How to Whiten Nails at Home

by Melissa Morang ; Updated September 28, 2017

Buff nails gently after doing a whitening treatment.

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Yellow nails occur if you use dark polish with no base coat. The ugly yellow color is unsightly and may make you self-conscious. Don't hide your nails by applying more polish. Fix the problem so that you can go without polish if you desire. You can whiten nails at home quite simply. Experiment until you find the method that works the best for you.

Items you will need

  • Lemon
  • Denture cleaner
  • Water
  • 3 percent hydrogen peroxide
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons baking soda
  • Pencil whitener
Step 1

Use the juice of a lemon to whiten your nails. Take a whole lemon and squeeze the juice into a small bowl. Soak your fingers in the lemon juice for five minutes. An alternative is to rub some lemon juice on each nail and allow it to dry on the nail.

Step 2

Make a nail whitener with denture cleaner. Follow the directions on the denture packet to make the mixture. Soak your fingernails in the denture cleaner for five minutes.

Step 3

Make a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water. Pour 1 tbsp. 3 percent hydrogen peroxide into a bowl. Add 2 1/2 tbsp. baking soda. Mix the ingredients with a spoon to get a paste-like consistency. Take a cotton swab and place the paste under the tip of each fingernail. Place the paste over the top of each nail as well. Leave the mixture on the nails for three minutes.

Step 4

Soak the nails in 3 percent hydrogen peroxide and water. Pour 1/3 cup of water into a bowl. Add three capfuls of peroxide to the water. Soak your fingernails for two minutes.

Step 5

Use a pencil whitener. You can buy these at any drugstore. Just rub the whitener over the tips of your fingernails to minimize the yellow appearance.


  • Sometimes, yellow nails occur because of fungus, psoriasis, or another disease. If yellow nails persist after treatment at home, call your doctor.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images

About the Author

Melissa Morang began writing professionally in 2002. She has created sales scripts for telemarketing companies and contributes to online publications. Morang has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Minnesota.