Steam Gel Nail Polish Remover – Does it Work & Is it Safe
I am sure I dont have to tell you this but Gel Polishes are really tough to take off and depending on the number of layers and the quality of the gel polish used it can take 20-25 minutes to be fully removed.
The Steam Gel Nail Polish Remover is a machine devised to somewhat speed up the removal of gel polishes.
And yes after buying one and nervously trying it out for the first time I can report that the Steam Off Gel Polish Remover actually does work.
In this article, I hope to do a thorough review of it so that you can decide whether this device is right for you.
Related Article – 5 Alternatives to Gel Nails: Safe, Healthy & Durable
How Does a Steam Off Gel Nail Polish Remover Work
These machines work with nail polish remover, which is made primarily with acetone, and not from the steam made from water.
I think this is one of the biggest misconceptions about the Steam Polish Remover is that it uses water.
The Steam Polish Remover is basically an electrical machine that heats and vaporizes acetone. Citation.
To use them you would have to place your fingers in the machine to allow the warm acetone steam to dissolve the gel polish.
The heat from the steam softens the gel polish which allows the acetone vapor to more easily dissolve the gel polish.
Now if you are trying to avoid using acetone please I recommend:
- Clicking here to read my article where I share 4 Easy Ways to Remove Gel Polish at Home Without Acetone
- Using a Peel Off Base Coat, they make removing gel polishes super easy and are the most health-conscious way to work with gel polishes.
Peel Off Base Coats are what I use most of the time, you can click here to learn more.
Pros of the Steam Off Nail Polish Remover
1- Modern Look
My favorite thing about the Steam Off Polish Remover is that they have an advance and techy look, which makes it a great gift to a fellow nail enthusiast.
A Steam Off Remover would also make a nail salon feel more sophisticated and modern which might be appealing to younger tech-savvy women and maybe allow you to justify higher prices.
Now even if you dont use it much just having the device available and in view might be enough to impress your clients.
2- Easy to Use and Set-Up
Steam Off Nail Polish Machines come mostly preassembled and are super easy to use.
How to use a Steam Off Gel Polish Remover
- The first thing you need to do is add some acetone to the plastic bowl found inside the machine I used around two tablespoons
- And then switch on the machine to warm it up.
- Now whilst the machine is warming up you will need to file off the top layer of your gel polish this is to get rid of the hard top coat.
- Once you are finished filling your nails an indicator light would tell you when to insert your fingers inside.
- Leave your fingers inside for 12-15 minutes
- Finally, remove your fingers and proceed to scrape away the polish.
- If your polishes don’t come off smoothly you can always put your fingers in for a couple of minutes more.
- You can see how it’s done in the video below.
The bottom of the container is very hot so please, to avoid getting burnt do not let your fingers touch the bottom.
Instead, keep your fingers clenched like you are holding something this would also allow the steam to effectively come into contact with your nails.
Related Article- BIAB: How to Remove at Home & When & How to Infill
3- Very Affordable
These machines are very budget-friendly, I got mine off Amazon who usually has them in stock you can click here to see the current price.
How Do Your Fingers Feel Inside The Steam Off Remover
Your fingers will feel moderately hot kinda like a sauna level of heat, it doesn’t cause any pain, but in my opinion, it can feel a bit uncomfortable.
DrawBacks of the Steam Off Gel Polish Remover
1- Creates Fumes
My main issue with these machines is that they work with vaporizing acetone which can potentially make it easier to inhale.
Acetone is a very toxic chemical and if inhaled in small amounts can irritate your nose and throat. Citation.
Now inhalation of large quantities can lead to acetone poisoning which can damage your nervous system, symptoms of this may include headache, nausea, lack of coordination, drowsiness, and confusion.
A rapid inhalation of large amounts of acetone vapor can cause unconsciousness.
Even though these devices do come with a rubber gasket to help prevent the fumes from escaping the risks are still there.
So when using this machine avoid having your face too close to it when it’s on, so as to avoid breathing in any acetone vapors.
2- Risky Design (Potential Fire Hazard)
My second biggest concern with these machines is that they utilize nail polish remover which is a very flammable liquid so I suspect that if these machines are incorrectly used they can potentially be a fire hazard. Citation.
Though I am sure if you stick with the guidelines you should be fine.
One suggestion is that you always ensure you turn off the machine when you are finished with it.
3- Still Need to File Your Polish Down.
Even though you are utilizing steam to help soften the polish you would still need to file off the top layer of your gel polish.
This is because gel top coats tend to be very durable and would take forever to dissolve in acetone.
So sadly the steam off remover won’t decrease the amount of labor needed to remove gel polishes.
4- Takes Longer To Remove Polish
Steam Off Polish remover actually takes longer to dissolve your gel polish this is because you can only do one hand at a time, and if each hand takes 15 minutes it would take 30 minutes to fully remove everything.
Plus you got cater the time needed for the machine to warm up.
Whilst if you use conventional removal methods, like cotton balls soaked in acetone and held to your fingers with either clips or foil wraps, you can do both hands at the same time.
And for me, cotton pads usually takes like 15-20 minutes depending on how many layers of gel polish I used.
5- Loses Mobility
When using these machines, you have to stay in one position for a good 30 minutes for them to work, now if you are using the cotton pads and clips you are free to move around and maybe watch tv or keep an eye on the kids.
6- Not Durable
Most current designs of the steam off removers are made of a weak plastic outer layer.
And I suspect after continuously being exposed to heat they would be susceptible to a fast rate of wear and tear.
7- Exposes More of your Skin to Acetone
The acetone vapor produced from these machines won’t only hit your nails but would also affect your fingers.
And if you suffer from eczema, the acetone vapor can exacerbate it.
Now in contrast, if you use cotton pads soaked with acetone which can then be placed directly over your nails, so won’t have to expose too much of your skin to the harsh chemical.
8- Causes Your Fingers to Get Pruney.
This happens because your fingers will be exposed for an extended period of time to hot acetone steam which causes your fingers to get wrinkly similar to how it would be if you were in the pool of a long time. Citation.
The hot vapor causes the blood vessels in your fingers to constrict which restricts blood flow making your fingers shrivel a bit.
9- Uses Too Much Acetone
The Steam Off Remover uses a lot more acetone in comparison to just soaking it in cotton pads, this is because a lot of the acetone is lost to the atmosphere as vapor.
So you probably will end up spending more money on nail polish remover.
10- Not Very Comfortable
In my opinion, these machines were not ergonomically designed and I found it really difficult to keep my hand in that one position for 15 minutes.
Added to that I wish they had made it in a way to be flexible to cater to different hand sizes. So if your hands are too big or too small it might a bit uncomfortable.
Who Should Get a Steam Off Polish Remover
In my opinion, these machines aren’t really practical they take too long, they use too much acetone and they are just not comfortable to use.
I personally don’t use mine anymore and won’t recommend them to anyone, but if as I alluded earlier you want to give someone a unique gift or to maybe make your salon a bit more modern and unique you can probably consider buying one.
Where to Get a Steam Off Gel Polish Remover
If you are interested in one of these machines you can click here to check its current price on Amazon.
DIY Method to Remove Gel Polish
I found a really good video to guide you through, see below.
The only difference is that I would file down my gel polish a bit before applying the cotton balls this greatly speeds up the removal process.
Safest Way to Remove Gel Polishes
Now if you are looking for a safe and acetone-free way to get rid of gel polishes, I recommend using a Peel Off base coat, they make it possible to just easily peel off your gel polishes you can click here to learn more.
References and Citations Used
Healthline.com Acetone Poisoning