How to remove nail polish gel

They do not love it only because it lasts longer, but also because the finishing is very good and amazingly beautiful. Gel nail polish dries up instantly while you are still in the salon and does not have any chipping, scratching, smearing or smudges. With gel polish, you can experiment with many beautiful designs that you would not do with the regular nail polish.

Gel nail polish also looks good for as long as you have it on your nails. Irrespective of the kind of manicure you want, gel polish gives the nails the closest option to a natural look. It also hardens the nails and makes them grow longer. Another big advantage is that it saves you time and costs. Though the initial application of the gel polish may be slightly more expensive than the regular polish, you save costs because you make fewer trips to the salon to have your nails done. It also saves you time by reducing your visits to the salon for a fresh coat of nail polish.

You can relax better knowing you have aesthetically perfect nails that will not let you down as you go about your daily chores. Gel nail polished nails compliment whatever style and makeup you wear. One would assume that with all the advantages of the wonder polish, it does not have any downsides. While every woman enjoys the shine and the beautiful look of well-manicured gel polished nails, many dread the process of removing it from the nails. Some even prefer to stay with the gel on until the nails grow it off.

However, this leaves them with untidy looking nails and no one wants to walk around looking untidy. In this article, we will help you to learn of different ways to remove your gel polish. You do not have to visit the salon or your nail artist every time you want your gel off. You can do it from the comfort of your home without damaging the nails.

See also:

DIY Gel Polish Removal With Acetone

DIY Gel Polish Removal With Acetone

Many people assume that you need to visit the salon to have gel polish removed. You do not have go all the way, if you have the right tools to do it yourself. The method you use to remove the polish at home will most probably be the same one your nail artist will use. The most basic ingredient is acetone and for those that hate acetone, we will give you other alternative ways of removing the gel polish.

Using the acetone and foil method

foil method remove nail polish

The foil method is one of the best to use to remove gel polish at home. The method requires the use of acetone, cotton balls and a foil to cover the nails. The foil method is not only popular, but it is also the safest. Majority of the salons use the same method to remove gel polish.


Below are the items you will need for the gel polish removal

  • A nail file
  • Petroleum jelly
  • An orange stick
  • Acetone
  • 10-15 balls of cotton
  • 10-15 strips of aluminium foils


Step 1

  • Get rid of the shiny coat on top

The top shiny coat keeps the paint from chipping off and it is the first thing you need to remove in order to get to the polish. If you do not remove the shiny top coat first, you will have a harder time removing the polish. Use the nail file to buff away the shiny top coat and remove only the top layer because if you go deeper than that, you may damage your nails.

Step 2

  • Protect the skin around the nails with petroleum jelly

Using your fingers, apply a generous amount of petroleum jelly to the skin surrounding the nails. This is to protect it from any harm that acetone may cause. Acetone is a strong chemical and if not used well and carefully, it can cause some damages to the skin. However, it does not cause any harm to the nails. Petroleum jelly offers an impenetrable layer between the acetone and the skin.

Step 3

  • Place a doused cotton ball on the nail

Take a cotton ball and generously douse it in acetone. Make sure the acetone you have is in its purest form because anything less than that will not give positive results. After dousing it in acetone, place the cotton ball on the nail, making sure you cover the whole nail surface.

Step 4

  • Cover the cotton ball with the aluminium foil

After you completely cover the nail with the cotton ball, take a piece of the aluminium foil and wrap it around the nail, over the wet cotton ball. The use of the aluminium foil is to prevent any evaporation of the acetone and to let it soak up the gel polish effectively. Repeat this process with every nail and wait for 30 minutes. You can do something else like read a book, watch a movie or just relax as you wait for the acetone to do its work.

Step 5

  • Check the progress

After the 30 minutes are up, remove the aluminium foils and check if the gel polish is off. The gel should easily flake off after the 30 minutes but if you are not sure, use either your nails or an orange stick to check. What you do is push at the end of the polish to check if it is flaking out. If by any chance, some areas are still have gel polish, repeat the process again but only for about 10 minutes. Note that you should only do a repeat on the areas that still have gel polish. Another 10 minutes will be enough to have everything flake out.

Step 6

  • Wash and clean your hands after

Wash your hands with soap to get rid of acetone. Before washing, make sure you clean off any leftover polish from the nails. Walking around with acetone on your fingers and skin may be very dangerous as it is highly inflammable. Also, make sure that after you finish using the acetone, you store it in a cool dry place. Once your hands and nails are clean, you can apply your best cream or nail oil for protection and hydration.

Using the acetone soak method

How to remove soak-off gel polish

Though the soaking method is not a preference with many people, it is also another effective way of removing gel polish. Unlike the foil and acetone method, this one takes longer and you do not need any aluminium foils or cotton balls. You remove the gel polish by directly soaking the nails in acetone.


  • Petroleum jelly
  • Orange stick
  • One large bowl
  • Nail file
  • One medium bowl
  • Pure acetone
  • Warm water


Step 1

  • Mix acetone with warm water

Using the larger bowl, fill it in with warm water. Make sure that your water is not hot but warm. When you are doing this, always remember that acetone is highly inflammable and it should therefore be far away from heat. Take your acetone and put it in the medium bowl. Place the medium bowl with acetone on the warm water and leave it there for about 5 minutes for it to get warm

Step 2

  • Buff away the top coat

While your acetone is getting warm, take your nail file and buff away the top coat of the polish. Again, make sure that you only remove the top coat because going deeper than that may damage the nail. After buffing, the nails look matte.

Step 3

  • Apply petroleum jelly

While the acetone is still getting warm, apply a generous amount of petroleum jelly on the skin around the nails. This is to protect the skin again any harm from the acetone.

