DIY · Live

How to Easily Remove Your Gel Nails at Home

Unless I’m getting a much needed pedicure, you’ll rarely ever catch me at the nail salon. The only time I get my nails done is for a special occasion. Other than that I’m slapping on a few strokes of Wet N’ Wild nail polish (O.P.I. when I’m feeling fancy) and going about my way. I simply can’t wrap my head around spending a minimum of $35 every few weeks just to let someone do my nails. Are you over fake nails like I am? Before you go to biting, clipping or painfully popping those nails off, check out this quick and easy way to remove your gel nails at home.

excuse my ashy hands

Here’s what you need:

100% acetone (Regular nail polish will not be strong enough to melt the gel)

Cotton balls

Aluminum foil cut into 10 small squares

Nail file & clipper

Buffer block


Step 1:

File each nail to get rid of the top coat of polish.

Step 2:

Stretch out a cotton ball then dip it in the 100% acetone and lay it on top of the nail.

Step 3:

Wrap one aluminum square around the nail with the cotton ball on top. Do each nail one at a time. Keep your nails wrapped for about 15-30 minutes.

You can periodically check if the gel is melting by scraping the nail with the tip of the nail file. Be sure to keep the foil in its cup shape so that you can easily slide it back on in case the nail needs to soak for longer.


Step 4:

One by one gently scrape off all the gel with the tip of the nail file. If the gel nail has not completely melted, slide back on the aluminum foil and let it soak a few minutes longer.

Step 5:

Use the buffer to smooth the nail. Wash and dry your hands then clip and file as needed.

All nails removed except my thumb


Your nails may be brittle and dehydrated so be sure to moisturize with cuticle or coconut oil and apply a clear coat of nail strengthener. Some recommend taking biotin supplements which support hair and nail growth. If you’re like me and not a fan of pills, take the natural approach by maintaining a healthy diet full of protein rich foods like fish, beans and vegetables. You’ll also want to keep your nails filed to avoid damage. Lastly, although gel manis lasts longer than a regular nail job, it’s a harsh process doing unnecessary harm to your nails and skin.


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