Quarantine Beauty: How To Safely Remove Your Acrylic & Gel Nails At Home

If you have acrylic or gel overlays then your nails may suffer the most during this lockdown. But please, don't ignore them thinking you can ride this quarantine wave out till your next salon visit. Follow these easy steps to remove them safely yourself.


If, like many other women you have found yourself lost without your regular nail fills then the best thing you can do right now, to avoid further damage to your nails is to remove your acrylic, or gel overlays yourself.


It's not difficult, just a little time consuming! Here's what you will need;





For Acrylic Nails

  1. Bottle of 99% pure acetone

  2. 100/180 grit nail file

  3. Buffer/sanding block

  4. Glass bowl/Acetone resistant bowl

  5. Cuticle oil

  6. Nail Strengthener

  7. Polishing buffer







For Gel Nails

  1. A Gel Removal Kit

  2. Orange sticks

  3. Buffer/sanding block

  4. 240/180 grit nail file

  5. Cuticle oil

  6. Nail Strengthener

  7. Cotton pads

  8. Polishing buffer







Directions To Remove Acrylic Nails

Set up your glass bowl in a safe area, on top of a towel. Preferably at a table so you don't injure your back. Then find something to watch on YouTube or Netflix on.. this is gonna take a while! Make sure you have your phone, your 180 file, buffing block next to your bowl plus some kitchen paper.


  • Pour enough acetone into the bowl to cover your nails completely. Put your stop clock on your phone and place your nails in the bowl (soak one hand at a time)

  • After 15 minutes take your nails out. Wipe them with kitchen paper and use the 100 grit side of file to buff away at the lifted acrylic.

  • Once you've filed off as much as you can, put your nails back in the bowl and soak for another 10 minutes. You're going to repeat this process for about 45-50 minutes. Keep taking them out, filing and soaking till you've removed as much as you can.

  • Repeat on your other hand. Be careful not to file the surface of the nail plate. Any stubborn bits can be buffed off with a sanding block.

  • Buff your nails with the 4 sided buffer to smooth and polish.

  • Shape your nails with the 180 grit side of nail file.

  • Massage cuticle oil in your nails and hands.

  • Allow 10 minutes for the oil to soak in and nourish your nails and then apply a coat of nail strengthener. Apply another two coats that day then two every day thereafter.



It's a really tedious job, but you will get it all off in the end. And if you don't remove them you risk terrible damage to your nails and even infection.


Once you have removed all of the acrylic from your nails they are going to be very weak and damaged. Massaging cuticle oil into them twice a day will heal and help them. Check out my DIY cuticle oil recipe and also how to do our own manicure at home.




Directions To Remove Gel Nails

Set up your area at a table and have your phone close to hand, along with kitchen paper, your removal kit, orange sticks, buffing block, nail file and Youtube or Netflix.. this is gonna take a while too.. not as long as acrylic removal, but close.



  • Saturate the cotton pad on the gel remover wrap with acetone. Place wrap under the finger with the edge of cotton pad underneath the free edge of your nail.

  • Fold the cotton pad over the top of your nail.

  • Fold the foil around the sides of your finger ensuring a snug fit.

  • Once all your fingers are wrapped set your timer for 10-16 minutes.

  • Securely grip your finger and apply slight pressure to the nail. Using a twisting motion pull the wrap and gel from the nail. If a significant amount of gel remains on your nail rewrap and soak it for a couple more minutes.



  • If necessary, gently slide off any remaining product with an orange stick. Be careful not to scrape the nail plate surface.

  • Rub your nail with a cotton pad soaked in acetone to remove any product residue.

  • Buff your nails with the 4 sided buffer to smooth and shine.

  • Shape nails with a 100/120 grit file.

  • Repeat on your other hand.

  • Massage cuticle oil in your nails and hands.

  • Allow 10 minutes for the oil to soak in and nourish your nails and then apply a coat of nail strengthener. Apply another two coat that day then two every day thereafter.


Seeing as you won't be visiting the nail salon for the foreseeable future, why not grown your own nails? And if you think you can't grow your nails because they're weak, or brittle, or whatever reason you have, then think again. I promise, if you follow my 5 tips to grow your nails they will get strong and healthy. They just have to get healthy before they can get long!


Give your nails a DIY manicure every 7-10 days. This will ensure they don't break once they start growing!



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