10 Home Remedies To Get A Splinter Out Easily With No Pain

Because knowing how to remove the splinter right can make all the difference.

Medically reviewed by Dr. CP Thajudheen, MD Dr. CP Thajudheen Dr. CP ThajudheenMD facebook_icontwitter_iconyoutube_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MS (Biotechnology) Kushneet Kukreja MS (Biotechnology) linkedin_icon Experience: 2 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature) Ramona Sinha MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 11 years
Fact-checked by , MA (Journalism & Mass Communication) Monomita Chakraborty MA (Journalism & Mass Communication) linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
Last Updated on

A splinter, also known as a sliver, is a small wound caused by debris like wood shavings, broken glass, thorns, etc., piercing the epidermis and infiltrating the bottom layers of the skin. Splinters in the skin can be excruciatingly painful, and you must get a splinter out naturally as soon as possible to alleviate the suffering. However, knowing the right way and tools to get it out is critical since attempting to take a splinter out incorrectly with a needle or your nails might result in it becoming embedded further into the skin and leading to infections. You can take some pain relief medicines if it hurts too much.

For instance, do not press on the sliver as it may force it to penetrate deeper into the skin. Also, if the sliver is made of glass, it may break into tiny fragments, making it more difficult to remove. However, you should remove splinters from your skin as soon as possible because they can cause other serious illnesses if left inside. Continue reading to learn how to remove a splinter safely and quickly. Scroll down!

Types Of Splinters

The splinters that pierce your skin can be made of biological or non-biological materials. Examples of these are as follows:

  • Biological splinters – bone, fish spines, teeth, and wood
  • Non-biological splinters – small pieces of metal, aluminum, glass, pencil graphite, plastic, etc.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Keep in mind the location, direction, and the part of the splinter that is sticking out before selecting a removal method.

Outlined below are 10 simple and quick home remedies on how to remove a splinter. Check them out!

How To Get A Splinter Out Naturally

  1. Baking Soda
  2. Essential Oil
  3. Hot Water
  4. Salve
  5. Splinter Removal Soak
  6. Poultice
  7. Potato
  8. Vinegar
  9. Banana Peel
  10. Egg Shell

1. Baking Soda For Splinter

Baking soda to get a splinter out naturally
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Band-aid
What You Have To Do
  1. Smear the paste made of baking soda and water directly on the splinter to force it to the surface. Cover the area with the band-aid.
  2. Allow the poultice to set for a few hours. Remove the band-aid and rinse the paste off the afflicted area.
  3. Pull the splinter that has been forced to the surface with a tweezer or cuticle plier and apply antiseptic cream or petroleum jelly on the area. You can apply an ice pack before pulling the splinter to numb the area.
How Often You Should Do This

Use this simple home remedy as soon as you realize that your skin has a splinter in it.

Why This Works

Baking soda works well for the tiny, invisible splinters that are deeply embedded in the body. A paste of baking soda applied on the splinter causes the skin to swell and pushes the splinter out (1).

Tumbleweed, a retired scientist, recounted her experience of using a thick paste of baking soda and water to take out the splinter in her blog. She said, “The next morning I carefully removed the bandage and checked it. Nothing. I looked at the wound and saw something sticking up about 1.5mm (about 1/10th inch) from the wound. I used a tweezer to pull and to my astonishment a sliver nearly one centimeter long came out of the wound. (i).” She further added that the pain reduced significantly and the hole closed within a few hours.

2. Essential Oil For Splinter

Essential oil to get a splinter out naturally
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
  • A few drops of lavender oil or Thieves oil
  • Sterilized tweezer
What You Have To Do

1. Apply the oil on the affected area with a cotton swab and leave it on for a few minutes.
2. Check if the splinter has risen to the skin surface. If it hasn’t, wait for another seven to eight minutes.
3. You will notice that the splinter has moved up, and it can be easily pulled out using the tweezers.

How Often You Should Do This

For a bigger splinter, reapplication of the essential oil may be required.

Why This Works

The essential oils will draw out the splinter and also prevent any infections from developing because of their antimicrobial properties (2). These oils also possess anti-inflammatory and healing properties that will aid in the quick recovery of the skin that was pierced by the splinter (3).

3. Removing A Splinter With Hot Water

Hot water to get a splinter out naturally
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
  • Hot water
  • A wide-mouthed glass or plastic bottle
What You Have To Do
  1. Fill the bottle almost to the brim with hot water and press the affected area with the splinter on it.
  2. Press firmly so that a vacuum is created. Keep it in the same position for a couple of minutes. Then, slowly remove the bottle.
  3. You can see that the splinter is drawn out, and it can be pulled out easily.
How Often You Should Do This

This method works well the first time to remove splinters.

