Yes, You Can Remove Acrylic, Gel, and SNS Nails at Home—Here’s How

Yes, You Can Remove Acrylic, Gel, and SNS Nails at Home—Here’s How

The other day, I tried to place an order for nail files, a bottle of acetone, a cuticle pusher, cuticle oil, and some small, plastic bowls at my local Target. Well, apparently everyone else had the same idea as me because everything was sold out. I ended up having to place a pick-up order at the next closest Target, about 10 miles away.

Why is everyone buying nail supplies? Well, as more and more states are implementing stay-at-home orders, and all non-essential businesses are closed, all of us that are used to our bimonthly nail appointments are having to fend for ourselves. I am a proud lover of long, acrylic nails, and at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, I was able to deal with the new nail growth. But at about the fifth week, I couldn’t deal with it anymore, and I had to take matters into my own hands. I had to remove my acrylic nails myself.

So, if you’re in the same boat and you’re wondering how to take off those gel nails, acrylics, or SNS, read on to find out how and the tools you’ll need!

I am a proud lover of long, acrylic nails, and at the beginning of the pandemic, I was able to deal with the new nail growth. But at the fifth week, I couldn’t deal with it anymore, and I had to take matters into my own hands.

 

Acrylics

Materials needed

      • One small metal bowl
      • One small non-metal bowl, bigger than the metal bowl
      • Cotton balls
      • 100% acetone (do NOT get non-acetone nail polish remover)
      • Metal cuticle pusher
      • Hard nail file
      • Soft nail buffer
      • Cuticle oil
      • Nail strengthener
      • Vaseline (optional)

I’m going to stop here and give you an anecdote on how important it is that you have 100% acetone to remove acrylic nails. When I made my order, there wasn’t any 100% acetone, so I had to opt for the next best thing, which is regular ol’ nail polish remover. This is not ideal. Why? Well, regular nail polish remover is made with way less acetone, so this process took me nearly double the time (about an hour and a half total). Don’t be like me. Get 100% acetone if possible.

 

 

How to remove

Before you start, cue up your favorite TV show or get your phone ready to play a podcast or audio book, because you won’t be able to use your hands for a while. I ended up watching two episodes of Tiger King and half an episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race (yes, it took me that long, but I digress).

1. First, use the hard nail file to file down the shiny top coat of polish/acrylic.

Tip: If you have long nails like I did, use a nail clipper to cut them first, so you don’t have to file down incredibly long nails. I did not realize I should’ve done this first until about halfway through, which added to an already time-consuming task, so please, learn from my mistakes!

2. Then, fill the small metal bowl with hot water.

3. Pour acetone into the small, non-metal bowl, and place the non-metal bowl inside the metal bowl. This will help to slightly warm the acetone, which makes it a bit faster to remove the acrylic.

4. Place the cotton balls inside of the bowl with the acetone.

5. If you have Vaseline, this is the time to apply it around your cuticles and the skin around your nails to prevent them from drying out.

6. Next, dip your fingers into the acetone and leave for 10 minutes.

 

remove acrylic nails

 

7. Then, take the metal cuticle pusher and gently scrape along the acrylic to start removing some layers.

8. Soak again, for another 10 minutes, and repeat this process of soak, scrape, soak until you’re left with a thin layer of acrylic.

9. Use the hard file to remove the rest of the acrylic.

10. Apply cuticle oil and a nail strengthener to protect your nails, if you have it.

There is a slight silver lining to not using 100% acetone: My nails weren’t nearly as damaged and fragile as I thought they would be. My nail polish remover had “nourishing” ingredients, which I suspect helped minimize the damage to my nails as I soaked them for about 45 minutes. Afterwards, I applied a nail strengthener, and so far, I’ve experienced zero breakage or nail sensitivity.

 

Gel nails

Materials needed

      • 100% acetone
      • Aluminum foil
      • Cotton balls
      • Cuticle oil
      • Buffer
      • Hard nail file

 

remove acrylic nails

 

How to remove

Again, make sure you have a TV show or podcast/audiobook lined up and ready to go.

1. First, tear the aluminum foil into strips that are slightly wider and longer than your nails.

2. Use a nail file to remove that top, shiny layer.

3. Then, soak a piece of cotton ball with 100% acetone, and place it on top of your nail.

4. Take one of the foil strips and wrap around your finger and nail to hold the cotton ball in place. Leave on for 15 to 20 minutes.

5. Remove the foil, and use the cotton ball to gently remove the product. If there are some stubborn spots, use a nail file to remove the rest.

6. Buff out your nails, apply some cuticle oil, and you’re ready to go!

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Fie Nails 💅🏼 (@fie_nails) on

 

SNS nails (dip/dipping powder)

Materials needed

      • 100% acetone
      • Aluminum foil
      • Cotton balls
      • Cuticle oil
      • Buffer
      • Hard nail file
      • Paper towels

 

How to remove

1. As with the acrylic and gel nails, use your nail file to gently buff away the shiny SNS top coat.

2. Tear the aluminum foil into strips, then soak a cotton ball in the acetone and use it to cover your fingers. Wrap the foil around your nail and finger, and wait approximately 10 to 15 minutes.

3. Remove the foil and gently touch the SNS. If it’s sticky, press the cotton pad and foil back on and wait another 5 minutes.

4. Once it’s soft and flaky to the touch, use a paper towel to wipe away the dipping powder.

5. Apply the cuticle oil and shape your nails using the nail file and buffer.

Have you tried to remove your acrylic or gel nails yet? How painful (or easy) was it? And what was the condition of your nails afterwards? Please share your tricks or hacks (or mistakes!) in the comments below!

 

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

This site is using software to reduce spam. Learn how our comment data is processed. Privacy Policy

%d bloggers like this: