How to Remove Acrylic Gel Nails at Home with Acetone

Acrylic Gel NailsSource:

Acrylic gel nails have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their durability and long-lasting effects. However, there may come a time when you want to remove them, either to switch up your nail look or to give your natural nails a break. While it is always recommended to seek professional help when removing acrylic gel nails, you can also safely remove them at home using acetone. In this article, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of removing acrylic gel nails at home with acetone.

What You’ll Need

Nail Polish RemoverSource:

Before you begin, make sure you have the following items ready:

  • Acetone – 100% pure acetone is recommended for effective removal.
  • Cotton balls or pads – These will be used to apply the acetone to your nails.
  • Tin foil or nail clips – These will help secure the acetone-soaked cotton balls or pads to your nails.
  • A nail file and buffer – You may need these tools to gently file and buff the remaining gel residue after removal.
  • A cuticle pusher – This tool will help in gently pushing back your cuticles.
  • A moisturizing hand cream or cuticle oil – Acetone can be drying, so it’s essential to hydrate your nails and cuticles afterward.

Step-by-Step Guide to Removing Acrylic Gel Nails with Acetone

Removing Acrylic Gel NailsSource:

Now that you have gathered all the necessary supplies, follow these steps to safely remove your acrylic gel nails:

Step 1: Prepare your work area

Prepare Work AreaSource:

Choose a well-ventilated area with a comfortable workspace. Lay down a towel or some newspaper to protect the surface you will be working on from any potential spills or stains.

Step 2: File the top layer of the gel nails

File Top Layer Of Gel NailsSource:

Using a nail file, gently file the top layer of the gel nails. This step helps the acetone penetrate the gel and speeds up the removal process. Be careful not to file too aggressively, as you don’t want to damage your natural nails.

Step 3: Soak cotton balls or pads in acetone

Soak Cotton Balls Or Pads In AcetoneSource:

Take the cotton balls or pads and soak them in pure acetone. Ensure they are fully saturated but not dripping excessively.

Step 4: Apply acetone-soaked cotton to nails

Apply Acetone-Soaked Cotton To NailsSource:

Place the acetone-soaked cotton balls or pads on top of your nails, ensuring they cover the entire nail surface. You can either wrap each finger with a small piece of tin foil or use nail clips to hold the cotton in place. The goal is to create a sealed environment that allows the acetone to effectively dissolve the gel nails.

Step 5: Wait for the acetone to work

Wait For Acetone To WorkSource:

Be patient and wait for the acetone to work its magic. It usually takes about 15-20 minutes for the gel nails to start loosening. You can use this time to relax, watch a show, or catch up on your favorite book.

Step 6: Remove foil or clips and wipe off gel residue

Remove Foil Or Clips And Wipe Off ResidueSource:

Once the gel nails have loosened, carefully remove the tin foil or clips and gently wipe off the gel residue from each nail using a clean cotton pad or ball. Be gentle to avoid scraping or damaging your natural nails. If some gel residue remains, proceed to the next step.

Step 7: Gently file and buff the nails

Gently File And Buff NailsSource:

Using a nail file and buffer, gently file and buff the surface of your nails to remove any remaining gel residue. Take care not to file too aggressively, as this can weaken your natural nails. Aim to create a smooth surface for your next nail treatment.

Step 8: Push back cuticles and moisturize

Push Back Cuticles And MoisturizeSource:

Use a cuticle pusher to gently push back your cuticles, revealing fresh and clean nail beds. Once done, it’s essential to moisturize your nails and cuticles with a nourishing hand cream or cuticle oil. This will help restore moisture and prevent dryness caused by the acetone.

Precautions and Tips

Precautions And TipsSource:

While removing acrylic gel nails at home is possible, it’s important to follow these precautions and tips for a safe and successful removal process:

  • Ensure proper ventilation in your workspace to avoid inhaling excessive acetone fumes.
  • Avoid using nail polish remover containing acetone substitutes, as they may not be as effective in removing acrylic gel nails.
  • Do not force or pry off the gel nails, as this can cause damage to your natural nails.
  • If you experience any discomfort or pain during the removal process, stop immediately and consult a professional.
  • Moisturize your nails and cuticles regularly to keep them healthy and hydrated.
  • Consider seeking professional help if you are unsure or uncomfortable with removing acrylic gel nails at home.


Removing acrylic gel nails at home with acetone can be an effective and cost-efficient alternative to salon visits. By following the step-by-step guide and taking necessary precautions, you can safely remove your acrylic gel nails and maintain the health of your natural nails. Remember to be patient, gentle, and mindful of your nails’ condition throughout the process. If in doubt, always seek professional help. Enjoy your new nail look or embrace the natural beauty of your nails!