Toenail Fungus
Health Benefits

ACV for Toenail Fungus: Effective Natural Treatment

| Modified on Feb 23, 2024
Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has emerged as a leading natural remedy for toenail fungus, with many Earth Clinic users reporting significant success. Nail fungus, affecting approximately 5% of the population, often resists commercial treatments, especially in older individuals – over 50% of people over 70 struggle with this issue.

Why Apple Cider Vinegar Works Against Toenail Fungus

The secret to ACV's effectiveness lies in its pH level. Fungal infections thrive in alkaline conditions, and ACV's acidity disrupts this environment, making it hostile for fungal growth without harming the surrounding skin or nails.

Beyond toenail fungus, ACV is hailed as a holistic health booster. Its benefits, particularly with organic varieties, extend to general body alkalization, antimicrobial properties, and antiseptic qualities.

How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Toenail Fungus

External Application

  • Trim and file the infected nails to reduce thickness.
  • Soak the affected toes in apple cider vinegar at least twice daily.
  • Optionally, apply a blend of tea tree and lavender oils in the evening for added antifungal action.

Internal Treatment

  • Mix 2 teaspoons of unpasteurized apple cider vinegar with 16 ounces of water.
  • Store this mixture in the fridge and drink a glass daily, ideal for those focused on an alkalizing diet for overall health.

Understanding Toenail Fungus (Onychomycosis)

Traditional treatments often fail to fully cure toenail fungus. The primary culprits include dermatophytic fungi, Candida, and non-dermatophytic molds, with the first being the most common cause. Diabetics and individuals with damp feet environments are at a higher risk.

Risk Factors for Nail Fungus

The likelihood of developing toenail fungus increases with age, diabetes, psoriasis, immune disorders, and excessive sweating. Athletes, particularly runners with sweaty footwear, and individuals frequenting communal showers or locker rooms are also at risk.

Untreated toenail fungus can lead to nail damage and loss. However, with remedies like apple cider vinegar, treatment can be effective and cost-efficient.

​Share Your Experience

Have you tried apple cider vinegar for toenail fungus? We'd love to hear about your experience. Continue reading to see how others have used this natural remedy for their fungal issues.

Related Links:

Apple Cider Vinegar A Modern Folk Remedy Book
Nail Health: Home Remedies for Strong Nails!
Natural Nail Fungus Treatments: Effective Home Remedies

60 User Reviews

5 star (51) 
4 star (7) 
2 star (2) 

Posted by Suzanne (IN) on 10/08/2021

I took a shot of apple cider vinegar in the morning and at night to help with losing weight. It works and the wonderful side effect was beautiful new toenails. I had tried everything and anything for years. Nothing worked. When I noticed my toe nails were growing out healthy I cut the infected part off. It wasn't pretty but I kept them trimmed. It took awhile to grow out the new healthy nails but it has been years and my toenails are still beautiful! The apple cider vinegar killed the infection from the inside out. I wish you the best.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Dixie (Sterling Heights, Mi) on 05/06/2018

Apple cider vinegar for treatment of fungal nails

I have been ingesting organic apple cider vinegar twice a day for 6months and my toenails have a very remarkable line . The nail bed (about 1/3 grown out now) looks so pink and healthy. Not discolored and thick like the rest of the nail. I wasn't even considering this as a treatment. I was taking it for blood pressure treatment and that too has worked. I could not be more thrilled! I will continue on this path.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Jennifer F. (Usa) on 03/30/2018

This worked like a charm. All I did was soak a bandage in regular ACV, wrap it around my toe with saran wrap for 30 minutes morning and night. I did this for about 3 weeks and then had to stop due to travel. That's all it took, the nail grew out healthy and pink after that. Thanks for the tip, so cheap and easy!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Bb (Sma, Mex) on 12/27/2017

I think, as many people have stated here, filing the nail down to the nail bed is extremely important in order to get the ACV where it can really help. Literally...file that nail down to where there is normal nail and keep it filed until it becomes healthy. It might make that toe sensitive, but the cure will happen much more quickly!

