You’ve enjoyed your dip powder nails for a few weeks now, but the time has come to remove them. Lucky for you, you don’t have to visit a salon to take off your manicure. You can remove SNS nails at home with and without acetone. Let’s examine your options now.
The official method for removing SNS nail manicures
First, the official SNS guidelines for manicure removal recommend sanding, then soaking in acetone. They say to sand off the gel top shine, but it’s not necessary to remove any of the colored layers underneath. Just keep working until the gloss is gone.
Next, pour acetone into a shallow container and soak your nails for ten minutes, then dry them with a paper towel. Or you can wrap each nail in a cotton ball soaked with acetone, then cover them with foil.
Although SNS says to wait for ten minutes, you might find that it takes closer to twenty minutes to dissolve the polish. Check one nail after ten minutes have passed and see if the coating feels sticky and soft. At that point, you should be able to wipe it off with a paper towel.
The advantage of the official SNS nail removal method is that it’s identical to what would happen in a salon. It’s fast and effective because pure acetone is the quickest way to dissolve an SNS manicure. On the other hand, acetone is a chemical that can irritate your skin, eyes, nose, and throat. The odor may make you feel nauseated and dizzy, or give you a headache.
Another problem is that you may not have pure acetone on hand at home. In that case, try the next method to remove SNS nails without acetone.
Remove SNS nails with nail polish remover
Some nail polish removers contain acetone, but it’s rarely in a pure form. Most of the time, you’ll find that nail polish remover also contains oils, perfumes, and other chemicals. These other components work to protect your skin and nails from drying out and cracking.
If you choose to use nail polish remover instead of pure acetone, plan on soaking your nails for a longer period. It will probably take fifteen to twenty minutes at least to dissolve the manicure. But the rest of the steps are the same. You’ll need to begin by sanding the shine off your nails then wrapping or soaking them until the polish turns gooey.
Remove a manicure with alcohol
If you want to skip acetone altogether, try removing your manicure with alcohol. You probably have several choices around the house, including rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer, or even vodka. Pick the one with the highest concentration of pure alcohol for best results.
Again, begin by sanding down the top layer of gel coat. Then soak your nails in alcohol for as long as it takes the polish to feel soft and sticky. Since alcohol is a less efficient solvent for nail polish than acetone, chances are you’ll have to wipe off one layer, then soak again until the next layer has softened. It may also take twenty to thirty minutes.
There’s one more thing you should know about exposing yourself to alcohol fumes for a long period. Inhaling alcohol vapor can make you ill. To avoid problems with breathing in fumes from solvents as you remove your manicure, set up a fan to blow the odor away from you or wear a mask.
Remove a manicure with other household items
Now we’re going to dig deep into other tools you can use to remove a manicure at home. These are not the most effective solutions, but they will work in a pinch. Be prepared to be patient. This could be useful knowledge in the case of an apocalypse.
First, fight fire with fire. Use slow-drying nail polish to dissolve the manicure. Paint the polish on a nail, then wipe it off with a paper towel. If you repeat this process, the solvents in the polish that cause it to dry will disintegrate the manicure layer by layer.
Next, distilled white vinegar is an all-purpose miracle cleaner. Vinegar is an acid therefore it’s destructive to nail polish. It’s also harsh on human nails, so avoid scratching at your manicure to speed up the process. Follow the same steps of sanding, then soaking.
Third, you can try two parts hydrogen peroxide with one part hot water. Soaking in this mixture is guaranteed to turn your fingertips white, and it will weaken the manicure, too. You may have to file again afterward.
Fourth, some people have had success using toothpaste with baking soda to scrub away their nail polish. But you’re likely to have much better luck with turpentine, or mineral spirits. But then you’ve come full circle back to using solvents.
Repair and nourish your nails after removing a manicure
After you’ve sanded and exposed your nails to solvents or other chemicals, your fingertips may look unhealthy. But you can help them to recover with a little tender loving care.
Clean your hands first with soap and warm water then pat them dry. Now you’re ready to help them recover. Round up your favorite cuticle oil or try one of these recommendations below.
If you have tea tree oil, it’s an excellent antifungal. Blend a few drops of tea tree oil with coconut or olive oil and massage that into your nails. You might also try lavender essential oil with a carrier oil like sweet almond. Both of these combinations fight bacteria and infections and help skin heal.
If you don’t have cuticle oil or essential oils on hand, give yourself a hand massage with olive oil, coconut oil, or your favorite hand cream.
Take a nail polish holiday
If you’ve noticed that your nails have white patches that feel rough, peeling, ridges, or discoloration, it’s time to give them a break. Wait at least three weeks before your next manicure. Check with your doctor if the condition doesn’t improve after a few days.
You don’t need to visit a salon to remove SNS nails. You can take off your manicure at home, and you don’t even need acetone to do it. All you need is patience, a nail file, and common household items.