How to Remove Gel Nail Polish with Sugar in 15 Minutes?

How to remove gel nail polish with sugar?” is a common question that many beauty enthusiasts have asked me.

Many women ask for gel nail polish rather than regular nail polish because it appears glossier and lasts much longer (up to three weeks compared to a single week or less).

Yet, while gel nail polish is relatively simple to apply, it can be pesky to remove it.

If you’re looking for a quick, easy, natural, and budget-friendly way to say sayonara to your gel polish, you might not need to look beyond your kitchen cabinet.

You can successfully remove your once-fabulous gel nail polish with a bit of granulated sugar and a cotton ball.

Editor’s note: This solution will work with only a few types of gel polish that are easy to remove. If you get your gel nails done in a salon, it’s likely that this solution will not work. In this case, I suggest visiting the closest nail salon in your area to have the polish removed professionally with acetone.

What You’ll Need

Removing gel nail polish with sugar is a cinch and only requires five things. Here they are:

  1. A small to a medium-sized bowl
  2. Granulated sugar
  3. Spice grinder
  4. Cotton balls
  5. Cuticle oil (optional)

Now, let’s get into the actual steps to remove it below.

How to Remove Gel Nail Polish with Sugar – Step by Step

Now that you have your tools and equipment, you can start removing your gel nail polish quickly and efficiently.

Follow these simple steps to remove gel nail polish with granulated sugar.

1. Clean your Hands

cleaning your hands

You never want to perform any type of treatment or procedure with dirty hands. Not only is it unsanitary, but it can also lead to infection and other complications.

Remove any grime or dirt by washing your hands with warm water and some antibacterial or mild soap.

2. Grind a Few Tablespoons of Granulated Sugar

a spoon of sugar

The first step to removing gel polish with sugar is to grind a few tablespoons (two or three should do the trick!) of granulated sugar down to a powder substance. 

You’ll need a good spice grinder to make it happen. About ten seconds in an electric spice grinder is all you need. You don’t want or need to overdo it.

Once it’s perfectly ground, pour it into a small to medium-sized bowl that’s big enough to accommodate your cotton balls.

The next step is to add a few drops of water to the powdered sugar in the ball. Don’t add too much, you should be able to see the sugar in a solid shape.

3. Dab the Cotton Ball Into the Sugar

Now, take your cotton ball and dab it into the powdered, granulated sugar. Grab up as much of the sugar as possible, as too little won’t be able to get the job done efficiently.

Then, you can begin to rub your gel nail polish off. 

Make sure that you rub your nails very carefully. The last thing you want to do is accidentally damage your delicate cuticles and surrounding skin.

4. Continue Rubbing Until All Gel Nail Polish is Off of Your Nails

Continue rubbing the gel nail polish until it’s eradicated from your fingernails. 

Don’t rush the process, though. If your nails feel uncomfortable, take a break before returning to removal.

You may need to dip the cotton ball back into the powdered, granulated sugar a few times to replenish it.

5. Rinse and Apply Cuticle Oil

Now that the gel nail polish has successfully been removed from your nails, you’ll need to rinse them to get rid of any leftover debris. Use cold water and dry your hands entirely.

Then, apply some high-end cuticle oil to your nails. Cuticle oil works to strengthen and rehydrate the nail, which is vital after removing gel nail polish using an abrasive substance such as granulated sugar.

Cuticle oil will also help after you clean your matte nails or any other type of polish on your hand with chemical-based removers.

You may also want to consider applying a moisturizing hand lotion to your hands, paying extra close attention to the fingers and nails.

Hydrating is critical after a gel polish manicure, so double up with cuticle oil and lotion.

6. Let Your Nails Breathe Before the Next Manicure

While it can be tempting to go out and apply new gel polish (or regular polish) right away, it’s critical to give your nails some time to relax and breathe for at least two weeks.

During this two-week break, ensure you regularly apply cuticle oil and moisturizing lotion or creams. This will restore strength and hydration, making your nails robust enough for a new set of perfectly-polished fingernails.

Why Does It Work?

how to remove gel polish with sugar

It’s understandable if you’re a little weary of sugar removing your gel nail polish.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

What it comes down to is the abrasiveness of sugar. It’s scratchy enough to remove polish, yet it’s not so intense that it damages your nails or skin (like acetone can).

Removing Gel Nail Polish with Sugar is a Cinch!

As you can see, removing gel nail polish with a bit of sugar and a cotton ball is an easy, cheap, and all-natural solution you can do right now.

So, the next time you need to remove your gel nails, head to your kitchen and apply this tip to remove them right away. Just ensure you’re being gentle and always apply a cuticle oil when you’re finished to restore nail health!

In case your gel polish won’t come off with sugar, you can consider using acetone. However, this type of liquid is dangerous if not used properly, so make sure you know what you are doing.

You can always visit a nearby nail salon to have this done relatively fast. I normally remove gel polish within 10-15 minutes with all the necessary equipment at a salon.