Splinter Remedies

| Modified on Feb 05, 2021
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Splinters or slivers of wood, metal, and other materials can be hard to remove and extremely painful for their small size. Fortunately, a few home remedy tips and tricks can help you remove a splinter more easily and prevent infection in the wound left behind.

Digging around with a needle is perhaps the most common way of removing a splinter, but this needle can introduce infectious agents. For children in particular, a needle can also be scary and painful, as can repeatedly squeezing the skin around the splinter, whether that be in the fingers, the hand, the feet, or in some other area of the body.

However, and especially if it is a wood splinter, you may be able to apply a poultice or liquid that will help the body to soon expel the sliver relatively painlessly.

Natural Cures: Earth Clinic users have found that using vinegar or a white bread poultice can help you remove a splinter easily and help to prevent infection of the surrounding skin. Tape may also be applied to pull out the exposed end of a sliver, or a paste of baking soda applied to the wound may cause the sliver to expand so that the splinter pushes itself back out of the hole in the skin.



Apple Cider Vinegar

10 User Reviews
5 star (10) 
  100%


Posted by Dean (Illinois) on 02/03/2021
5 out of 5 stars

About a month ago I was closing a ziplock plastic bag, squeezing the top between thumb and forefinger and running them along the ziplock part, when suddenly I felt the unmistakeable sharp stab of a splinter going into my thumb. A plastic splinter of all things. I looked at my thumb but couldn't see anything. But I could sure feel it - a sharp stab every time I ran my fingernail over it.

I figured it would work its way out by itself, but a month or more later it had not. I still couldn't see anything there, but I could definitely feel that stab when that part of my thumb was touched.

So I poured a little apple cider vinegar out, warmed it to 130F, and stuck my thumb in it for about 10 minutes. Then I washed it off, and looked with a magnifying glass. Still couldn't see anything. So I just scraped and scraped along that part of my thumb with a fingernail. Somehow, it must have come out, because I can run my fingernail along that part of my thumb now and there is no pain. Incredible!!!


Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Mike (Kent, UK) on 12/17/2020 22 posts
5 out of 5 stars

Apple Cider Vinegar for Splinter

It seemed to work for me too! It's hard to know what did the bulk of the work - the ACV, the needle I dug it a bit with or the tweezers that I eventually used to pull it out (much to my very high level of relief! ).

The splinter was in a knuckle on my left hand. The ACV did seem to make the skin very pale and a bit numb I guess. It was only on it for about 3 minutes. And then the tweezers yanked the splinter right out!

So yeah, seemed to work well!


Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by John (Ontario) on 01/01/2017
5 out of 5 stars

I soaked my finger for around 40 minutes or more, since the sliver was a bit deep, I had to peel back some skin. The vinegar is good for killing the surface layers of skin so that I could more easily peel off the skin with as little hassle and pain as possible. Be patient and this should work great!


Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Alison (Ca) on 12/24/2016
5 out of 5 stars

Read up on others experiences. I was looking up how to pull wood splinters out from under nails for my husband. Came across the baking soda and ACV as the top two suggestions. Figured couldn't hurt anymore than to try one. He soaked his finger in ACV and within 5 minutes, I was able to pull out big chunk with tweezers. So cool.


Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Mike (Abington, Pennsylvania) on 06/19/2016
5 out of 5 stars

Got a hairline splinter on the bottom of my big toe. Read up on ACV cures here, and decided to give it a try.

Filled a dish with ACV, soaked the toe for about 2 mins, then used a swiss-army knife to scrape away some skin, so the splinter had an exit. It was delicate and required a bit of patience, as the splinter was deeply seeded. After three soaks for 2mins each, piece by piece, I was able to remove the splinter completely with the knife and tweezers. ACV is a wonderful home remedy!


Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Danielle (Saint Louis, Mo) on 07/07/2015
5 out of 5 stars

I got a metal splinter in the crook of my thumb from the hangers at Macy's. Soaked it in the apple cider vinegar for 2 minutes and was able to pluck it out with a needle and tweezers with no pain. Thanks a lot!


Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Corin ( Hanburg Ny) on 05/03/2015
5 out of 5 stars

ACV helped me remove a long splinter lodged under my finger nail- I soaked it in AVC for about 5-10 min and then used pointed tweezers to grab the tip and it slid right out!


Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by D (Naples, Fl) on 11/03/2012

I recently picked up a prickly pear in the grocery store and squeezed it for ripeness. I asked the produce attendant about the taste and he said he never had one. I asked some ladies and they said there were alot of seeds inside and it didn't taste anything like a pear. I decided not to buy one and a few minutes after putting it back my hands started stinging. The pear did not feel prickly really just bumpy. I went to immediately wash my hands with soap and water and could hardly stand the pain or touch them with a towel. It felt like tiny splinters or needles all over my palms and fingers yet I couldn't see anything! When I searched at home with a magnifying glass I could hardly see anything but tiny white, almost clear splinter like needles. In my search for help, I did not see anything on Earth Clinic so I went searching further. The first advice when handling this fruit was to wear gloves! Too late....... As I searched I found that double face tape may help get the needles out, I did try but it was too painful. I also tried pantyhose as it stated that when you rub in one direction it may catch the needles. It did help a little.

I heard so much about ACV on Earth Clinic I decided to give it a try. It seemed to help ease the pain a bit so that I could try to at least touch them. I used a magnifying glass and tweezers to try to remove the tiny white, almost non-visible needles from my hands. I washed again with Apple Cider Vinegar and then soap and water. I will continue to wash with ACV for the remainder of the evening and tomorrow if necessary to help ease the stinging now that the needles have been removed. I did find that prickly pear is used to help in a number of things, one being diabetes and maybe even hair loss because of it's nutrients. If you decide to give it a try please use caution in handling. I am so grateful to Earth Clinic and it's readers for your help and feedback over the years--I hopes this helps someone else who may have been stung by the pear needles.


Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Candice (Victorville, Ca) on 08/03/2009
5 out of 5 stars

Hello. I just had a splinter stuck in my index finger for two days and it hurt so bad I couldnt even type with it! I soaked it in Vinegar (apple cider, I didnt have white) for about 1 minute the attempted to tweeze it out but it didn't work. So, I just tried pushing it out from the bottom of the splinter to the top (the top being the part hardly sticking out of the skin) and about two good tries and it POPPED OUT! I was shocked, so the vinegar must loosen it some how? I dont know how it worked but Im glad that it did! Thanks for the advice!

Replied by Donna
(Taneytown, Md)
06/10/2010
5 out of 5 stars

Thank you for the Apple Cider remedy. I had a splinter under my fingernail so I did 3 things. I soaked it in the vinegar, then in warm warm 20 minutes each. Then I remembered my Dad using a piece of bacon fat to draw splinters. I then washed throughly and added a small piece of bacon fat to area where splinter was under the nail-was on top of nail kinda after trimming the nail as far back as I could. Put a band-aid on it to hold in place as slept with it on. The next morning with just a little coaxing the splinter came out! I am not sure what really worked but the combo seemed to disinfect, clean and draw it out.

Replied by Regina
(Cape Cod, Massachusetts)
08/09/2011
5 out of 5 stars

I can't believe the white vinegar really worked. My five year old had a terrible splinter under his big toe nail. It was quite painful for him and he would not let me near it. His doctor's office said you just have to pull and have someone strong hold him down. I had him soak it in water with antibacterial soap for some time, then I read this advice. I put his whole foot in a bucket of white vinegar and soaked it for 20 minutes. Then I told him to let me try ONE pull on the splinter. Well, that is all it took. The splinter that had been unmovable before simply slid right out. I even called back the doctor to share this wonderful remedy. Thanks it really worked!!!


Baking Soda Poultice

1 User Review
5 star (1) 
  100%


Posted by Servant (Farmville, VA) on 02/04/2021
5 out of 5 stars

I was barefoot and stepped on a wooden toothpick that had been dropped on my living room carpet. The toothpick went deep into the skin near the nail of my big toe. Just the very tiny tip of the toothpick could be seen but when my husband tried to grasp it with tweezers, tiny pieces just broke off and left the remainder deep in my toe.

For several days I tried repeatedly soaking in Epsom Salt which kept down the infection, but the toothpick was very deep and didn't come to the surface of my skin. I made an appointment with my family doctor. She tried digging down to find the toothpick splinter and was not able to locate it to extract it. She sent me home to continue my Epsom Salt soaks, but said that the only other thing I could do would be to go to a surgeon to have it surgically removed.

Later that day I saw a YouTube video by a doctor who was sharing ways to extract splinters. She said to prepare a paste of Baking Soda and water, place this poultice on the affected area and cover with a bandage.

The Baking Soda causes the skin tissue to swell and this will bring the splinter to the surface where it can be extracted with tweezers. I tried this and after several hours of using the poultice, the tip of the toothpick had moved up to the surface of my skin so that my husband used simple tweezers to grasp the toothpick and easily pull it out. This was quite a large section of that toothpick that had been painfully embedded in my toe. I placed that extracted toothpick in a small plastic zip bag along with written instructions concerning the Baking Soda poultice and brought it to show to my doctor in hopes that she would adopt this method for splinter removal. I'm thankful that the Lord led me to that YouTube doctor who had just the answer I needed.

