The Best Way to Remove Gel Nail Polish Without Damaging Nails

Kreena Desai
by Kreena Desai
8 Materials
2 Hours

In this tutorial, I'll show you the best way to remove gel nail polish without damaging nails. Unfortunately, gel nails don’t last forever, but the cost of having them removed at the salon I think is ridiculous considering you can do it yourself.

So, here's how to remove gel nail polish at home quickly and easily. Let's get started.

See also: Easy At-Home Manicure: How to Cure Gel Nail Polish With an LED Light

Gel nail removal kit:

  • 10 pieces of aluminum foil
  • 10 cotton pads
  • Acetone
  • Acetone sachets from gel nail removal kit (optional)
  • Cuticle pusher
  • Buffer
  • Cuticle oil
  • Base coat
How to remove gel nail polish

Here's my grown-out gel polish manicure. It's definitely time to remove the gel, and I just want it done quickly and safely, without damage.

Gel nail removal kit

1. Get the materials ready

I had some acetone wipes from my gel nail removal kit, but if you don’t have these, then don't fret! All you need is 10 cotton pads, 10 pieces of aluminum foil, and acetone. 

How to remove gel nail polish with acetone

2. Apply acetone to nails

Now, take your cotton pad, and soak it in a lot of acetone. Be generous here. Place your cotton pad on your nails, and wrap each finger with aluminum foil to secure it in place. Keep it on for at least 10-15 minutes. 

This process will help soften the gel. If you have the sachet from the gel nail removal kit, simply insert your nail inside and wrap the sachet with sticky tape. 

Make sure you are using acetone and not a regular nail polish remover. 

Removing the foil and acetone pads

3. Remove the pads

After 15-20 minutes, remove the pad or sachet from your fingertips. 

Scrape the gel off with a cuticle pusher

4. Scrape the polish off

Now, take a cuticle pusher to scrape the top layer of polish off. Be very careful. Make sure you are scraping off the polish only, not your nails. 

How do you remove gel nail polish quickly?

5. Repeat the process

Now, use the same aluminum foil and put it back on your fingertips. Leave it on for another 10-15 minutes. 

Scraping off the gel nail polish

Then, remove the foil, and scrape off the rest of the polish.

Buffing nails with a nail buffer

6. Buff nails

Take a nail buffer, and smoothen the surface of your nails. 

Applying a base coat to nails

7. Apply a base coat

Apply a thin coat of nail polish to make your nails look shiny and healthy. 

Applying cuticle oil to nails and skin

8. Apply cuticle oil

Since acetone really dries out your nails and the skin surrounding your nails, it’s best to bring back that moisture by applying cuticle oil. 

How to remove gel nails at home

The best way to remove gel nail polish without damaging nails

That’s it! It’s that easy, ladies! You don’t need to pay to remove your gel nail polish, and you can simply do this from home. Now that you know how to remove gel polish with acetone, you can go pamper yourself with something else. Better, right? 

Suggested materials:
  • 10 pieces of aluminum foil
  • 10 cotton pads
  • Acetone
See all materials

The author may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.

Join the conversation