Replied by Susan S
(Mclean, Va)

For curing fungal toenails, should the apple cider vinegar be the active form (with the "mother" bacteria) or should it be dead vinegar with no live bacteria?


Either works, because it's the high acidity which makes it work. But living ACV with the mother culture (AKA healthy bacteria) will always be better.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Anne (North Lanarkshire) on 11/11/2017

I developed a black line on my right big nail. I added chopped aubergine to the Apple Cider Vinegar and after 3 days of refrigeration I started using the liquid on my toenail. I was told I'd a subungual melanoma but because of poor prognosis with regular options for treatment and did not want it amputated I started this home remedy.

After my evening bath which I put dead sea or Epsom salt into every second day (a bag does 5 baths). I would then soak a piece of cotton wool in the mixture and cover the nail then wrap a waterproof dressing on it. After 6 weeks the black is almost half way grown out. I have taken pictures. The pressure is relieved under the nail bed also. I usually got pain then itching. I plan to continue this until the nail is free of blackness. In conjunction I do take Apple Cider Vinegar in water 2x a day. In the morning I take half squeezed lemon in warm water and half a mug each of dandelion root tea and Hawthorne berry tea. My blood pressure is dropping to near normal limits and the tired sluggish feelings are starting to disappear.

In my case I believe my liver was struggling to rid my body of free radicals and heavy toxins causing a build up of toxins in the body. Most cancers are blood borne but oncologists won't tell you that. I think there's massive profit in 'treating' cancer and other disease. Taking care of this vital organ that is our main blood purifier along with the kidneys and intestines is vital to health.

Dr Eli Jones was successfully treating cancer in the 1900s using homeopathy herbal and apothecary medicines. He was sought after for his knowledge and success. As Mr Rockefeller was purported to have said "cures don't make profit" and we've been stuck with his snake oil medicine. Chemo and radiation. My friend is permanently damaged by chemo and radiation and said she thinks her life span has been shortened. Pathologists will tell you that more people die from the 'cure' than the actual disease. I decided to take my chances with the disease.

Then I saw an Australian home remedy for skin cancer and London doctors trialling it and having success with non malignant melanoma. Some people using the home remedy reported success. I was impressed but thought it won't do any harm to try it..

No one is "permitted" to say it heals malignancy. In my personal experience it does and the Apple Cider Vinegar heals fungus too. I could improve my diet and am working on it and I am exercising every day.....light but regular 40 minute walks. I've lost just over a stone. Without changing my diet significantly.

Try placing a soaked wool ball on the nail bed and wrapping it up. Be patient. It will work. Use the Aubergine as it has an extract liberated by Apple Cider Vinegar that cures melanoma. Black toe nail (unless injured) is 90% likely to be melanoma.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Amanda (Phoenix, Az) on 11/10/2017

It's been around 2-3 weeks and so far so good. I poured some ACV in a small container and use a q-tip and apply it around the nail and let it sit inside the infected part of the nail. I don't use much and then I just let it dry. It seems to be working. I also work from home and it's easy to just do it here and there. I've also cleaned up the nails and done some soaks and put a little tea tree oil on it today. I think I see diagonal line of where the healthy nail is. Either way, I can see down near my cuticle that it's healthy and clearly looks different. I'm SO happy I stumbled upon this site. I've had this one spot for over 10 years. It hasn't ever spread, but I could never quite get rid of it and then sometimes it would be a little painful. I'll follow up in a few months to let y'all know if I'm successful.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Penny (Nv) on 07/21/2017

I developed toe nail fungus, December of 2015. I went to the doctor, which was a waste of time. I've tried fungus ointments, etc., etc., etc. I ended up losing my whole nail. I started reading everything about ACV and hot water/cool water. Alternating the two. I started soaking my toe on June 23rd of this year (2017). I've also added Epsom salt and baking soda to the water. I've done this twice a day sometimes 3 times a day for 30 minutes, no less! After that, sometimes I'll make a paste of ACV and baking soda and leave that on for about 10 minutes. I also mix a combination of tea tree oil, Lavender and coconut oil and massage it into the nail bed and surrounding skin on my toe. In addition to all this, I have been drinking two tablespoons of ACV in two cups of cold filtered water twice/daily.

