Easily remove SNS or gel nails quickly and easily at home with these instructions + a video tutorial.
Remove your own SNS or gel nails at home
It is helpful to know how to remove your own SNS or gel nails at home. As I write this, most states are sheltering in place due to a pandemic. Since all non-essential businesses are closed, this includes hair and nail salons. Some of us had to remove our SNS or gel nails; thankfully, it is quick and easy.
What you’ll need to remove SNS or gel nails
- 100% acetone. You can find this at beauty supply stores, most home stores like Lowes, or online (I got mine here on amazon).
- Coarse nail file like these with either 180 or 100 grit.
- Paper towel. Just a small piece will do.
- Scissors to cut paper towel.
- Timer to time 15 minutes.
- Small bowls or measuring cups (1/3 or 1/2 sizes are great).
- Cotton pads. I love these DHC silky cotton and am using them in the video.
What is acetone?
Acetone is a solvent used for thinning some fibers and cleaning tools. It is used to dissolve some paints and varnishes. Almost all nail salons use acetone to remove SNS or gel nails.
Is acetone the same as nail polish remover?
Some polish removers contain a large amount of acetone combined with fragrances, coloring, and other solvents. They likely won’t work as easily to remove SNS or gel nails.
Is it safe to soak nails in acetone?
As long as your skin has no cuts or sores, and if you haven’t had any prior, negative reactions to acetone; it is safe to soak your fingertips to remove nail solutions. Be aware that acetone does dry the skin and nails, but it is otherwise harmless.
Steps to removing SNS or gel nails at home.
- File the shiny glossy top coat off of all nails with the coarse file.
- Place small piece of paper towel in bottom of bowl(s).
- Fill bowls with acetone to cover nails completely.
- Heat wet cloths in microwave to lay atop hands. Be careful not to burn; choose a microwave time and temp that works for you.
- Submerge nails in acetone. Cover hands with warm cloths.
- Soak for 15 minutes, occasionally rubbing nails against paper towels.
- Remove nails after 15 minutes.
- Continue filing and soaking as needed until nails are clean.
In the video below, I share the process of removing my SNS nails and the supplies needed to make it quick and easy.
After removing SNS or gel nails.
As you can see in the photo above, the nails are NOT pretty. If you are like me, you plan to get to a nail salon as soon as stores reopen. In the meantime, here are some tips to make them feel/look good until then.
- Wash hands and scrub nails with nail brush.
- Scrub hands well with exfoliating scrub. I used this one from Wal-Mart.
- Rinse hands well remove all scrub.
- Rub hands with a moisturizing lotion or cream.
Buffing, trimming, and filing nails will make them feel and look so much better. For those of us waiting to get back to the salons to get SNS or gel put back on, a simple gloss coat or polish will tide us over.
I hope this is helpful and that all of you are staying safe and well during this time. Thank you for stopping by and blessings to you all!!