Kupa Thumbnails Chapter 1: How to Safely Remove Gel-Polish with an E-file

How to Safely Remove Gel-Polish with an Electric File.  Soaking isn't the only way to remove gel-polish.  Using an E-file saves time and can be fairly easy once you learn the proper technique.  

Introducing Chapter 1 of KUPA Thumbnails!


KUPA Thumbnails covers those tricky techniques and topics that every nail technician needs to know. Each chapter of this series will walk you through best practices and test your knowledge at the conclusion of the chapter. 




How to Safely Remove Gel-Polish with an E-file

Soaking isn’t the only way to remove gel-polish. Using an electric file saves time and can be fairly easy once you learn the proper technique.

Not only are electric files a time saver when it comes to removing your client’s soak-off gels, using them can also be better for your clients’ nails than soaking in acetone. However, learning the steps to properly remove the polish is essential. Kupa shows you how to remove gel-polish and nail enhancements quickly and safely.

Start with a fine-sanding band to buff off the top coat using 7,000 or 10,000 RPM with light pressure. Don’t press too hard on the surface, but apply just enough pressure to take off the shine. 

TIP: Using a sanding band is a lot quicker than a hand file. 

Next, wrap the nail with acetone-soaked cotton and seal with foil. Let it soak for 5 to 10 minutes. Take a soft landings lint free towel and wipe the nails gently. The next step is to take your MANIPro Techtool Pusher and gently push away the gel-polish. You don’t want to push too hard, because you don’t want to take the top layer of the nail off. Use a very light touch. Now is a good time to push the cuticle back because the next step will be to prep the nail, which takes care of two steps at once. 

Repeat the previous step with the sanding bands. Start off by lightly sanding the surface with about 7,000 RPMs. You will apply the same light pressure around the cuticle area.

If there are enhancements on the nails you can remove them using the K-Star 3-in-1 or the K-Star 5-in-1 Carbide Bits. The K-Star 3-in-1 carbide bit is a unique, long-tapered barrel design that allows the technician to work around the cuticle, shape and shorten the entire surface of the nail, and clean underneath the nail without changing bits.


Start by using a KP-55 Handpiece that goes along with the MANIPro Passport. Simply unlock the MANIPro Passport by turning the Handpiece from the red dot to the white dot, simply insert the bit and then lock Handpiece back in-place. Make sure when locking to leave a little room so when the bit spins it’s not too tight. 

TIP: If it’s a new Passport, keep the speed between 12,000 and 15,000 RPMs. 

Before you start, use your pinky for support so you can ease into the filing. You want to use the whole bit and not just the tip, which will cause the tip to dull. While filing, you don’t need any pressure, but move slowly and rotate the bit so it’s not staying in one place. When you have artificial enhancements, it’s quick and easy to take them off with a carbide bit, so there’s no need for a lot of pressure. It should only take 10 to 15 seconds. 

TIP: Reassure your client that using an e-file is a safe way to remove polish. They may be hesitant, so it’s your job to let them know you are the professional. 


The KUPA name is now synonymous with high-quality electric nail filing equipment. Many technicians refer to their machines simply as "The KUPA". 

KUPA is devoted to educating nail technicians through guides and videos to help nail technicians improve their business as well as their nail-filing skills.

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