How To Remove SNS Nails: Dip Powder Removal Tips!

White Nails
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Cracked, chipped nails are a constant frustration. That first blemish just ruins the whole design! But innovations are happening quickly, and more durable nail products have been introduced.

Acrylics, gels, and SNS dip powder nails are way better than traditional lacquer polish. Imagine having your manicure last for 3-6 weeks without chipping!

SNS nails are beautiful, robust, and durable. Perfect!

But if you try SNS nails, do you have to have them removed at a salon? And how much does it cost to remove them?What if you can’t get to the salon to have them removed? Can you remove them at home? 

This article will look at how to remove SNS Nails at home. Additionally, we’ll discuss your options for salon and home removal, and tips on how to make the process as simple as possible.

We’ll also go give some background as to what SNS nails are, and what makes them unique.

how to remove sns nails


What Are SNS Nails?

SNS is a system that involves dipping the nails in powder for color. It is one of the newer, alternative nail systems similar to Gel Nails. Sure, gel nails are great, but you typically have to expose your skin to UV rays in an LED Nail Lamp to dry them.

Many of us don’t like that!

Dip Powder nails are different than the usual nail polish systems. The SNS, Signature Nail System, is actually a brand that has started and popularized the method of dip powder coating.

Nowadays various brands offer the same nail system under different names, but the procedure is similar. Usually, a base coat is applied on the nails, then they dipped in powder. This is repeated until the desired thickness or color is achieved.

An activator is then brushed over the layer to fully harden it.

Lastly, a topcoat is applied to seal the layers and add shine and glamour.

This guide on how to remove SNS nails is not specific for the SNS brand and applies to essentially all dip powder nail treatments. The procedures found below can be done to other brands that use the dipping powder system.

For a detailed look at SNS Nails, see our article on SNS Nails Pros and Cons.

Removing Dip Powder Nails

Remove your SNS Nails at Home

SNS nails, or powder-dipped nails, can be removed at the salon or at home.

If it’s your first time it’s best to have the SNS nails removed at a nail salon. This is because forceful removal, like simply peeling off the coating, can damage your nautral nails.

But once you’re used to it, and have the with proper knowledge and the right tools, you can remove SNS nails at home.

The Cost Of SNS Nail Removal At The Salon

Your SNS nails can be removed at the salon, but the process typically comes with a price. That price varies depending on the salon.

Some salons may offer free removal if you got your nails done there, or if you are going to get another manicure or pedicure service from them.

Generally, the price at the salon is not very high. This salon charges about $5 for removal. Others can charge much more. However, there is hassle associated with scheduling the appointment, visiting the salon, parking, etc.

Home removal is easier!

Items You Need To Remove SNS Nails

If you don’t want to go back to the salon just to get rid of your SNS nails, you can certainly remove them at home. The nail techs will probably do the following process, which you can also do at home.

Here are the items you need:

  • Pure Acetone
  • Cotton Balls
  • Paper Towels
  • Nail File/ E- File / Nail Buffer
  • Soaking Dish / Bowl
  • Aluminum Foil

How to Remove SNS Nails at Home

Here are the instruction to remove SNS nails at home without damaging your natural nails.

1. File Off The Top Coat

Use a nail file or an electric nail file to remove the topcoat of the nails. You can tell when the topcoat is completely removed when it looks completely matte.

2. Soften The SNS nail layers

Fill a bowl with warm or hot water. Let your nails soak in the water for about 15 minutes. This helps soften the layers. Note that some may skip this step and directly proceed to the next after buffing.

3. Soak Your Nails in Acetone

Wet a paper towel in acetone and place it on the bowl. Make sure that the paper towel is dripping wet with acetone. Soak the nails and make sure they are dipped and covered with a wet paper towel. Unfortunately, non-acetone removers tend not to work as well (though we have some suggestions below).

Do this for 15 to 30 minutes.

An alternative way to soak the nails in acetone is to use aluminum foil instead of a soaking dish. In this way, place a cotton ball dripping in acetone over the nail. Wrap the finger with an aluminum foil that’s been pre-cut. Twist the end of the aluminum foil to make sure the acetone doesn’t drip.

Soak for 15-30 minutes.

4. Rub off the SNS nail

After soaking check to see if the dip nail can already be removed by gently wiping it with the soaked paper towel or cotton ball.

