Removing Gel Polish at Home

I wore gel polish for the first time earlier this year and really liked it.

Read my extensive post on Shellac and Gelish brand polishes here for more information.

I had my nail tech remove my first application of gel polish, but after she assured me I could do it myself, I opted to remove my second application at home.

Here’s how:

    1. I started with a gel polish application that was past its prime. Notice the three weeks of growth at the base.

@Glamazini & Removing Gel Polish at home
image: glamazini

    1. I soaked a cotton ball in nail polish remover and placed it on my nail for 2-3 minutes.
    2. Then I took an orange stick and attempted to scrap the gel polish off.  It was doable but difficult, and I didn’t want to mess up my nail.

@Glamazini & Removing Gel Polish at home
image: glamazini

    1. I decided to bring out the big guns and test soaking one nail in pure acetone for 1 minute instead
    2. Voila! The polish scrapped off with little effort. The pure acetone worked like a charm!

@Glamazini & Removing Gel Polish at home
image: glamazini

    1. Because time is money and I don’t have enough of either, I poured some acetone into a glass bowl and soaked the rest of my fingers for a minute. Note: I’m certain this isn’t the healthiest thing to do because of the contact to your skin. If you plan on removing gel nails at home often, opt for drenching a cotton ball with pure acetone and resting it on your nail like in picture #1
    2. BAM! When I was done I had my real nails back with minimal (I didn’t say ‘no’) damage. Perfect.

@Glamazini & Removing Gel Polish at home
image: glamazini

I’ve already booked my appointment to get gel polish applied for another overseas trip later this year, and when its day is done, I will be removing it at home just like this.  Hope this helps someone!

Until next time Glam Fam I wish you

Life, Liberty & The Pursuit of Nappyness,

@Glamazini | | | Google+



  1. This has REALLY REALLY helped me!!!!!! I have been scrubbing my nails with acetone free nail polish remover to no avail :( This gel stuff is really difficult to remove and I don’t have the scrapy thingy!

  2. Catherine

    I googled “removing gel polish” and found this. I’m definitely going to try to do it myself because my nails got DESTROYED last time I let the manicurist remove gel polish for me. I think she just rushed the soaking process, but it took months for the weak, damaged areas to grow out. Now, realistically, I do know there will be SOME damage no matter what, but I’m hoping to minimize it. The “after” pic of yours gives me hope! Thanks for the great post. :)

    • glamazini

      Glad to help. I’ve used this method a few times and would suggest patience and a good soak. Ultimately there will be some damage but I generally keep my nails just fine after I remove the polish. Good luck!

  3. Maria

    THANK YOU for all the info! Been trying for days to get this gel stuff off my nails. Even attempted to “chew” it off (God knows what that’ll do to my insides!) and the gel still did not come off. And then I stumbled onto your post, did what you said to do, and, it WORKED!!! Of course, my nails aren’t in the best shape at this point but at least there’s no gel on them anymore. Thanks again for your help….it was REALLY appreciated!

  4. CreoleSoul

    I love love love gel polish! I won’t ever go back to acrylics! OPI axxium makes the best shellac and lasts up to 3 weeks!

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