How to Remove No Chip Nail Polish Without Damaging Your Nails!

A no-chip manicure, AKA gel manicure, is one of the greatest inventions we have seen in the past decade. The method was actually invented back in the 1950s and sold in the 80s but didn’t become popular until recently.

This polish has many benefits, but figuring out how to remove no-chip nail polish can be a challenge unless you are willing to go to the nail salon.

Before you severely weaken your nails by peeling this durable polish off, read this guide to learn how to do it at home like a professional. 

Can You Remove No Chip Polish With Nail Polish Remover?

When deciding how to remove no-chip nail polish at home, regular nail polish remover will probably be your first thought.

This might be possible if you have enough time, determination, and nail polish remover. However, it’s not advisable. You would likely get to the bottom of the bottle before removing even half of your polish. 

The issue is that nail polish remover is not as strong as pure acetone. It is true that some nail polish removers have acetone or ethanol in them, but they don’t have enough.

Because the no-chip polish is stronger, this weakened product isn’t enough to break it down.

How Do I Remove No Chip Nail Polish at Home?

It’s a process, but it’s easy once you get the hang of it. You will need a nail file, pure acetone, aluminum foil, cotton balls, a small bowl, a nail scraper, and some cuticle oil for nail aftercare.

remove no chip nail polish at home

This is the safest method to try when learning to remove no-chip nail polish at home.

  1. Rip or cut 10 squares of aluminum foil that are large enough to be folded around each fingertip.
  2. Using five cotton balls, tear each in half (making 10 halves) and place them in a bowl.
  3. Pour a generous amount of acetone nail polish remover over the cotton balls.
  4. Using a nail file, file off the top layer or so of the no-chip nail polish.
  5. Take one piece of cotton ball, place it over your entire nail, and wrap the fingertip in aluminum foil. Continue with all ten fingers.
  6. Wait 15-20 minutes.
  7. Remove the aluminum and cotton balls.
  8. Use the nail scraper to scrape away any stubborn polish. (If this is difficult, your nails need more time with the acetone cotton balls)

After this process, your nails will be slightly fragile, and your hands will be dry. Wash your hands immediately, and then paint your nails with a nail-strengthening polish.

Once your nails are dry, moisturize your hands with your favorite lotion.

How Do You Take Off No Chip Nail Polish Without Acetone?

Perhaps a few different ideas come to mind when thinking about removing no-chip nail polish without acetone. None of them are very easy, and they’re not generally pretty, but it can be done. 

The ideal option is to file and buff the color off completely. This is a tedious process, but it takes off the polish without majorly damaging your nails. You can see the process as you go.

remove gel polish at home

Once all the color is off, you can try switching from a file to a buffer to remove the base coat gently. 

If your manicure is peeling at the edges, you might be lucky enough for this next method to work for you. In a bowl, mix blue dawn dish soap, olive oil, and very warm water.

Soak your fingertips in this mixture for about 15 minutes, and the polish should easily peel off after. If your manicure is still fresh and in good condition, this method will not work.

If you can’t handle chipped nails and don’t have the time or interest to try one of these methods, you can pick off the polish. It takes time and can take off a few extra layers of the nail that you didn’t intend to lose. 

Like using acetone, you’ll want to use a strengthening polish and lotion afterward after any of these methods. 

Does No Chip Nail Polish Damage Nails?

The process definitely isn’t natural, but it’s not completely terrible for your nails either. If you constantly have no-chip nail polish on your nails, it will weaken your natural nail.

It is difficult to say if the nail becomes weaker because of the chemicals in the polish or if it is caused by the acetone soak or filing when taking them off. 

The best way to avoid this issue is by taking time off of no-chip polish. Go natural every few months. 

Some people are also concerned about the health aspect of hardening the polish under a UV light at the salon. While there are still many different opinions, dermatologists agree that the light from this small device is not threatening.

However, to be safe, you could apply sunscreen on your hands or feet before your appointment and/or use fingertip-less gloves to protect the skin of your hands. 


The little things make us feel even more beautiful each day, right? If you are interested in getting a gel manicure but worry about how to remove no-chip nail polish, you don’t need to.

As I mentioned before, you can go to the salon, or you can mimic their method by using acetone, cotton balls, and foil at home. 

These manicures usually take around forty minutes to complete and last for approximately two weeks, even though I have stretched it to four!

They’re definitely worth it, and we all deserve that little confidence boost.