How to Remove SNS Nails in Quick and Easy Steps

Putting on your SNS nails is super fun and exciting. I love seeing my nails turn from plain to very colorful and interesting. However, the thing that puts me and most people off is how to remove SNS nails. The thing is, after a couple of tries, I realized that removing your SNS nails doesn’t have to be a huge hassle.

You just need to know exactly what to do.Below I have listed three different ways to remove your SNS nails so you won’t have to take a pass on getting those beautiful nails just because you’re too lazy to take them off.

How to Remove SNS Nails

Method 1: Using Acetone

This is probably the easiest and most common way. It’s probably also the cheapest way. The only thing that some might not like about it is that you need 100% acetone for this method. The high chemical content has the potential to damage your nails as well as your nail beds.

What we need:
  • Foil
  • Cotton Ball
  • Nail File
  • 100% Acetone
  • Step 1: File the first layers of nail. This would make it easier for you to proceed to the next steps. The reason for filing is for that top layer to start breaking so it can be removed easily. File until you get to your desire length but ding file too bars or too long. Otherwise, you might damage your natural nail bed.
  • Step 2: After you’ve filed your nails to your desired length, it's now time for you to get your cotton balls ready. Remember to not go over or under board with the amount of your cotton. Just make sure that it's enough to soak up as much acetone as you need.
  • Step 3: Once you have your cotton balls, you can go ahead and soak them with acetone. For best results, you can warm up your acetone but this step isn't really recommended for beginners since acetone tends to evaporate quickly.
  • Step 4: Now, it's time to prepare your aluminum foil. Cut 10 pieces of aluminum which are 3”x3” each.
  • Step 5: You can now put your cotton balls on your nails. Make sure that it doesn't touch your skin since it might cause irritation.
  • Step 6: Once you've placed the cotton balls, you should now cover them with the aluminum foil. The idea is that the foil holds the cotton on your nail. So you will be wrapping the foil around your nail and your fingertip. Let it soak your nail for 10-15 minutes.
  • Step 7: Once the 15 minutes are up, you can remove the foil off your finger. Then slide off the cotton ball slowly off your finger.

Tip: I recommend that you don't do both hands at the same time as this would make it more complicated than it has to be.

Here is a video to help you have a more visual understanding of the process:

Method 2: Without Acetone

If you're really concerned about acetone, you might even be opposed to using a nail polish remover. Don't worry, this doesn't mean that you can't enjoy having SNS nails because you can use this method which doesn't use acetone at all.

What we need:
  • Coarse Grit Nail File
  • Fine Grit Nail File
  • Soap and Water
  • Cuticle Oil
  • Step 1: Use the four-sided nail buffer to remove the shine of your polish. Removing the shine will make it easier for it to break and crack and would prepare you for the next steps.
  • Step 2: After the shine has been completely removed, you can now use your coarse grit nail file to break the polish even more. The coarse file would be a great way to break the surface and remove the nail system.
  • Step 3: Once you’ve broken as much of the nail system, you can now use the fine grit nail file. Using the fine grit nail file will prevent you from damaging your nails. You should immediately switch to using the fine nail file once the nail gets too thin.
  • Step 4: Once all the nail polish has been removed, you should apply cuticle oil all over your nail. The oil will help keep your nails moisturized and healthy.
  • Step 5: When the oil has settled on your nails, you can remove the excess oil by using soap and water.

Here is a video to help you have a more visual understanding of the process:


Different people have different preferences and some are also more sensitive to chemicals like acetone. You might also not have some products listed available to you. Having this in mind, I have listed some alternatives for some materials I have listed above.

Nail Polish Remover as an Alternative to Acetone

I found that it can be quite difficult to find 100% acetone in some places especially if you only have a small supermarket. The alternative to this is a nail polish remover. This has 40%-60% acetone depending on the brand that you'll get. I personally prefer using nail polish removers since I find it less harsh both on my nails and on my nail beds.

The downside, however, is that you need to soak your nails for a longer period of time. Generally, the steps and the materials would be the same as the first method but you would be replacing the acetone with the nail polish remover. I also recommend that you soak your nails with it for 15-20 minutes.

Alternative to Foil


If you have a nail cup, this could also be a perfect alternative to aluminum foils. These are also more environmentally friendly. Now, not all of us have nail cups but probably everyone has at least two ceramic bowls in their cupboard. Ceramic bowls are perfect for soaking your nails in acetone or nail polish remover to get your SNS nail polish off.

For this, you will need a big ceramic bowl and smaller one. Fill the big bowl with warm water and fill the smaller bowl with acetone. After this, place the smaller bowl in the big bowl. Once it’s placed, you can now soak your nails in the acetone for 10-15 minutes.This alternative is less hassle, requires fewer steps, and produces fewer carbon footprints, however, due to the acetone content, there’s a high chance that your fingertips would get irritated.

I highly suggest that if you have sensitive skin to not try this alternative.


Getting your SNS nails removed doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, you just need to know the right steps and right materials to achieve what the best results. Just remember to follow the timing as strictly as possible so you won’t overexpose both your nails and your skin to acetone. You should also remember to not over-buff to keep your nails healthy and not ruin your natural nail beds.

I hope that the tips above can help you in removing your SNS nails without having to spend extra bucks in the salon. If you feel like I missed out on other methods or maybe you know of other alternatives, please comment them below. Sharing what you know can help others as well to have a better way of removing nail polish. Until next time!

I hope you enjoyed this article! If you have some more questions or suggestions, do not hesitate to leave them down below. I’ll see you on the next article!

Amanda Landers

Hi, I am Amanda. I live in New York City. I’m a passionate beauty aficionado and I have a burning desire for makeup and skincare products. I would like to serve up great beauty tips and awesome pictures to share the common interest with all beauty lovers.

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