Nail Technician working on removing BIAB

Step-by-Step Guide to Removing BIAB

If you're a fan of gel manicures, you've likely heard of Builder in a Bottle (BIAB). This revolutionary product allows you to create strong, long-lasting nails at home without the need for acrylic or hard gel. However, as with any manicure, there comes a time when you need to remove it and start fresh. In this step-by-step guide, we'll walk you through the process of removing BIAB at home.

What is Builder in a Bottle (BIAB)?

Before we dive into the removal process, let's quickly go over what BIAB is and why it's become so popular in the nail industry.

BIAB is a soak-off gel product that is applied like regular gel polish but has the strength and durability of hard gel. It's perfect for those who want strong, long-lasting nails without the damage and maintenance of acrylic or hard gel. BIAB is also great for those who prefer to do their nails at home, as it's easy to apply and can last up to three weeks.

Why Remove BIAB?

While BIAB is known for its long-lasting wear, there comes a time when you need to remove it. This could be because your nails have grown out, or you want to change up your colour or design. Whatever the reason, it's important to properly remove BIAB to avoid damaging your natural nails.

What You'll Need

Before you begin the removal process, make sure you have all the necessary tools and products on hand. Here's what you'll need:

- Acetone
- Aluminium foil
- Cotton balls or nail wipes
- Cuticle pusher
- Nail file
- Nail buffer
- Cuticle oil
- Hand cream

Step 1: File the Top Layer

Using a nail file, gently file the top layer of your BIAB manicure. This will help break the seal and allow the acetone to penetrate the gel.

Step 2: Soak Cotton Balls in Acetone

Take a cotton ball or pad and soak it in acetone. Make sure it's saturated but not dripping.

Step 3: Place Cotton Balls on Nails

Place the soaked cotton balls on top of your nails, making sure they cover the entire nail bed. You can also use pre-cut foil wraps with a cotton pad attached for easier application.

Step 4: Wrap Nails in Foil

Wrap each finger in aluminium foil to keep the cotton balls in place and prevent the acetone from evaporating.

Step 5: Wait 10-15 Minutes

Let your nails soak for 10-15 minutes. This will give the acetone enough time to break down the BIAB.

Step 6: Remove Foil and Cotton Balls

After 10-15 minutes, remove the foil and cotton balls from your nails. You should see that the BIAB has started to lift and peel off.

Step 7: Gently Push Off Remaining BIAB

Using a cuticle pusher, gently push off any remaining BIAB from your nails. Be careful not to scrape too hard, as this can damage your natural nails.

Step 8: Buff Nails

Using a nail buffer, gently buff your nails to remove any remaining BIAB and smooth out the surface.

Step 9: Remove Residue

If there is still some residue left on your nails, you can use a cotton pad soaked in acetone to clean it off.

Step 10: Moisturise

After removing BIAB, it's important to moisturise your nails and cuticles. Apply cuticle oil and hand cream to keep your nails and skin hydrated.

Tips for a Smooth Removal Process

  • Make sure to file the top layer of your BIAB before soaking to help the acetone penetrate.
  • Use a good quality acetone for best results.
  • If you're having trouble removing the BIAB, you can try soaking for a few more minutes or gently scraping with a cuticle pusher.
  • Be gentle when pushing off the BIAB to avoid damaging your natural nails.
  • If you have any cuts or open wounds on your hands, avoid using acetone as it can cause irritation.


Removing BIAB at home is a simple process that can be done with a few basic tools and products. By following these steps and tips, you can safely and effectively remove BIAB without damaging your natural nails. So go ahead and experiment with different colours and designs, knowing that you can easily remove them and start fresh whenever you want.