How to remove No-chip gel polish at home, step-by-step tutorial.

by | Mar 17, 2023 | 6 comments

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Hello, you lovely nail enthusiasts! Today, we’re diving into the world of no-chip nail polish removal, also known as gel polish. Yes, I know, we love the durability of a no-chip manicure, but there comes a time when we need to set our nails free and prepare them for a fresh new look. Don’t worry; you don’t need a Ph.D. in Nailology or to summon a genie to remove this stubborn polish.

As a nail chip lover for years and a nail tech with over 20 years of experience, I understand the struggle of removing no-chip gel nail polish. So, I’ve got you covered!

Like a pro 😉, I’ll share my tried and tested tips for removing no-chip nail polish at home! So, hold on tight because we’re about to get those nails ready for their next grand adventure!

This blog post will uncover the secrets to removing no-chip manicures at home like a pro! So, buckle up, buttercup, and let’s get those nails ready for their next grand adventure!

Before we begin, let’s be sure you have all the supplies you’ll need to remove the no-chip manicure at home.

Gather Supplies: Here’s what you’ll need:

Nail polish remover – This is the holy grail of no-chip removal. Using a full acetone-based remover is essential to break down the polish effectively.

Cotton balls or cotton pads – These will be used to apply the nail polish remover to your nails.

Aluminum foil – You’ll need this to wrap around your fingers to keep the cotton balls in place (cut the foils in squares big enough to wrap around the whole nail with your finger).

Nail file – This will remove the top layer of no-chip polish from your nails.

Cuticle oil – After removing the gel, nourishing and hydrating your nails and cuticles is vital.

Orangewood stick – This tool is perfect for gently removing the leftover varnish.

Here are some preparation steps to take before starting the process of removing gel polish:

Gather all the necessary supplies: Acetone-based remover, cotton balls or pads, aluminum foil, a nail file, an orangewood stick, and cuticle oil. Make sure you have all the supplies on hand before you start.

Protect your workspace: Aceton can be messy, so it’s important to protect your workspace. Lay down some paper towels or an old towel to catch any spills or drips.

Remove any jewelry: Before you start, remove rings or bracelets that may get in the way or come into contact with the acetone.

Cut the aluminum foil into squares: Cut the aluminum foil into square pieces about 3-4 inches in size.

Get ready to say goodbye to those stubborn gel-coated nails! It’s time to tackle the removal process like a pro.

Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on how to remove no-chip/gel nail polish at home:


Step 1: Grab your favorite nail file and gently file away the top layer of the gel polish. Don’t go crazy with the filing, or you might damage your nails. Lightly file the surface to help the polish remover penetrate.

Step 2: Time to get your soak on! Soak a cotton ball or cotton pad in nail polish remover and place it on top of the entire nail. Don’t be stingy with the remover! Make sure the cotton ball is fully saturated.

Wrap Foil

Step 3: Wrap the foil around your finger like a cozy little blanket and squeeze it, ensuring the cotton pad stays in place. If you’re feeling particularly resourceful, you can use a piece of gum wrapper instead of aluminum foil (just kidding, please don’t do that).

Step 4: Repeat steps 2-3 on all of your fingers. Trust me; it’ll be worth it.

Step 5: Sit back, relax, and let the acetone work its magic for at least 10-15 minutes. Now’s the perfect time to catch up on your favorite show, take a little cat nap, or call your best friend for a chat.

Remove Wraps

Step 6: Unwrap your fingers from their foil cocoons and gently scrape off all the polish leftovers with an orangewood stick or a cuticle pusher. This is where you’ll feel like a pro manicurist. Take your time and be gentle with your nails.

Step 7: Repeat these steps for all of your nails. If there’s any stubborn polish left, repeat steps 2-4 and wait a bit longer. You got this!

Clean and Moisturize

Step 8: Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water to remove any left dirt or oils on your nails. You can even lightly push your cuticles.

Step 9: Apply a base coat and top coat to your nails to protect them. This step is optional, but it’ll help keep your nails looking healthy and strong.

Step 10: Apply cuticle/nail oil to the skin around your nails. This step is crucial because it’ll help keep your skin and cuticles hydrated after removal. Plus, it’ll make you feel like you’re pampering yourself.

And voila! Your no-chip is removed, and your nails are ready for their next mani.

