How to remove gel nails

Currently, gel nail polish is being favored by many women, because of its high durability. Moreover, it has more beautiful colors and designs than regular nail polish. With a special gel composition, ordinary nail removers cannot remove the gel color on the nails. Instead, every time you want to remove the old nail color, you often have to go to a specialized nail salon to be able to remove the gel layer. At Rachel’s Nails, we have advanced techniques to carefully remove gel nails. For your convenience, we will show you how to remove gel nails: at home and at our salon.

How to remove gel nails at home

Most people go to a salon to have their nails removed by a manicurist, but you can do this yourself at home. Today, we will show you 2 ways about how to remove gel nails easily without going to the salon: soak gel nails in acetone and peel off gel nails.

1.1. Soak gel nails in acetone 

Necessary tools:

  • Nail file
  • Buff
  • Cotton ball
  • Acetone nail cleaning solution
  • Aluminum foil
  • Vaseline and hand cream moisturizer
  • Bowl


STEP 1: Pour acetone into a bowl.

Acetone is a chemical that reacts with gel nails, helping to reduce stickiness and cause gel nails to peel off from their natural nails. Acetone is commonly found in nail polish removers. To remove gel nails, however, you should use pure acetone at a greater concentration.

  • Wrap plastic wrap or foil over the acetone bowl. We recommend using non-plastic bowl because acetone can decompose and damage the plastic bowl.
  • Warm the acetone by placing it in a bigger bowl of warm water. Remove after around 3-5 minutes to avoid the acetone from becoming too hot. Because acetone is flammable, proceed with caution. Do not leave acetone near direct heat sources.

STEP 2: Protect your skin with moisturizing cream. 

Acetone can cause skin to become dry and damaged, therefore use a moisturizing cream to preserve it. If you don’t have a pure moisturizing cream, a lotion or vaseline is a perfect substitution.

  • Dip a cotton swab in moisturizing cream and apply to the edges of the nail and skin. You should apply from the fingertips to just below your nails.

  • Do not apply too much cream on nails surface because acetone cannot dissolve the gel.

STEP 3: Wrap your nails in acetone.

Dip a cotton ball in acetone until completely absorbed, then place it on the nail. Then, use foil to secure the cotton ball. Soak nails in acetone for about 30 minutes.

How to remove gel nails

If acetone doesn’t irritate your skin, you can soak your nails directly in the bowl instead of using cotton balls and foil. Make sure not to soak nails directly in acetone for more than 30 minutes.

STEP 4: Remove foil and cotton balls.

Remove the foil and cotton ball from one nail first. The gel should fall off easily when you wipe it with a cotton ball. If the gel falls off easily, you can repeat the process with the remaining nails.

  • Gel nails can be peeled backwards to make the gel easier to peel off.
  • If the gel on the first finger still sticks, you need to replace the cotton ball soaked in acetone. Repeat the process for 10 minutes.

Continue until the gel nail is soft and can be removed from the nail. If this method doesn’t work within an hour, the adhesive gel is probably resistant to acetone and you need to find another way.

STEP 5: Nourish your nails with moisturizer.

Wash off the acetone and then use a file to file the natural nail. Use a nail buff to help remove rough corners. Moisturize your nails and hands with lotion or hand cream.

  • File only in one direction so as not to damage the nail. Avoid filing back and forth like a wood saw.
  • Acetone can dry out nails. Therefore, you need to keep your nails carefully for a few days. It is recommended to wait about 1 week before applying a new gel nail.

1.2. Peel off gel nails

Necessary tools:

  • Cuticle stick
  • Tweezers
  • Nail file
  • Buff
  • Vaseline and hand cream moisturizer


STEP 1: Wait until the gel is almost peeled off.

The gel usually breaks off after 1-2 weeks and it’s best to wait until the gel starts to peel off on its own to reduce damage to the nail surface.

STEP 2: Insert the cuticle stick under the surface of the gel.

