How to Remove Gel Nail Polish At Home, Without Acetone, Sugar, Soak-Offs Best Removers

Unlike ordinary nail polishes, gel nail polish is long-lasting and can stay for up to 6 weeks before it starts peeling or chipping which calls for removal.

The most common method of removing gel polish is soak-off which involves acetone remover and foil. However, you can still remove gel without acetone by using sugar, or warm water soak. Read on for more details plus tips to avoid damages

How to Remove Gel Nail Polish Without Aceton & Foil

The two most common methods of getting gel polish off your nails involve use of sugar and warm water. Following are details on how to use each of them.

How to Remove Gel Nail Polish with Sugar

Another hack to get gel polish off your nails without acetone is to use sugar.

How to use sugar to remove gel nail polish

The abrasiveness of sugar is what makes it work. It is obviously not the fastest and most efficient method but it is worth trying


  • 2 Tbsp of Granulated Sugar
  • Bowl
  • Cotton Balls
  • Homemade Cuticle Oil


  1. Add 2 tbsp of granulated sugar into a grinder and grind it once for a few seconds.
  2. Then, transfer it to a medium-sized bowl.
  3. Now, dip the cotton ball into the bowl of ground sugar and rub your nails gently without hurting the cuticles and nearby skin.
  4. Make sure to take intervals in between the process.
  5. Repeat the process until the polish is removed.
  6. Once you are satisfied with the results, apply a few drops of the cuticle oil to soften and smoothen your nails and cuticles.

Warm Water Soak

The other non-acetone and foil-free method to remove gel polish is to simply soak in warm water for some time.


  • A bowl
  • Warm Water
  • Dish Soap
  • Teaspoon of salt


  1. Add the warm water
  2. Add a teaspoon of salt and a few drops of dish soap and mix 
  3. Soak your nails in the mixture for at least 20 minutes
  4. Gently remove softened polish
  5. Moisturize.

How to Remove Gel Nail Polish Acetone & Foil(Soak Off)

How to remove Gel Nail Polish
Gel Nail Polish

The steps to remove gel nail polish are not similar to that you use with ordinary nail polishes. It is a bit more complicated than what you are used to. However, this guide is simple to follow. You will need the following items in order to do it properly. Some gel nail polish kits come with all the removal items you will need to go through the process.

  • Aluminum foils
  • A cuticle pusher or orange stick
  • A buffing block
  • 100 percent acetone polish remover
  • A coarse nail file
  • Cotton wool
  • Cuticle oil or hand moisturizer

You can also remove gel nail polish by using any other nail polish remover, other than the 100% acetone polish remover you buy at the drugstore. If you do not want to use cotton wool in the removal process, you could also use OPI Expert Touch Removal wraps.


  1. File the surface of your nails using a coarse nail file. This will break down the top coat that is normally glossy and allow your gel nail polish remover to penetrate the polish.
  2. Make 5 cotton balls and soak them with acetone UV gel polish remover. Place the cotton balls on the fingernails, one by one.
  3. Taking one finger at a time, wrap the cotton ball on the nails onto the nails using aluminum foil strips you collected in your best gel nail polish remover kit. Make it a bit tight just to ensure that the cotton ball remains in contact with the nails.
  4. Wait for about 10 to 15 minutes for the polish remover to penetrate the layers you made when applying gel nail polish.
  5. Remove the aluminum foil from one finger to see if the polish is coming loose starting from the edges of the nail. If it does, then you are ready to remove gel nail polish from your fingers.
  6. To remove it completely, remove the foils and use an orange stick or the cuticle pusher to scrape off the polish from the nails.
  7. Smooth the surface of each nail using the buffing block. This will gently remove gel nail polish bits that remain on the nails.
  8. Wash your hands clean and then moisturize them, paying close attention to the skin around the nails.

Voila! You now know how to remove gel nail polish at home. This process is particularly known to be very successful for soak-off gel nail polish.

Tips for Removing Gel Polish

  • Do not use sharp objects to remove gel nail polish. Any sharp object you use can peel off the top layer of your nails.
  • If you are not sure how to remove gel nail polish using any of the DIY methods above, visit a manicure salon to have them removed.
  • Do not remove gel nail polish using your nails or teeth to peel it off. It will make your nails brittle and visibly damaged.
  • Don’t microwave acetone because it is flammable.
  • Always moisturize after gel removal

You can also use ordinary cutex remover, but be careful when choosing one. Any cutex remover without acetone in it will not work. Choose a nails polish remover carefully to ensure that you do not end up removing gel nail polish in vain.

Best Gel Nail Polish Removers & Kits

  • Gelish Soak Off nail remover
  • OPI Expert Touch Remover
  • Opi Expert Touch Removal Wraps
  • OPI Polish Remover
  • Super Nail Pure Acetone
  • Zoya Remove Plus Nail Polish Remover
  • IBD Nail Wipes- Lint Free
  • Cutex Polish Remover Pads
  • Harmony Gelish Soak-off Gel Polish Structure Gel

What are your secrets for removing soak-off gel nail polish? Comment below.

See also

Originally posted 2021-04-01 18:00:00.

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