How Do You Soak Off Gel Nails Like a Pro?

Gel nails have become increasingly popular in recent years for a variety of reasons. They’re long-lasting, resist chipping, and they usually look amazing. Gel nails can last upwards of two weeks, but eventually, they will need to be removed. To the uninitiated, removal of gel nails might seem like a daunting task; however, with the right tools and techniques, you can remove your gel nails safely and with minimal damage to your natural nails. In this article, we will be discussing how to soak off gel nails like a pro.

What You Will Need

To soak off your gel nails, you will need:

  • Acetone
  • Cotton balls
  • Tin foil
  • Nail buffer
  • Cuticle pusher


Before you begin to soak your gel nails, you will need to prepare them by filing down the shiny top coat using a nail buffer. Do not file too much, as you don’t want to damage your natural nails. Once the shiny coat has been removed, using a cuticle pusher, carefully push back your cuticles to expose the base of your nails.

Soaking Off Your Gel Nails

Once your nails have been prepared, you can begin to soak off your gel nails. Follow these steps:

  1. Take a cotton ball and saturate it with acetone.
  2. Place the cotton ball on a nail covering the entire nail.
  3. Wrap the finger with tin foil to hold the cotton ball in place.
  4. Repeat for all your fingers.
  5. Let the acetone soak for 10-15 minutes.
  6. After 10-15 minutes, remove the foil and the cotton ball.
  7. Using a cuticle pusher or an orangewood stick, gently scrape off the remaining gel polish. Be very gentle to avoid damage to your natural nails.
  8. Repeat the process for all of your nails.
  9. Finish by washing your hands with soap and water to remove any remaining acetone.

Alternative Gel Removal Methods

There are a few alternative methods to remove gel nails if you don’t have the necessary tools or if you prefer to go through another route:

Using A Gel Removal Kit

A gel removal kit is an excellent alternative if you don’t have acetone or don’t want to buy it separately. These kits usually come with everything you need to remove your gel nails. Follow the instructions on the package, and you will be able to remove your gel polish successfully.

The Dental Floss Method

The dental floss method is another alternative technique for removing gel nails:

  1. Take a piece of dental floss, about 20-30cm long.
  2. Loosely wrap the floss around your finger, under the gel polish.
  3. Pull the dental floss through, slowly and gently, to remove the gel polish.
  4. Repeat the process for all of your fingers.


After removing your gel nails, it’s time to give your natural nails some TLC. Your nails may be weakened and in need of hydration. To help with recovery, apply a nail strengthener to help rebuild and hydrate your nails. This will keep them healthy and strong, so they don’t break, split, or peel.

You can also moisturize your nails and cuticles using a cuticle oil. Nails are more prone to breaking when they’re dry, so it’s essential to keep them moisturized. Apart from moisturizing, you should also avoid biting your nails or using them as tools. Doing so can cause significant damage to your nails.


How long does it take for gel nails to soak off?

It usually takes 10-15 minutes for gel nails to soak off.

Can you reuse foil after soaking off gel nails?

Yes, you can reuse foil after soaking off gel nails. Just make sure to clean it properly to avoid causing infection.

Can you use nail polish remover instead of acetone to remove gel nails?

Nail polish remover is not as strong as acetone, so it will not remove gel polish as effectively. You can use it as a substitute for acetone, but you will need to soak your nails for a more extended period to remove the gel polish successfully.

Is it safe to remove gel nails at home?

Yes, it is safe to remove gel nails at home if you follow the correct procedure. However, if you’re unsure or have a highly intricate design, it’s best to see a professional to avoid causing damage to your natural nails.

Do I need to go to a salon to remove my gel nails?

No, you don’t need to go to a salon to remove your gel nails. You can remove them at home with the right tools and technique.


Gel nails are a fantastic way to keep your nails looking stunning for longer. However, like all good things, they must come to an end. When it’s time to remove your gel nails, be sure to follow the proper procedures to avoid damaging your natural nails. Additionally, take good care of your natural nails after removing your gel polish to ensure they stay healthy and strong. Finally, with the right knowledge and tools, you can remove your gel nails like a pro and have beautiful, healthy nails in no time.


  • Removal of Gel Polish: A Comparison of Two Methods – J Am Podiatr Med Assoc. 2017
  • How to Take off Gel Nail Polish – InStyle
  • Nail Care for Healthy and Beautiful Nails – Healthline

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *