Home Makeup Tips How to Remove Gel Nails Quickly (3 Easy Ways)

How to Remove Gel Nails Quickly (3 Easy Ways)

by Sandy Taylor

You don’t need to visit a salon to remove your gel nails. You can do it at home with a few simple tools. In this post, I will show you a few ways to remove gel nails quickly. Each method only takes around 15 minutes and if done right, these methods will help you remove gel nails without damaging your nails.

How to Remove Gel Nails With Acetone

Acetone nail polish removers work by breaking down the gel nail polish and removing it from the surface of your nails. This is by far the most popular method but you should know that exposing your fingertips to acetone can dehydrate the nail plate and cuticles. 

Acetone can also make your nails dry, brittle, flakey and red. 

If you choose to use this method, don’t leave the acetone on your tips for more than 15 minutes.

What You Will Need:

  1. Acetone Nail polish
  2. Tin Foil 
  3. Cotton Balls
  4. Nail File
  5. Cuticle Spoon
  6. Cuticle Oil

Here’s How to Remove Gel Nails with Acetone:

  1. Using a nail file, file the top coat of your gel nails. You’re not trying to remove the gel nails here. You’re simply breaking down the top coat of the gel nails to make it easier for the acetone to soak in later.
  2. Soak some cotton balls in acetone nail polish remover then place one on top of each gel nail. The cotton balls should not be dripping wet but damp enough so that there is enough acetone to work on your nails.
  3. Place the cotton ball (with acetone) on top of your nail
  4. Wrap a piece of tin foil over the cotton ball and around the finger.  
  5. Wait for 10- 15 minutes
  6. Take off the tin foil. You will notice that the gel has separated from the nail.
  7. Use a cuticle spoon to gently scrape off the separated gel. You shouldn’t need to use any force here. If there is gel remaining on your nails that cannot be scraped, repeat steps 2 and 3 for a few more minutes on those nails. 
  8. Once you’ve scraped off all the gel, wash your hands with a mild soup.
  9. Add a few drops of cuticle oil on your nails to restore your nail’s moisture.
  10. Use hand lotion to moisturize your fingertips. 

Note: Do one hand at a time.

How to Remove Gel Nails Without Tin Foil

If you don’t have any tin foil at home or prefer not to use them, there is a way to remove your gel nails.

What You Will Need:

  1. A small bowl big enough to put all 5 fingers of 1 hand in.
  2. A large bowl big enough to put the small bowl in
  3. Acetone Nail Polish
  4. Nail File
  5. Cuticle Spoon
  6. Cuticle Oil

Here’s How to Remove Gel Nails Without Tin Foil:

  1. Using a nail file, file the top coat of your gel nails. You’re not trying to remove the gel. You’re breaking down the top coat of the gel to make it easier for the acetone to soak in later.
  2. Pour a small amount of acetone into the small bowl, add just enough to cover your nails when you put them face down into the bowl. 
  3. Place the small bowl of acetone into the big bowl
  4. Pour warm water into the big bowl. The warm water will heat up the acetone, making it remove the gel nails faster. Be warned that acetone is flammable and should not be heated up using a microwave or other methods. Using warm water is the best way to give your acetone a bit of “power”. 
  5. Soak your nails in the acetone for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Take out your nails, you will notice that some gel has separated from the nail. 
  7. Use a cuticle spoon to gently scrape off the separated gel. You shouldn’t need to use any force here. If there is gel remaining on your nails that cannot be scraped, repeat steps 5 and 6 for a few more minutes on those nails.
  8. Once you’ve scraped off all the gel, wash your hands with a mild soup.
  9. Add a few drops of cuticle oil on your nails to restore your nails moisture.
  10. Use hand lotion to moisturize your fingertips. 

How to Remove Gel Nails With Extensions (Tips)

If you’ve got gel nails with extensions, you can remove them yourself at home easily with a few tools.

What You Will Need:

  1. Acetone Nail polish
  2. Tin Foil 
  3. Cotton Balls
  4. Nail File
  5. Cuticle Spoon
  6. Cuticle Oil
  7. Nail Clippers

Here’s How to Remove Gel Nails With Extensions or Tips:

  1. Gently clip the tips of your nail extensions off with your nail clippers. Be Careful not to clip your own natural nails.  
  2. File the top coat of the gel nails, this will remove the top coat and allow the acetone to soak in better later
  3. Soak some cotton balls in the acetone, the cotton balls should not be dripping in acetone but instead damp enough to work on your nails. 
  4. Place the cotton ball (with acetone) on top of your nail
  5. Wrap a piece of tin foil over the cotton ball and around the finger.  
  6. Wait for 10- 15 minutes
  7. Remove the tin foil, you should see that what’s left of your extensions (that was not clipped off in step 1) has lifted from your natural nail. The gel would also have separated.
  8. Gently push off the extension leftovers and gel from your nails with a cuticle spoon. Use minimum force to avoid damaging your natural nails.
  9. If the gel and extension have not separated from your nails, repeat steps 3 – 8 for a few more minutes.
  10. Once you’ve scraped off all the gel, wash your hands with a mild soup.
  11. Add a few drops of cuticle oil on your nails to restore your nail’s moisture.
  12. Use hand lotion to moisturize your fingertips.

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