Toenail Fungus
Natural Remedies

Natural Nail Fungus Treatments: Effective Home Remedies


10 User Reviews
5 star (10) 

Posted by Nichole (Washington, DC) on 02/02/2013

On both of my feet, the second toe from the big toe were discolored, as well as the other three small toes on my left foot, and two of the other toes on my right foot. This has been very distressing! I tried tea tree oil by itself with no results. After seeing that some people had used hydrogen peroxide, I planned to get that. Since I was desperate to start immediately, I used my generic whitening mouthwash listerine, which has hydrogen peroxide as its second ingredient, because I already had that. I used a cotton ball and applied it liberally on all of my toes taking care to get as much as possible below the cuticle and under the toe nail. Then I applied tea tree oil. I did this twice a day (morning at night) and followed up with vicks vapo rub at night before putting on socks. I am one week into my routine and three of my darkest nails have gone from black to 95% normal! They are pink. I am so happy. I will continue until I have totally nice and fungus free toes. I also cut off as much of the dark toe nail as I can each night or every other night as well as any surrounding flaking skin that needed to go.

Posted by Big Joe (Chicago, Il) on 10/23/2012

I had these ugly yellow toe nails. I hated them. I would gargle with Listerine and then afterwards put my bare feet into the sink, one at a time, and spit the Listerine on them. Then I would just let it dry on them. They went away in about 10 days.

I guess you could apply Listerine directly or tape a cotton bandage to your toes, but this is what I did and it worked. I used just the standard yellow Listerine.

Replied by Jolene
(San Diego, Ca)

My husband been suffering with embarrassment from disfigured thick distorted fungal nails for over ten years even though he faithfully applies over the counter creams every night with no results. We came across this post two days ago as a final attempt to treat it before resorting to dangerous oral medication. After reading your encouraging posts we hurried to the drug store to get supplies and try listerine and vicks for fungus ourselves. We took a nail file and filed down the thickest parts of the toenails to make it smoother and thin as possible then filled two Sandwhich baggies with a little bit of the yellow listerine and submerged his toes in it. We duct taped the bags to his feet so they can stay soaked during the duration of a movie. Took them off and let them airdry. For good measure we rubbed Vicks vapor rub in all the nails applied with q-tips before going to bed. To our disbelief the nails showed significant clarity to them the next morning!!!! Day 2 we repeated the above and saw even more improvement! His worse nails (the big toe ones) are about 70% clearer. We are on just our third day now and really excited to continue the treatment until he has clear nails. I'm too excited after the results of just two days that I had to share now! I hope everyone else will see results that we are experiencing. Thank you earth clinic for an amazing website and to everyone who shares!!!

Posted by Beth (Kirkland, Wa) on 03/24/2012

I've had fungus on 5 of my toenails for over 20 years. It started with injuries to my nails from running many miles and then subsequent infection. The affected nails were yellow and at least 5 times as thick as normal nails and deformed in shape. I would have to file the surfaces with a very abrasive file to get the nail thin enough to be able to hide with nail polish.

I did not want to subject my body to long treatments of meds that might harm my liver, so I decided to use Listerine at night and Vicks during the day. Be aware that this treatment can take a couple of months, but it does work!! Be patient. I had an especially stubborn fungus. The first thing I did was file nails down as thin as possible without pain, as to remove as much damaged nail as possible. Every other night before bed I would put band aids around toes with the "non-sticky/white" part facing/touching the nail. I then used a syringe to squirt some Listerine inside the bandage - this way nails would be "soaking" all night. During the treatment time remember to keep nails extra short and filed thin so that there is not as much bio burden for Listerine to work through. In the am, take bandages off and let nails dry a bit before putting a dab of Vicks Vapor Rub on the toenails - no band aids, just socks. I did this every other day for about two months. Fungus is gone and I have normal pink flat nails again!!

Posted by Ingrid (Ft Lauderdale, FL) on 12/13/2008

I had a toe fungus on my big toe. Went to the foot doctor who had me on an antibiotic for 6 months with no results. I then spent 6 months using tree tea oil 2Xs per day, again no result. Finally soaked a cotton ball 2xS per day for 10 minutes with original Listerine--3 days later NO MORE FUNGUS! ALL GONE!!

Replied by Julian
(Phoenix, Arizona)

Take a soft bristle tooth brush, soak in listerine, and brush nails daily before bed. File down thick nfected nails, make sure to disinfect brush and file.