Step 4

Dip your fingers into the warm acetone and let them sit for 10 to 15 minutes or until you see the polish flake off.

Step 5

  • Remove the flaking polish

After the 15 minutes are over, remove the fingers from the acetone and check if there is any polish left on the nails. Use the orange stick to push out the polish. If there is any stubborn polish refusing to come out, then soak the fingers again for a few more minutes.

Step 6

  • Clean, wash and cream

Clean off any leftover gel polish from the nails using the orange stick. After that make sure you wash your hands and nails thoroughly to clean off the acetone. To avoid the hands and nails from feeling and staying dry, apply nail oil and your best hand cream.

Use gel polish removal kits

gel polish removal kits

If you do not want to go through the process of making your own cotton balls and cutting aluminium foils, you can choose a much easier way of removing the gel polish by purchasing gel polish removal kits. The kits come with cotton pads, soaked in acetone and foils attached to plastic clips, all you do is place them on the nails to let the acetone soak in. the kits work in less than 5 minutes, and after wards, you just scrape off the polish.

Read Next: Best Nail Polish And Colors Reviews

Visit the salon

remove gel polish salon

If you want a reapplication of the gel immediately after removal, then your best option would be to visit the salon. Majority of the salons will not charge anything for the removal if you having another gel polish application. In the salon, all you do is sit back, relax, and let the nail technician do all the work. In most cases, the technician will follow the same procedure of first scraping off the top layer with a nail file before using either the soaking method or the cotton balls and foil method. Though it is the easiest method, it is also the most expensive because if you are not having a reapplication, you will have to pay for the job done.

No acetone method

Is it possible to remove gel polish without acetone? Proper removal of gel polish results in undamaged clean nails. Every proper removal of gel polish includes using acetone. However, you may be in a situation where you want to remove your gel polish fast and you do not have acetone. You can remove the gel polish though the methods you use may not leave your nails looking tidy. If not done carefully, the methods may also damage the nails. Below are some of the best methods to use for gel polish removal without acetone.

Fingernails or cuticles stick method

cuticle stick

For this gel polish removal process, start by checking for polish spots that look loose. Using your fingernails or a cuticle stick, lift up the polish from the nail gently to avoid damaging your nail. You can pour water on the nail or use a faucet as your remove the polish to make it peel off more easily. You can also soften the gel polish by using olive or cuticle oil instead of water.

After pushing off the gel polish, check if there any leftovers and use a nail file or buffer to scrape it all out. Once you are through, wash your hands and fingernails, cover them with nail oil, and hand cream. For your next manicure, make sure you run your fingernails through acetone to make sure that all the gel is out.

Filing method

The filing method is another one you can use without the need for acetone. It does not give you a very clean result but it is something you can do by yourself if you do not have any acetone with you.


  • Make sure your nails are short and manageable by trimming them off.
  • File your nails slowly and gently using a grit file. To monitor how far you are from reaching the natural nail, keep blowing the dust filed away.
  • Change from a grit nail file to a softer one once you almost reach your natural nails. The softer nail file will cause less damage to the nails as compared to the grit file. File slowly and gently to avoid damaging the nails.
  • Once you finish filing, wash your nails and hands with soap. To give the nails nourishment and keep them well hydrated, apply some nail oil. Apply some hand cream on your hands for the same reasons.

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Gel Polish

Gel polish nails look splendid and with good care, your nails can last for three good weeks without chipping or damage. All you need to do is give your gel polished nails attention and care during the period you have your polish on. Below are a few tips on how you can give your nails the TLC they need:

  • If you are doing any tough jobs around the house or anywhere else, then you need to protect your nails. Chores that could damage your nails are gardening, cleaning, and handling harsh chemicals, some games and many others. If you find yourself in a situation that may damage your gel polish, put on some gloves to keep the gel in place.
  • If you damage, crack or chip a part of the gel polish, do not lift it off or pull at the area because doing this may cause damage to your natural nail. If you cannot repair the damage by yourself, visit a nail technician to repair it for you. You also need to note that the repair job may not be free.
  • Some insect repellent solutions and sun tan oils contain solvent oils that may cause damage to gel polish. You therefore have to be very careful when handling these products when you have gel polish on your nails.
  • Chlorinated water followed by excessive sun may cause some of the gel polish colours to fade. This is because chlorine is bleach that gets intense when exposed to the sunlight. Therefore, if you decide to go swimming, make sure your hands and nails are dry from the chlorine water if you decide to go sunbathing.
  • If you feel that removing the gel polish is a bit of a problem for you, do not do it but look for an expert to remove it for you. Visit your nail technician or any other person with the expertise to remove the gel polish. Doing tit the wrong way may damage your natural nails.
  • Finally do not exceed more than two to three weeks with the gel polish. Gel polish improves the growth of the nails and after three weeks, the polish may start to look untidy because of the grown nail. It is advisable to change it and wear a new coat.

Wrapping it up

Gel nail polish strengthens the nails and makes them grow. You do not have to visit the salon every time you need to remove the gel. However if you feel that you are not up to it, do not damage your nails but visit an expert to do it for you. If you are the kind that likes to peel and pick, then you need to learn to stop when you have gel polish on your nails. The polish needs utmost care if you want to continue keeping your nails looking healthy. The slightest mistake can damage the natural nails.

We hope this article was helpful and by following the above guidelines, you can safely remove gel polish from the comfort of your home. To learn more about makeup, beauty products, PERFUMES FOR WOMEN, how to shape eyebrows, glooming ideas and many more, read our previous articles from our website.

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