Why This Works

Due to the vacuum created, a pull is exerted on the flesh. At the same time, the steam from the hot water opens up the skin’s pores (4). These two factors work together and draw out the splinter.

4. Salve

You Will Need
  • Ichthammol ointment
  • Bandage
What You Have To Do
  1. Apply a small amount of ointment on the affected area and cover with a bandage or gauze..
  2. Keep this area away from water. Remove the bandage after a day. The splinter will come out with it.
How Often You Should Do This

This simple ointment is available without a prescription and can be used anytime you suffer from a splinter or sliver.

Why This Works

Ichthammol ointment is also called as Black drawing salve. It is derived from shale oil and is one of those remedies that has been passed down from generations to get rid of splinters. This salve possesses antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties as well (5).

5. Splinter Removal Soak

Hydrogen peroxide to get a splinter out naturally
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
  • 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • Cotton ball
  • Tape
  • Tweezer
What You Have To Do
  1. Soak the cotton ball in the hydrogen peroxide solution and place it on the affected area.
  2. Secure it in place using  adhesive tape. Leave it on for a few hours.
  3. Remove the cotton ball and carefully pull out the splinter.
How Often You Should Do This

Repeat the process if the splinter hasn’t risen to the surface and is still deeply lodged.

Why This Works

Hydrogen peroxide is a good remedy to rid your hands and feet of splinters. The area becomes inflamed and swells, making the splinter visible. This can then be easily removed. Hydrogen peroxide is also a disinfectant agent (6).

6. Poultice For Splinters

Epsom salt to get a splinter out naturally
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
What You Have To Do
  1. Place the Epsom salt on the bandage area of the band-aid and apply the band-aid on the affected area. Make sure that the salt comes in contact with the area where the splinter is lodged.
  2. Leave the band-aid on for the entire day. Remove it in the evening. The splinter will have risen to the surface and will come out with the band-aid. If it doesn’t, you can simply remove it using tweezers.
How Often You Should Do This

Change the band-aid if it gets wet during the day.

Why This Works

Epsom salt poultice is often recommended by doctors for splinter removal, especially for the deeply lodged ones. Being a salt, it draws out water from the skin cells, and this brings the splinter to the surface (7).

7. Potato

Raw potato to get a splinter out naturally
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need

Raw potato

What You Have To Do
  1. Place a slice of raw potato on the splinter such that the fleshy part touches the splinter.
  2. Press the potato slice downwards gently and take it off carefully. If the sliver pierces the slice, it can be lifted off easily.
How Often You Should Do This

Use a thinner slice if the previous slice doesn’t work.

Why This Works

Potato flesh is soft and can easily be pierced by the splinter.

8. Vinegar Splinter Removal

Vinegar to get a splinter out naturally
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
What You Have To Do

Soak the affected area in white vinegar for about 15 minutes.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat the 15-minute soak if the splinter doesn’t rise to the surface.

Why This Works

Like Epsom salt, this treatment too causes the splinter to break through the surface, making it easy to tweeze or scrape.

9. Banana Peel For Splinter

Banana peel to get a splinter out naturally
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
What You Have To Do
  1. Place the peel, with the white side down, on the affected area and stick it in place using the tape.
  2. Leave it on for five to 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the peel and tweeze the splinter out.
How Often You Should Do This

Leave the peel on for longer if required.

Why This Works

Banana peel is loaded with enzymes that will make the splinter move up to the surface (8).

10. Egg Shell

Egg shell to get a splinter out naturally
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
  • 1 egg
  • Band-aid
What You Have To Do
  1. Crack open the egg and remove its contents.
  2. Take a big enough piece of the shell (along with the transparent membrane that is found attached to it), and place it on the affected area. Cover it with the band-aid.
  3. Leave the band-aid on overnight. Remove it in the morning. The splinter will come out with it as well.
How Often You Should Do This

A single application of this home remedy should work effectively in removing the splinter.

Why This Works

The eggshell causes the splinter to ease out of the skin.
Hope now you know how to get a splinter out naturally. Even though a splinter sounds like nothing to worry about, it is important to remove this foreign particle from your body. Using these home remedies will make it easier for you and also prevent any complications.

protip_icon Quick Tip
You can also use a magnifying glass or light to see the splinter before removing it.

Now that you know how to remove a splinter, keep yourself fully prepared to take care of this very common injury.