The 23rd of this month (July) will be one month!! I have been so diligent with this whole process. I have NOT missed one day. Trying to be positive because of all the excellent results I have read on this issue. But I have to say, I'm just getting so discouraged. I've lost my nail completely, I'm keeping it cleaned and making sure any discolored nail that starts to grow is cut. I don't know what else I can do. The doctor said it takes one year for a nail to grow. But I've also read reviews where the nail grew back in just a few months. I guess I'm just looking for some positive support from people who have been right where I am right now, or let me know if there is anything else I can do to help this process. I know everyone it's different for everyone and I just need to be patient. It's going on a month I've been at this. Is there anything else I should or can be doing??? Thank you for listening.


Replied by Gina

Hey Penny! Have you tried drinking ACV a few times a day?

Replied by Gina H

Penny, I'm not sure why you would want to use baking soda at all, as it is alkaline and fungus thrives on an alkaline environment. Try using just the vinegar; the acid in it is what makes your toe nail inhospitable to the fungus.

Replied by Joe
(Los Angeles)

Apple cider vinegar works because it is acidic. Baking soda neutralizes the acidity. It cancels it out. All you're left with is salty water.

According to the instructions, you should soak your toes in undiluted apple cider vinegar. Try that, instead. Good luck!

Replied by Joseph
(San Francisco)

I second what Joe said. Baking soda neutralizes the effects of vinegar.

I understand your approach ("I've read that solution A, B, and C all work - so I'll just combine all of it! ") but unfortunately chemistry's not in your favor. Vinegar alone should be effective at deterring toenail fungal growth.

Don't give up! Repeat the process, but keep it simple - just use the apple cider vinegar. Stay encouraged!

Replied by Will

Put ACV in a spray bottle; spray your feet when you get a chance. In the morning soak your feet for 10 minuter in pure ACV, Organic.

Replied by Nizar
(Toronto, Canada)

Thanks for your reply, Joseph. I have just started dipping my feet in ACV, because I have fungus in both feet. But, how often should I drain the old ACV and replace it with new.

Replied by Linda

Same here Penny, I've been doing this for about a month. I see results immediately, but as the day wears on they're back to the same black toenails.

Replied by Joe

You can't do that for success! Baking soda (alkaline) cancels the acidity of the ACV! You must use ONLY ACV! Purchase a gallon of ACV from the Food Store or COSTCO etc dilute the ACV only 50% with water and soak your feet. After you remove your feet dry them. Then put bandaids on the effected nails where the white cotton/poly part of bandaid is centered over nail. Then dip you toes back in the soak for 3 seconds dry your feet again and go to bed with bandaids on your feet the additional ACV will soak in further overnight.

Replied by Waldo

Oh no... This was hard to read. To anyone reading this; DO NOT ADD BAKING SODA!

Apple cider vinegar is highly acidic. That's what makes it work here, because the fungus you're trying to treat is high alkaline (the opposite of acidic).

Baking soda however, is highly alkaline. It's a base. Which is a fancy way of saying that it neutralizes acids. In fact, scientists use it in labs for this purpose.

Put simply, by adding baking soda to your soak you were disabling the only thing that was helping you to kill the fungus. The acidic AVC.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Nancy (South Carolina) on 07/18/2017

When I read about the Apple cider vinegar cure for toenail fungus, I was so excited but I knew I did not have time to soak my toe for 30 minutes two times a day. My life is very busy and so I decided to do the next best thing. I saturated the gauze of a Band-Aid and more the Band-Aid all day long. At night, I took the Band-Aid off, Took a shower, and at bedtime, I put another Band-Aid on my toe saturated in apple cider vinegar! It worked beautifully after two months! I recommend this for anyone on the go!

