How To Whiten Nails – 5 DIY Nail Whitening Methods

Bid farewell to those unsightly dark nails with easy DIY options to brighten them.

Medically reviewed by Dr. CP ThajudheenDr. CP Thajudheen, MD
By Esha SaxenaEsha Saxena  • 

The problem with nails is that they can easily get stained or discolored. Excessive usage of nail paint or vitamin and mineral deficiencies could cause this discoloration. You must be wondering how to whiten nails. After all, unsightly nails can be off-putting and embarrassing. Clean and well-groomed nails are also a sign of sophistication and good hygiene. Fortunately, there is a variety of low-cost and basic at-home procedures that can help you whiten your nails in a pinch. Keep reading this article if you are looking for cheap and easy DIY options!

Note: Your health is often reflected in your nails. Nail changes, such as discoloration, can indicate severe underlying medical conditions. So, if you are finding it difficult to figure out why your nails are changing color, you should have them examined by a medical specialist immediately. Given below are five effective techniques to whiten your nails. Most of these ingredients may probably be lying around your house already!

Note: Consult your doctor before opting for these home remedies.

Quick Tip
Fake nails and specific nail art and treatments can stain your nails. Take a month-long break between treatments to maintain their health and look.

How To Whiten Nails At Home – 5 Easy Ways

Yellowing of nails is both common and unavoidable with regular nail polish use. It is especially common when you use dark hues like reds, purples, blues, and black. If you can’t break up with your polish, we recommend you to get into the habit of prepping your nails by using a base coat every time you paint your nails. A good base coat creates a stain-proof barrier between your nails and the polish.

But, if the deed’s done and you skipped the prep in a rush, don’t worry because we’ve got you covered. Given below are five effective techniques to whiten your nails. Most of these ingredients may probably be lying around your house already!

1. Lemon Juice And Baking Soda

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According to nail experts, mixing lemon juice and baking soda creates a powerful cleansing paste for your nails. It works instantly to whiten and brighten dull, discolored nails.

What You Need

  • Half a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • A plastic bowl
  • An old toothbrush


Step 1: Squeeze half of a lemon into a plastic bowl.
Step 2: Mix in the baking soda until you get an abrasive, paste-like texture.
Step 3: Apply the paste to your nails and let it sit for 10 minutes.
Step 4: Use an old toothbrush to scrub your nails with the paste.
Step 5: Rinse your hands with mild soap and water.

Tip: If you don’t have baking soda, combine salt and lemon juice as an alternative. Salt acts as a gentle buffer, and when you mix it with lemon juice, you can get rid of practically any stains.

2. Whitening Tooth Paste

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Whitening toothpaste is the easiest way to get your nails ramp-ready. Some toothpastes contain baking soda and peroxide that work together brilliantly to fix that yellow tinge on your nails.

What You Need

  • Whitening toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Nail buffer


Step 1: Start by buffing your nails until they look shiny.
Step 2: Apply a thin layer of the toothpaste to your nails and let it sit for 10 minutes.
Step 3: Use an old toothbrush to scrub your nails gently.
Step 4: Remove the toothpaste with the help of cotton balls soaked in water.

[ Read: 25 Easy And Natural Nail Care Tips And Tricks ]

3. Hydrogen Peroxide

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A diluted solution of hydrogen peroxide works like magic to lighten and whiten nails. All you need to do is create a soak. We assure you that it is the most effective stain remover in existence.

What You Need

  • 1 teaspoon hydrogen peroxide (5 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • Plastic bowl
  • 125 ml of water


Step 1: Mix one teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide and one tablespoon of baking soda in a plastic bowl.
Step 2: Add half a cup of water and mix the ingredients until the powder dissolves.
Step 3: Soak your nails in the solution for about 10 minutes or until the stains disappear.
Step 4: Rinse your hands with lukewarm water.
Step 5: Slather on some lotion. Voila! Your nails should be clean now.

4. Denture Cleaner

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Soaking your nails in a denture cleaner also works efficiently to get rid of stains. Denture cleaners contain dilute sodium hypochlorite that works as a mild bleaching agent.

What You Need

  • Denture cleaner tablet
  • ½ cup warm water
  • Bowl


Step 1: Add one denture cleaner tablet to a dish of warm water.
Step 2: Once the tablet dissolves in the water, soak your hands in the solution for about 10 minutes.
Step 3: Rinse your hands with warm water and pat them dry with a clean towel.
Step 4: Follow up with a moisturizer, and you’re good to go!

[ Read: How To Make Nails Shiny And Healthy At Your Home? ]

5. White Vinegar

Image: Shutterstock

Vinegar is another mild acid that can strip stains from hard surfaces. However, you should only use white vinegaras other kinds of vinegar can stain your nails.

What You Need

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • Bowl


Step 1: Pour one cup of warm water into a bowl.
Step 2: Add one tablespoon (5-10 ml) of white vinegar to the water.
Step 3: Soak your nails in the solution for 10 minutes.
Step 4: Rinse your nails with lukewarm water and pat them dry with a towel.
Step 5: Apply lotion to your hands to prevent your skin from drying out.

Quick Tip
Vitamin E is a trusted solution to keep your nails from getting stained. Topical application, as well as oral medication, can help.

Appropriate nail care is crucial since your nails are a window into your overall health. These DIY solutions can whiten the nails and help minimize the yellow tinge, and you can show off your nails with confidence. And we are sure that the results you will get after following the remedies will make all your friends envious. So, what are you waiting for? Try the remedies and whiten your fingernails. However, if these remedies do not work, it is best to consult a doctor to determine the exact reason for yellow nails.

Key Takeaways

  • Your nails may become yellow if you apply dark nail paints like blues, blacks, purples, and reds.
  • You can whiten your nails right at home using remedies like lemon juice with baking soda or white vinegar.
  • Other remedies are whitening toothpaste, hydrogen peroxide, and denture cleansers.
  • However, you should consult a doctor if nothing works, as discoloration may be due to an underlying medical condition.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do yellow nails mean healthy nails?

No, yellow nails do not mean healthy nails. Yellow nails can be caused by a fungal infection or trauma to the nail plates.

What color should fingernails be?

Healthy fingernails and toenails should be pink. Generally, the nail plates are pink, and the nail that grows off from it is white.

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