How to: Properly File Off Nail Enhancements at Home

In part 1 of removing nail enhancements at home, I shared the soak-off method, and in part 2, we will cover everything you need to know to file off nail enhancements at home! If you have not yet already read part 1, catch up HERE for an overview of why it's so important to remove nail enhancements properly at home. As a reminder:

Acrylic, Polygel, Soft Gels (including gel polish) can all be soaked off in acetone. All of these can be filed off as well. Hard Gel cannot be soaked off and MUST be filed off. Items Needed To File off Hard Gel Nail Enhancements:


100/180 grit file

Toenail clippers

Buffing block (optional)

Cuticle oil and lotion

Lots and lots of time and patience


  1. To begin, use toenail clippers to trim down any unwanted length. The less you have to file, the better.

  2. Use the 100 grit (rough) side of the nail file to begin filing down the nail surface.

  3. If you are removing gel polish be gentle. Only file until you see the natural nail. Do not go over areas that have reached the nail plate or you will over file the natural nail.

  4. If you are removing hard gel, I recommend filing down the product until it’s a thin layer as opposed to removing it completely. You can let this thin layer grow out and trim off as the nail grows. This will also save you energy and hand strength.

  5. Use the 180 grit side of the file to gently smooth over any harsh file marks.

  6. At this point you can also apply a dot of cuticle oil to the nail plate and use your buffing block to refine the surface of the nail, even more, making it nice and shiny. Wash your hands. Then apply cuticle oil and lotion!


If you have any topics you’d like me to cover in my weekly blogs, comment below and I’ll be sure to incorporate them into the weeks coming, and be sure to follow me on IG for daily nail inspiration!


13 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All