5 Ways To Remove Your Mani At Home (Including The Hot Rice Method)

4 min read

People ask us about mani removal all the time... "How do I remove dip nails?" "Can I remove dip nails at home?" "Do I need a drill to remove powder dip nails?"

The great news is: DIY'ing your dip powder mani removal can be quick and easy.

And even better, you don't have to spend money on any expensive gadgets or gizmos. In fact, you probably already have everything you need to remove dip nails at home. Using basic drugstore items can save a lot of money... especially over time! And you know that here at DipWell, we're all about "More Manis, Less Money." So take back your agency. Start looking through your bathroom drawers or medicine cabinets and read on to see which method best fits your style.

No matter which method you choose, buffing is key.

Use a coarse-grit buffer to remove as much of the Sealer and dip powder as possible before proceeding. Just make sure you don't get all the way down to your natural nail. Trust us, buffing will save you a bunch of time! Especially if your dip powder nails tend to be thick, or you have encapsulated nail art.

While some salons use electric drills for this step, there's no need. In fact, it can be easy to damage your nails or cuticles with a drill if you're not familiar with them.

Speaking of cuticles, coat your fingers with cuticle oil or coconut oil before starting your dip removal process. This prevents residue from sticking to your skin and keeps cuticles from drying out!

The standard removal process is the same whether you’re at a salon or at home.

Each nail is wrapped with foil and acetone-soaked cotton. Some users also wrap their hands in a hot towel and find that this can help speed the acetone's progress. After 10-30 minutes, your dip powder should start to break down.

However, there are other methods DIY-ers have discovered, and so we’re going to give you some options. These alternate methods harness the power of heat to quicken the activation of acetone.

Soak off time: around 30 minutes

The rice method

First, heat uncooked rice in a microwave-safe bowl or bag for 1 to 2 minutes. 

DISCLAIMER: Heat time may vary depending on the wattage of your microwave. Please monitor your rice while it is being heated up to avoid any hazard. As a precaution, you can heat the rice in increments of 30 seconds at a time.

Then fill a baggie or acetone-safe bowl part way with 100% pure acetone and place it in the bowl of rice (avoid getting rice into the bowl or baggie). Soak your nails in the gently warmed acetone along with a cotton pad or dryer sheet. The residual heat from the rice will activate the acetone and help to break down the dip powder naturally. Every few minutes, when your dip powder becomes gummy, rub your nails against the cotton pad or dryer sheet to help the acetone penetrate through the layers.

With this technique you can save over 20 minutes compared to the traditional method! We've put together a full step-by-step tutorial to walk you through the hot rice method. 

Pro Tip: Some of our users say applying Vaseline or cuticle oil onto the cuticle areas prior to soaking will prevent cuticles from drying out from the acetone.

TL;DR - Watch the video!


Soak off time: around 15 minutes

Note: do not eat the rice once you’ve used it for this!

The hot water method

This one subs out hot rice for hot water.

Wrap fingertips with foil and acetone-soaked cotton as usual, and then put plastic freezer bags over each hand (to keep dry) before dipping them into a bowl of hot water.

This isn’t our favorite method to be honest… you have to use caution to ensure you don’t accidentally burn your hands with this method.

Soak off time: 15 minutes

Warming the acetone first (not recommended)

This one is a different twist on using heat and water. First heat up a bowl of water, then place your bottle of acetone (with cap loosened) in it to warm it up. Just taking this little step can help speed up the removal process.

We don’t recommend this method, as it can be quite hazardous.

Soak off time: 15 minutes

Full acetone soak

It’s also common to pour acetone directly into a shallow bowl and then submerge your hands in it for 10-15 minutes. However this tends to be messier. Acetone can ruin finishes on furniture and can feel harsh on skin. And of course, it uses a lot more acetone each time.

Soak off time: 15-20 minutes

Final Steps

No matter what method you choose, be sure to give your hands a little TLC after the dip powder is removed.

If there’s any remaining residue on the nails, gently buff with a fine-grit buffer. Be sure to wash hands thoroughly to remove the acetone.

If you’re proceeding with a fresh dip mani, then the next step is to prep your cuticles. Hold off on adding any lotion or cuticle oil until your next mani is on.

If you’re taking a mani break, then go ahead and rub in some cuticle oil and treat your hands to a luxurious lotion. DipWell’s new Jelly Pusher can help keep your nails looking pretty and neat - with or without a full manicure.