Are There Any Alternatives To Acetone Nail Polish Removers?

Some people might not have pure acetone at home, or may not want to use it. It’s super hard on your nails and fingers. Do you have to use acetone to remove dip nails? No you don’t have to use acetone. There are other ways to remove SNS nails.

Just take note that these alternatives may not be as fast and effective as using pure acetone, and often end up damaging your nails as much as acetone would.

How To Remove SNS Nails With Acetone-Free Nail Polish Remover

Some nail polish removers contain acetone, but many do not. For example, this Ella + Mila Nail Polish Remover  is acetone-free. If the remover does contain acetone, it’s often diluted with other ingredients like alcohol, fragrance, or oils.

ella+mila Jojoba Nail Polish Remover Non-Acetone Non-Toxic Fingernail Polish Remover - Enriched With Jojoba oil & Vitamins (4 fl oz)
  • Jojoba Polish Remover by ella+mila:...
  • Gorgeous & Wholesome Nails: No more...
  • Easy Application: Simply saturate cotton...
  • Polish With Love: Nail care that you...
  • Proudly Made In USA: Formulated without...

If you’re going with a low acetone/no acetone remover, the procedure is the same as what I outlined above, but the soaking time is extended. The chemicals involved are less harmful to your skin than acetone, but you need to let them sit for longer. The net result is about the same.

It’s often best to just use acetone unless you have a known reaction to it.

How to Remove SNS Nails With Toothpaste and Baking Soda

Yes, toothpaste and baking soda will remove your dip nails!

  1. Mix two teaspoons of baking soda and two teaspoons of toothpaste in a bowl to form a scrub for your nails.
  2. Apply the mixture to your nails and let it sit for 15 or so minutes.
  3. Using a junk toothbrush, scrub the mixture into your nails.

This will take time but with patience, it can remove the dip nail finish.

How To Soak Off SNS Nails With Isopropyl Alcohol

Rubbing Alcohol can also be used to remove the layers of SNS nails. However, it is much less efficient than acetone at this task.

With rubbing alcohol, you need to soak the nails multiple times and wipe off the softened layers in between soaking.

Like the non-acetone removers, this longer exposure time ends up being just as harsh on your skin as acetone.

If you’re stuck, you can use rubbing alcohol. But don’t do it because you think it’s less harmful than acetone.

How To Remove Dip Nails With White Vinegar

Cleaning vinegar can work wonders in many ways, including removing the SNS nails. The procedure is the same as for acetone, just substitute white vinegar. Again, you’ll probably need to soak for a longer time.

The problem with this is that it’s too good of an acidic cleaner. A long vinegar soak can harm your nails as you remove the SNS nail layers.

Remove Dip Nails With Hydrogen Peroxide

In this method, mix one part hydrogen peroxide with a half-a-part of water. This solution is used to soak the fingers. It’s possible that the fingers will turn white and the nails will weaken due to the solution.

Try a Slow Dry Nail Polish

Adding a layer of slow-drying nail polish on top of your SNS nails can dissolve the topmost layer as it dries. In this method, you have to wipe the layer of nail polish off along with the layer of SNS nail that got dissolved.

File Off With a Nail Files or Nail Drill

With this alternative, you have to file off the layers using a coarse grit nail file. You may also use an electric nail file for better efficiency.

Switch to a fine grit when you’re near the natural nail to prevent damage to the natural nail.

How Do You Remove SNS nails with tips?

To remove SNS nails with tips, you can follow the steps above regarding soaking the nails in acetone. Acetone is a powerful solvent that can also loosen up the adhesive used to attach the nail tips.

Once soaked, you can try to remove each tip by pressing it down and then sliding it off the nail. If you feel any discomfort or pain, you should re-soak the nails again with pure acetone.

You’ll have to use acetone to remove the tips. Other techniques aren’t strong enough to remove acrylic tips.

You’ll have to use acetone to remove the tips. Other techniques aren’t strong enough to remove acrylic tips.

How long do SNS nails last?

SNS nails typically last for at least two weeks! The only drawback to not removing your SNS nails after that is that they will start to show signs of nail growth. You can try to fill them in, but filling SNS nails can be difficult.

As long as you are still comfortable with how the nails look, even with the growth of the nails, you can choose to keep them going as long as you like.

Products That Help Remove SNS Nails

To make it easier to remove SNS nails at home, we’ve compiled some of the products you might want to try to use:

IBN Steam Gel Nail Remover Machine

Steam Gel Nail Remover Machine

This gel nail remover doesn’t only work on gel polishes. It will also work with other nail products that can be removed with acetone. It speeds up the removal process by heating the acetone and turning it to steam.

When using this, you don’t touch the acetone. Rather, you allow your fingers to be exposed in the acetone steam.

Upgraded Steam Gel Nail Remover Machine, Nail Steamer with Cuticle Pusher Spoon Tools for Nails Gel Polish Soak Off (02)
  • Steam Gel Nail Remover Machine
  • Steam Gel Nail Remover Machine
  • Steam Gel Nail Remover Machine
  • Steam Gel Nail Remover Machine
  • Steam Gel Nail Remover Machine

Nail Polish Remover Clips

Nail Polish Remover Clips

Instead of using aluminum foil to cover your fingers, you can use these. The clips are designed to make sure the soaked cotton ball in acetone is pressed directly against the nail.

The clips are not overly tight and are not painful. Plus they’re less likely to leak.

Nail Polish Remover Tool, Stainless Steel Triangle Cuticle Peeler Scraper and Cuticle Pusher,20Pcs Gel Nail Polish Remover Clips,500Pcs Wipe Cotton Pads,10Pcs 100 180 Grit Nail Files
  • Triangle design cuticle scraper pusher...
  • Double ended cuticle pusher cutter helps...
  • The nail polish soak off clips can fix...
  • The 100/180 grit nail files are made...
  • Great for all your filing needs, Nails,...

NYK1 Finger Bowl Dishes

Finger Bowl Dishes

You can use much less acetone and still soak your SNS nails by using finger bowls like these. Each tray has five wells, one per finger. And nail wipe pads are included. You can fill these with acetone and use them to cover your SNS nails for removal.

NYK1 Soak Off Finger Bowl Dishes For Shellac Gel and Acrylic Nails With 200 Square Lint Free Cotton Wool Pads Nail Wipes Scrub Effect. Fill The Trays With Acetone Remover To Remove Gel Nail Polish
  • ★ 200 WIPES INCLUDES - square cotton...
  • ★ Multi-purpose Cotton Wool Pads...

Makartt Nail Polish Remover Foil Wraps

Finger Bowl Dishes

Cutting up aluminum foil into little sheets is a pain. If you don’t want to bother, you can pick up these pre-cut ones that already have a cotton sheet in the middle. All you have to do is wet it adequately with acetone then wrap your finger with the foil.

The foil wraps are 3.5x 2.5 inches in size.

Makartt Nail Polish Nail Gel Remover Soak Off Gel Nail Polish Remover Foil Wraps 200pcs with Larger Cotton Pad 1 pcs Cuticle Pusher Valentine's Day Gift, R-01
  • WORK QUICK & SAVE TIME - These gel...
  • EASY TO USE & EFFECTIVE - Just put a...
  • GREAT SOAK OFF - Come with cotton...
  • COME WITH BOX - 200pcs foil wraps and...

Care For Nails After SNS Nail Removal

Once the SNS nails are removed, you may find some damage due to your nails’ exposure to harmful chemicals or solvents used during the removal.

They need to recover!

You can help them by first washing the hands with soap and water.

After you clean your nails and fingers, pat them dry and use a repair treatment. Use a cuticle oil to nourish your battered nails. You can use a commercial cuticle oil, or see our recipes for DIY cuticle oil here

Additionally, you can also use hand creams instead of oils to nourish your nails and fingertips.

Sometimes, it is best to give your nails a break and allow them to breathe before you get another manicure or pedicure.

Sometimes, it is best to give your nails a break and allow them to breathe before you get another manicure or pedicure.

Final Thoughts

Removing SNS nails doesn’t have to be done in a salon: they can be removed at home without too much effort. The main solvent used to remove SNS nail is acetone, but there are alternatives.

Many of the alternatives have downsides, and are just as damaging to your natural nails as acetone.

No matter what method, tools, or solutions you use, always remember to nourish and care for your nails right after removal.

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).