls and set them around your house. Replace daily.

Air Purifiers and Filters

Investing in an air purifier with a HEPA filter can help remove acrylic odors that linger in the air. HEPA filters are designed to capture fine particles, gases and odors. Place the purifier in rooms where you spend time doing nails.

Run it whenever you notice bothersome smells.

You can also attach HEPA filters to the vents in your home to help purify all the air circulating. Just make sure to change the filters regularly so they remain effective at trapping odors.Using these simple household remedies can help you remove lingering acrylic nail smells from your home.

With some fresh air and odor absorbers, you can get rid of the bothersome smells. Just be diligent about using the remedies anytime odors return. Soon your house will smell clean and pleasant again!

Preventing Acrylic Nail Smells in Future

Choosing a Well-Ventilated Salon

Selecting a nail salon with good ventilation can help minimize exposure to acrylic nail odors during your appointment. Look for salons with open doors or windows, exhaust fans, and air purifiers. Avoid small enclosed spaces as the smells can become concentrated.

A highly-rated salon with 4+ star reviews often prioritizes good airflow and odor control.

Asking About Low-Odor Products

Discuss options for low-odor nail products with your manicurist. Many brands now offer “odorless” or “low-scent” acrylic powder and liquids that help curtail smells during application. Odorless acrylics use alternative chemistry to reduce pungent fumes, however, they may not entirely eliminate the smell.

Storing Nail Supplies in Airtight Containers

Keep nail polishes, acrylic powders, glues, and tools sealed in airtight boxes or bags when not in use. Open containers allow smells to continuously evaporate into the air. Stash your supplies in a basement, garage, or outdoor shed to keep odors segregated from main living areas.

Be sure to keep flammable liquids stored properly away from heat sources.

Using Gel Nail Polish Instead

Acrylic Nails Gel Nail Polish
– Strong odor during application – Low to no odor
– Require filing/buffing to remove – Easily soak off in acetone
– Last 2-3 weeks on average – Last 2-3 weeks on average

As an alternative to acrylics, consider gel polish which offers a similar glossy manicured look with little to no odor. Gels cure under UV lamps instead of chemical fumes. While gels don’t last quite as long, they preserve the health of the natural nail better.

For Menschen with scent sensitivities, gel manicures present an excellent low-smell option.

Calling in Professional Help

Ozone Generators

Ozone generators can be an effective way to eliminate acrylic nail odors from your home. Ozone is a natural sanitizer that neutralizes odor molecules. When an ozone generator is run in a closed room, the ozone released into the air oxidizes the odor molecules, converting them into harmless compounds that no longer smell.

Here are some tips for using an ozone generator to get rid of acrylic nail smells:

  • Choose a commercial-grade ozone generator designed for odor elimination. Consumer models may not produce enough ozone to fully sanitize the air.
  • Remove people, plants, and pets from the room before running the ozone generator. Ozone can irritate lungs at high concentrations.
  • Close all windows and seal gaps under doors. This allows ozone to concentrate in the air.
  • Run the ozone generator for the recommended time based on room size. Typically 3-8 hours removes most odors.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s safety guidelines. Allow proper ventilation of the room before re-entry.

With proper use, an ozone generator can permanently eliminate acrylic odors without using masking agents or chemicals. However, ozone does not address any lingering residue on surfaces that may continue emitting smells. So ozone works best alongside cleaning techniques.

HVAC Companies

Calling in HVAC companies can also help remove acrylic nail smells throughout a home. HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) contractors have specialized tools and expertise for odor elimination.

Here are some HVAC services that can remove acrylic nail odors:

  • Air duct cleaning – Acrylic odors get trapped and spread through air ducts. Professional cleaning sanitizes the ducts.
  • Negative air machines – These machines scrub the air and force odors outside. Great for quick odor reduction.
  • Electronic air cleaners – Installed into existing HVAC systems, these use filters to capture and destroy odor molecules.
  • Odor treatment sprays – Antimicrobial sprays introduced into ductwork help eliminate odors.
  • Sealing leaks – Sealing any leaks in ductwork prevents odors from spreading to other rooms.

HVAC services provide a thorough, whole-house approach to eliminating acrylic nail smells. The initial investment is well worth it to permanently remove odors from an entire home.

Water Damage Restoration Experts

For extreme acrylic nail smells that have soaked into porous materials, calling water damage restoration experts may be the best solution. These restoration contractors are trained in odor mitigation and have industrial-strength equipment.

Here are some acrylic nail odor removal services they provide:

  • Ozone shock treatments – High-volume ozone generators disinfect affected rooms.
  • Thermal fogging – Odor-removing chemical mists are sprayed across all surfaces.
  • Adsorbent deodorization – Porous materials are treated with odor-absorbing agents.
  • Negative air machines – Air scrubbing equipment forces out lingering odors.
  • Containment barriers – Plastic barriers prevent odors from spreading during treatments.

The right equipment and expertise makes water damage companies the front-line defense against severe acrylic nail odors. They can tackle even the most challenging odor situations that have resisted other treatment methods.


While acrylic nail odors can be overpowering at first, there are many simple, inexpensive ways to tackle the smell head-on throughout your house. With some strategic airflow improvements, absorption and purification methods, and preventative measures during manicures, you can bid farewell to noxious nail smells for good.

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