We know you may still have a few questions, so we’ve got you covered with some frequently asked questions:

Q: Does Gel Polish Ruin Your Nails?

It can damage your nails if not applied or removed correctly.

Here are a few ways gel coats can affect your nails:

  1. Over-filing: If the top layer of the natural nail is over-filed to prep it for the manicure, it can weaken the nail and make it more susceptible to damage.
  2. Improper application: If the gel coat is applied too thickly or not cured properly, it can cause the nail to peel or break.
  3. Incorrect removal: If not removed correctly, it can cause the nail to become thin, weak, or even peel off.

Q: Do you know what’s great about gel polish?

With the proper application and removal techniques, it can actually protect your nails from damage! It creates a barrier that can prevent breaks and chips, which is fantastic if you’re someone who tends to be tough on their hands.

However, taking care of your nails is important to keep them healthy. Moisturizing them regularly, avoiding excessive filing or buffing, and taking breaks to allow them to breathe (if needed) and recover are all essential steps. And, of course, if you’re ever concerned about the health of your nails, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional nail technician (hey, that’s me!) or dermatologist for advice.

Q: Why are my gel nails not soaking off?

  • Not using enough acetone.
  • Using an improper removal technique.
  • Not filing the first layer of the gel.
  • Using an older bottle of acetone.
  • Not allowing enough time for the polish to soak.
  • The manicure is not done with a gel nail coat of polish but with another kind of Builder GEL.

Q: Can you remove gel nails with normal nail polish remover?

A: And from my experience, you can not. While acetone is the most effective way to remove gel manicures, you can try to use a non-acetone remover. Remember that the removal process may take longer and require a bit more elbow grease without acetone.

Q: Should you paint over chipped polish?

A: While it’s possible to paint over chipped polish, it’s not recommended as the polish will likely chip even further, resulting in a messy and uneven look. Removing the chipped polish entirely is best before applying a fresh coat.

Q: What do nail techs use to remove nail polish?

A: Nail techs always use pure acetone or acetone-based polish remover.

Q: What is the easiest to remove nail polish?

A: Regular polish is typically the easiest to remove compared to no-chip or a gel nail coat. However, it may not last as long as a gel coat of polish.

Bringing it all together:

And there you have it, folks! We’ve covered everything you need to know about removing that stubborn gel manicure at home. We’ve got you, from the essential supplies you’ll need to the step-by-step tutorial.

Remember, removing that stubborn nail polish doesn’t have to be a lengthy salon trip. With the right supplies and patience, you can easily remove the gel from the comfort of your home.

Like many things in life, the more you practice, the more confident and skilled you’ll become. Over time, you’ll develop your own techniques and tricks for removing gel polish quickly and efficiently. Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t go perfectly the first time – practice makes perfect! With patience and practice, you can remove gel polish like a pro in no time.

Remember, be gentle and have fun with it.

But we want to hear from you, too! Do you have any additional tips or experiences with removing no-chip nail polish at home? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

If you like this article, please share it with your friends and family! For more interesting blog posts, please visit my website,

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Thanks for tuning in, and happy no-chip manicure removal!

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Hi, I'm Evon, the face of this website and autoimmune disorder warrior. As a nail technician/business owner with a background in a business organization, I have a unique perspective on building healthy habits tailored to today's busy lifestyle. I've developed strategies that are easy to follow, and I'm excited to share them with you. Life can be challenging, but with a smile, positive steps, and good habits, we can get back on track—even when faced with curveballs!
Written by Evon

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  1. Hairstyles

    Wow, incredible blog layout! How long have you ever been blogging for? you made running a blog look easy. The overall glance of your web site is great, let alone the content!

    • Evon

      Thank you for reading and time to such a nice comment. I have been blogging for the past year.

  2. Hairstyles

    I do agree with all of the ideas you have presented in your post. They are very convincing and will definitely work. Still, the posts are too short for novices. Could you please extend them a little from next time? Thanks for the post.

    • Evon

      Thank you for your time. I’m glad you found my post interesting. I promise that my articles will be much longer from now on.😉

  3. Hairstyles

    Today, I went to the beach front with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had to tell someone!

    • Evon

      Thank you for your time. I’m glad you found my post interesting. I promise that my articles will be much longer from now on.😉


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