How to Get Pen Off Acrylic Nails? – 7 Methods

Written by Laura Walker / Fact checked by Leilani Carroll

How to Get Pen Off Acrylic Nails

Accidents happen, and if you have accidentally marked your beautiful acrylic nails with a pen, do not worry; we have got you covered! This guide will explore how to get pen off acrylic nails using items you can easily find at home.

Read on to find helpful hacks to erase pen ink marks from your painted nails so you can restore the pristine and flawless look of your nail art.

How to Get Rid of Ink Stains on Acrylic Nails & on Gel Nails


Before attempting unconventional methods, rinse your hands with soap and warm water first. This method will work to erase the ink stains, make sure you use a soft washcloth to rub your soapy nails gently.

Method 1: Using Nail Polish Remover


As normal polish remover cannot remove acrylic nails, you can use this chemical to eliminate ink stains without erasing your nail art. However, you must use acetone-free varieties to avoid damaging the nail polish. Alternatively, you can opt for rubbing alcohol as a substitute.

  • Start by saturating a cotton ball with acetone-based nail polish remover.
  • Gently rub the area in a circular motion until the ink begins to lift. Be patient and persistent, but avoid excessive rubbing.

Method 2: Using Toothpaste


Toothpaste can be an effective ink stain remover for acrylic nails. Choose a plain, non-gel toothpaste. Avoid toothpaste with abrasive particles, as they may scratch the acrylic.

  • Squeeze a small amount of toothpaste onto a soft toothbrush or a cotton swab. You do not need much; a pea-sized amount should suffice.
  • Gently scrub the stained area in a circular motion, taking care not to damage the acrylic.
  • Repeat the process if necessary.

Method 3: Using Hairspray


Hairspray can also help eliminate ink stains from acrylic nails. Look for a hairspray that contains alcohol as an ingredient, as it can help break down ink stains.

  • Dampen a cotton swab or cotton ball with a small amount of alcohol-based hairspray.
  • Using the damp cotton swab or ball, gently rub the pen marks in a circular motion to get pen ink off.

Method 4: Using Perfume


While perfume is primarily meant for fragrance and not as a cleaning agent, it may contain alcohol, which can help dissolve ink to some extent. However, note that this method might not work for permanent marker stains or to get ink off gel nails.

  • Spray a small amount of alcohol-based perfume onto a cotton ball and gently dab the stained area.
  • The alcohol should help dissolve the ink stain. But be cautious not to apply excessive pressure, as this can scratch the acrylic fingernails.
  • Keep dabbing and rubbing on the stain until it disappears.

Method 5: Using Hand Sanitizer


Hand sanitizer contains alcohol, which can effectively get pen marks off gel nails.

  • Squeeze a small amount of the alcohol-based hand sanitizer onto a cotton ball or a pad.
  • Gently rub the stained area until the ink disappears.

Method 6: Water & Baking Soda


  • In a small bowl, combine baking soda and water to create a thick paste. Aim for a consistency that is easy to apply but not too runny.
  • Apply the paste directly onto the pen mark on your acrylic nail. Allow it to sit for approximately 30 seconds to break down the ink.
  • Afterward, gently rub the paste on the stain using a soft toothbrush or nail brush. Wipe off the paste with a damp cloth.

Method 7: Water & Bleach


  • In a bowl, mix bleach and water to a ratio of 1:10.
  • Carefully apply the diluted bleach mixture to the affected area on your nails. Ensure that you do not get bleach on your skin.
  • Allow the bleach mixture to sit on the stain for approximately 5 minutes. Be mindful of the time to avoid overexposure.
  • Use an old toothbrush to gently scrub the pen stain on your gel nail.

Note: Please exercise extreme care when using bleach to clean gel nails or acrylic nails, as it can be harsh and potentially harmful if not used properly.



For all the methods above, follow up with these two steps:

  1. Rinse & Dry: After successfully removing the pen marks, rinse your acrylic nails with water to remove any residual cleaning substance. Pat them dry with a clean towel.
  2. Moisturize: Acrylic nails can become dry after the cleaning process, so it is a good idea to apply a cuticle oil or nail and cuticle cream to hydrate and nourish the nails.


Pen marks on acrylic nails can be frustrating, but they do not have to be permanent. By following this guide on how to get pen off acrylic nails, you can keep your manicures looking flawless.

Remember to be gentle and patient during the process to avoid harming your acrylic nails. With these techniques, your nails will look as good as new in no time!

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