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Yes, you absolutely can take off your UV gel manicure yourself without damaging your nails – our Manigeek shows you the most efficient techniques in our video tutorial.
The Best Techniques for Safe Soak-Off-Gel Removal at Home #zerodamage

There's a right way to remove UV gel polish safely yourself, but if you're going to follow it with another UV manicure, there's a best way. That's what our Manigeek demonstrates in our Best Way to Remove UV Gel video tutorial below, along with three methods to try. 

Bonus: she'll also show you how she maintains her otherworldly-perfect cuticles. #acetoneisntscary

tool time

First let's run down the list of supplies you'll need before you begin your own UV-gel removal process:

  • a double layer of good quality paper towels to protect your work surface
  • 100% acetone – acetone should be the only ingredient
  • a cuticle pusher to nudge those cuticles back
  • a fine- or 180-grit nail file for shaping your nails
  • a medium-fine buffing block
  • Foil Method removal – cotton rounds cut into quarters; tin foil cut into smallish square-ish sections
  • Soaking Method removal – bowl of warm water (cereal-bowl size is fine); smaller stainless dipping bowl
  • Nail Clip Method removal – plastic gel polish remover clips; cotton rounds cut into quarters

best way to remove uv gel at home

Let's recap with some important points:

  1. Start by gently pushing back your cuticles and cleaning up any areas they've overgrown
  2. Use the fine side of your buffing block to smooth the shine gently from the nail regrowth above the old UV gel
  3. Shape your nails (yes, Manigeek has nail-filing pants #uniform)
  4. Choose your soak-off method – foil method, soaking method, nail-clip method
  5. Do not panic when you look at your weirdly whitened skin post acetone exposure
  6. Use a little cuticle oil and a water-dampened cotton round to re-hydrate and moisturize your nails, cuticles and surrounding skin
  7. Wanna apply a uv-gel manicure yourself? Check out our Best Way to Apply UV Gel Polish at Home video here!

nail-saving note

Manigeek's method of removal is especially efficient and kind to nails if you're planning to re-apply soak-off gel. That's because lightly buffing the regrowth before taking off the old gel prevents over-buffing the part of the nail that was buffed for the previous application. You'll notice in our application video that Karen doesn't buff before she puts on the Red Carpet Prep; she'd already done it during her removal process. (Fun fact: we actually filmed the removal before we filmed the application.)

acetone, remover clips and cotton rounds

It's worth re-iterating that you need 100% acetone – and pointing out that you need to check the label to be sure that acetone is the only ingredient. Some companies slap "100% acetone" or "pure acetone" on the label, but mean that acetone is in their formula. You can get pure acetone at your local drugstore, or via and

Gel-polish remover clips are the best things to happen to DIY uv-gel removal. You can find them at beauty supply stores, probably, and again via and

Manigeek's favourite cotton rounds, a brand called Delon, are available via and as well; in Canada, they may be less expensive at Costco, where she gets hers.

Got questions and observations to share? Please comment away! xoxo

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