How to Remove Gel Nail Polish at Home – A Brief Guide

If you have gotten your hands on the best gel polish kit and tried on some amazing shades, you might want to change the shades and go for another version of gel polish manicure. If you don’t want to go to the nail salon, your only option is to remove gel nail polish at home.

One of the most effective ways to remove gel nail polish is by applying acetone to your nails. It is also one of the most effective ways to remove gel nail polish from your nails at home. Instead of wrapping your nails in foil for an extended period, you can remove gel nail polish effectively by using plastic wrap (food wrap) instead.

How to Remove Gel Nail Polish at Home – A Brief Guide

If you have never applied acetone to your nails before, you will witness a major difference in your nails as you will be causing minimal damage to your nails instead of using a filter to get off the nail polish from your nails, or worse: by picking it off.

If you don’t want to visit the nail salon and remove the OPI gel polish at home, you will need the following items: Cotton Balls/Strips, Plastic Wrap, Acetone Solution (100%), Petroleum Jelly, Washcloth/ Towel.

Important Note: Acetone can potentially damage furniture, countertops, etc. We recommend using plastic wrap to cover the surface. Simultaneously, place a thick towel on the top of the surface.

One Step at a Time

Suppose you have explored the best nail polish brands and settled for a gel polish kit of your choice. You will want to follow all application processes correctly (base coat, colored layers, top coat) for a long-lasting, glossy, and shiny manicure.

However, to avoid your nails from getting damaged, you have to follow the following steps while removing the gel color polish from your nails. Remember to take one step at a time to get the best results: Use petroleum jelly to coat a thin layer on the surrounding area of your cuticles. The thin layer of petroleum jelly keeps your fingers and cuticles safe from the harmful effects of acetone.

Measure all nails and cut cotton stripes or cotton balls equal to the size of your nails. By measuring the nail size and cutting the cotton balls/ stripes accordingly, you diminish the risks of causing acetone to connect with your cuticles and skin.

Your skin might be sensitive and cause a reaction if the acetone gets in touch with your skin. The thin petroleum jelly layer will save your skin, while the same-sized cotton strips or balls delimit the potential risks of touching your skin.

After you have gotten the right sizes of cotton balls or cotton strips, you can proceed to soak each of the cotton strips/ balls in acetone.

Subsequently, position each piece of the soaked cotton ball/ stripe on the top of all your nails, for which you cut the cotton pieces separately.

After successfully placing all cotton pieces on the respective nails, use plastic wrap to seal the cotton pieces. However, avoid sealing the nails too tightly as this might block blood circulation.

An essential benefit of using plastic wrap for sealing the nails instead of using the typical foil wraps is that plastic enables for a tighter seal, which won’t lead to the unnecessary dripping of the acetone.

Remove the plastic wraps after approximately 12 minutes. You are supposed to see all the OPI gel polish removed.

Now comes the washcloth in play. Use the washcloth to remove any remnants of the OPI gel polish from all nails. We recommend using a wet washcloth that has been soaked in lukewarm water. Since you wouldn’t want to damage the cuticles and the surrounding skin of your nails, make sure to rub only the nails.

We recommend using simple (chemical and fragrance-free) mild soap and lukewarm water to wash off the acetone.

If you experience irritated or dry skin, we recommend rubbing in petroleum jelly for the next entire week on your nails, cuticles, and the skin surrounding your nails.


We recommend allowing your nails to grow out before initiating the gel nail polish brands removal process. If you have chipped nails, we recommend clipping the nails once a week to prevent the nails from getting entangled in clothes and other items.

Besides, the greatest challenge that fashionistas might struggle to deal with is the urge to pick at their gel manicure. By scraping or picking off the layers of your nails, you only expose your nails to potential damage. If you choose the safer alternative of allowing your nail to grow out altogether, you should know that it takes your fingernails approximately six months to grow out, whereas, your toenails might need twelve or more months to grow out.