How to Remove Gel Nail Polish Easily at Home in 5 Simple Steps

8 Materials
$10
20 Minutes
Easy

Gel nail polish is really beautiful, but salons do charge a lot to remove it before you get your nails redone. This tutorial will show you how to remove gel nail polish yourself, at home. It’s easier than you think, so let’s get started.

Tools and materials:

  • Nail polish remover
  • Cotton pads
  • Aluminum foil
  • Cuticle oil
  • Emery board
  • Cuticle stick or cuticle pusher
  • Nail buffer
  • Nail polish
Filing down the gel top coat

1. File your nails

This step isn’t about filing the tips of your nails. Instead, use your emery board to file down the top coat on your nails. Simply file the top of each nail until it is no longer shiny and looks flat and dull.

Softening the gel polish with acetone

2. Soften the gel polish

Soak half a cotton ball in nail polish remover, put the cotton ball on your nail and use a small square of aluminum foil wrapped around your fingertip to hold it in place. Repeat for all of your nails.


Let your nails soak in the polish remover and then remove the foil and cotton balls. But don’t remove them all at once, just one nail at a time, because as soon as you do remove one, the gel on that nail will begin to harden up again.

How to remove gel nail polish

3. Remove the gel polish

When you remove the foil and cotton ball from one nail, use your cuticle pusher to then scrape off the softened gel. If there are bits you couldn’t scrape off, especially in the hard-to-reach corners, use your emery board again to file it off.

How to remove gel nails at home

4. Buff your nails

Use a nail buffer to smooth out the surface of your nails.

Applying cuticle oil after the gel nail polish removal

5. Treat your cuticles

Apply cuticle oil to the cuticles on each nail and rub it in well so it can really nourish your cuticles. The acetone in nail polish remover is hard on your cuticles so this step helps to replenish them.

Applying a new coat of nail polish

How to remove gel nail polish

You’ve gone to the trouble of removing your old gel polish so you might as well finish up with a new coat of nail polish until you have time for another trip to the salon!


Let me know in the comments if you tried this gel polish removal technique and how you liked it. Thanks for joining!

Suggested materials:
  • Nail polish remover
  • Cotton pads
  • Aluminum foil
See all materials

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