4 Easy Ways How to Remove Sticky Residue from Gel Nails

How to Remove Sticky Residue from Gel Nails
How to Remove Sticky Residue from Gel Nails

Once your gel nails have cured it is essential that you correctly remove the sticky residue on the top coat. If you don’t remove the sticky layer or you do so incorrectly your gel nails would look very dull and they tend to be weaker.

So in this article, I am gonna guide you on how to correctly remove the sticky or tacky layer on your gel nails to make them more durable and look more glossy.

Now there are four main ways to remove the sticky residue on your gel nails you can use:

  1. Isopropyl Alcohol either in the form of alcohol wipes or lint-free cotton pads soaked with alcohol to wipe the residue off.
  2. Gel Nail Cleanser
  3. A small amount of non-acetone nail polish remover to wipe it away.
  4. A DIY Gel Nail Cleanser using household chemicals that contain a high concentration of alcohol.

1. Isopropyl Alcohol

The most common, budget-friendly, and effective way to remove the sticky or tacky layer on top of your gel top coat is to use Isopropyl alcohol.

The alcohol will dissolve the sticky layer (which is uncured gel polish) making it easy to wipe away. Citation.

I usually use and recommend using alcohol wipes. These wipes come in individual packets and are soaked with 70 percent Isopropyl alcohol. To use them all you need to do is open them and then wipe your nails.

Dynarex is the brand that I use, they come in the perfect size to clean off your nails. You can click here to see the price for a box containing 2000 Alcohol wipes, on Amazon.

Though alcohol wipes are a bit more costly in the long run, I find them very convenient, professional-looking, and hygienic which is perfect for dealing with clients.

Alternatively, if you want to be more budget-friendly, especially for your personal use, you can use Lint-Free Cotton Pads and just soak them in alcohol and then wipe your nails.

You can click here to see the price for the 99% Isopropyl Alcohol that I use on Amazon. It’s a large 1-liter bottle so it should last you a long time.

And you can click here to see the price for some great lint-free cotton pads on Amazon.

Important Tip

Always use a fresh alcohol pad to wipe one nail at a time and then dispose of the cotton pad. Do not reuse a cotton pad to wipe and clean multiple nails.

You see if you reuse one pad to wipe more than one of your nails your manicure will look very dull and won’t have that glossy look.

This is because you are transferring the tacky layer from one of your gel nails to another.

Bonus Tip

When applying manicures like Gel your nails and cuticles are constantly being exposed and damaged by harsh chemicals such as acetone and alcohol. This is why I always use a nail serum right after getting a manicure manicure.

But sadly most nail oils are just plain oils which is why I developed a new nail serum that is jam-packed with nutrients to help heal and keep your cuticles and nails stronger. You can click here to get my 5 in 1 Nail Serum on Amazon.

Also if you buy one you will help to support my small blog and help me to continue writing articles and making videos, thank you very much.

What is the Sticky Residue Left On Your Gel Nails

The sticky residue that remains for some brands of gel polish is the polish that wasn’t cured properly.

This occurs because the oxygen in the air prevents the gel polish on the surface or top of your manicure from curing completely leaving a tacky or sticky residue called the inhibition layer. Citation.

Related Articles:

How Long Do You Really Need to Cure Gel Polish – Easy Guide

6 Reasons Why Your Gel Polish is not Curing & How to Fix

Do you Need to Wipe Gel Nails Between Coats

It’s important to understand that you don’t need to remove the sticky layer from every layer of gel polish. You just need to wipe off the sticky layer on your top coat and not between every coat.

The sticky or wet layer from your base coat and gel polish will cure completely once you apply the other layer over it and the sticky residue actually helps to bond the layers together.

Related Article: Why Does Gel Polish Wrinkle – How to Fix & Prevent

2. Gel Cleanser

A gel cleanser can be used to dissolve and remove the tacky or sticky layer from your gel polish.

They can also be used to clean any oils and moisture found on your nail plates before applying your gel polish to promote better adhesion.

Gel Cleansers are very effective but are a lot more costly in comparison to using alcohol. To use a gel cleanser just soak your cotton pad with it and then wipe away the wet layer.

If you are interested, you can click here to see the price of Gelish Gel Cleanser on Amazon. I have used it and it worked just like rubbing alcohol.

Now to learn more about Gel Nail Cleansers, click here to read my full review.

3. Non-Acetone Nail Polish Remover

Now if you don’t have any Isopropyl Alcohol or a Gel Cleanser you can use a small amount of acetone-free nail polish remover along with a lint-free cotton pad to clean off the sticky layer.

But only use a small amount if not you can potentially weaken your gel manicure and remove some of the color or glossiness. This is why I recommend using acetone-free polish remover as a last resort.

Related Article – Benefits & Disadvantages of Gel Nails – Are They Worth it

Can You use Acetone to Remove Sticky Residue From Gel Nails

You should never use any acetone or acetone-based polish remover to wipe away the sticky layer. If you do so you would greatly weaken your gel nails.

4. DIY Gel Nail Cleanser Substitute

If you are completely out of options and you are desperate you can use certain household chemicals that have a high concentration of alcohol to clean off the sticky layer.

Chemicals such as; Lysol, Hand Sanitizer, and Perfumes can work. I have used them and for me, they worked pretty well.

Though it’s important to note that these DIY Methods won’t be as effective as Isopropyl Alcohol or a Gel Cleanser and might potentially ruin your manicure.

You see chemicals like Hand Sanitizers and Perfumes tend to have additives like dyes that can potentially mess up your gel manicure. So try to avoid any that are colored.

Bonus Tip

Now if you don’t like cleaning away the sticky or tacky layer, you can always consider investing in a no-wipe top coat.

No Wipe Top Coats are top coats that cure completely and don’t leave any sticky residue that needs to be wiped away.

I have an entire article on No Wipe Coats, you can click here to learn more about them and to read about my recommendations on the best no wipe top coats.

Did know UV Nail Lamps can affect your skin, click here to read 6 Easy Tips to Protect Your Hands from Nail Lamps

Other Gel Polish Resources

6 Ways to Protect Hands from UV Lamps- Safer Gel Manicures

You can click here to read about my top 5 best professional brands of gel polishes.

Best UV Shield Manicure Gloves to Protect Your Hands

Best Rubber Base Gel to Prevent Lifting

How to Remove Gel Polish at Home Without Acetone

Best Gel Base & Top Coats

Can You Mix Different Gel Polish Brands & Why You Shouldn’t

How to Use Regular Nail Polish with UV Gel Base & Top Coat

Can You Use a Regular Base & Top Coat with a UV Gel Polish

Why Does Gel Polish Peel Off and How to Make them Last Longer.