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How To Remove Dip Powder Nails Without Acetone [3 Ideal Methods]

Have you been wearing your dip nails for a while? Have they seen better days, and you know deep down it’s time to remove them? At the same time, do you want to steer well clear of the harsh acetone? Well, here are the best alternatives to go for. 

So, how can you remove dip nails without acetone? There are a couple of methods to remove dip nails without acetone, but one of the best ways is using hot water, oil, and soap. Otherwise, using hand sanitizer or Isopropyl Alcohol are effective compounds you can also use.

Every dip nail officiated will tell you the best way to remove them is with acetone. And they’re right. 

Acetone will remove your old, tired dip powder nails in a short minute but what they don’t tell you is how abrasive acetone can be. Resulting in damage to your natural nails.

Thankfully there are alternatives. And I’m about to get right into them.

So if you want to know how to remove your dip nails without using acetone, keep reading. 

I’m giving you the low down on three methods that actually work – even if they take a little longer than acetone to do the job.

Water, Oil, And Soap

This is the best method for removing dip nails without using acetone, in my opinion. 

I mean, think about it, part of your dip nail care routine is keeping them dry. 

Accessive exposure to water can cause them to crack and lift. 

Although you’ll avoid water when you want to keep your dip nails looking pristine, it’s the perfect method when it comes to their removal.

What You’ll Need

  • Oil – Any kind at a pinch, but I always recommend olive oil or coconut oil
  • Dish Soap – Any brand, although lots of people prefer Dawn 
  • Hot Water – Not scalding
  • Cuticle Pusher, or any other item that has a thin, flat surface (credit card, nail file, tip of your nail)

What You’ll Do

Step One: Firstly, you’ll want to give your nails a good jostle. Take your cuticle pusher and gently push against the edges of your nails. Try to get underneath the nails a little bit and loosen them from your natural nail. Be careful not to damage your natural nails or hurt yourself.

Step Two: Now, apply your oil to your nails. You’ll want to cover your entire nail, especially the parts that have loosened up from your natural nail bed. Make sure you are pretty generous with your oil.

Step Three: In a bowl, mix your hot water with a few drops of oil and your dish soap.

Step Four: Soak your nails in the soap, oil, and water mixture. You may want to pop on an episode of Bridgerton for this, as you’ll need to leave them soaking for a good 20 minutes at least. 

Step Five: Once your 20 minutes are up (or your episode of Bridgerton is up), use your cuticle pusher to lift your dip nails away from your natural nail. Again, be gentle here and take your time, but they should lift with very little hassle at all.

If your dip nails are putting up a little more fight than expected, you can repeat the whole process with fresh water, and that should have your stubborn dip powder nails off in no time.

Hand Sanitizer, Cotton Balls, And Aluminum Foil

The pandemic has come good for once!

With the bucket loads of hand snazzier we all still have hanging around, you probably won’t even have to nip to the store for any of this method’s ingredients. 

Yes, you may have to get comfy with Netflix again to give the hand sanitizer all the time to work its magic, but you will have avoided even more harsh chemicals coming into contact with your sensitive natural nails.


What You’ll Need

  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Cotton Balls
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Nail File

What You’ll Do 

Step One: Firstly, you’ll want to take your cotton balls and soak them generously in your hand sanitizer. Not so that they are dripping like the Niagara Falls, but so they are nice and damp.

Step Two: Take your soaked cotton balls and press them onto the dip nails you want to remove. 

Step Three: Now, tear small pieces of aluminum foil (not too small you want them to wrap securely around your finger) and cover your fingertips and the soaked cotton ball. Make sure the aluminum foil is nice and secure, so you’re not having to deal with your cotton balls falling off before your dip nails do.

Step Four: Now, leave your nails alone for 30 minutes, at least. You’ll want the hand sanitizer-soaked cotton balls to have plenty of time to really soak through your dip nail.

Step Five: Once your 30 minutes is up, you can remove all the tin foil and the soaked cotton balls.

Step Six: If any of your dip nails are left, they will have been perfectly softened by their 30-minute hand sanitizer bath, and a quick buff with your nail file will get rid of the rest.

Isopropyl Alcohol

Acetone is the perfect dip nail remover thanks to its abrasive chemical compound, but it’s not such good news for your natural nails. 

