How to Remove Dip Powder at Home

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We get the hype of dip powder manicures because they last a super long time, are virtually chip-free, and they require zero drying time which means zero accidental smudges. Unfortunately like all manicures though, your nails eventually grow out which means your manicure grows out too, and removing dip powder can be a bit tricky if you don’t know how to do it correctly.

While it can be super tempting to pick off or peel the dip powder, you can seriously damage your nails doing this, causing them to become incredibly weak and brittle. It’s best to leave the job of removal up to a nail tech, but if you just can’t go another day with your grown out mani or don’t have time to make it into the salon, it’s totally possible to remove dip powder safely and effectively at home.  

We’ve asked several professionals how to remove dip powder at home and compiled these safe directions so you don’t damage your nails. Below, we’ll share a step-by-step guide on how to properly remove dip manicures by yourself and how to provide proper after care to ensure your nails stay healthy and strong.

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Tools You’ll Need

First things first, you’ll need a few tools that you most likely already have at home.

  • Nail File
  • Zip Lock Bag
  • Cotton Wool
  • Pure Acetone
  • Bowl of warm water
  • Cuticle Oil (optional, but recommended)
  • Buffer (optional, but recommended)

Step 1: File Top Coat

The first thing you want to do is file off the shiny top layer of dip powder. This will allow the acetone to penetrate more effectively, making the removal process easier. Simply use a fine emery board nail file, and file using a back and forth and side to side motion until the nail is covered in a fine white powder and looks dull.

Step 2: Baggy Method Removal

Once the top coat is removed, place the cotton wool in a zip lock bag and fill with enough acetone to soak the cotton. Fill a bowl with warm water and immerse the bag of acetone-soaked cotton into the water until the acetone gets warm. Place your fingers into the bag and move them around in the cotton. Wait 5-7 minutes and check your nails. They should be clean of any remaining dip powder.

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Step 3: Touch up and After Care

If there is any residual dip powder around the edges of your nail, simply wipe them with a bit of cotton and it should come right off. However, if the dip powder application was quite thick and it isn’t completely removed, you may want to continue soaking a bit longer. Once the dip powder is completely removed, lightly buff your nails to a smooth, shiny finish.

While the baggy method doesn’t damage your nail bed, pure acetone can be drying for both your skin and your nails, so after care is essential to maintain the health of your hands. Apply hand cream and rub cuticle oil around the edges of your nail bed to hydrate and nourish your nails. To ensure your nails are always looking their best, it’s recommended to apply cuticle oil and moisturizer daily. 

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