How to Remove Gel Nail Polish at Home

remove gel polish with foil
Written by emilyc

You’ve always wanted to know how to do this. You’ve always wanted to stop peeling off vital layers of your nails when your precious gel mani starts to lift at the edges. Here’s how to remove your stubborn gel manicure at home, once and for all!

remove gel polish with foil

You will need:

a piece of paper

pure acetone

5 cotton balls

10 pieces of foil (approximately 3″x 3″ squares)

a wood or metal stick like a cuticle pusher

nail file

nail buffer

Here’s what you do:

Step 1: Use a coarse nail file to scratch the surface. You have to break through the clear coat they put on top to get to the polish below.

Step 2: Tear 5 cotton balls in half so you have 10 pieces total. Soak them in acetone and lay them on the nail. Wrap your foil square around the finger and let it sit (about 7 minutes).

Step 3: Start scraping the gel nail off with the cuticle stick. It should come off easily, but if it doesn’t, soak the nail longer. Important: When you pull the foil off, don’t unwrap it, just pull it straight off the tip of your finger so that it stays in the same shape in case you have to put your nail back in.

Step 4: Once the gel color is gone, you might see a spotty clear layer. Wash your hands, then take a buffer and smooth it all out. There you have it! Your nails are saved.

Image [via]

About the author


Emily is a New Yorker trapped in a Floridian's body and loves every minute of her big city life. With a major in international business and years of being surrounded by ill-fitting suits and all the wrong shoes, she learned that the importance of fashion needs to be communicated to the world. To her, fashion is on the same level as charity work and feeding hungry children. Emily can be found frolicking the streets of her gayborhood enjoying the off-color humor of the gays.

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