How to Remove Shellac at Home

how to remove shellac at home

If you want to avoid yet another trip to the salon to get your shellac removed, knowing how to remove shellac at home can be of great help. Shellac nail polish manicures are pretty to look at and also last for a long time. But if you are tired of your current polish and want to get a new style, you need to remove your current shellac polish first.

We do not always feel like going to the salon for a manicure or having enough money to get it done. And why spend money on something you can do by yourself?

So, here are the steps on how to remove shellac at home along with the list of necessary items required for the procedure. Follow the steps accordingly to remove the shellac polish from your nails smoothly and perfectly.

Things you Will Need

To remove shellac at home by yourself, you will need the following items.

  • Pure acetone or acetone nail polish remover
  • Aluminum foil cut into 3 inches square sheet
  • Cotton balls or pads for covering all fingernails
  • Cuticle oil or cuticle cream
  • Lotion or moisturizer for your hand
  • Manicure tools, an orange stick or wooden cuticle pushers
  • A small dish
  • A soft cloth

Step 1: Gathering all your Essential Supplies

Remove Shellac at Home

Most of the tools you will need for removing shellac on your own will probably already be available at your home.

Get all the items mentioned in our list above and you will be ready to remove the shellac nail polish.

Step 2: Applying Cuticle Oil or Cream

Applying Cuticle Oil or Cream

As acetone tends to severely dry up your skin, you must use cuticle oil or cuticle cream over your fingers to protect them against the effect of acetone. Rub cuticle oil generously into the skin around your fingernails.

Let the excess oil stay. This cuticle oil or cream will not only help to soften and moisturize your cuticles but act as a protective layer for your skin when you dip your fingers in the bowl of harsh acetone.

Step 3: Soaking your Nails in Acetone

Soaking your Nails in Acetone
  • Pure acetone works best in removing shellac manicures.
  • This chemical has the strongest effect on shellac and is readily available at most drugstores.
  • If you do not have pure acetone at home, you can use an acetone nail polish remover where the concentration of acetone is at least 60 percent or more.
  • Do not use an acetone-free nail polish remover as it contains a very little quantity of acetone and is practically ineffective at removing shellac nail polish.
  • Pour the acetone or acetone nail polish remover into a small bowl to fill up half an inch of the bowl.
  • Make sure the bowl is large enough to fit your balled-up hand in it.
  • Moreover, using a ceramic or glass bowl will be ideal as acetone will melt away a plastic one.
  • Soak only your fingertips into the bowl filled with acetone for a full 10 minutes.
  • Try to make as little contact as possible with acetone as it will severely dehydrate your soaked skin.
  • Even if you start noticing the shellac nail polish flaking off before the 10 minutes, keep your nails submerged till the full time passes.

Step 4: Scraping the Shellac off

Scraping the Shellac off

After 10 minutes of soaking, remove your nails from the bowl of acetone and use an orange stick or manicure stick to scrape the remaining flakes of the shellac nail polish off.

Place the flat edge of the stick on the bottom of your nail and push it along the length of the nail, beneath the shellac gently to scrape off the shellac.

Alternately, while you are 8 minutes into soaking your nails in acetone, start scraping the flaking bits of the shellac polish off while the acetone keeps working on the more stubborn areas.

Step 5: Washing your Hands

Washing your Hands

After removing the shellac, you may notice a white, chalky residue of the acetone on your nails and fingers. Use lukewarm water and soap to wash your hands to get rid of the acetone and shellac residues from your hand.

Step 6: Moisturizing your Hand

Moisturizing your Hand

To make up for the harshness of the acetone, no matter how little it may be, apply a generous layer of lotion or moisturizer on your hand along with more cuticle oil around the fingernails immediately after washing your hands. This will help to restore the moisture your skin lost during soaking.

Alternate Method

If you want to further lessen the contact between your skin and acetone, you can follow an alternative for Step 3. Instead of directly soaking your nails in acetone, soak cotton balls into the bowl of acetone and cover each nail bed of your fingers.

Use the aluminum foil squares to wrap your fingernails tightly to make sure the acetone-soaked cotton balls remain in contact with the nails. Wait for 10 minutes and follow the remaining steps as mentioned earlier.

Tips to Follow

Here are some helpful tips that you can follow to get the best result safely.

  • The method mentioned above can also be used to remove gel nail polish or gel nail extensions. Just remember to file off the top layer of your gel manicure to let the acetone penetrate your polish.
  • If you are used to getting shellac nail polish manicures frequently, it is better to get the nail polish removed professionally. Since our described method involves the use of acetone, it is not suitable for frequent use as soaking your nails in acetone too often can result in long-term damage to your nails and surrounding skin.
  • Make sure you use a ceramic or glass bowl to carry the acetone as it will melt anything plastic.
  • While pushing the nail polish off with the orange stick, be gentle so that you do not end up damaging your nail bed.

Read Also: How to Remove Tar from Clothes

Final Words

No matter how pretty manicured nails look, it is best to give your nails a little break of at least a few days before getting your next manicure. And now that you know how to remove shellac at home, you can easily do it whenever you want to. Just remember to treat your nails gently.

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