How do I Use Bleach for Toenail Fungus?

L.R. Ferguson

The use of bleach for toenail fungus is a remedy that is supposed to rid the toe of the infection. It is a common treatment among those looking for a home remedy for the problem. A bleach solution treatment can be time-consuming and monotonous, but is useful if done in the most effective way to allow the bleach to penetrate and kill the infection. To use bleach to treat toenail fungus, be sure to trim and file the nail before beginning treatment, prepare the bleach solution properly and treat the affected nail for the proper length of time each day.

Creams can be used to counter toe fungus.
Creams can be used to counter toe fungus.

Toenail fungus, less often referred to as onychomycosis, is a condition that affects the nail bed of one or more of the toes. It occurs when the skin on the toes and around the nail bed are infected with fungi, most often dermatophytes; or yeast, such as Candida. Typically, when the toenail is infected, a small white spot first appears under the nail and eventually spreads to the entire nail bed. The fungus generally causes the nail to turn a dull yellowish shade and to thicken. Eventually, the infected nail becomes rough and can crumble and break off, leaving an unpleasant appearance.

Bleach is commonly used to treat toenail fungus.
Bleach is commonly used to treat toenail fungus.

Bleach for toenail fungus is intended to kill the infection. Before using the bleach solution, clip short the infected nail and file down the nail plate. Trimming and filing the nail makes it more porous and allows for the bleach solution to effectively penetrate the nail bed to reach the fungus. After clipping the nail and making it pliable, the bleach solution can be used.

When using bleach to clear up toenail fungus, use one spoonful of bleach with one gallon of warm water.
When using bleach to clear up toenail fungus, use one spoonful of bleach with one gallon of warm water.

It is important to first dilute the solution that will be used for soaking, because bleach can be damaging when in direct contact with skin. Combining one spoonful of bleach and 1 gallon (3.8 liters) of warm water make for an effective solution. After the solution has been properly mixed, it can be used to soak the foot with the infected toenail. You can soak the infected nail for 20-30 minutes once a day or for 15-20 minutes in the morning and at night for a twice-daily treatment.

Ultimately, getting rid of the fungus can take several weeks to a few months, depending on the severity of the infection. Still, it is important to be diligent in using the bleach solution every day. Stopping treatment or irregular use of bleach for toenail fungus can allow for the infection to come back even stronger.

Though bleach for toenail fungus can be useful, it is possible to reduce the risk for a fungal infection altogether. Toenail fungus thrives in warm and moist environments and finds it easy to live on toenails because they can become damp and warm from wearing shoes. Keeping toes dry by wearing socks or regularly drying them off when they become too damp are methods that can be used to ward off fungus.

Depending on the severity of the infection, getting rid of the funagl infection can take several weeks to a few months.
Depending on the severity of the infection, getting rid of the funagl infection can take several weeks to a few months.

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Discussion Comments


I have been soaking a cotton ball with bleach and taping it on the toenail with the fungus for the last five days for 8 hours a day and then wash my feet and dry them real good. It is really working! No skin irritation of note. I'm going to continue for the next five days and hopefully it will finally be gone!


The chlorine in bleach should do a job of killing fungus, that is if your toes and toenails survive as well. Bleach’s potency will also damage your skin and nails. Again, damaged nails and skin will be more easily re-infected.


I used to have it on all toes. I got a prescription for lamisil and it cleared up all but two of them. Big toe and the one next to it. I've been soaking my toes for a month now once a day for 30 minutes. I trimmed the nails back as far as I could, used a dremel to thin the nails out and can already see healthy nail growing in. I just fill up pan and pour some bleach in. I keep the solution pretty strong and my feet seem to be able to handle it for the most part. The hair on my toes has burned off and the cuticle on my big toe burns sometimes, but it's worth it now that I'm seeing results. A couple more months and I'll be good to go!


@turquoise-- Bleach is a good cure for toenail fungus, but it is harsh. It is not something that was made to go on skin, so you need to be careful. After you soak your feet in it, make sure to wash off the bleach with water.


@turquoise-- I'm using the bleach remedy for toenail fungus. I had used to some years back as well, and it worked for me then. So I'm sure it will work again.

The proportion I use for the bleach and water is 1:3. So for every 1 part bleach, I add three parts water. I think that this is a good solution. It's not strong enough to cause irritation and it's effective. I soak my toes in it for ten minutes twice a day.

Some people take a cotton swab and apply only bleach directly on the toenail. You can do that too if you want.


I tried using bleach for toenail fungus yesterday. I think I used too much bleach though because it irritated the skin on my feet. I didn't measure it. I just put water in a basin and poured some bleach in. I know that if the bleach solution isn't strong enough, it doesn't work and if it's too strong, it clearly causes irritation.

Is anyone else using bleach as toenail fungus treatment? In what proportions are you combining the bleach and water?

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