Toenail Fungal Home Remedies- How To Use And Causes

Toenail fungus, also called onychomycosis, is a common problem caused by a fungal infection. While oral and topical medications are often prescribed, many natural home treatments can also be effective for alleviating symptoms and clearing up fungal toenail infections.

What Causes Toenail Fungus?

Toenail fungus frequently occurs from:

  • Exposure to warm, moist areas like public showers or locker rooms
  • Injury to the toenail that disrupts the nail bed
  • Having a suppressed immune system
  • Conditions like athlete’s foot or psoriasis
  • Fungal spores entering through cracks in the nail

Signs include thickened, discolored, brittle nails. As the infection worsens, the toenail can become distorted, painful, and detached from the nail bed.


Listerine contains essential oils like eucalyptol, menthol, methyl salicylate, and thymol which have antifungal properties.

How to Use

Soak feet in a basin of equal parts Listerine and warm water for 30 minutes per day. Use undiluted Listerine on toenails 2-3 times daily using a cotton ball.


Studies indicate Listerine foot soaks can significantly reduce fungal load. The thymol disrupts fungal cell walls and metabolism.


Vinegar is another common household item that has antifungal effects. Apple cider vinegar works best.

How to Use

Mix 1 part vinegar with 1-2 parts warm water. Soak toes for 15-20 minutes daily. Use cotton balls to apply vinegar directly on nails as well.


The acetic acid in vinegar can inhibit fungal growth and restore alkaline pH of toenails. It has both antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Vicks VapoRub

The active ingredients in Vicks, including eucalyptus oil, menthol, and thymol, impart antifungal effects.

How to Use

Apply a layer of VapoRub to infected nails before bed. Cover with socks overnight. Repeat nightly.


One study found Vicks resulted in complete clearance of fungus in over 50% of patients. The combination of antibacterial and antifungal ingredients fights infection.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory derived from the Melaleuca tree.

How to Use

Dilute 4-5 drops of oil in 1 tsp carrier oil like coconut oil. Use a cotton swab to apply on toenails and surrounding skin daily.


Research indicates tea tree oil is effective against nail fungus due to antifungal compounds like terpinen-4-ol. It helps clear infection and regrow healthy nails.

Baking Soda

A baking soda paste can help treat toenail fungus thanks to its alkaline pH.

How to Use

Mix 3 parts baking soda with 1 part water to form a paste. Apply to toenail twice daily letting sit for 10 minutes before rinsing.


The alkaline environment inhibits fungal growth and reduces inflammation and itching. This remedy works best for mild infections.


For a low-risk and economical method of managing fungal toenail infections, these science-backed home remedies provide antifungal and antimicrobial properties. However, they require diligent application and may take several months to fully resolve the infection. Seek medical treatment if home care is not improving symptoms or infection worsens. With patience and consistency, natural approaches can help clear up toenail fungus.

About the Author

Nicole Carter is a dedicated and passionate nutritionist, committed to helping individuals achieve their health and wellness goals through the power of proper nutrition. With a Bachelor's degree in Nutritional Science and years of practical experience.

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