How to Remove a No-Chip Manicure at Home

No-chip manicures are one of the greatest joys of life. Who doesn’t want perfect nails for weeks at a time? They keep your nails looking fabulous until it’s time to take them off — and then all hell breaks loose.

Seeing the aftermath of a no-chip manicure is always alarming — dry, brittle, scratched-up nails that quite frankly look like a war zone aren’t something anyone wants to deal with. And making the trip back to the nail salon just to get a no-chip removed? Way too much effort.

We all know that regular nail polish remover doesn’t get the job done — so if you don’t have the time to go in to get your no-chip removed, how do you do it at home without leaving your fingers as nail-less stubs?

That’s the question I set out to answer, and after (much) experimenting with different methods (read: destroying my nails to the point of no return), and with the help of a lot of patience, I’ve figured out the easiest method for removing your no-chip at home both effectively and safely. 


Source: OPI




To remove your no-chip, you’re going to need an acetone nail polish remover, aluminum foil, cotton balls, and a nail stick.

Cut the aluminum foil into 10 strips big enough to wrap around each of your fingers. Don’t be like me and think you can rip it as you go — it isn’t easy when nine of your fingers already have tin foil wrapped around them.

Rip five cotton balls in half — a half for each nail — and pour acetone in a small bowl.

Then, buff the top layer of your nail polish with a nail file — I know, this is not easy on the senses, but buffing the top layer of nail polish allows for the acetone that’s about to come to penetrate through the rest of the layers.




Soak a half of a cotton ball in the acetone, then place it on your nail. You want to make sure your entire nail is covered, then wrap the aluminum foil around your finger to hold it in place. Repeat this on every nail.

After about 15 minutes, check a nail to see if the polish has loosened up. (I usually leave mine on for about 20 minutes to make the next step easier.) When you remove the cotton balls, the polish should start to slide off.




Once 15 minutes have passed, remove the aluminum foil and cotton balls, and use a cuticle pusher to scrape the remaining polish off. It should come off fairly easily — if it doesn’t, soak them for five more minutes and try again.




Your nails (and probably fingers) will be in quite a state after the acetone soaking, so finish by washing your hands, then putting a nail strengthening polish on your nails and a hand cream on your hands. Voila, you’re on the road back to nail health.