Posted by Megan (Jacksonville, FL) on 10/24/2008

I tried soaking my feet in Listerine after seeing a posting about toe nail fungus. It not only works on toe nails, but will get rid of athlete's foot issues very quickly. And this is much easier than pressing onion, etc. I love this site! I found it looking for Ted's Mange Cure, which is fabulous. Thanks!

Replied by Karen
(Maryland Hts, Mo)

How many days do is the Listerine soak needed to cure athletes foot fungus? How many times a day did you soak? What about the type of fungus that causes the really thick, cracked heels that hurt very badly? My husband has this problem and his terribly rough feet wear holes in our fitted bed sheets. I have to replace or repair the sheets every 6 months or less. His heel callouses are about 1-1&1/2" thick. Please advise.

Replied by Mama To Many

Dear Karen,

My guess is that this could take a while to heal. I would try soaking once or twice a day for a month for 20 minutes and see if there is any improvement. If there is, continue on. It could take 6 months.

A solution that is 1/2 vinegar (white distilled) and 1/2 water is also good for fungus. Or a gallon of water with 1/4 cup borax as a soak.

You could also try putting a mixture of castor oil and coconut oil (1/2 and 1/2) on his callouses and covering them with socks at night. Castor oil and coconut oil are healing and softening. This would also protect the sheets.

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Robert Henry
(Ten Mile, Tn)

HI U KAREN,,,,,,,,,,, listerine is a weak sister compared to Dr Tichenor's liniment that he developed in the War Between the States. He treated all wounds with this. It is made in New Orleans and few stores carry it, so I now buy mine via the internet. It is too strong to be used directly and must be diluted. Here is the URL.

It will cure all the things you are addressing.


Posted by Michelle Fitzpatrick (Jacksonville, Florida-USA) on 07/30/2008

I worked for a spa that used no harsh chemicals in their mani/pedi's. I learned that spraying listerine mouthwash on your feet will disinfect them. Keeps fungus away. I also learned that rubbing alchohol is a good and sanitary cleaner for your tub so you can prevent and kill fungus and bacteria from re-occuring.

p.s. Rubbing alchohol can be used all over house as cleaner & disinfectant!!

Replied by Jill

I've read that rubbing alcohol is damaging to the liver, I use cheap vodka instead.

Posted by Sally (Annapolis, MD) on 11/22/2007

I've had severe toe fungus for 20 or more years. I got a bottle of Listerine (it had been mentioned on your site when I looked at it a few months back) and thought what the heck, I'll try it. I got makeup remover pads (not the cotton balls) and soak it in Listerine in the morning, positioned it over my big toe (the worse one) and keep it in place while I put my sock on. In just 3-4 weeks about the bottom 1/3 - 1/2 of the nail is clear I'm going to start using it on all of my nails on that foot. In the spirit of adventure, I'm going to try something else - peroxide or bleach on the left foot. My husband has used Penlac for years and periodically they have had to remove his nail.

Replied by Edward
(San Juan, Pr)

If this is so effective, why isn't it out there? so said I 2 weeks ago. Nothing to lose; here we go.

Took pictures (closeups) of toe nails, that were covered white with fungus. Started Listerine in AM with metal nail file, midday and before bedtime. Fungus is gone. KAPUT! A little trace on big toe. The other toes all have 1/2 new mail growth and are a real nice pink. YEAH! Will continue routine until ALL toes have new growth. Could be 2 months for the big toes.

Well worth the FREE and effortless process. Used an eye dropper and poured some Listerine in a small discarded pill vial to make it easier and travel with it for midday application. 5 minutes in the rest room and good to go.

Asked a doctor what would he recommend for nail fungus and his look of "Oh boy" said it all. 6 month treatment, dangerous drug with side effects, etc. So I asked him: "What would you say if I got rid of it in 2 weeks?"
"No way. How?"
"Nay. Never mind. You won't believe me. Would have to show you the pictures I took before because if I show you my toes right now, you will not believe I had nail fungus 2 weeks ago."
"OK. With Listerine."
"NO WAY! Listerine? The stuff to kill...oh...wait a minute...yeah, that sort of makes sense. Really? In two weeks?"
Had to take my shoes and socks off to show him and then emailed the before photos. He is stupefied.

For the Folks here that may believe this is nonsense, try it. You have nothing to lose; no contribution, no email, nothing...just the nail fungus.

I did.

