How to Remove Gel Nail Polish

by Janet on July 27, 2012

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If you’re wondering how to remove gel nail polish, you’re not alone. It seems like a daunting task if you aren’t familiar with gel nail polish removal techniques, but it’s much simpler than it may seem to be at first. Standard nail polish can take a lot of scrubbing with cotton balls to get off, and it can be even worse if the nail has been chipped or smudged.

Gel nail polish is quick and easy to remove with a simple three-step process. It takes only a few minutes to do so, and with such a quick application time, you can easily change your nail polish color without being late for work or school!

Step 1: Rough Polish Surface
The first step in gel nail polish removal is to roughen the top of the polish surface. It’s easy to do this with a simple nail file, and you don’t have to get any special gel nail polish remover to do it. Just roughen the top of the nail a little until you break the smooth, clean surface of the nail polish. You don’t have to roughen the entire topcoat, just a little of it to allow the next step to work properly.

If you skip this step, it will take longer to remove the polish. The gel nails resist chipping, peeling, and cracking, and are intentionally tough to resist being removed, so this step is important if you want to make gel nail polish removal as quick and easy as possible.

Step 2: Acetone Removal
Once you’ve removed a little bit of the topcoat, it will be easier to complete this step, so don’t skip the first step! You will need some acetone! I highly recommend the Super Nail 16 oz. Pure Acetone. Fill a small bowl (glass or metal is best) with acetone, the same nail polish remover you might use for any other type of nail, and soak your nails in them for just five to seven minutes (depending on how thick the nail polish application is). You’ll see the polish on your nails start to bubble and flake as it comes off. If you don’t have a bowl, then you can purchase a nail soaking tray like this one right here. These make the whole process very simple and straightforward and you reduce your exposure to acetone.

Step 3: Final Touch-Ups
If there are any stubborn bits of nail polish still clinging to your nails, you can use a cuticle stick to easily scrape them off. Be gentle with your nails, because it won’t take too much effort to get the polish off as long as you broke the topcoat completely and removed the majority of it with acetone. You can clean the nails as a final step with wipes dipped in the acetone from your dish to make sure they’re perfectly clean and smooth.

Once you have gone through the process of gel nail removal, you can easily apply new nails yourself with an at-home gel nail kit without any extra steps. Just prepare your nails and apply the new nails as usual!

No special gel nail polish remover is required to get your gel nails off once your nails grow too much to touch them up or you’re bored with the color. You just have to carefully follow the steps above to remove gel nails.


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