9 Best Gel Nail Polish Removers

gel polish remover

The best thing about gel polish is that once it’s cured, it’s really on there. The trickiest thing about gel polish is that when you want to take it off, it’s still really on there. This is where gel remover products come in.

This is the reason gel nail polish can get a bad rap for damaging nails, and it’s true that removing gel incorrectly can leave you with thin nails, but the same could be said for repeatedly picking off regular nail polish.

It’s all about the process. If you remove your gel properly and don’t try to rush it, gel should come off with minimal effect on your natural nails. See the end of the article for more tips on how to remove gel polish safely at home.

What Are the Best Gel Polish Remover Options?

Purple nail clips Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Clips for fingers and toes
  • Choice of colors
  • Affordable
Price: $7.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Bottle of acetone Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Cost effective
  • Pure acetone
  • Made in America
Price: $9.35 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Foil nail removal tools Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 200 nail foils
  • Attached cotton
  • Simple and affordable
Price: $11.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Siquk nail polish remover set Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Everything you need except acetone
  • Includes reuseable nail clips
  • Removal tools like buffer and cuticle nippers
Price: $15.49 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Nail polish steamer Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Reduces soak time
  • Easy to operate
  • More comfortable than foil
Price: $48.90 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Eternal nail polish remover Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Full strength acetone
  • Salon quality brand
  • Fast-acting
Price: $8.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Pink and purple nail clips Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Reusable
  • Comes with 20 clips
  • Includes cotton
Price: $9.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Image of hand with purple silicone nail soaking tips Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Flexible silicone
  • Reusable
  • Choice of color
Price: $9.97 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Blue nail soaking bowls Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Tried and true method
  • Need less acetone
  • Supports your hand
Price: $7.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Teenitor Gel Nail Polish Remover Clips for Nails & Toes

    Pros:
    • Reusable
    • For manicures and pedicures
    • Cheap
    • Colors to choose from
    Cons:
    • No thumb-sized clips
    • Doesn't include acetone
    • Only some colors come with cotton

    These Teenitor nail clips are unique because you get a set for your manicures and a set for your pedicures. The clips for your fingernails are similar to others, but the clips for your toes include smaller clips suitable for little toes and two larger clips to fit around your big toes.

    I got a set of these for Christmas one year and I use them anytime I’m removing gel or glitter nail polish.

    The set comes in green, purple, and pink.

  2. 2. Super Nail Pure Acetone

    Pros:
    • No nonsense acetone
    • Made in America
    • Choice of sizes
    • Cruelty-free
    Cons:
    • No tools
    • Strong scent
    • No nail conditioning additives

    If you’re still looking for the right acetone, Super Nail Pure Acetone is 100 percent strength and manufactured in the United States. It’s strong, fast, and cheap. On regular nail polish, it works so fast you’ll forget why you ever though of taking off your nail polish as a chore.

    It’s very effective on gel polish in either soaks or wraps. Super Nail also is a company that doesn’t use animal testing so you can feel good about where your money is going.

  3. 3. Makartt Nail Polish Remover Soak Off Gel Foil Wraps

    Pros:
    • Enough for 20 manicures
    • Attached cotton pads
    • Easy to use
    • Includes removal scraper
    Cons:
    • Not reusable
    • Doesn't come with acetone
    • May not seal perfectly

    Foil nail wraps on a budget, these foil strips with attached cotton pads from Markartt perform well for cheap. 

    With 200 strips in the package, you’re looking at around $0.55 per manicure. These do not come pre-moistened so you’ll have to provide your own remover before applying them. The foil is easier to bend and maneuver than aluminum foil from your kitchen and the pads keep the acetone from dripping.

  4. 4. Siquk Gel Nail Removal Kit

    Pros:
    • Everything needed to remove gel except acetone
    • 750 cotton pads
    • Buffers, polishers, and five nail files
    • Reuseable clips for fingers and toes
    • Metal manicure tools
    Cons:
    • No acetone
    • Nail brushes aren't that useful here
    • Be careful with buffer

    This removal kit from Siquk comes with everything you need to remove your gel nail polish except the acetone.

    You get a buffing block, five nail files, three nail brushes, 750 cotton pads, one polish bar, three nail brushes, two toe separators, 10 nail clips, 10 toe clips, one cuticle fork, one cuticle pusher, one scraper tool, one pair of cuticle nippers, and a push-down dispenser bottle for acetone. 

    All you need is acetone and then this kit has you set from start to finish.

  5. 5. SteamOff Electric Gel Nail Polish Steamer

    Pros:
    • Faster than soaking or foils
    • Easy to use
    • More comfortable
    • Reusable
    • Comes with nail tools
    Cons:
    • Bigger investment upfront
    • Doesn't come with acetone
    • Needs an outlet

    The most high-tech solution to gel nail removal on this list, the SteamOff Electric Gel Polish Steamer speeds up the process. It’s super easy to use and won’t actually “steam” your fingers. You pour a small amount of acetone nail polish remover into the bowl on the inside and close it up.

