Home Remedies for Yellow Nails

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Underneath your perfectly polished manicure, you might find an unexpected and unpleasant surprise. Yellow nails can be caused by a variety of factors, from poor lifestyle habits to excessive use of nail polish. Fortunately, your tainted tips can typically be brightened within a few minutes. After thoroughly removing your nail polish, try a simple home remedy for yellow nails.

Simple Soaks & Scrubs

Soak your yellow tips in lemon juice, which the Nail Business describes as a “natural bleaching agent.” Simply pour the tangy juice into a bowl and allow your nails to soak for several minutes. Use a soft toothbrush dipped in lemon juice to gently scrub the yellow discoloration away.

If you have a few denture tablets on hand, dissolve them in a bowl of warm water. Once the tablets have completely dissolved, soaked your stained tips for up to ten minutes. The cleaning and whitening agents included in the denture tablets should provide a whiter and brighter look.

"Cosmopolitan" magazine recommends soaking your yellow-stained nails in a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water. According to the website, you should “pour three capfuls of hydrogen peroxide into one-third cup of water and soak your fingers for two minutes.” After two minutes, use a soft toothbrush to scrub the nails with the solution. Follow up by massaging the nails with soothing cuticle oil.

Thick Paste

If your stained nails require more than just a simple soak, opt for a thicker paste. The "Marie Claire" website recommends a simple paste of lemon juice and baking soda as an effective home remedy for yellow nails. Combine 1 tbsp. of hydrogen peroxide with 2 1/2 tbsp. of baking soda. Gently mix the ingredients together until a thick paste has formed. Apply a small amount of paste to each fingernail and allow it to soak for several minutes before rinsing.

Quit Smoking

Although this may not actually be considered a “home remedy,” it is a simple technique that anyone can do to obtain whiter nails. As explained on the MSN Healthy Living website, smoking is widely known to cause yellow fingernails. Although quitting the habit is certainly difficult, the benefits to your overall health are tremendous. A few weeks after you stop smoking, you will most likely notice that your fingernails have taken on a whiter and brighter appearance.


When added into your regular nail routine, a few simple techniques can prevent your nails from becoming yellow in the future. Before applying a colored polish to your nails, first apply a clear base coat. This clear coat not only protects the nails from becoming stained, but also provides a longer-lasting manicure. The clear base coat is particularly important if you are wearing a dark nail polish color, such as black, burgundy, dark red, brown or navy blue. If possible, let your nails go polish-free for a few days every once in a while. These polish-free days serve as a sort of recovery period for your nails, allowing them to regain their natural color and surface.