The People's Perspective on Medicine

Listerine Soaks Proved Effective Against Toenail Fungus

Soaking your feet in old-fashioned amber Listerine is one home remedy our readers love for fighting hard to treat toenail fungus.

Q. I have had fungus on one of my toes for a long time. I have been to the dermatologist and podiatrist repeatedly and even had the nail removed. I was given strong pills, but they didn’t work. The podiatrist does not understand why the infection persists.

I started searching desperately for other things that might help and read about Listerine. This has given me the best results so far. The infection is almost gone, the nail has its nice pink color again and it is not sore. Hooray!

A. Soaking an infected nail in amber Listerine alone or mixed 50/50 with white vinegar is a favorite remedy for toenail fungus. You will need patience, since it takes months for toenails to grow out. The good news is that this remedy is neither difficult nor expensive.

You will find many other home remedies for nail fungus in our Guide to Hair and Nail Care.

Other Readers Share Their Experience:

Other readers have also reported on their experience. One, writing under the name Diocletian, gave this lengthy report on using Listerine and vinegar:

I finally started using the regimen of soaking my feet about 3 times a week in a square Rubbermaid dish bucket of hot bath water, Epsom Salt and White Vinegar. I evolved within the first two months into creating a blend from the hot water, a big bottle of generic Apple Cider Vinegar (buy AC at your local grocer, NOT Bragg’s, because I don’t have much money). Then I began to incorporate the hot water and ACV with original Listerine (I would use rough equivalents to a cup of ACV and a cup of Listerine). Also, I throw out my mixture after every use, I don’t keep it around for a week. My reasoning for throwing out my foot soak blend every time is not based on science; it is based on my phobia of germs associated with the feet.

How Long to Soak?

With respect to how long I would soak my feet, I probably began with 30 minutes once I changed to using ACV and Listerine as a combo-blend (made this change after reading reader remarks on the People’s Pharmacy website). The time of soaking has since been lengthened to 40 minute soaks, and now I am pretty regularly soaking for a target of 50 minutes in the hot water/ACV/original formula Listerine blend. Have recently soaked for one hour increments in the past week. Soak for however long you feel works for you and your schedule.

Progress? I write this on July 15, 2013. I know I started in the first week of March 2013. It has now been a pretty disciplined four months of treatment. I have seen good progress. I am not cured, just as yet, but I think I am on a path to having regular looking big toe nails. My toe nails began to develop the fungus back around 1999. In my mind, I am done with living with this fungus any longer. I feel like I am getting my feet back again!

Adding Vicks VapoRub:

Two further notes to consider. In the third month of my treatment (I didn’t intentionally time this), after reading other success stories on treating toe fungus without using Lamisil, I began to take a Q-Tip and began applying copious amounts of Vicks VapoRub (specifically use this brand) to my infected toe nails, before putting on socks. I usually only wear socks when I absolutely have to wear shoes in the summer (to work, or when exercising, or to go to a function that requires shoes, etc.). I am trying to go barefoot as much as possible to prevent moisture build-up under the nails. As well, in May 2013 I picked up a bottle of Tea Tree Oil (I think any brand will do just fine).

I don’t have an austere regimen for treating my toes, but when I do have 20 minutes I can set aside I put a little rag under my feet as I sit with my laptop on my desk to do e-mails, etc. I take an eye dropper and simply drop droplets of Tea Tree Oil onto my infected toe nails and typically reapply after ten minutes. I keep my feet in place on the rag for those 20 minutes and let the oil disinfect away (the toenails marinade in the oil), if in fact what I have read is true about Tea Tree Oil, that it is anti-fungal/disinfectant.

All Ingredients Used during Self-Treatment:

Hot Water Soaks

  • Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) for the hot water soaks
  • Original formula Listerine for the hot water soaks
  • Vick’s Vapo Rub to apply topically to my toe nails (use a Q-Tip), before putting on socks. (I only use Vick’s before putting on socks, never w/o).
  • Tea Tree Oil (use an eye dropper to drop whatever amount you prefer topically onto the nail and surrounding area.
  • Epsom Salt (used this in my early hot water soak blend). Haven’t used since incorporating Listerine and ACV as a blend.

Progress? Yes, I have considerable progress to report. I think the process is working (it takes much patience and lots of time. LOTS of time). I also think I need a few more months to get to a complete healing of the nails.

You can report your own experience below in our comment section. Have you tried Listerine soaks? How did they work for you? Do you have other favorite toenail fungus home remedies?

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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Has anyone tried emuaid max?, just bought it last week, had bad infection under toenail, had it drained, sent to lab and diagnosed with onychrondosis (think that’s it) given oral antifungals. Before taking, read up and don’t like risk. Swelling down, redness fading on skin , but nail still black looking,

Also just got coconut oil to put on at different times …

Anyone tried above? Success?

Tried it for a few months and had limited success. Resorted to thinning the nails with a file. That seemed to help but could not eliminate the fungus. Now using a foot soak with Listerine and vinegar, using the emuaide between soaks. Applying the topical 30min before covering feet. My soakings are done when I get home from work and do not have to wear shoes and socks. Much improvement in 2 weeks. Nails and beds appear to be dry. When using the topical, the nails appeared to be better. Maybe the tea tree oil. But the fungus was still present. I really can’t say what stage the fungus can be treated with just the topical.

