How to Remove Gel Polish at Home Easily & Safely Without Foil

by Paloma
4 Materials
2 Hours

Gel polish looks great, but removing is not so easy! In this quick tutorial, I’m going to show you how to remove gel polish at home, so you don’t have to visit a salon or, better yet, walk around with half-chipped gel polish!

Discover the best way to remove gel nail polish with my easy tips and guide that doesn't require foil, either. Let’s get started!

Tools and materials:

  • Nail file or electric filer
  • Cup/container
  • Acetone
  • A rounded edge tool to scrape off the polish
Nails with gel polish

These were my nails before I started the gel removal process. As you can see, my gel manicure has grown out.

Electric nail file

Regular nail file

1. File your nails

First things, first, it’s time to file down the gel polish. For this step, you can use a large nail file, or if you have one of those fancy electric filers, that will also do the trick. Either is great! 

Filing the first layer of polish off nails

Place a towel on your workspace and start filing the first layer of polish off your nails. By doing this, the gel will then absorb the acetone in the next step and dissolve the polish. Be sure to do this very lightly. 

How to use an electric nail file

With the efile or electric filer, simply apply it to the surface of the nail and move it gently back and forth. 

Filing the top layer of gel nail polish

So, this is what your nail should look like afterward. See how there’s no shine? That’s what you want.

Pouring acetone into a small bowl

2. Soak your nails!

Grab your little bowl or container and fill it up with just enough acetone so that it covers your nails. 

Soaking nails in acetone for 5 minutes

Dip your nails, and set your timer for around 5-6 minutes. Repeat this on each hand. 

Gently scraping the gel nail polish off nails

3. Scrape off the gel

Grab your favorite rounded-edge tool, and gently start scraping the gel nail polish off of your nails. 

Tip: If some stubborn sections don’t want to come off, soak your nails for another three minutes and repeat the process. 

Gently buffing nails with an efile

4. Buff your nails

Next, using your efile or buffer, buff your nails gently on the whole surface, as shown. 

How to remove gel polish at home

How to remove gel polish at home

Here you go, gel-free nails with minimal damage! This is honestly the easiest way to remove gel nail polish. No more waiting for the next appointment at the salon; you can do this from the comfort of your own home.

I hope you learned something new from this tutorial - how to easily remove gel nail polish without the fuss of using foils!

Suggested materials:
  • Nail file or electric filer
  • Cup/container
  • Acetone
See all materials

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