Replied by Skye
(Kansas City, Missouri)

One of the main ingredients of Listerine is thyme oil, which is known to be anti fungal.

Listerine and White Vinegar

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Barbara (Orlando, USA) on 10/13/2007

I have cured a very stubborn nail fungus using a half and half mixture of original Listerine and white vinegar. I had previously tried just vinegar, tee tree oil, clorox, a prescription,Vick's and hydrogen peroxide. I believe it was the mixture of mouthwash and vinegar that finally did the trick. Plus, I applied it to my toe (drenched it) with a Q-tip at least 4 to 6 times a day. I made up a new solution in a covered jar every week. It has taken almost a year for the nail to grow out and I never failed to apply the mixture every day. I learned that missing a day or so allows the fungus to return. I tried to avoid toenail polish. If I did need to go to a social function I applied polish just before I left the house and took the polish off as soon as possible. Fungus loves polish! I just had to pass this on as I have been very frustrated wasting time for years on other remedies.

Replied by Carol
(Houston, Texas)

Doctor recommended Lamisil cream for big toe fungus. Did not explain much about how it should work and it didn't seem to help. Then, I used tea tree oil for about three years morning and night... But lived in a cold climate, always wearing closed toes shoes. The big toe nail would peel off ocasionally but no real success.

Have now retired and moved to a warm climate. Wearing sandals ALL the time. Soaking my foot in listerine and distilled vinegar once daily for about 10 minutes (and drying carefully afterward). Following up with daily application of tea tree oil. Filing down surface of nail frequently, trimming nail very short, cleaning out under the nail regularly. Improved my diet to reduce sugars and flour. After four months, I see success! The nail is no longer peeling and looks almost normal now. Will continue this regimen for another month or so and hold off on nail polish for six months to ensure it is all gone.

Macadamia Nut Oil

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Tom (Livingston, Tx) on 05/22/2016 64 posts

Years ago, I had a lifelong fungal toenail, the left big toe. I started taking macadamia oil, two tablespoons after each meal.

Two months and two 16 oz bottles later, the toenail dropped off and grew in healthy over the next year.

I now take 1 tablespoon daily because Macadamia oil also takes the sting out of my candida pain, making the pain livable and hardly noticeable.

Macadamia oil has 18% palmitoleic acid, an antimicrobial.

I also began having intermittent numbness and tingling in my toes which went away sometime during the same 2 months of taking macadamia oil, causing my fungal toenail to drop off and regrow healthy and pink during the next year.

Replied by William
(New York, New York)

My toenail, also, dropped off on left big toe and right peeled off like butter. I'm looking at very much healthier and getting better toes.

Manuka Oil

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Ann (Middlesbrough, UK) on 04/07/2007

On 9/19/2006, I wrote about my use of Manuka Oil. As 6 months have passed, I thought I should update you with my progress. I have fungus on 2 toenails, the large toenail and the middle one but both are affected differently. The large toenail was separated from the nail bed from about a third across. I would cut the hollow part off but it would always grow back in the same way. The middle nail was thick and yellow on one side. I could not cut the affected part off so would file it flat. That was basically how I dealt with it. I have been using tea tree oil and manuka oil on alternate days. Instead of using an eyedropper, I cut off the cotton buds on a Q tip resulting in a narrow plastic straw and use this as a dropper. I am pleased to report some success. The big toe nail has grown properly and is no longer separated from the nail bed. It may be a coincidence but when I ran over my foot with an airline trolley, I bruised the big toe nail quite badly but only the hollow part filled up with blood. When the bruised part grew out it was no longer separated. (I do not suggest that you hammer your nails. That would be silly.) I have not been so successful with the other nail. I had been consistently filing it down with an emery board and applying manuka oil. I know that it is a long process but find it difficult to see how progress can be recognised within a few days. I stopped filing the nail but continued with the application every day. The nail grew but grew back thickened and yellow. I am now using coconut oil, tea tree oil and manuka oil and every now and again I put a few drops of surgical spirit on it. This is war! I think that I have not made much progress with this nail because I have been wearing boots and shoes for the past 6 months. For the next 6 months, I intend to wear open toed sandals until the Autumn kicks in. I hope to update you then, meanwhile I think I shall get some lemongrass oil. It must be very satisfying to see the fungus turn black, yeah! turn black and die you fungus!

