How to Remove Dip Nails

Dip nail powder is one of the most durable polish options available. While we love a long-lasting manicure, sometimes the urge to switch things up after a week or two is strong—and dip nails are not easy to take off on your own. If you’re wondering how to remove dip nails, visiting a salon like Spa Royale is your best bet—but there are some tips and tricks for doing it at home in a pinch.  

What are Dip Nails?

Dip nails are a type of polish that combines acrylic powder with a clear adhesive liquid. Nail technicians apply dip nails by painting a clear base on the nail, dipping your finger into a container of acrylic powder, and repeating the process a few times. 

This layering technique creates durable nails (similar to traditional acrylic nails) that your tech can shape with a file drill.

Unlike gel or shellac, dip nails do not require UV light to cure and harden. Dip nails harden and dry almost instantly.    

Tools Needed for Dip Nail Removal 

If you can’t make it to the salon and need to know how to remove dip nails at home, there are a few tools you’ll need to make the process easier: 

  • Nail File and Clippers

Use a coarse nail file to buff out the top layer of protective polish and nail clippers to remove nail extensions.

  • Acetone

This is the most important tool when removing dip nails yourself. Acetone softens and breaks down dip nail polish. Double-check your nail polish remover to ensure it contains acetone. 

  • Cotton Balls

Cotton balls absorb acetone and help keep a concentrated amount of the solution on your dip nails.

  • Foil

Tin foil is a great tool for securing acetone-soaked cotton balls to your nails. It wraps up nicely and also keeps radiant body heat in, which can help speed up the process. 

Note: it is possible to remove dip nails without acetone, but doing so can seriously damage your nails. The safest way to take off dip nails is to soak them in acetone or simply let them grow out. After six weeks, the adhesive bond will naturally begin to weaken. 

How to Remove Dip Nails

Now that you have all the necessary tools, it’s time to talk about how to remove powder dip nails. 

  • First, clip off any nail tips, and file off the top layer of your polish. 
  • Next, place an acetone-soaked cotton ball on each fingernail, and secure it in place with tin foil by twisting at the top. 
  • Let the acetone sit for about 20 minutes.

When your 20 minutes are up, remove the foil and cotton, rubbing off as much dip nail polish as you can. You may need to repeat this process if the nails haven’t loosened up enough. 

Dip Nail Removal Aftercare

After removing your dip nails, wash your hands thoroughly and buff out any remaining roughness. Acetone is very drying, so apply a hydrating cream or cuticle oil to keep your natural nails healthy and happy. 

DIY vs. Professional Dip Nail Removal

With the right tools, you can definitely figure out how to remove dip nails yourself—but it can be pretty time-consuming and may not always end well. Nail technicians use professional products and are highly skilled when it comes to removing dip nails. 


Removing dip nails at home can be a pain, but with the right tools, you can get it done safely. Still, the best way to take off your dip nails is to let a professional work their magic. If you’re ready to learn more about how to remove dip nails or just want a fresh set, visit Spa Royale today.