How Do You Remove Gel Nail Polish?

Removing gel nail polish is easy to do with a few simple materials and tools by roughing up the surface of the nail, soaking the nails in acetone, gently lifting the gel polish from the nails and moisturizing the hands. The materials and tools required include 100 percent acetone, strips of aluminum foil, cotton balls, an orangewood stick or cuticle pusher, nail file, buffing block and a hand moisturizer. While the removal process may be easy, it is important to be patient, as removing the gel nail polish before it has had adequate time to soften may cause damage to the nail bed.

The following shows one method of removing gel nail polish:

Step 1: Roughen the surface of the polish

Use the nail file to roughen up the surface of the gel polish. Breaking up the surface will let the acetone penetrate into the layer of gel polish.

Step 2: Wrap the nails with acetone-soaked cotton balls

Soak a cotton ball with acetone, place the cotton ball on top of a nail, then wrap the nail with a strip of aluminum to hold the cotton ball in place. Repeat this step on the remaining fingers.

Step 3: Let sit for 10-15 minutes

Let the acetone-soaked cotton balls stay on the nails for 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 4: Remove the polish

Remove the foil and cotton on one finger. The gel polish should have lifted a bit from the nail. Use the orangewood stick to push the rest of the polish out. Do not use anything sharp, as it may damage the surface of the nail. Repeat this step with the remaining fingers.

Step 5: Remove the remaining polish and moisturize the fingers

Use the buffing block to remove any remaining gel polish on the nail. Apply moisturizer on the fingers to counteract the drying effect of the acetone.