How to Remove Dip Powder Nails at Home Safely without Damaging Your Nails? According to Experts

When removing dip powder nails, you need acetone. However, unlike with regular polish, simply rubbing your nails with plain cotton balls soaked in acetone won't work. Instead, you should place the soaked cotton ball over your manicured nail. Then, wrap a small piece of foil around the finger. Do the same for the rest of your nails. This will allow the acetone to penetrate into the dip nails and work its magic.

Also called SNS nails, Dip powder manicure is a popular option today because of their longevity and chip-free shine. The long-lasting manicure is a combination of colored acrylic powder and nail glue. It dries quickly, and doesn’t require curing under UV light.

Dip powder nails are thicker than regular nail polish because it is made of layers of powder and resin. Thus, they are more difficult to remove safely, and may pose risks of nail damage when forcibly removed. The difficult removal process is the main disadvantage of dip powder. You need to completely take it off first before you can apply a new set.

According to experts, the best way to remove dip powder manicure just like acrylic nails, is to go to a salon, and have a nail technician do it for you. However, you can safely remove it at home, but it will require a lot of care and patience on your part. Read on to learn how to remove dip powder without damaging your nails at home.

When Should You Remove Dip Powder Nails?

You should take off dip powder manicure after 2 to 4 weeks before applying a new set. By then, it will show signs of lifting and deterioration. Likewise, you should take a break from dip powder application every 2 or 3 months to avoid nail brittleness and dehydration.

Can You Remove Dip Nails with a Regular Nail Polish Remover?

Ordinary nail polish remover is not effective in taking dip powder off. The only solvent that has the ability to effectively break down the dip powder layers is pure acetone.

What Is The Best Way To Remove Dip Powder Nails?

As mentioned, the best way to remove dip powder is to have a salon tech do it. However, if a salon trip is not an option at the moment, you can safely do it at home, DIY-style, but you need to be very careful and patient as it will not happen instantly.

By soaking your nails in acetone for around 10 minutes, (the step by step guide will be discussed later) most of the manicure will come off. Then, you can just scrape off the remaining dip powder.

5 Steps: How to Remove Dip Powder at Home without Damaging Your Nails

How to Remove Dip Powder at Home without Damaging Your Nails

To safely remove dip powder manicure on your own, you first need to apply petroleum jelly on your nails’ surrounding skin. Then, soak the nails in acetone for around 10 minutes or until the manicure easily comes off. The entire process should be complete in around 15 minutes. Here’s a step by step guide that you can follow:

Things You’ll Need:

things you’ll need to remove dip powder nails at home safely without damaging your nails

Before starting, prepare the following:

  • Petroleum jelly
  • Nail clippers
  • Double sided, 2-grit file
  • Nail buffer
  • Pure acetone
  • Bowl
  • Foil (cut in small square pieces; big enough to completely wrap around your fingers)
  • Metal or orange stick cuticle pusher


Here’s a step by step guide on how to do the dip powder removal process:

Step 1: Cut excess nails and buff.

Cut off the excess nail length from the dip powder or up to your natural nail length. Using your nail file’s coarse side, buff the manicure’s top coat. The thicker the top coat, the longer buffing time will be necessary.

Step 2: Soak the manicure in acetone after protecting the surrounding skin.

Apply petroleum jelly on the skin surrounding the nails, including the cuticles, while avoiding the nail bed.

Pour acetone into the bowl. Soak a cotton ball then place it on top of your buffed nail, then wrap the finger in foil to keep the acetone-soaked cotton in place. Do the same for the rest of the nails. Wait for around 10 minutes before removing the foil.

Step 3: Scrape the loosened dip powder off.

After removing the foil, the dip will loosen and start to flake. It would then be easy to remove using only little pressure. Scrape the manicure using the orange stick or metal pusher. Begin from the cuticle area going to the nail’s end. Scrape lightly to avoid damaging the nail bed.

Step 4: Gently buff to remove excess nail polish, then shape.

After step 3, you may notice remaining bits of polish. Just buff again, and rub them off gently to even out the nail’s texture and give a smooth finish. If  you notice jagged or uneven nails, use the fine side of your nail file to achieve the desired shape. Keep your nails short, especially if they are damaged or weak to prevent breakage and further damage.

Step 5: Replace the lost moisture, then massage your fingers.

After soaking your fingers and nails in acetone, they will be dehydrated. Hydrate by drinking lots of fluids, then massage your fingers with generous amounts of oil or hand cream.

Here’s a short YouTube video we found on how to remove dip powder nails at home.

How to Remove Dip Powder Nails without Acetone?

While acetone offers the best way, there are options in case pure acetone is not available. Some alternatives to use in removing dip powder nails include common household items like white vinegar, baking soda, toothpaste, and alcohol.

Aftercare: What To Do After Removing Dip Nails?

You should start strengthening your nails after removing dip powder manicure. Start by applying a coat of nail strengthener. Do this everyday for at least an entire week, depending on the amount of damage you want to fix or the nail strength you want to achieve.

Key Points Review

Let’s go over the steps in removing dip powder nails at home one more time to make sure you don’t forget them.

  1. Cut off the excess nail length from the dip, then buff the top coat.
  2. Protect the surrounding skin with petroleum jelly; soak your nails in acetone, then wrap in foil.
  3. Gently scrape off the loosened dip powder.
  4. Buff the remaining gel powder, then shape the nails.
  5. Moisturize and massage your fingers.

Final Verdict

The best way to take off dip powder nails is to go to a salon and have a pro remove it for you. However, this may not always be possible, and you may need to remove the dip at home right away. If this is the case, you can do it yourself using 100% pure acetone. Just follow the steps provided in this post so you can safely and quickly remove dip powder nails, DIY-style.

If you found this post useful, or if you have your own tips to share, please don’t hesitate to leave a message below.

Leave a Comment