How To Remove Gel Polish Without Acetone

How To Remove Gel Polish Without Acetone

Gel manicures provide a longer-lasting manicure for those who don’t want the commitment of acrylic nails. Their glossy finishes and rainbow of colors also make gel nail polish a great alternative to traditional nail polish. Gel polish is also less prone to chipping.

You don’t have to make an appointment at the nail salon to have the perfect gel manicure. Removing your gel polish without pure acetone may seem like an impossible feat, but it isn’t. We will show you how to remove your gel polish at home using a few simple supplies you already have. Let’s get started! 

Steps To Remove Gel Polish

There are several different ways you can remove your gel polish at home without the use of acetone. To prevent damage to your natural nails, follow these steps for gel removal.

File To Remove Gel Polish

The first method we will show you to remove gel polish is the filing method. This method will remove the gel polish without damaging your natural nails. You will need the following supplies: nail clippers, coarse grit nail file, nail buffer, orange stick, hand moisturizer, and cuticle oil.

  1. Use the nail clippers to trim your nails to a short length. Shorter nails are easier to work with when removing gel. 
  2. File the surface of your nails with a coarse grit nail file. This will take time. Gently file the nails going in different directions, making sure to file around the entire surface of the nails. It is important that you work carefully so as not to damage your natural nail underneath.
  3. Gently buff the tops of your nails. After the gel polish is removed and you begin to see your natural nails underneath, switch to a fine-grit nail file or your nail buffer. Buffing the nails will help remove any excess gel base coat or clear layers of gel. Remove the nail dust from the surface of your nails with a cotton ball or cotton pad.
  4. Re-hydrate your cuticles, nails, and hands with a hand moisturizer and cuticle oil. Use the orange stick to push back your cuticles gently.

Soapy Salt Soak Removal

Another at-home gel polish removal method is the soapy salt soak method. You will only need a few household items for this one, including a large bowl, dish soap, salt, water, orange stick cuticle pusher, hand cream, and cuticle oil.

  1. Fill a small bowl with warm water, a few drops of dish soap, and a teaspoon of salt. The water must be very warm to loosen the gel. Make sure it isn’t too warm for your hands. Hot water has the potential to burn or irritate the skin on your hands.
  2. Place your hands in the bowl and soak your nails for 15-20 minutes. Make sure your nails are completely submerged in the saltwater mixture to soften to the top layer of gel.
  3. After soaking your nails for the allotted time, remove your hands and pat them dry. The gel should be loosened and soft. If it is still clinging onto your nails, place your hands back into the water mixture. You may need to add some more warm water, soap, and a pinch of salt for re-soaking.
  4. Carefully file the gel from your fingernails. Soaking your nails in the water will soften the gel, but it won’t remove it.
  5. Using a coarse nail file, remove the layer of gel polish from your nails by filing it off. You may want to use a fine grit file depending on how soft the gel is. Remove the dust from the nail surface with a cotton ball or cotton cloth.
  6. Replenish skin and nail nourishment by applying hand cream and cuticle oil. Use the orange stick to push back your cuticles gently.

Freshen Up

After removing the gel polish, you may want to freshen up your nails naturally with this DIY remedy. Lemon juice works to freshen and brighten nails and skin, while vinegar breaks down oils and cleans with its acidic properties. For a quick fresh-up, you will need a small bowl, distilled white vinegar, lemon juice, cotton balls, cuticle stick, hand cream, and cuticle oil.

  1. Fill a small bowl with warm water and soak your nails for about 15 minutes
  2. Remove nails and dry.
  3. Mix equal parts lemon juice and distilled white vinegar into a small empty bowl.
  4. Soak a cotton ball in the lemon and vinegar mixture and rub it onto each nail.
  5. Rinse hands under fresh water.
  6. Use the cuticle stick to push back your cuticles.
  7. Apply hand cream and cuticle oil to replenish moisture.

Acetone Soak

Soaking your nails in pure acetone is the most efficient way to remove gel polish from your nails. To do this, you will need a small bowl, 100% pure acetone, cotton balls, aluminum foil, petroleum jelly, and a cuticle stick.

  1. Soak cotton balls in acetone.
  2. Place one cotton ball on each fingernail.
  3. Wrap a small piece of foil around each nail and cotton ball.
  4. Allow your nails to soak for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove the foil and gently scrape the gel from each nail with the cuticle stick.
  6. Rinse hands in water.
  7. Apply hand cream and cuticle oil to hands and nails to moisturize.

Things To Remember

Peeling gel polish off of your nails is damaging to your nail plate. When you peel gel, you take the top layer of your natural nails off also. This damage leads to unhealthy, dry nails. Try to avoid picking, peeling, or biting your nails.

Remove Your Polish With Ease

Gel manicures are a long-lasting type of manicure that lasts up to 14 days. Gel polish’s high-shine finishes make them a popular manicure for many people. The most efficient way to remove gel polish is by soaking your nails in pure acetone. If acetone is not available, or you wish to remove your gel by other means, there are alternatives.

V Beauty Pure offers high-quality gel nail products and tools to create the perfect gel or acrylic manicure. Our gel collections present a rainbow of color options and are designed to provide 14-day wear for your client or yourself. 

You don’t have to visit a nail salon to have beautiful gel nails. We’ve got all of your gel needs covered. Visit us for more information on all of your manicure needs.


  1. Everything to Know About Getting a Gel Manicure | In Style
  2. Cuticle Oil: Benefits, How to Use It, and Nail Growth | Health Line
  3. Options and Tips for How to Remove Gel Nail Polish | Health Line