Manuka Oil
Posted by Ann (Middlesbrough, UK) on 09/19/2006

I have been using Manuka Oil for 3 weeks. Manuka Oil is New Zealand's equivalent to Australia's Tea Tree Oil. I was using Tree Oil before that and the nails seemed to be improving slowly and steadily however I read on the web that Manuka Oil is 10 times more potent than Tea Tree Oil for fungal problems. It is too early to say if Manuka Oil is a miracle cure and matters were not helped when I ran over the affected toes with a heavy airline trolley. The bruised nails are growing out and the areas affected by the fungus seem to be shrinking. I use an emery board to file the nails so that they are thinner and more likely to absorb the oil down to the nail bed. I have had fungal nails for at least 5 years but have only seriously started to tackle the problem a few months ago. Prior to that I hid the problem under layers of nail polish which, of course, just made them worse.

Milk of Magnesia

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Sue (New Jersey) on 09/24/2017

I've used milk of magnesia (dry COMPLETELY) for skin fungal infections. Desitin works too.


3 User Reviews
5 star (3) 

Posted by Alice (Sierra Vista, AZ) on 12/07/2006

I have used vinegar and monostat plus a wide range of expensive over the counter "cures" for toenail fungus. I'm thinking of using the vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. Most of these things "sort of worked" but only mildly and slowly. I'd get a patch of clear nail at the base, and a lessening of the under-nail build up, only to have the fungus rush in and take over the whole nail again if I missed any treatments. I used Listerine-type mouthwash only by accident, because both big toes and one smaller toe became infected and I was too poor to visit the doctor. I was only hoping to control the infection long enough to be able to get medical help. Imagine my amazement when I found not only the infection cured in just a day or so, but also the fungus problem both in the nail and beneath the nail make dramatic improvements. I am angry because the medical establishment should be aware of this and other cures which are readily available to the public at a cost which almost every person in this nation CAN afford. I am angry because I would not have had the nail fungus get to the point it has, except due to the medical profession and the pharmaceutical industry, I have been deliberately led to believe nail fungus was almost impossible to cure, and therefore any "home remedies" would have next to no effect in curing fungus, so I did not even try try until I accidentally got monostat on a "mole" and saw it instantly begin to "cure" the mole. I reasoned it might also help fungus. It did help, but nothing like the dramatic effect I've had with the mouthwash. Because of the misleading by our medical and pharmaceutical industry, I thought the progress I saw was the best I could hope for. The medical and pharmaceutical industry expect and demand to be paid immense amounts of money, so they can live like kings. To do this they apparently are either willing to lie or at best incredibly negligent, at a huge cost to the rest of us, in life and in health, as well as in money. My mother died with feet so badly infected with fungus and the subsequent infection, it was horrible. Had she known she could have cured the fungus problem with something as cheap and simple as mouthwash, she might be alive today. I know she believed toenail fungus to be extremely difficult or impossible to cure. It would have been nice to cure mine before my big toenail was totally destroyed. I'm hoping it will come back, but at least I have a real CURE. Plus I bet the other cures given here will also work. Meanwhile doctors collect vast sums of money to give people pills which destroy livers and cost a fortune. When they could simply advise them to use mouthwash! Isn't that what quacks are supposed to be guilty of?

Replied by Gerardo Lares
(Brooklyn, Ny Usa)

hi everyone..... I had this problem for a long period of time and tried everything with no results, but learned on the way that the most recommended were vinegar, garlic, peroxide water, and some other products..... I mixed half garlic (fresh) and vinegar blended them and then mixed again 50/50 with fungi cure (i guess any brand will do it) but thats the one I used and after three weeks of using this twice a day im almost home free, do it you wont regret it.

Posted by Willard (Wapwallopen, PA) on 11/19/2006

I have been using Listerine on toe nails with good results. I tried many other things for the fungus. It is going to side 3/4 of fungus is gone now It be all gone but forget to put on every day. I would like people to try it and would like to know if it helped anyone else. Both of my big toe nails are 3/4 clear from the side not from the bottom.

Posted by Charlette (Plano, TX) on 11/16/2006

Soak feet once a week in an antibacterial wash. Found cure on Diva's Home Remedies. I purchased a large cheap bottle of mouthwash mixed half with water in foot tub. After a couple of weeks the fungus will disappear. Do not purchase dark colored mouthwash as this puts a tinted color on skin. I'm sure if you had a fingernail fungus you can put mouthwash in a cup and soak finger once a week and be cured.