Remove gel polish from fingernails by filing the surface with a standard emery board. Apply acetone-soaked cotton balls to the gel and secure with aluminum foil. After several minutes, remove the cotton and gently buff the nails.
- Roughen the gel surface
With a standard emery board, file each nail with a back-and-forth motion. Continue until the entire nail surface is rough to the touch.
- Soak cotton balls in acetone
Pour 1/2 cup of acetone nail polish remover into a bowl. Place 10 small cotton balls into the acetone until they are saturated.
- Cover the skin around each nail
Protect the skin around your nails by applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly. This helps prevent skin irritation while the nails are soaking.
- Place and secure cotton balls on the nails
Carefully remove one cotton ball and place it on each nail. Secure the cotton ball by wrapping a small piece of aluminum foil around your fingertip. Repeat on all fingers. Let the acetone solution soak for 30 minutes.
- Remove the cotton balls
Slowly remove the foil covered cotton balls from each fingernail. The gel polish comes off with the cotton if the process has worked properly.
- Buffer the nails
Using a standard nail buffer, gently buff the surface of each nail to remove any remaining gel polish and to smooth rough edges.
- Rest your nails
To prevent damage, moisturize your nails, and wait several days before applying further nail polish.