How do I Use Vinegar for Toenail Fungus?

N. Madison
N. Madison

Vinegar is a popular home remedy for toenail fungus. There are a couple of different ways you may use vinegar for toenail fungus. One way is to soak your feet in a solution of vinegar on a daily basis; the other involves dripping or painting vinegar on the affected toenails once or twice each day. Some people assert that either one is an effective treatment for toenail infections. Members of the medical community are, however, more likely to choose prescription medications for treating toenail infections.

Red and white vinegar.
Red and white vinegar.

One way to use vinegar for toenail fungus is to prepare a foot bath using apple cider vinegar and water. You may do this by adding enough vinegar and water to a basin to just cover your feet, making sure you don’t add so much that it spills over. To make sure you have a good concentration of vinegar in your foot bath, you may do well to add equal parts water and vinegar. Soaking in this solution for about an hour a day is said to help fight toenail fungus. It is important to note that many people prefer apple cider vinegar for toenail fungus treatment, but any type of vinegar may be used for this purpose.

A person having a foot bath with vinegar in it.
A person having a foot bath with vinegar in it.

If you prefer not to spend a lot of time soaking your feet, you can still use vinegar to treat toenail fungus. Instead of soaking in it, you can apply it directly to the affected toenail instead. For example, one way to use vinegar for toenail fungus involves putting a couple of drops on each affected toenail a couple of times each day. Alternatively, you can use a clean nail polish brush to paint the vinegar on your toenails twice daily. When you choose to apply the vinegar directly to your toenails, use straight vinegar rather than mixing it with water.

Vinegar is a popular remedy for nail fungus.
Vinegar is a popular remedy for nail fungus.

Some home remedy experts have an additional suggestion for ensuring that your vinegar treatment is as effective as possible. Many recommend clipping the infected nail and then filing its surface so that the infected part of the nail is as thin as possible before you soak your feet or apply the vinegar. If you choose to do this before you use vinegar for toenail fungus, you may do well to use only new or sterilized equipment for clipping and filing your nails. Additionally, you can use different nail care tools on your uninfected nails to avoid spreading the infection to them.

Apple cider vinegar is a popular option to treat toenail fungus.
Apple cider vinegar is a popular option to treat toenail fungus.
N. Madison
N. Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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Discussion Comments


Just use one drop of good quality acidic vinegar per day on the quick of the nail and just watch the new healthy nail grow at normal (slow) speed. No need to soak feet! Fungi doesn't like the acid which has been absorbed into the nail.


Try using gallon size ziplock bags and a couple of old hair bands to hold them up. Don't cut off your circulation. Mix a solution of about a juice cup size of for each foot and put on your rubber garden shoes. Birki's work for me. You can move around while you soak.


I have yellow skin on my nail. Is that a symptom of nail fungus? Do you recommend I use this product?


You must soak the feet in the vinegar for at least 30 minutes. The vinegar not only creates an acidic atmosphere which the fungus dies in but it softens the nail and allows you to literally scrap the fungus off. You must also make sure the nail is trimmed and filed as far down as possible. Good luck!


How often should you change the vinegar?


@MikeMason-- You can use a cotton ball to do the toenail fungus remedy, but keeping it on for the whole day might be too much.

Why don't you just do it for about an hour at a time and see what happens? It will be more effective than just a few drops of vinegar and it will definitely more effective than a vinegar and water mixture.

After doing the vinegar treatment, I also recommend applying pure coconut oil to your nails. Coconut oil has natural anti-fungal properties.


MikeMason-- Try the vinegar soaks instead. I did that and my toenail fungus was cured in two weeks.

I kept my feet in the vinegar and water solution two hours every day.


If I soak a cotton ball in vinegar and then tape this on my toenail and keep it all day, will it harm my nail or skin?

I've been putting several drops of vinegar on my toenails a couple of times a day, but it doesn't seem to be working. I think I need to keep more vinegar on it for longer. I just don't want the acid in the vinegar to harm the skin around my nails.

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