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At Home Soak-Off Gel Removal

Whether you have a chipped or outgrown Shellac or Gelish manicure, you don’t have to go to the salon to have it removed.  One of the benefits of these soak-off gel manicures is that the polish can be soaked off, rather than filed from your nail.  This is safer for your natural nails, and means that you don’t have to go make an appointment at the salon or buy the brand’s special remover products which can be costly.

To mimic the Shellac remover wraps, all you need is pure acetone (sold at Sally Beauty), cotton balls, and aluminum foil.  This process is safer than dipping your fingers in a bowl of acetone since you are targeting the nail rather than your finger’s skin.

Here’s a step-by-step video of how to remove soak-off gels at home using this process:

{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Tamorro Farrell September 6, 2011, 4:50 pm

    Thank you sooooooo much for providing this information – you just made my day! I’ve been doing my own acrylics at home and want to try the Gelish system but really needed the how-to advice including what all I need to purchase. I’m excited to get started – thanks again!

  • Cindy October 17, 2011, 5:38 pm

    thank you so much for the gelish tutorial. I have been going to salons to have this done & am frustrated as to how most salons haven’t a clue as to how this product should be applied & removed! My nails are very thin & gelish is the answer for me! Now I can do it myself. I’ve just ordered all the suggested products & can’t wait to receive them!

  • Rita March 16, 2012, 7:41 pm

    I reapplied polish like we do with acrylics so I have double the solutions on my nails, will I have a difficult time removing the polish?

  • georgia williams March 29, 2012, 5:33 pm

    thank you for gelish tutoral. this will help save money. where can find these produces.

  • gabriella April 5, 2012, 6:50 am

    hi there! i encounter difficulties in removing the gelish polishes from my toe nails, i used the harmony soak off, and try to scrap it off ut there are still polishes whereby its so difficult to remove! or is pure acetone more effective? Thanks.

  • cord August 13, 2012, 6:13 pm


    safely warms acetone for faster removal of artificial nails

    professional or home use

  • RebeccaChr September 10, 2012, 1:14 pm

    My nails were alarming me by splitting and peeling. I’ve been taking biotin and silica, and my nails are so much better. Now I’m eager to try Gelish!

  • Cheryl June 22, 2014, 2:56 am

    I did this yesterday, in a rush at my mums because after 2 weeks of wear one nail started to peel (after salon application). I’m a picker, I knew I wouldn’t be able to resist picking it at all so it needed to come off.
    I used ordinary nail polish remover containing acetone because that’s all that mum had.
    It took a 20 minute soak using the method above and all the gelish just wiped off.
    Thought it might be worth sharing that it can work if you’re stuck with just ordinary polish remover.

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