How to Remove Gel Nail Polish at Home

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Nail Polish

Getting a manicure is probably a part of your regular routine. Everyone loves a fresh mani and maybe even a Pedi. However,  sometimes life can get in the way of your self-care routine and you may not have time to keep up with your regular manicures.

Are you finding that you don’t have time to go to the salon or are getting tired of your gel nails? You don’t have to take time out of your busy schedule to go to the salon to have your nail polish removed. You can easily do it at home.

Not sure how to remove gel nail polish? This article contains a simple guide to removing gel nail polish at home, for a fraction of the cost. It’s better to remove them yourself than to leave them on for too long. Leaving gel polish on your natural nails can cause your nails to become damaged, dry and frail.

How to Remove Gel Nail Polish

In case you were wondering how to remove gel nail polish at home, it’s quite similar to the way professionals remove gel nails at the salon. You don’t need fancy and expensive tools to remove gel nails and it’s not that complicated. Just use the following steps.


Supplies Needed:

  • Nail file
  • Cotton pads or cotton balls (Pro tip: Cotton pads are a better fit)
  • Acetone nail polish remover
  • Aluminum foil
  • Plastic bowl
  • Orange stick
  • Cuticle oil
  • Hand lotion

Step One: File Down the Gel Nail

Use a clean and fresh nail file to file the topcoat seal away with care. Once the finish and color are dull and faded, you should stop. You don’t want to remove the full gel nail polish as it could damage your natural nails.

Step 2: Wrap Your Nails

Next, place a cotton pad (or cotton ball) soaked in acetone nail polish remover on each nail, and then wrap each nail in aluminum foil. This will hold the cotton pad in place and protect your cuticles.

Step 3: Soak Your Nails

Fill a plastic bowl with acetone nail polish remover. Soak your wrapped nails for up to fifteen minutes.

*Pro-tip: Non-acetone nail polish remover will not remove gel nail polish. If you do not have any acetone polish remover, or cannot use it for some reason, you can use warm water with salt and dish soap.
*Bonus tip: To make the process faster (and smoother), you can use a heating pad or warm towel to wrap your hands as this will help loosen the gel nail polish.


Step 4: When you are finished soaking your nails, gently remove both the foil by carefully twisting and squeezing. The cotton pad should slide right off. If not, gently remove it from each nail. If there is any polish remaining, use an orange stick to softly it away. Start at the bottom and work towards the top of the finger. If you go against the grain of the nail, it can cause damage to your natural nail.

Step 5: Nourish Your Natural Nails

Acetone nail polish remover is damaging to your skin so it is imperative that you nourish your nails, cuticles, and skin after the removal process is finished. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water and dry. Apply some cuticle oil to your nails, nail bed, and cuticles. Massage some hand lotion onto your hands and nails.

You should give your natural nails some time to breathe and heal before your next manicure. Wait at least a week before your next nail appointment. As well, you should not apply any polish to your nails. Continue to nourish your natural nails at least once a day between manicures.