Nails

9 Ways to lighten nails

By  | 
ways to lighten nails

Image: Africa Studio / Shutterstock

If you have nails that are less than clear and bright, it can get to be an embarrassment. Dirt, polish, semi-permanent hair dyes, smoking, genetics and even health problems can all lead to discolored nails. If your nails are becoming very yellow and brittle, it might be a sign to get it checked by a doctor. But for more mild nail discoloration, below are some ways to lighten nails at home will get them looking clearer and whiter.

Ways to lighten nails

Just note that these ways to lighten nails may take a few applications daily to see results.

Nail polish remover

If you’ve tried to remove nail polish with remover, another simple go with it might be required. Really scrub at it with a wipe or cotton ball coated in the remover for a good 30 seconds.

White vinegar

Add a splash of distilled white vinegar to a cup of water, then soak your nails for five to 10 minutes.

Denture cleaner

This one seems downright unsexy, but the same ingredient that whitens dentures can lighten nails. Follow the label to dissolve the denture tablet in water completely, soak your nails for several minutes and then rinse.

Tea tree oil

If your yellowed nails are due to a fungal infection, tea tree oil is a popular home remedy. You’ll apply the straight oil to your nail beds, leave it on for a few minutes, rinse and repeat twice per day until clear.

Whitening toothpaste

Toothpaste doesn’t just whiten teeth. Apply the toothpaste to the nail evenly and let it sit for around 10 minutes.

Baking soda

Baking soda is usually combined with other ingredients. One popular method is to combine baking soda and olive oil. Mix until a thick paste is formed, apply to the nail and leave on for a couple minutes. Repeat as often as needed.

Lemon juice

One of the most popular home remedies for a host of ailments, lemon juice is a great way to naturally lighten anything. It’s even used on dark spots and can even lighten hair.

Using lemon is one of the great ways to lighten nails: rub a freshly sliced lemon directly on the nails for a minute or so, or soak your nails in a bowl of fresh lemon juice for about 15 minutes.

Hydrogen peroxide

You’ll want to be careful when using hydrogen peroxide, as it can be very potent, but it is also one of the best ways to lighten nails. Mix a few splashes of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide in a half a cup of water. Mix well and soak your nail for a couple minutes.

Nail whitening pencil

If you need the tips of your nails to look more white right now, and some of the above methods aren’t working immediately, you can always get a nail pencil that adds white to the tips of the nails.

Michelle Lovrine Honeyager is a freelance writer living in Southeastern Wisconsin. You can find out more about her at https://www.clippings.me/michellelovrine.