How Do You Get Gel Polish Off?

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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Rest your nails

    To prevent damage, moisturize your nails, and wait several days before applying further nail polish.