Yellow Toenails Staining Your Life? Get Rid of Them Now!

Updated on January 13th, 2020
how to get rid of yellow toenails

Is the color of your toenails worrying you? Does the thought of going barefoot in public make you shudder? Yellow toenails are usually an indication of an infection or fungus. Onychomycosis or tinea unguium is a fungal infection of toenails, and around 10 percent(1) of the general population suffers from it. If you are wondering how to get rid of yellow toenails, then read on.

CURE 1: Home Remedies

Looking for an effective yellow toenails home remedy? Try the ones listed below:

1. Baking Soda

Baking Soda
Image: ShutterStock

Baking soda has been making the news for being a potent home remedy for a number of conditions.

Why Does it Work?

Baking soda not only helps in exfoliating the skin to lighten yellow toenails, but it can also impart anti-fungal(2) properties which help in treating toenail fungus.

Materials Required

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Toothbrush


  1. Mix the baking soda and water in a bowl and make a paste.
  2. Apply it to your toenails using the toothbrush.
  3. Wait for 30 minutes and rinse it off.


Try this remedy once a day.

[ Read: Get Rid of Yellow Nails Naturally ]

2. Vicks Vaporub

Everyone has Vicks VapoRub lying around in their house. But did you know that apart from curing a cold, it can also help with yellowed toenails?

Why Does it Work?

Vicks VapoRub is composed of anti-infective such as thymol, camphor, eucalyptus oil, and menthol. These ingredients can cure onychomycosis(3), a common cause of toenail discoloration.

Materials Required

  • Vicks VapoRub
  • Cotton swab


  1. Using a cotton swab, rub a small amount of Vicks VapoRub ointment on your toenails.
  2. Let it sit. You can wear socks to cover your feet.


Apply Vicks VapoRub once or twice a day.

CURE 2: Essential Oils

Certain essential oils can be helpful with yellow toenails treatment. These oils include:

1. Tea Tree Oil

tea tree oil

Tea tree oil possesses a host of health benefits for anybody using it regularly. Learn how you can use it to get rid of yellow toenails.

Why Does it Work?

Since tea tree oil has amazing antifungal and antibacterial properties, it can successfully treat discoloured nails and fungus.

Materials Required

  • Two drops of tea tree oils
  • 10mL of Carrier oil
  • Cotton swab


  1. Add a couple of drops of tea tree oil to any carrier oil.
  2. Soak the cotton swab in the essential oil blend.
  3. Put the soaked cotton swab on the affected toenails.


Follow this regime once or twice a day.

[ Read: Essential Oils for Toenail Fungus ]

2. Oregano Oil

Oregano oil is extracted from oregano – the flavorful Mediterranean herb.

Why Does it Work?

Oregano oil possesses antimicrobial and antifungal(4) properties and can be used to treat nail fungus and enhance the look of your toenails.

Materials Required

  • 2-3 drops of oregano oil
  • 2-3 drops of olive oil


  1. Mix the oils to form a blend.
  2. Gently rub them on the discoloured toenails.


Apply this twice or thrice a day to notice an improvement in the colour of your toenails.

[Also Read: Natural Remedies to Cure Ingrown Toenails]

CURE 3: Foods

Looking for foods that can help you treat yellow toenails? Try these!

1. Garlic


A few cloves of garlic could give your yellow toenails a much-needed makeover!

Why Does it Work?

Ajoene, a bioactive compound present in garlic bears antimycotic properties(5). As a result, it can target the root cause behind the yellowing of your toenails.

Materials Required

  • 2-3 peeled cloves of garlic


  1. Crush the garlic pods and make a paste.
  2. Apply the paste over the toenails and let it sit for about 30 minutes.
  3. Rinse it off with warm water.


To register a noticeable change in your toenails, follow this remedy at least twice a day.

[ Read: Get Rid of Thick Toenails Naturally ]

2. Lemon

Lemon juice will not only eliminate any odour from your feet but can also help in sprucing up your toenails. Here’s how to whiten yellow toenails with the help of lemons:

Why Does it Work?

Lemon(6) is a natural astringent and a powerful bleaching agent. Hence, it is capable of removing the yellow colouration over your nails.

Materials Required

  • A cup of lemon juice
  • A bath containing warm water
  • A soft brush


  1. Add the lemon juice to the water bath.
  2. Dip your feet in the bath and let your feet soak for about 15 minutes.
  3. Gently scrub the toenails with the brush then pat your feet dry.


You can try it once or twice daily to get rid of yellow toenails.

CURE 4: Soaks

For thick, yellow toenails you may need to prepare a soak that could help. Here’s how to cure yellow toenails with a few soaks:

1. ACV Soak

foot soaking

Do you want to know how to get rid of yellow toenails? An ACV or apple cider vinegar soak can help you with it.

Why Does it Work?

Apple cider vinegar has antifungal effects as it lowers the pH, making the environment acidic and unsuitable for bacteria and fungi.

Materials Required

  • A cup of ACV
  • Three cups of water
  • A foot bath


  1. Combine the water with ACV in a foot bath.
  2. Allow your feet to soak in it for 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Pat them dry.


Try this remedy at least once a day.

[ Read: Benefits of ACV Foot Soak ]

2. Hydrogen Peroxide Soak

Learn how to fix yellow toenails with the help of hydrogen peroxide:

Why Does it Work?

The effervescent nature of hydrogen peroxide imparts exfoliating properties to the soak, which helps with the discolouration of toenails. Further, hydrogen peroxide is a powerful antifungal(7) agent, and its bioactive compounds can help with the elimination of toenail infection.

Materials Required

  • A cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide solution
  • Three cups of water
  • A foot bath


  1. Combine the water and hydrogen peroxide solution in the footbath.
  2. Soak your feet in this solution for at least 20 minutes.
  3. Pat your feet dry.


Follow this routine once a day.

Now that you know how to whiten your toenails, try out the remedy that is best suited for you. However, if the infection persists, make it a point to consult a doctor, as infections can worsen over time. Normally, you will notice a change in your toenails in about 3 to 4 days itself.

[ Read: Foot Soak for Toenail Fungus ]


Here are a few commonly asked questions with regard to yellow toenails:

1. What causes yellow toenails?

Here’s a list of some possible causes behind yellow toenails:

  • Aging
  • Nail polish
  • Yellow nail syndrome
  • Onychomycosis (nail infection)

2. Are yellow toenails a sign of diabetes?

In some individuals, conditions like diabetes could impart a yellow colouration to the toenails. This is due to the breakdown of sugar, which affects the collagen present in the nails. While it is usually harmless, it could also be an indication of an underlying condition.

3. What are a few prevention tips one can follow to prevent the yellowing of toenails?

Here a few tips for nail care, which can possibly prevent the yellowing of toenails:

  • Keep your nails clean and dry.
  • Cut them in a straight line with the help of clean nail cutters or clippers.
  • Wear shoes that are perfect for your size.
  • Do not get manicures and pedicures from shady places where the staff may not change water frequently.
  • Air out your footwear to ensure that there is no moisture or wetness when you wear them.
  • Wear clean socks.
  • Avoid walking barefoot in public places.
  • If required, make use of foot powder to keep your feet dry.
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