This is where Isopropyl Alcohol comes in; it has a similar chemical compound to acetone but isn’t as abrasive. 

Unfortunately, what you gain in gentleness, you sacrifice in time.

This method does take more time, but I think we can all agree it’s worth it.

What You’ll Need

  • Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Nail File or Buffer
Amazon Basics 70% Isopropyl Alcohol First Aid Antiseptic for Treatment of Minor Cuts and Scrapes, Unscented, 32 Fl Oz (Pack of 1) (Previously Solimo)
  • One 32 fluid ounce bottle of first aid antiseptic
  • Packaging is transitioning and may vary from picture
  • First aid to help prevent risk of infection from minor cuts, scrapes and burns
  • Active ingredient: 70% isopropyl alcohol

What You’ll Do

Step One: Take your nail file or buffer and buff away the top coat of your dip powder nails.

Step Two: Pour enough Isopropyl Alcohol into a bowl to cover your nails.

Step Three: Soak your dip powder nails in the Isopropyl Alcohol until your nail polish begins to fade and wear off.

Step Four: Remove your nails and wipe away the polish before popping them back into the Isopropyl Alcohol solution.

Step Five: Keep repeating these steps until your dip powder nail comes off freely and easily.

Things To Consider When Removing Dip Powder Without Acetone

Now, just because you’ve decided acetone is too harsh for your nails doesn’t mean there aren’t a few drawbacks to using non-acetone-based methods when removing your dip nails. 

There is no perfect method, so you’ll want to make a decision based more on your needs and the time that you have available.

It Takes Time

Dip powder nail removal methods that don’t use acetone will always take longer; it’s a fact.

I’m not going to sugarcoat it; if you don’t use acetone, you’re going to be at your nails for a good 30-45 minutes removing them. Acetone is the most popular solution for removing dip nails for a reason, it’s fast.

That being said, who doesn’t love an excuse to sit down and pamper themselves because speed doesn’t always mean best, right?

It Can Be Messier

Acetone removes the entirety of your dip nail, very rarely leaving anything behind. 

However, other methods may leave a little bit of mess behind or require working through the removal steps more than once. 

You may have little bits that need to be buffed away that you weren’t expecting, or it may not all come off in one piece. 

Small bits of your dip nails coming off at a time aren’t nearly as satisfying as being able to lift the entire nail in one go; I get it.

It Might Not Be As Effective

Non-acetone dip nail removal methods can work as an absolute treat for some people, especially if they have naturally oily nails – the nemesis of long-lasting dip nails. 

However, non-acetone methods don’t always work for everyone.

Although I’m pretty trusting in the methods I’ve shown you, they’ve always worked for me super well, and they may not work for you as well. 

I’m not saying don’t give them a go; you definitely should because if they do work for you, your natural nails will thank you. Just be prepared for them to be less effective than your usual acetone method.

When You May Need To Use Acetone

You may be thinking that I hate acetone, but I don’t, it’s useful in some situations, and it doesn’t have to be avoided altogether. 

I just don’t think we should be using it every single time we need to remove our dip nails. 

So, here are a couple of situations where you may need to use acetone.

If You Don’t Wear Dip Nails Often

The biggest danger with using acetone is if you regularly wear and remove dip nails. 

This regular contact with acetone will damage and weaken your natural nails and dry out the skin on your fingers. 

However, if you only wear dip nails once in a blue moon or for special occasions, then it’s totally okay to use an acetone solution to remove your dip nails. 

Once or twice a year isn’t going to do a massive amount of damage to your natural nails.

If You Need To Remove Your Dip Nails Fast

It’s no secret, acetone will remove your dip nails fast. If you are in a situation where you need to quickly and efficiently remove your dip nails, acetone is your best option.

Just make sure you don’t have these rush removal situations too often.


Thankfully there are three different methods outside of acetone to remove your dip nails.

Choose what you think is best for you or what you have to hand in and available.

And while acetone is best avoided, for the most part, it is okay to use from time to time – besides, it is quick, cheap, and easy.

So if you don’t have dip nails or use acetone too regularly, do consider it. It may save you a lot of time.

Like this? Then you may want to read my other dip powder nail articles: