Like any other artificial nail enhancement, people who have dip powder nails will want to know if they can take off dip nails at home without using acetone because this nail chemical is not always available.

To successfully remove dip powder nails without acetone requires two things. Firstly, the dip nails should be at least 3 weeks old for the adhesive bond between the dip powder and the natural nails are weakened due to usage. Secondly, these old dip powder nails can be soaked in hot water for 10 minutes to further loosen these adhesive bonds so that they can be gently peeled off safely.

Dip powder nails or SNS nails attach to the natural nails by a strong adhesive bond. These powder nails will dissolve in pure acetone and this chemical solvent is used to take them off. Any other chemicals such as vinegar, baking powder, or toothpaste can not dissolve or interact with them and if you try using them to take off your dip powder nails will not work at all.

What you need to take off dip nails at home without acetone

I would strongly suggest that you have acetone to soak off your dip nails because this is the most effective and least painful way to get your dip nails off. However, if you must have them off now, read on so you will know exactly what you need to do to prevent damaging your natural nails and minimize the unnecessary pain from removing dip powder nailsOpens in a new tab. that you will inflict on yourself.

To take dip nails off at home but you have no acetone available, you must have two things.

Your dip nails should be at least 3 weeks old:

Your new set of dip nails has fresh adhesive bonds to your natural nails so they are still very strong. Trying to peel these new dip nails off will result in peeling your own nails also and you will ruin their lengths and shapes that you want to keep in the first place.

Only when these dip powder nails are at least three weeks old, these adhesive bonds are weakened as they are undergoing stress and strain during the normal use of the hands and fingers.

Also, these adhesive bonds go through changes in temperatures when you wash your hands or take showers. These changes in temperature cause the hard dip nails and your own nails to expand and contract at different rates. These differences in expansion and contraction will weaken the bonds further.

These are the reasons you should only remove your dip nails at home if you do not have acetone available.

You need hot water to soak your old dip nails:

Heat will cause the nails and dip powder to expand. The natural nails and dip powder expand and contract with different rates so they will “slide” relatively to each other. These differences in expansion due to heat cause the adhesive bond to break apart or come loose and its strength is weakened even further.

These are the reasons that old dip powder nails can be taken off without acetone by soaking in hot water. 

Now you know the reasons why old dip nails can be removed with hot water. Let me show you how.

How to get dip nails off at home without acetone

What you need:

An old credit card, a large nail tip, or something that is thin but flexible like a charge card.

Hot tap water.

Towels to catch dripping water.

Large plastic container or bowl that can fit both hands comfortably.

A table where you can sit for 10 to 15 minutes.


  1. Do not shorten or trim your dip nails because you need them long so you can have a better grip as you try to loosen them later.
  2. No need to buff off the top sealer.
  3. Pour hot water into the container. Make sure the water is hot enough but will not burn your fingers.
  4. Sit down at a table and soak both hands in hot water for 5 minutes.
  5. Now use your thumb from one hand to gently press on the sides of fingers on the other hands. These sides have the least amount of dip powder so these spots can be somewhat easily separated. Do not try to do so much. You only need to small gap right now.
  6. If the dip powder does not budge or separate, soak it again.
  7. Do this for all ten nails, and try to keep all fingers submerged. Change the water if it gets cooler.
  8. Now you can insert a credit card or a nail tip into this little gap and start to work back and forth, side to side to separate the dip powder. Be sure to do this slowly and gently. If you try to do too much at one time, your nails will be sore later.
  9. Until you can not do this anymore without being hurt, soak this finger and go on to the next one.
  10. Do this for all ten nails. Change the water if it gets cooler.
  11. When the dip nails are about halfway loosened, you can wiggle them back and forth, or side to side as this action will help remove them faster.
  12. Repeat until you get all dip powder off your nails.

The main thing to keep in mind is you should do this slowly and gently because you do not want to ruin your nails in the process.

What to do after you take off dip nails

When all the dip nails are off, you can shape and shorten your nails to your liking.

Lightly buff the nail surface but do not try to buff them smooth because you will make your nails thinner in doing so.

You can put on regular nail polish, gel polish, or whatever nail product you prefer.

If you decide to get your nails a break, but they are on the thinner side, however, and you are afraid that they will break or split on their own, I would suggest that you strengthen them with a gel base coat and gel topcoat. Read how simple you can strengthen your nails in this strengthen nails after gel polish: one simple hackOpens in a new tab. article. It is for nails after gel polish but it is applicable to dip nails too.

So this is how you take off any old dip powder nails, or SNS nails without acetone at home.

Happy dipping or gelling.

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