Many people will suffer from yellow nails at least once in their lifetime, making it important to know what causes this condition. Yellow nails are common in both genders, and usually cause one to feel uneasy. The leading cause of yellow nails is the use of extremely harsh nail products especially for the ladies. The chemicals present in the nail products, especially those that are dark in color, cause the nails to stain over a long period of time. In this regard, the best thing to do is to use clear nail polish as a first layer before using the colored products.

While dark nail polish is the leading cause of yellow nails, there are other factors that contribute to this embarrassing condition. These include excessive smoking, disorders affecting the liver, fungal infections within the nail bed as well as poor hygiene. Yellow nails are not a life threatening condition, but they are unsightly and this is what makes it important to get natural treatment options. Below are some of the ideal home remedies that you can use to get rid of this condition.

1. Tea Tree Oil:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Tea tree oil, dropper, warm water and cotton wool. Olive oil (optional).
Difficulty: Easy

If the yellow nails are the result of a fungal infection, your go-to remedy is tea tree oil. The oil’s potent anti-fungal properties make for an excellent remedy as this helps ward off the infection by clearing the fungus present. Regular use of this remedy not only eliminates the infection, it also ensures that your nails maintain their natural color. You may add olive oil to this remedy as it helps moisturize the nails, thus preventing them from drying and breaking.


  1. Place a few drops of tea tree oil on the affected nails and proceed to dab using cotton wool. If you opt to add olive oil, add an equal amount to the tea tree oil in this step.
  2. Let the oil remain on the nail beds for 15 minutes to allow the healing effects set in.
  3. Rinse your nails using warm water and apply an ideal moisturizer.
  4. Use this remedy at least twice daily for up to 10 weeks or until you notice the restoration of the nails’ natural color.

2. Fresh Lemon Juice:

Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 1/2 Cup of fresh lemon juice, a shallow bowl, a soft nail brush, warm water and gentle skin moisturizer. Lemon essential oil (optional).
Difficulty: Easy

Whenever you notice your nails getting a yellow discoloration, the best thing that you can do for yourself is use a natural bleaching agent. Lemon juice is one such agent. When applied on the affected nails, the juice whitens them by removing the stains. Another benefit of using lemon juice is that it has astringent properties, overall contributing to the health of your nails. In the absence of fresh lemon juice, you can always use some lemon essential oil. As expected, the amount of oil you use is directly proportional to the number of affected nails.


  1. Put the fresh lemon juice in a bowl so that it is halfway full. If you opt to use lemon essential oil instead, place some water in a bowl and add the few drops of lemon oil.
  2. You will then soak the affected nails in your preferred remedy for 15 minutes.
  3. Once soaked, the nails will have softened and bleached at which point you will be able to scrub using a nail brush. Scrub gently for 2 minutes to get rid of the discoloration.
  4. Rinse the affected nails using warm water and dry well.
  5. Apply a generous amount of moisturizing lotion on the nails to prevent dry brittle nails.
  6. Use this remedy daily for a few weeks until you are content with the progress.

3. Whitening Toothpaste:

Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Whitening toothpaste, a nail brush, cotton wool and warm water.
Difficulty: Easy

Whitening toothpaste, just as the name suggests, is use to ensure your teeth remain white. It is against this backdrop that this remedy is recommended for yellow nails. The main ingredient present in the toothpaste is hydrogen peroxide whose bleaching properties are known to get rid of discoloration. As with the other remedies, the key to positive results with the use of this toothpaste is consistency.


  1. Squeeze pea-sized amounts of the toothpaste on the affected nails,
  2. Spread the toothpaste so that you have a layer of sorts covering the nail in its entirety.
  3. Let the toothpaste dry on the nails for some 15 minutes.
  4. Scrub the toothpaste off the nails gently using the nail brush.
  5. Rinse your nails using warm water and the cotton balls.
  6. Lastly, apply some moisturizing lotion to the nails.
  7. Use this remedy every two days for up to 6 weeks or until you are content with the progress made.

4. Hydrogen Peroxide:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 5 Teaspoons of Hydrogen peroxide, 1 cup of warm water, a nail brush, warm water to rinse and a moisturizing lotion.
Difficulty: Easy

The whitening properties present in hydrogen peroxide make it an excellent home remedy for the treatment of yellow nails. When applied on the nails, the solution gets rid of the discoloration, It is important, however to ensure that you use 3% Hydrogen Peroxide; anything more than this is likely to irritate the skin and make it harder to make a full recovery. Secondly, you must ensure that you moisturize your nails after using this remedy. This is because Hydrogen peroxide is a powerful dehydrating agent and failure to moisturize the skin is likely to make your nails dry and brittle.


  1. Mix the hydrogen peroxide with the water to create the solution in which you will soak your nails.
  2. Once ready, place your nails in the solution and soak for a couple of minutes.
  3. Take the nail brush and use to carefully scrub the affected nails. This is an important step because it helps eliminate the pigmentation that causes discoloration.
  4. Rinse the nails using warm water, dry well and finish off with a moisturizing lotion.
  5. Use this remedy once weekly; avoid excessive use to prevent nail damage and irritation of the skin.

