We are now stuck home, without access to our choice of nail salons and technicians. And our SNS nails are no longer looking great, your natural nail growth is starting to show and you are wondering how to remove SNS nails at home safely. Well, the good news is that removing dip nails at home is pretty straightforward, if a bit messy. Just make sure to read this article before you start picking on them; removing sns nails at home without the proper method will damage your natural nails and can be painful.
What are SNS Nails Exactly?
SNS nails are a type of manicure that feels like a hybrid between gel and acrylic. They are a particular brand of dip powder manicure, which means you can use the instructions for how to how to take off sns nails if you are dealing with any other brand of dip powder manicure. They are longer lasting than a gel manicure and so they can be a bit more difficult to remove, but that just means you need to take more time. Removing SNS nails at home is no big deal if you have the right tools and materials and a well ventilated room.
We are going to show you two methods to ilustrate how to remove SNS nails at home without damaging your nails. You will need the same basic tools and materials for both, so get everything ready on a table and open a window. Do not do this on your bathroom because the acetone fumes can be pretty irritating to your eyes and respiratory system.
How To Remove Dip Powder Nails At Home: Supplies
The basic supplies you will need to remove SNS nails at home are:
Pure acetone nail polish remover
Do not think of re-using your regular nail polish remover, unless you know it’s 100% acetone. The top layer that protects the dip powder manicure and makes it last 4 weeks won’t even notice acetone free nail polish remover. I would even avoid acetone nail polish removers that boast conditioning treatments, as those just dilute the acetone itself and will make things slower. If you are worried about your nails being dry, see the bit about cuticle oil below.
180-grit Nail File
You will need a coarse nail file to break down the top layer and allow the acetone to do its work. Nail technicians often use mechanical files for this step, but unless you have been professionally trained you will be fine with the manual version. It’s also much cheaper and safer for your nails when in unexperienced hands.
Orangewood Sticks / Metallic Cuticle Pusher
You may already have a metallic cuticle pusher that you can use, but if not orangewood sticks are perfectly suitable when facing the question of how to remove SNS nails at home safely without access to professional tools. You will need them to gently push away any remains of dip powder nail polish, not to be confused with scrapping the *beeep* out of your SNS nails. So orangewood sticks are perfectly safe to use and gentle on the nails.
A good nail cuticle oil should already be part of your nail care routine, but if it isn’t, this is your chance. Cuticle oil can be used to protect your skin and cuticles during SNS nail removal, but also to hydrate and nourish your parched nails afterwards. Acetone can be quite drying, so your nails will need some love after removing your dip powder nails.
How To Remove SNS Nails At Home: Foils And Cotton Method
For this removal method you will also need cotton balls and aluminum foil, the sort you most likely have in your kitchen cupboards already. I like this method because, albeit slightly slower, is less messy and less prone to accidentally getting acetone everywhere. But it can be a bit annoying the first few times until you get the hang of it. Get ready, gather your materials on a well ventilated space (we can’t repeat this often enough) and make sure there is nothing else you need to do with your hands for the next 20 minutes.
Step 1: Clip and File Your Nails
SNS nails can be left to their natural length, or extended with acrylic nail extensions. If that’s the case, clip the extensions as close to your natural length as possible before doing anything else. This will make removal much easier!
Push your cuticles back using your cuticle pusher or the orangewood stick, gently. Do not use a cuticle oil or cuticle remover for this, the goal is to get them out of the way not to prepare nails for an at home gel manicure. Once your cuticles are pushed back, use the coarse side of the nail file to file down the surface of the nail but focusing on the polish. Do not file so much as to reach your natural nail. Dip powder nails are by nature quite thick, so you need to file down the top layer to remove them. Be slow and gentle, you don’t want to accidentally file your natural nail and weaken it.
Step 2: Wrap your Nails With Cotton And Foil
Keeping your nails dry, clean up all the powder left from filing. Cut the foils into 5cm x 5cm squares (2″x2″) and put them on a pile. Apply cuticle oil to the skin around your nail, making sure none of it gets on your nail at all.
Once you are ready with the foil and your nails are protected, soak a ball of cotton with acetone. Soak it, not just dip it or pour a couple of drops as if you were removing regular nail polish. Press the soaked cotton ball against your nail and wrap it up with the foil so it doesn’t move. It takes a bit of practice, particularly with your non-dominant hand, but once you do it a few times is quite a quick process. If you dislike the idea of foils, there are reusable soak off clips that make the process easier.
Step 3: Wait and Check Your Nails
After about 10-15 minutes of soaking it’s time to remove the little foil balls covering your fingertips and get back use of your hands. Slowly and careful pull the foil from each nail, wriggling them out and pressing the cotton against the nail. Ideally the nail polish will slide away with the cotton and your nails will be mostly clean. If there are bits of nail polish left, gently scrape them with the orangewood stick. If there is a lot of polish left, repeat step 2 again and let it soak for a further 10 minutes. Some brands are more difficult to remove than others, and it also depends on how thick the manicure was to start with. So you may need to repeat Step 2 on a few nails.
Do not pick your SNS nails. It never ends well, and you should be able to get them out without picking if you just use an acetone soak a bit longer.
How To Take Off SNS Nails: Hot Water Soaking
Many salons use some version of this method, and it works as well as the cotton ball soak off so it’s a matter of personal preference which one you rather use. You will need some supplies that are easily found on your kitchen alongside the basic supplies we listed above. Those are: two plastic sandwich bags, two kitchen paper towels, a bowl and hot water. Start with heating up the water to a degree you are comfortable putting your hand in and put the bowl aside. It needs to be hot, but not scalding.
While doing this, clip your nail extensions, if any, and file the surface of your nails.
Step 1: Prepare the Nail Bags
Fold a kitchen towel in half, and place it at the bottom of the sandwich bag. Then add enough acetone to fully soak the kitchen towel and saturate it. It’s not bad to have too much, so don’t be stingy. Put the bags aside. The reason for using sandwich bags is that you can reseal them easily after you got the acetone inside, but any plastic bag that can be resealed (including those airport security ones) will do.
Step 2: Prepare your Hands
Apply cuticle oil to your fingers AVOIDING THE NAILS. The reason for this is that you’ll be getting your hands into close contact with the acetone soaked paper towels and it can be drying for the skin. Cuticle oil will stop your cuticles and hands from becoming too dry. Feel free to apply cuticle oil to your hands too if you have sensitive skin or just want to be one the safe side.
Step 3: Soak Off The SNS Nails
Put the sandwich bag floating inside the hot water bowl. Put a timer for 5 minutes and get your hands inside the sandwich bags, rubbing your nails against the paper towels in a scrunching motion to help break down the polish. After 5 minutes most of the polish should be sticking to the paper instead of your nail. If it isn’t, soak off for another 3 minutes to get rid of any stray polish.
You can use the orangewood stick to gently scrape any stubborn bits of polish left, but do not pick. If it’s not coming off easy, soak off for another 3 minutes.
How To Remove Dip Nails: Aftercare
Whichever method you used, your nails and cuticles are probably feeling quite dry at the moment. Use a nail file to gently buff the surface of your nails and remove any traces of nail polish. Wash your hands well to remove any traces of acetone and use a nourishing cuticle oil and a hand cream.
I hope this article answered all your questions about how to remove SNS nails at home safely. Let us know in the comments if you have any further questions!