How to Take the Color Yellow Off Toenails

When it comes to having fun in the sun, a little toenail care goes a long way.

Photo: Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images

Summertime and sleek, strappy sandals go together like peanut butter and jelly. However, nothing spells fashion disaster quite like yellowed toenails. Wearing dark polishes is the number one cause of discolored nails. Removing the yellow tinge allows your toenails to go au natural and eliminates the need to blame the horrible hue on spilled lemonade.


Swab off any traces of nail polish with a cotton ball dipped in polish remover. Hold the damp cotton on each nail for 10 seconds, then wipe off the softened particles of polish. Use a cotton swab to swipe away any polish caught in the crevasses along your cuticles.


Soak your tender toes in a tub of warm, soapy water for about 5 to 10 minutes. Use a nailbrush to scrub over and under every toenail. Rinse well with warm water and buff your feet and toes dry with a clean towel.


Mix together 1 Tbsp. of 3% hydrogen peroxide with 2 1/2 Tbsp. of baking soda, using a plastic bowl. Stir the mixture with a plastic spoon to avoid discoloring your favorite silverware with this slightly caustic, chemical creation. Create a smooth paste by using the back of the spoon to break up baking soda clumps and lumps.


Dip a cotton swab into the paste and smear the thick solution under and over each of your yellowed nails. Let the paste set for about three minutes. Rinse your treated toes with warm water to remove the mixture from your toenails. Buff your nails dry with a towel. Repeat the treatment on any nails that still exhibit a yellow or dingy hue.


Add a finishing touch to your sparkly toes by spreading on a clear coat of polish. Let the first coat dry completely, then follow with a second coat of clear color or a topcoat that resists chipping. Apply a few drops of cuticle oil to the skin around your toenails and gently massage into the area with a circular motion.


Strap on your favorite toe-baring, trendy sandals and go dazzle your diva friends with your oh-so-sexy, tantalizing toes.

Things You'll Need


1.Cotton balls

3.Cotton swabs


7.Hydrogen peroxide

9.Plastic bowl


2.Polish remover



8.Baking soda

10.Plastic spoon

12.Cuticle oil


Tips & Tricks


Increase interest and envy to your fabulous feet by adding nail decals or spreading on a coat of sparkly topcoat over your clear polish.

Schedule an appointment with your doctor if home treatments don't reduce the yellowing or if your yellow nails also appear thickened in spots. This could be a sign of a fungal infection that requires prescription medications.


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