Replied by Victor

Very good idea indeed, I will be trying this method on my thumb. Thanks you for your sharing.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Nancy (South Carolina) on 07/14/2017

When I read about the Apple cider vinegar cure for toenail fungus, I was so excited but I knew I did not have time to soak my toe for 30 minutes two times a day. My life is very busy and so I decided to do the next best thing. I saturated the gauze of a Band-Aid and wore the Band-Aid all day long. At night, I took the Band-Aid off, Took a shower, and at bedtime, I put another Band-Aid on my toe saturated in apple cider vinegar! It worked beautifully after two months! I recommend this for anyone on the go!

Replied by Peter

I think you should not put it 24hrs all day long. I try and the skin turn red. I think it is enough to leave it overnight.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Carole (Wi) on 06/10/2017

I used apple cider vinegar for toenail fungus, and it worked wonderfully.

I had taken medication for it in 2005, and even after a year, it did not change one iota.

Then in 2015, my physician prescribed a brush-on solution, and still, nothing happened after a year.

In 2016 I read your article and tried it. I was very diligent in soaking my toe two times a day, every day. It gradually started to change, and am now fungus free, and looks as if I never had it. You really definitely need to be persistent and patient though, and not give up or skip days.

I am appalled when I realize that I was treated with a very strong drug which could have affected my liver, and then the brush on to no avail, when all they could have told me was to soak it in apple cider vinegar.

I will be telling my doctor that she should let people know about this simple cure, instead of dangerous drugs.

Thank you for your article, it was so easy and cost only pennies. I will be spreading the word, and letting everyone know about your site.

Replied by Mary

How long after your toe appears fungus free should you continue the apple cider vinegar treatments?

Replied by Nim

5 years ago I've been prescribed that very dangerous drug to treat my fungus on my both toes. After a month or 40 days (not pretty sure) both sides healed, but my left side came back. Apparently it wasn't fully gone on my left toe, that's why.

Few years later I moved to another province in Canada, and during a visit at the doctor, I asked him to give me a prescription for toe nail fungus. HE WAS NOT HAPPY and told me that he will never prescribe that drug to anyone. It's there where I understood that the drug was dangerous with possible side effects.

I use ACV very very often as a drink (3-4 tablespoons of ACV, honey and spring water at room temp) in the morning.

I read a lot about ACV, and knowing of it's powerful and amazing benefits, I started thinking that it might be helpful to treat my toe fungus. And that's what I'm planning to do. And I'm happy to have found these good and hope giving reviews.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Marina (Australia) on 05/10/2017

Just a tip.

I did this years ago using ACV and it cured the fungus as well as the psoriasis which caused the fungus but the only downside was that the toenail, once fully grown out, had a brownish tint from the ACV. What I did then is I filled up a small bottle with white vinegar and a few drops of lavender oil (to kill the smell of the vinegar), and sprayed my nail after my shower each day. It ended up growing out nice and pinky white like the rest of my nails. I still do it every few days and once in a while I spray all my toe nails, especially during humid conditions or after clipping them.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Michelle (Baltimore, Maryland ) on 05/09/2017

Just wanted to give encouragement to those suffering with toenail fungus.

I've had fungus on my big toe for about 4 years and it took over most of the toenail, right down to the nail bed. I first tried other recommendations, such as tea tree oil, vicks vapo rub, oregano oil, regular vinegar, and then acv. I have learned that what actually worked for me was braggs Apple Cider Vinegar with the "mother" diluted with approx 50% hot water. I buy the large gallon size on amazon. I first tried Apple Cider Vinegar straight, thinking it would be more effective than diluting it.
It seems to need the hot water to help the Apple Cider Vinegar penetrate better. I let it soak for a 1/2 hour twice a day. I used a small glass bowl added a little vinegar and some hot water just enough to dip my toes in to cover, but not my whole foot. That would use too much Apple Cider Vinegar because I changed the solution each time.

