Written by Gel Nails

Why Is My Gel Top Coat Sticky?

It’s really annoying when, despite mastering the art of flawlessly shaping and polishing your nails, as well as applying your base coat, gel color, and topcoats like a pro, all while using your UV or LED lamp and following the directions to the letter.

Rather than the super-smooth, luscious, glossy finish you expected, you’re left with sticky, tacky nails. What went wrong, exactly? The point is, with gel, it’s possible you didn’t do anything wrong; it’s also possible that you did.

Gel nail paint is not the same as ordinary nail polish. But, before we jump to a solution, let us first try to identify and comprehend the issue.

No Wipe Gel Top Coat Still Sticky

First, you need to know that you are not the only one in your struggle with sticky gel. It is a common complaint among those who like to manicure at home.

Due to oxygen exposure, a sticky residue forms in the top layer. The top layer may not cure effectively when exposed to oxygen. You can’t avoid oxygen contact to the top layer since the air contains a significant percentage of oxygen.

However, you need to cure the preceding coat after applying another layer thoroughly. Still, you will see a residue on the topcoat now. As a result, the sticky layer issue lingers until the topcoat.

What Can I Use To Remove Sticky Residue From Gel Nails?

It’s critical to clean the sticky residue from the topcoat once the gel nails have healed. If you don’t remove the adhesive coating or do it properly, your gel nails may appear dull and feeble. There are now four basic methods for removing the sticky residue from your gel nails:

Isopropyl Alcohol

Isopropyl alcohol is the most frequent, cost-efficient, and successful technique to remove the tacky or sticky coating over the gel topcoat. The sticky coating will disintegrate in the alcohol, making it easier to wash away. You may soak Lint-Free Cotton Pads in alcohol and afterward wipe your fingernails with them. Wipe each nail with a new alcohol pad and discard the cotton pad. When wiping and cleaning several nails, do not reuse a cotton pad.

Cleanser For The Gel

A gel cleanser is a solvent that dissolves the sticky or tacky coating on your gel polish and removes it. You could also use them to remove any oils or moisture from your nail surfaces before applying gel paint to help it adhere better. Gel cleansers are pretty effective, but they are far more expensive than alcohol.

Nail Polish Remover Without Acetone

If Isopropyl Alcohol or Gel Cleanser isn’t available, you can take up the sticky coating using a tiny quantity of acetone-free nail paint remover and a lint-free cotton pad. However, use a modest amount; else, your gel manicure may get weakened.

Substitute For Gel Nail Cleanser

If you’re entirely out of alternatives and desperate, you can clear off the sticky coating using various home products containing a high concentration of alcohol. Lysol, hand sanitizer, and perfumes should all be able to function. However, these DIY Methods will not be as efficient as Isopropyl Alcohol or a Cleanser and may destroy your manicure.


If these methods don’t work for you, or if your nails are flaking and breaking, try rubbing alcohol straight on them. You can probably cut your fingernails in any way you like if it helps and you don’t have any other allergies.

Topic: Gel Nails

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