Introduction: How to Remove Gel Polish at Home

Having gel polish removed at the salon can cost up to $10, at least where I live in San Francisco.Save yourself some cash and a trip to the spa by removing it at home using regular acetone polish remover and petroleum jelly.

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

You'll Need:

  • Petroleum jelly
  • Acetone polish remover
  • A plastic bowl (not used for eating)
  • Emory board/disposable nail file

Step 2: Apply Petroleum Jelly

  • Use your emory board to spread a thick layer of petroleum jelly all over your finger, avoiding the nail polish. Apply the petroleum jelly up to the second knuckle to protect skin from any polish remover that might splash.
  • Your gels are probably a little grown out, so make sure to cover your cuticle and any grown-out nail bed with petroleum jelly as well.

Step 3: Soak!

  • Immerse your nails into the acetone bath for about 10 minutes.
  • You might want to take an actual bath while you do this, since the whole process will take about 20-25 minutes.

Step 4: Removing the Polish

  • Use the emory board to gently scrape the gel polish off.
  • If it doesn't come off very easily, like room-temperature butter, it's not ready - stick your fingers back in the polish remover.
  • You might have a tiny bit of residue left, which you can gently file off.

And there you have it! You've removed your gels, taken a refreshing bath, and saved yourself time and money at the salon. Make sure to moisturize your hands and nails afterwards, since acetone can really do a number on your nails.

Thanks for reading this Instructable! You can follow me on Instagram at @KirikoKikuchi or shoot me an email at