The other thing I did which I feel really helped, is that after soaking the first time for at least a1/2 hour or more in the warm acv, I trimmed the entire detached part of the nail down as far as I could and then used a power file deluxe rechargeable nail file made by the company"kiss"using the "pointed detail file" to thin whatever was left of the nail, which wasn't much at all. As I continued to soak twice daily, I also would thin, whatever nail was still properly attached to my nailbed, about 2 times a week.

It's been 9 months and my toenail is just about fully grown back.

You really can't miss a day, because the fungus will start to grow back and lift the nail up off the nail bed again. But if you keep soaking twice a day, it really should work. For the first 2-3 months I didn't see any change, but just when I felt like giving up, I started to see a a thin pink moon shaped sliver growing out of the nail bed. It grows very slowly and as long as I kept using the Apple Cider Vinegar and hot water soaks, it continued to grow a normal nail and I could tell that this time it was attached properly to the nail bed. It only works if its done twice a day every day. Sometimes I would do it for 20 minutes if there wasn't enough time.

I really owe it to Earth Clinic for the reviews that encouraged me to keep trying when nothing seemed to be working until I gave in and tried the hot water and Apple Cider Vinegar mixture.

I normally don't write reviews, but I wanted to encourage other toenail fungus sufferers to give Apple Cider Vinegar a try.

Replied by Chris

How do you expect the ACV to penetrate your nail bed in just 20 mins!? no wonder you had to soak twice a day

I did this for at least an hour every day for a week, then life got in the way and I didn't soak them again until 2 months afterwards, during which time my nails grew out a quarter way healthy... but then I saw signs of the fungus marching its way back to the nail bed and within a week it was back again in the nail bed.

I have had this problem over 20 years, started on my little toe now I have 6 infected, I have tried everything and I mean "EVERY THING" I am probably over £1300 into trying to cure it now, I honestly think my fungus is a super-strain which has evolved immunity to most cures other people state worked since its been blasted and painted with every technology and oil available to mankind.

ACV with mother is the only thing that had put a dent in this horrible infection and my next stage is to buy some cheap calf rubber wellies and fill them to the lower ankle every day with pure ACV and not watered down since my foot skin can handle it so that I can walk around the house instead of being chained to a foot bowl at my bedside.


I have had foot fungi for 25 years. Tried so so much and exhausted. Treating it 3 times a day. Nothing has worked. Now I'm consuming borax topically and ingesting it. We'll see Fungis is still growing on my toenails and I have to keep clipping it. I am to a point I think it will never go away.

Replied by Tinkabella
(New York City)

Is it normal to feel pain after the first soak in vinegar?

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Makajc (United Arab Emirates) on 03/23/2017

I am in the 4th day today for treating my nail fungus using apple cider vinegar. The most affected are my big toes.. First 2 days I noticed that my nails are becoming white, then day by day, crack in my big toes are becoming less.. the other, almost brown color have disappeared, still under observation.. I cut almost half to treat it.. Lengthwise.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Ottootts (Germany) on 02/04/2017

Apple cider vinegar for nail fungus. This actually works! I tried commercial products for two years and they simply did not work. I've tried ACV for three weeks (two tablespoons daily) and already new clear nail is growing in from the nail bed, already reaching about 20% of the way into the nail.

Replied by Tonya

2 tablespoons by mouth? Or soak in water? Thanks so much!

EC: Internally with water.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Monica (Memphis, Tn) on 01/17/2017

I have had a stubborn fight with toe nail fungus since 2004 till 2016...tried everything from prescription meds (which only lasted a short while) to you name it... the ONLY thing that works is ACV internally and daily 2xs morning and night I take 2TBSP with very cold water and I also apply tea tree oil to the nails .. I keep attention to eating healthy which I have also attributed to helping the fungus to go away. The Ketogenic diet is excellent for leveling your high alkalinity to a normal PH which is the main reason the fungus grows... my nails have now begun to grow new, not hurt, and look normal again since doing all the above steps ...started to notice changes within a few weeks!! Thank you for this site it has been a great resource!!! My hope is that this post will help many people who suffer needlessly... the doctors just won't tell you this!

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