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How To Get Rid Of Yellow Nails At Home: Remove Or Cover Yellow Stains

by Beverly Hills MD

December 09 2019

A good manicure or pedicure is always fun, and there’s a world of color to choose from if you enjoy painting your nails. But sometimes when you use nail polish remover, you remove your base coat only to find yellow fingernails and yellow toenails. When this occurs, you might want to know how to get rid of yellow nails.

Want to know how to get rid of yellow nails (and yellow toenails) at home? Read here to learn how to cover and even remove yellow stains from your nails.

How To Get Rid Of Yellow Nails And Yellow Toenails: At-Home Remedies

So, how do you get rid of those nasty yellow stains on your nails? Truth be told, there are several ways to approach it.

Whether you soak with lukewarm water, essential oils, or baking soda — you have options. Now, how do you end up with yellow toenails or yellow fingernails, to begin with? Well, the pigments in nail polish and the repeated use of nail polish can lead to yellow stains.1

yellow nails | Beverly Hills MDBut there are some other potential reasons you may be struggling with yellowing nails, including:

  • Autoimmune issues
  • Pulmonary health concerns2
  • Smoking
  • Excessive use of nail polish remover
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Aging3

The first step you might take when figuring out how to get rid of yellow nails is to investigate if the yellow stains on your nails are the result of nail polish damage. If not, you’ll likely need to see your doctor.

If you know you’re only dealing with temporary damage caused by the use of nail polish, there are some great natural ways to restore the color (and health) of your nails.

Simple Home Remedies: Baking Soda, Toothpaste, Essential Oil Blends, And More

Toothpaste — Whitening toothpaste can do a lot to restore a healthy look to your nails. Look for a whitening toothpaste that includes baking soda in its ingredients.

  1. Remove your nail polish.
  2. Paint your nails with baking soda toothpaste and let it sit for approximately 15 minutes.
  3. Use your nail brush to lightly scrub your nails under lukewarm water.

After this baking soda toothpaste method, your fingernails and toenails should appear whiter and healthier. For really stubborn yellow stains, repeat the toothpaste application for a few days.

Orange Peel — Have you ever noticed brighter, whiter nails after peeling an orange? Maybe your cuticles were even less dry? This may be because orange peels are rich in citric acid.

peeling an orange | Beverly Hills MDOne study showed how the citric acid in orange peels had a whitening effect on teeth.4 Really, it just goes to show that a similar effect might be possible for your yellow toenails and yellow stains on your fingernails.

  1. Select and wash 3 large organic oranges. Pat them dry.
  2. Peel the oranges, and try not to cut into the white part of the flesh.
  3. Dice the peels into small slices.
  4. Spread the peel bits on a plate, cover them with a light cloth, and leave them in the sun to dry for 5 days (or until completely dried).
  5. Place the dried peels in a food processor. Pulse for 5 seconds until you have a coarse orange peel powder. Then grind for another 35 seconds.
  6. Finally, mix your dried orange peel powder with a few drops of lukewarm water to create a paste.
  7. Apply the orange peel paste to your nails. Let it sit for about 10 minutes. Then lightly scrub it off with a nail brush.

Denture Cleaning Tablets — Speaking of citric acid, denture cleaning tablets happen to contain a good amount of stain cleaning citric acid. Some also contain baking soda. To use denture cleaning tablets to whiten your nails, follow these simple directions:

  1. Place 3 denture cleaning tablets in a cup of lukewarm water. Let them dissolve completely.
  2. Soak your nails in the lukewarm water and denture cleaning mix for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Dry your nails and apply moisturizing lotion and cuticle oil.
  4. You can repeat the process three times a week.5

juniper berries | Beverly Hills MDJuniper Berries — These tiny, dark violet berries grow on juniper trees. Dried juniper berries are often used to flavor dishes in Scandinavia, Germany, and France. These berries are also a key ingredient in gin.6 And if you’re suffering yellow stains on your nails due to fungal issues, the juniper berry may be able to help.7

How can you use the essential oil of juniper berries help eliminate stains? It’s simple…

  1. Add a tsp of crushed juniper berries to a small bowl of lukewarm water.
  2. Soak your nails in the juniper berry mix for about 15-20 minutes.
  3. You can repeat this process each day for several months at a time.

Tea Tree Essential Oil — If you think your yellow nails are the result of a bacterial or fungal issue, tea tree oil might be worth experimenting with. One study showed that tea tree oil could essentially stop some of the regular fungal strains from growing on your nails.8

  1. Mix two droplets of tea tree oil with 2 Tbsp of olive oil.
  2. Swab the mixture on the affected nail. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Rinse with lukewarm water.

Yellow Fingernails Could Be A Sign Of Something Else: Talk With Your Doctor To Be Safe

damaged nails | Beverly Hills MDAgain, if these at-home remedies don’t seem to be working, it might be time to check in with your healthcare professional. And definitely see your doctor if your nails remain stained, or if you start to experience symptoms, like —

  • Nail peeling
  • Nail flakiness
  • Unpleasant odor

There are instances in which yellow stains on your nails could point to more serious health conditions.9

So, if your nails are perpetually yellow, whether you think there may be a fungal issue or not — visit your doctor. You’ll be glad you did.

Learn More:
Want Stronger Nails? 5 Easy Ways To Strengthen Weak Nails
How Can Low Humidity Affect Your Skin?
12 Benefits Of Aloe Vera Gel For Hair, Skin, And Nails


Beverly Hills MD Dermal Repair Complex