How To Remove Full Coverage Nail Tip Extensions

If you are a nail technician, you have likely had a client come in with full coverage nail tips that need removal. Removing these false nail tips can be challenging, but you can do it quickly and painlessly with the right tools and techniques. This article will guide you through removing full coverage tips from someone wearing them.

Materials Needed

Before you start, you will need a few materials:

  • Tornado bit
  • Arbor band (medium)
  • Foil
  • Lint-free wipes
  • 180 buffer
  • Cuticle oil

Step-by-Step Guide

Follow these steps to remove full coverage tips from someone wearing them:

Step 1: Push Back the Cuticle

The first step is to push back the cuticle using a cuticle pusher or a wooden stick. This will help you see where the natural nail ends and the tip begins.

Step 2: Use the Tornado Bit

Next, use the tornado bit on your drill at around 12-13,000 rpms. Do a circular motion, never staying in the same spot for too long. This is because tips heat up faster than acrylic or gel nails and can cause burning if you stay in one area too long. Remove the color to see where you need to file a little more.

Step 3: Remove the Lifting Pieces

If the tip has been worn for a few weeks, some pieces may start to lift. These pieces will flake off because they are glued on, and glue breaks down in water eventually. Use the tornado bit to remove as much as you can.

Step 4: Switch to the Arbor Band

When you start to feel the tip getting hot, switch to the arbor band at around 5,000 rpms. Do a circular motion, putting grooves on the plastic tips, not the natural nail. This will help the acetone to seep in very fast.

Step 5: Apply Foil

Soak a lint-free wipe in acetone and wrap it around the nail;

Cover the nail with foil to ensure the acetone stays in contact with the tip;

Set a timer for a maximum of 5 minutes.

Step 6: Remove the Foil

After 5 minutes, remove the foil and wipe the nail with the lint-free wipe. Most of the tip should have come off already.

Step 7: Buff the Nail

If you want to reapply the tip, shorten the nail and prep it with the medium arbor band. If you don’t want to reapply the tip, use a 180 buffer to smooth the nail and clean the cuticle; use a carbide bit at 5000 rpms to clean up any remaining cuticle; buff around the cuticle area and wipe off any dust.

Step 8: Moisturize your nails

After removing the full coverage tip, apply a nail strengthener or cuticle oil to help nourish and protect the natural nail.

Tips and Tricks

  • Use a soft touch when removing the tips to prevent damage to the natural nail.
  • If you’re having trouble with the tornado bit overheating, try using a lower rpm or taking breaks in between.
  • When using acetone, please keep it away from your skin and use it in a well-ventilated area.
  • Be sure to have a good grip on your client’s hand to prevent accidental movements during removal.
  • If your client has sensitive skin or is prone to allergies, consider using a non-acetone nail polish remover instead of acetone.


Removing full coverage tips can be tricky, but it can be done quickly and easily with the right tools and technique. Follow the steps outlined in this article, and your clients will leave your salon with healthy and beautiful nails.


  1. Is it necessary to put grooves on plastic tips when removing full coverage tips?

Yes, putting grooves on plastic tips will help the acetone to seep in very fast, making it easier to remove the tips.

  1. How long should I leave the foil on the nail?

It would be best if you left the foil on for no longer than 5 minutes.

  1. How often should I remove full coverage tips?

It’s recommended to remove full coverage tips every 2-3 weeks to allow your natural nails to breathe and recover.

  1. What should I do if the tip is still lifting after removal?

If the tip is still lifting after removal, you can shorten the nail and reapply the tip. Alternatively, you can buff the nail and leave it bare or apply a coat of clear polish. It’s essential to address the lifting tip as soon as possible to stop further damage to the nail. If the lifting persists or is accompanied by pain or discomfort, it’s best to seek advice from a healthcare professional.

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