Replied by ORH
(TEN MILE, TN)
02/05/2021

SERVANT, ORH here, and this use of baking soda is a new one on me. In the old days, all homes had a tube of Ichtammol in their medicine cabinet. It is a drawing black salve made from sulfur shale oil. It is making a comeback as Wamart now has it. A few years ago, and prior to the internet, they had to special order it for me. If you research, the modern medical folks will tell you that it is an old wives tale. But, all on EC know that natural things do work. Suggest all consider buying a tube because it beats going to the ER just because of a splinter or thorn. ==ORH==


Bread Poultice

1 User Review
5 star (1) 
  100%


Posted by Scott (Hanston, Ks, Usa) on 07/02/2010
5 out of 5 stars

Bread Poultice - Infection & Splinter Cure

This was a remedy used by my Grandmother for years, living on the farm, it was too far to run to the doctor for small infections, spider bites, splinters, glass, asphalt, scrapes, puss, etc.. You would soak a piece of bread with water, at bedtime, wrap it with bread wrapper to hold moisture in, and wrap with Ace (elastic) Bandage. When you awoke in the morning the venom, splinter, glass, rocks, infection and or puss lay on the surface of the bread. Acts like a sponge drying out, creating suction & removing obstruction. Other than the 3 hour bath (wrinkly) skin, laughing aloud, it works miracles.

Replied by Ricky
(Clayton, Nc)
06/14/2015

I have a splinter deep in my finger. Will this help?

Replied by Mmsg
(Somewhere, Europe)
06/15/2015

Ricky, you can try. But what helped me was a 10 minute vinegar soak. Any vinegar.


Charcoal Poultice

1 User Review
5 star (1) 
  100%


Posted by Mama to Many (Tennessee, US) on 09/11/2014
5 out of 5 stars

A post today regarding splinters reminded me of an accidental cure we had last week.

My husband got a splinter in his hand from a 2x4. He removed the splinter. The next day, his finger was swollen and red where the splinter had been. It was above his wedding band on his ring finger; I had visions of having his ring cut off as there was no way he was going to get that ring past the swelling. He figured that in removing the splinter, he must have introduced some bacteria and now the area was infected.

I put a charcoal poultice over it, a bit of plastic wrap and some cohesive tape to secure it. He went to work and we thought nothing of it until evening. We removed the bandage and poultice. The swelling was gone and so was the redness. And right there at the cut in his hand was the splinter! Apparently he had not gotten it out (or at least, all of it) and the charcoal drew it out.

I love charcoal! :)

~Mama to Many~


Drawing Salve

1 User Review
5 star (1) 
  100%


Posted by Bonnie (Riverside, California) on 01/14/2012
5 out of 5 stars

A year ago I was working on my mother yard. I foolishly picked up a wooden rake under some bushes and began raking my mothers yard. I felt stinging horrible pain in my hands! What I didn't realize is that the wood on the rake had splintered! I had gotten about 300 splinters in my hands!

I could hardly wash dishes after that and had to use gloves to wash dishes with all the splinters in my hands. This was extremely painful!

I read that you can buy drawing salves such as Prid at pharmacies. There are other brands as well. A Salve I used for drawing boils out worked just as well.

In the dark while watching TV I rubbed the drawing salve in my hands and within minutes I felt something weird in my hands! When I opened the light my hands were full of splinters that the drawing salve had worked out of my skin!

Try the drawing salves for splinters---this really works. My doctor didn't know about this.

In early spring be sure to sand any wooden yard tools and oil the wood or wrap tape around the wood so that you don't have to go through what I went through!

Replied by Timh
(Louisville, Usa)
01/15/2012
2083 posts

... and not only wood, I got the same thing happen climbing a fiberglass ladder with a heavy bucket of paint in one and the other hand.


Epsom Salt

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 
  100%


Posted by Adstradamous (Cincinnati, Oh) on 07/15/2014
5 out of 5 stars

Epsom salt for splinters

My sister and I noticed a large red bump on my sons butt cheek one afternoon. We had no idea what it was and could see nothing inside when we examined it. The next day my sister decided to soak his bottom half in an epsom salt bath and a splinter surfaced! It was obviously infected, but as soon as the splinter came out it began to heal. I soaked him about 3 more times and made an appointment with his doctor just in case. Later that night a small, pale yellow bump surfaced as well! The epsom salts were also pulling the infection out! By the time we saw the doctor, there was no infection and nothing left behind in the skin!


Epsom Salt
Posted by Anonymosaurus Rex ( Somewhere, Alone, Listening To Radiohead) on 09/05/2012
5 out of 5 stars

To remove splinters, try using magnesium sulfate (AKA Epsom salts).

You can either use a small amount of water to make a paste and apply this to the area and cover with a bandage, or you can soak the splinter in epsom salts if a bandage cannot be applied.

This method will also reduce the local swelling and any pus that is around the splinter.



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