bottles of listerine and white vinegar

Q. I’ve had toenail fungus on all my toes for a number of years and would like to know the most effective treatment.

A. There are no studies to show effectiveness of home remedies, so it is very hard to predict what might work best for you. Whether you choose to treat your nail fungus with a prescription drug or a home remedy, you’ll need to be persistent.

Here is one reader’s experience:

“I read your column about toenail fungus and athlete’s foot. I’ve found the foolproof method to rid yourself of this problem without using toxic prescription meds.

“Soak feet twice a week for about 5 to 10 minutes in a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and regular (amber) Listerine. The mixture can be put in a sealable container large enough for your feet and can be used for three months before making another batch.

“For in-between use and traveling pick up a MISTO container for spraying cooking oil at any good kitchen store. It’s unbreakable, doesn’t leak and travels well. I use it to spray my feet daily, especially between the toes. It takes about a year of this to clear up a serious toenail fungus, but it also eliminates other foot problems caused by moisture.”

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  1. Dolores

    I don’t have fungus or any itching, I just have different parts of my feet where the skin is peeling i have used foot creams but didn’t work tops of my toes on one foot and other parts on the other foot just skin peeling that is all

  2. Carl
    Yuma Arizona

    Tree tea oil works great also for toenail fungus.

  3. Kiki

    I quit using Lamisil due to its toxicity to the liver. Started to take Oregano oil in pill form twice a day in am/pm while applying Vicks Vapo rub to toenail. After a week, toenail cleared up significantly. Inexpensive & no side effects.

    • angie

      KIKI from Texas, can you describe a little more detail on your routine? Frequency, etc.

  4. Cinnamon Vogue
    Las Vegas

    You might want to try Ceylon Cinnamon Leaf Oil with 75% Eugenol content, which dries out the toenail very fast and is one of the most powerful anti fungal essential oils you can get from nature.
    So make sure you take a cup of Ceylon cinnamon tea every day. Cinnamon has proven effective against Candida in studies, especially antibiotic resistant Candida. Avoid Cassia cinnamon though which will cause liver damage if taken daily. And avoid sugar which feeds the Candida and all dairy products. Also filing and cleaning your toenail every three days is a must. This allows the oil to penetrate into the nail bed.

  5. DivaHH

    Almost two years ago I started applying a squirt of alcohol hand sanitizer between my toes in the morning and at night. This is the longest I have gone since I contracted it in college. It would recur no matter how long or which cream or powder I used. Nice because it’s quick.

  6. Jb

    I was using Dr. prescribed lamisil, after a month I stopped because my primary Dr. told me that lamisil was bad for my liver. I read an article online about using Vinegar daily. I used vinegar for about 3 to 4 months religiously. I stopped after that. I got a rush between a couple toes about 3 months afterwards from having damp socks from my daily running.
    So I used an Tinactin cream to rub across my toes and between my toes. I never noticed that the black dark brittle nails I had for over 20 years while in the military was now cleared up. I didn’t really notice until I had my Podiatrist look at my feet and she was surprised to see my nails was almost clear.
    I have credit this to using Vinegar. I used a small squirt bottle and just wet my toenails everytime I pull my shoes off. I am now able to wear open toes foot wear, this is a first for me for over 25 years.

  7. Jackie

    I occasionally get an insane itch between my little and next toe, developing into a hive blister that drives me insane. Once on a car trip it happened again and I just couldn’t stand the itch. I had some Listerine breath strips in my purse and tried putting one between the itching toes, then moistened it with a little water. Wallah!!! Instantly I stop itching and hive went away eventually too.

  8. Myrle B.

    I have fingernails like you decribe toenails–I have used Clean idodine and it helped, but they grow and still split or break off–any solution?

  9. LHS

    haven’t soaked my nails as described, but just drop the mixture on with a dropper on the nails and between the toes in the morning and before going to bed. My nails have continued to look healthy, and since using for more then a year, haven’t had athlete’s foot for the entire time, which used to be a problem. My mixture is about 1/4 listerine and 3/4 vinegar.

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