Gently insert the stick under the gel, until the gel around the edge of the nail is slightly raised. Do not push too hard under the nail gel to avoid damaging the natural nail.

STEP 3: Peel off the gel. 

Use your fingers or tweezers to hold the edge of the gel nail and then peel it back. Repeat with each nail until the gel nail is completely removed. You can apply coconut oil or other types of oil on top to protect your nails.

  • Do not rip off gel nails. Vigorous tearing can pull the natural nail layer.
  • If the hard gel does not peel off, you should consider another removal method.

STEP 4: Nourish your nails with moisturizer. 

Use a nail buff and nail file to help remove rough corners. Moisturize your nails and hands with lotion or hand cream. 

How to remove gel nails at salon

How to remove gel nails at home appears to be more dangerous because you lack the necessary tools and skill. Aside from that, the cost of equipment to remove gel nails might be substantially higher than going to a nail salon. At Rachel’s Nails, we provide ultimate service to carefully removing your nails.

My salon’s standard process is to soak your nails in acetone first. Because gel nails contain chemicals, acetone (or something similar) will be required during removal to remove the tough, protective coating. When removing gel polish, a small pad absorbed in polish remover is placed over the nails.

The next step is to file the gel nails. When removing it, our salon has special files and a nail pusher. This will help to remove all the gel coating on top of your nails easier.

Last but not least, Rachel’s Nails is the place where consumers may get special nail coating polish. After we remove the gel from your nails, we will apply the polish to the top of your nails. This ensures that your nails are strong and safe after the gel has been removed.

The entire procedure takes about 15 to 25 minutes, making it ideal for those who do not have the time or tools to remove gel nails at home. We have skilled manicurists and specialized equipment, so we can always make sure that nail removal is painless and safe. You may get the greatest nail removal service from only £8.

Some advice for you about how to remove gel nails

  • If you are patient enough, just let the nail grow out and then clip the nail

regularly to remove the gel-coated part, until the gel nail is completely removed. This process takes longer but is the most natural and safest way to remove gel nails.

  • After removing the gel nails, the natural nails will be very weak and

sensitive to chemicals and cleaning products. Therefore, you should wear protective gloves during cleaning for several weeks.

  • Always remember to moisturize your hands and you should not have your

gel nails done right after removing the old ones. It may damage the nail bed. 


  • Peel off gel nails can cause damage to your natural nails.
  • Avoid inhaling the smell of acetone while preparing and soaking your nails. It is best to apply this method in a well-ventilated area.
  • Acetone is highly flammable. Never heat acetone in the microwave or on the stove. Be careful when heating acetone with warm water.

Some information about our nails salon

Rachel’s Nails offer not only manicures but also pedicures and beauty treatments. Our utilities are meticulously prepared to provide you with the greatest services. We have talented manicurists and a wide selection of options for customers. When compared to other sites, the pricing and quality of the services here are really reasonable. Every day, we strive to improve so that we can provide the greatest service to our clients.

We want to make sure that when customers come to us, they get exactly what they desire. Moreover, we have a free parking spot right in front of the salon, ultra free wifi and free drinks for customers. Our location is at 12a Norcot Road, Reading, UK. Customers can visit our website named, and you may read our blogs to get more about nails. 


We hope that all the information that we provide to you can help you with the issue: how to remove gel nails at home and at our salon.

It is quite simple to remove gel nails at home. All you need are the necessary tools and you should follow the step-by-step instructions. If any unexpected problems arise, please feel free to visit our nail salon or the nearest health facility for assistance.

At Rachel’s Nails, we remove gel nails with acetone and specific tools, and then apply a nail treatment coating on top of your nails. This protects your nails from being damaged after the removal. We guarantee that you will always have perfect nails when leaving our salon.

To all the girls and women, we believe that after reading this article, removing gel nails will no longer be a tough challenge to you.

About the Author

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}
For last minute appointments or booking issues please direct call our number 07402286286.