    Insert your fingers through the holes and hold the grip like you would a ball so that your fingernails are in the correct position to get the full effect. If you let them dangle, the removal process will take longer.

    Then just switch it on and the machine heats up the acetone just enough to create a warm mist that gently breaks down the gel. It works on acrylics too, but will take almost double the time. It’s not a miracle worker but it’s still faster than straight soaking and more comfortable than wrapping your fingers in aluminium foil.

    For best results be sure to file your polish first and moisturize after.

  6. 6. Eternal Cosmetics 100 Percent Acetone Nail Polish Remover

    Pros:
    • Pure acetone
    • Trusted brand
    • Large bottle
    • No additives
    Cons:
    • Doesn't come with foil or cotton
    • Strong smell
    • Drying on nails

    When you need a good remover to go into your steamer or other removal method, Eternal Cosmetics is a great brand to go with because it’s literally as strong as it gets.

    It doesn’t contain any conditioners and vitamins for your nails, and that’s a good thing when you need full strength to get a job done fast. The only ingredients in this are acetone.

    If you’re not sure of the removal steps with pure acetone, Stylecraze as a super helpful article that goes through a couple of easy, at home options step-by-step.

  7. 7. Set of 20 Nail Polish Remover Clips With Cotton Pads

    Pros:
    • Can be used over and over
    • Enough cotton for 50 manicures
    • Pink and purple set
    Cons:
    • Acetone not included
    • Finger clips are one-size-fits-all
    • No clips for toes

    If you don’t like the idea of disposable nail wraps, try these plastic nail clips that you can reuse over and over. The set comes with 20 clips, one set of 10 in pink and another set of 10 in purple, as well as 500 cotton pads which you’d soak in remover and then hold in place on your nail with the clips.

    With that many cotton pads, this price comes out to around $0.20 per manicure, but unlike with foil strips, after that you just need to repurchase the cotton as the clips can last you indefinitely.

    There aren’t specific clips for specific nails so they fit about what you’d expect for a one-size-fits-most sort of thing. If you have very large hands, these might not work on your thumbs, but otherwise you’re probably okay. The pads aren’t pre-dampened so you provide your own acetone.

  8. 8. Reusable Silicone Wearable Nail Soakers

    Pros:
    • More comfortable than clips
    • Reusable
    • Pink or purple
    Cons:
    • Doesn't include acetone
    • Doesn't include cotton
    • One size fits all

    If you’re interested in a reusable nail clip option but are put off by hard plastic, check out these silicone nail soakers. They’re more comfortable than clips, restrict mobility less, and have a better seal than plastic clips.

    This set comes with 10 silicone tips that you can fill with acetone soaked cotton for a great contact with your nail. They can be used over and over again and they also come in pink.

  9. 9. Gel & Acrylic Nail Soaking Trays (2-Pack)

    Pros:
    • Tried and true soaking method
    • Comfortable hand rest
    • Need to use less acetone than with a bowl
    • Choice of colors
    Cons:
    • Doesn't include acetone
    • Need to sit still
    • Can be harsh on skin

    These are tried and true nail soaking bowl bowls for literally soaking your gel nail polish off in a bowl of acetone. The soaking bowl is designed to let your hand comfortably rest with only your fingertips submerged, saving the rest of your skin from the acetone.

    The middle portion creates a narrow channel for the acetone so you have to use less product to get the acetone deep enough than you would in a normal bowl. They’re also available in pink.

  • Patience.

     I hate to break it to you, but removing gel will take time. If done correctly, I'm only talking 15 to 30 minutes.

I'm always seeing products advertising that they can remove gel in five minutes. Is it possible to remove a gel manicure in five minutes? Maybe. You can also stop needing to wash dishes if you break all your dishes. It solves one problem but creates way more.

Take your time. The gel needs to soak for at least 10 minutes. If you're struggling to pry it off, it's not ready.

Supplies.

There are a few things that are non-negotiable: a nail file, acetone, cuticle pusher or orange stick, and some kind of moisturizer for afterward.

To seed up the soak time, take a nail file and file down the top layer of your gel just enough to dull the shine. This will break the seal of the gel and make soaking easier and faster.

You'll need at least a 98 percent solution of acetone to get gel off. Non-acetone won't cut it. After soaking, you should be able to gently scrape off the lacquer with an orange stick. If you have scrape with a lot of pressure, stop and soak for five more minutes.

Acetone can be very drying for both your nails and your skin. After removal, make sure you're hydrating with a good cuticle oil.

See Also:

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