How To Treat A Splinter Injury

The steps are as follows:

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water to reduce the risk of introducing bacteria to the wound.
  2. Gently clean the area around the splinter with mild soap and warm water. Pat it dry with a clean, sterile cloth.
  3. Remove the splinter with any of the remedies mentioned above. Use a tweezer to pull it out gently to avoid breaking the splinter.
  4. Clean the wound again with mild soap and water before applying an antiseptic cream or solution to the area.
  5. Use a bandage to cover the wound to protect it from dirt or further impact. Change the bandage daily.
  6. Monitor the area for redness, swelling, pain, or discharge. In case of infection, seek medical attention immediately.

Infographic: Home Remedies To Get Rid Of A Splinter Safely

Splinters embedded in the skin can be painful and cause discomfort. Additionally, they could disperse bacteria and cause infection.

Thankfully, you can get rid of them easily at home. Check out the infographic below to learn ways to remove a splinter safely.

home remedies to get rid of a splinter safely (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Splinters, or small wounds caused by debris, can be extremely painful and challenging to deal with. You need to know exactly how to get a splinter out to avoid the risk of the debris getting embedded deeper into the skin. You cannot let it stay in for the risk of serious complications, so apply your preferred home remedies for splinter removal to get it out safely. Baking soda, hot water, lavender oil, ichthammol ointment, hydrogen peroxide solution, or Epsom salt at hand are some of the readily available choices in home remedies. However, once you have selected what to use, you need to follow the instructions for applying them very carefully to get the splinter out safely. Please seek medical help if these techniques fail to remove the splinter.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a splinter hemorrhage?

A splinter hemorrhage is when there is bleeding under the nails, both the fingernails and the toenails. This bleeding looks like long, reddish-brown lines and gives the appearance that there is a splinter under the nail. Hence, it is called a splinter hemorrhage, even though there is no splinter lodged in the skin (9).

What happens when splinters are left untreated?

Leaving a splinter untreated is usually not advised as an infection can develop. Sometimes, the body can close off the split in the skin with the splinter still inside. Here, it can either cause no pain or be a constant irritant. It can develop infections depending upon how dirty the site of entry was. It is always recommended to remove the foreign particle from the body in order to avoid infections.
Keep in mind that no matter what method you use, it is important to clean the wound caused by the splinter with antiseptic soap and water before using any home remedy.

When should you go to the doctor for a splinter?

You need to seek medical help if you cannot remove a splinter entirely, the wound where the sprinter has entered is bleeding profusely, or if the splinter is embedded beneath a toenail or a fingernail.

How do you tell if a splinter is infected?

Signs of an infected splinter wound include warmth in the area, redness, swelling, and pus. You can use rubbing alcohol on the skin surface as soon as the wound occurs to avoid infection.

Key Takeaways

  • The small wounds caused by wood, glass, or thorns are called splinters.
  • They are usually painful and need to be removed immediately.
  • Simple home remedies like warm water, baking soda, essential oil, or salve may help pull out the splinter.
  • Make sure to use sterile gloves, medical scissors, and tweezers from the first aid kit to avoid infections.
how to get a splinter out

Image: Dall·E/StyleCraze Design Team

Discover a painless method to remove splinters from your finger, hand, or toe without cutting, blood, or picking needles. Watch this video for easy and effective splinter removal techniques.

Personal Experience: Source

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Dr. CP Thajudheen has over 20 years of experience in various lasers, light-based devices, and other advanced equipment. He was one of the beginners who introduced cutaneous lasers in India. He carries out dermato surgeries regularly, including hair grafting and vitiligo surgeries.

Read full bio of Dr. CP Thajudheen
Kushneet Kukreja
Kushneet KukrejaHealth & Wellness Writer
Kushneet holds a postgraduate degree in biotechnology from Kingston University, London, and is an ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition with 2 years of experience. Her scientific background, coupled with her passion for writing, propelled her towards content writing.

Read full bio of Kushneet Kukreja
Ramona is an editor at StyleCraze with 11 years of experience in writing and editing. She has authored over 200 articles on skin and hair care. She graduated from the University of Calcutta, West Bengal, and did her post-graduation from the University of Kalyani, West Bengal.

Read full bio of Ramona Sinha
Monomita Chakraborty
Monomita ChakrabortyBeauty & Lifestyle Writer
Monomita has a graduate degree in mass communication and video production from St. Anthony's College, Shillong, and a master’s degree in journalism and mass communication from the Royal Global University, Guwahati. She is also a certified skincare coach with a keen interest in skin, hair, tattoos, nail art, and lifestyle trends.

Read full bio of Monomita Chakraborty