5. Gentle Nail Buffing:

Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: A buffing board, warm water and clear strengthening nail polish.
Difficulty: Easy

Buffing is an easy technique to use when treating yellow nails. The discoloration of the nails occurs in the top layer. As such, buffing helps get rid of this layer, in effect eliminating the discoloration. You need to be careful however because excessive buffing weakens the nails, making them extremely brittle. In cases of a fungal infection, this could easily lead to the spread of the infection. To counter these potential effects on the nail, ensure that you use a clear strengthening nail polish to restore the nail’s integrity.


  1. Using the buffing board, gently remove the nail’s top layer to get rid of the discoloration. Do not scrub excessively since you need the nails to remain strong.
  2. After buffing, wash your nails using warm water to get rid of the powder-like substance that accumulates on the nails.
  3. Moisturize your hands and nails to prevent drying.
  4. Apply a layer of the clear strengthening nail polish and allow to dry.
  5. Use this remedy at least once weekly.

6. Orange Peels:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Fresh orange peels. Alternatively, use dried orange peel powder, warm water, nail brush and moisturizing lotion
Difficulty: Easy

If you suffer from yellow nails every so often, you may consider not throwing orange peels and instead use them as a home remedy. The peels are an effective solution because they are packed with Vitamin C which helps get rid of the discoloration. In the absence of the fresh peels, you can always look for dried powder which you will use to prepare a paste for topical application. Follow the directions below to get the most of this remedy.


  1. Simply use the fresh orange peels to rub the discolored nails at least thrice daily.
  2. Do this for a couple of weeks for best results.

Using dried orange peel powder:

  1. The other alternative is to add some water to the dried orange peel powder to get a paste.
  2. Spread a thick layer of the paste on the affected nails and leave for 15 minutes.
  3. Use the nail brush to get rid of the paste before rinsing in warm water.
  4. Finish off this procedure by applying an ideal moisturizing agent on the nails to ensure the skin and nails are hydrated.

7. Improve Your Nail Care Techniques:

Time Required: Varies from one person to another.
What You Need: To make a deliberate decision on the nail care techniques you use.
Difficulty: Easy

As mentioned above, nail care is one of the causes of yellow nails. By changing and/or improving these techniques, you are better placed to prevent nail discoloration. If you enjoy manicure and pedicure sessions, you need to discuss this with the nail technician so that you are in agreement. It requires you to make a conscious decision on the changes to be made. Listed below are a few tips that you can use in this regard.


  1. The most obvious tip is that you need to avoid very dark nail polish. The pigments present in such nail polish will only cause your nails to get discolored faster. Opt for lighter, brighter nail polish if you need to keep yellow nails at bay.
  2. Never apply nail polish directly without including a base coat. The base coat adds a layer of protection to the nail’s top layer, making it less predisposed to discoloration. Using a base coat also helps strengthen your nails, and in some cases, allows for color adjustment prior to nail polish application.
  3. If you are time-pressed and need a quick fix, you are advised to use a nail whitening pencil. Nail whitening scrub is also available for the same reason. While this tip may prove a little more costly, what it lacks in affordability it makes up for in convenience and ease of use.

8. Apple Cider Vinegar:

Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 1/2 Cup of both Apple Cider Vinegar and warm water, a soft towel and moisturizing lotion.
Difficulty: Easy

Apple Cider Vinegar (abbreviated ACV) is one of the most reliable home remedies in the treatment of yellow nails. These healing properties are attributed to the presence of acetic acid which aids in getting rid of the discoloration. In addition to this, ACV also acts as an anti-fungal that helps eliminate any infections present. For this remedy, you need to dilute the ACV with warm water to avoid skin irritation, particularly for those with sensitive skin.


  1. Mix the equal amounts of the water and ACV in a shallow bowl.
  2. Soak your nails in this solution for 25 minutes.
  3. Dry the nails well before applying the moisturizing lotion.
  4. Use this remedy thrice weekly to treat yellow nails.

9. Baking Soda:

Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 5 Teaspoons of baking soda, 2 teaspoons of Hydrogen Peroxide (3%), a shallow bowl, cotton wool and warm rinsing water.
Difficulty: Easy

Baking soda, just like most of the aforementioned home remedies, is packed with bleaching properties that help get rid of the pigmentation found in yellow nails. Hydrogen peroxide is added for the same purpose. Follow the directions below to use baking soda for natural treatment of yellow discolored nails.


  1. Mix the baking soda and Hydrogen peroxide in a bowl.
  2. Use the cotton wool to scoop some of the paste and apply on the nails.
  3. Allow the mixture to act on the nails for 5 minutes and then rinse with warm water.
  4. Use this remedy twice weekly for best results.