Just got nail fungus on both big toes and was going to go to the doctors and get pulls to stop the fungus bur found out that you have to have your liver tested after use of this drug. I have read these remedy’s an decides to try them

I too had heard about the toenail laser treatment and went to my foot doctor to see if he did it. He recommended it, and the cost was 100.00 not 300.00 as someone mentioned. Was also worried about long term effects of the fungus growing in my toe. It was several laser sessions over six months and only partially worked. It did not completely get rid of the fungus so I have just this last month started soaking it with tea tree oil every am using a q-tip and letting it soak in for 10-15 minutes before putting on a sock. Then at night I rub in some Vicks and put on an old sock before going to bed. I’m hoping for good results and even filed the top of my nail to thin it and give the products a better chance to soak in and thru. Next have got to find some amber listerine to add to the regimen.

Listerine has been used by me to combat canker sores. Also, I have digestive problems, which I’ve heard cause cancer.

How do you determine the difference between a nail fungus and an ugly hard toe nail ? If it is a hard nail how is best to treat it?

Listerine soaks work for athletes foot also

You must use Vicks with Thymol. It is the thymol in the vicks that is the anti-fungal. I purchased the thymol oil on the internet and mixed it with a small amount of vasoline (could not find Vicks with thymol) and apply it to my 3 affected toes every night, cover with socks. My toes are now about l/2 pink. I have been treating them for about 3 months, previously used the listerine but have no time to soak. Someone told me today you can have the affected toe lasered which removes all the fungus, but it costs $300 and is not covered by insurance.

Thymol is an inactive ingredient in all Vicks vapor rub, although it may not be listed on the jar.

I have achieved success applying (daily) SILVER GEL by American Biotech Labs to a stubborn big toe nail fungus infection plaguing my wife. Swelling and pain are gone after several days applications. Will continue to maintain normalcy.

Thanks everyone for sharing. I wanted to add my experience with nail fungus. I bought a bottle of Lugol’s iodine, and after battling the fungus on my thumb for years, and losing the nail, I started applying the iodine, making sure it soaked into the nail bed and surrounding tissue. The results were fast and amazing! I applied it 2-3 times a week for a month, and it disappeared. I misplaced my bottle of iodine and was desperate to try it on my toenail (large toe). I found an old bottle of veterinarian Gentian Violet, and applied. It looks terrible but I’m hoping for a great outcome.

I have used Hibiclens very successfully. It takes the same amount of time and is not a natural ingredient but applying it once a day for several months has given me completely clear new nail as the old nail grows out.

I have had toe fungus issues for over 15 years. I just ignored it thinking that eventually my body would heal itself. It has never been painful. After recently hearing about a possible link of fungus to cancer, I have purchased Fungus Stop. This is a treatment made up of mostly oregano oil. There is a liquid that you apply to nails twice a day and also a soft gel pill to swallow. I just started this treatment a few days ago and it should last for about 2 months. It is relatively cheap online for under $30. I seldom have luck with home remedies or “as seen on TV” products. It’s good to know that there are other options as so many on this site have provided. I just didn’t want to go to the doctor and be put on some useless drug. Thanks to all for providing great info.

Nail removed and then nail pink color?

I have had much success with tea tree oil mixed with coconut oil! I rub coconut oil into the area around my toe, and especially under the nail. Then use a qtip of tea tree oil to dab under the nail as well. I do this daily, and it is definitely clearing but takes time for the nail to grow out…

Has nobody heard about Emtrix? That’s right: Emtrix I’ve been using it for 2 months and it is actually starting to work! My fungus is under my left big toe and it looks bad. The Emtrix: is as it appears it is rotting away the fungus because a large piece fell off today. The package says it usually takes about 6 months of treatment to work. I am in this for the long haul because I believe I have found a product that is truly working!! Try it, I think with patience you will achieve the same results I am experiencing. Good Luck all!!!

I have had toenail fungus for years and nothing would budge it. Found this site re vinegar and Listerine. Am now hitting it from three directions.

1. Soaking in equal parts Listerine and white vinegar daily for 20 mins
2. Spraying with white vinegar after shower and during the day when I think of it when I’m at home.
3. I purchased a small machine which zaps my shoes with uv light for 15 minutes to kill bacteria or fungus after each wear. It cost about $30.

This 3-pronged approach is working and my new pink nails are half grown. Also the nails always look clean, although still yellow on the old growth.

Thanks for creating this site.

If the toenail fungus is just in the big toenail/s it is easier to soak a cottonball in whatever you’re trying, place this on the toenail and then wrap the toe with clingwrap rather than soaking the whole foot all the time. Doing this overnight is best.

No substance can penetrate through the nail to where the fungus resides underneath I’ve found, even Amorolfine but appearance can be improved with Listerine or Vicks.

combo of original gold listerene and white vinegar in a spray bottle morning, night, and after showers did the trick in about 4 months. Very grateful for those who suggested this.

When you wear a leg prothetic, you have similar troubles due to perspiration, warmth, lack of air circulation, which are all good at promoting fungal problems. The prothetic specialist confirmed this as a problem with the odor confirming fungal problems and would prescribe drugs, but these work for as long as you have a supply, and you are warned to use it sparingly as it is usually a steroid, so at the same time you want to avoid long term use. Having gotten frustrated with over the counter remedies and other solutions that seemed temporary and expensive, I was willing to give Listerine a try and I am glad with the results so far. After washing and cleaning/drying, all I really seem to need is about a sugar-cube sized amount of Listerine rubbed on the entire leg area which fits in the prothesis, allow to soak, and air-dry naturally. Main cautions are to ensure your socks are washed in very-hot water (kettle-boiled-water works well) otherwise you re-infect yourself. Note, you will begin noting an improvement and soon enough be able to differentiate improvement from fungus other problems like contact dermititis (a different problem requiring a different solution such as other soaps or other sock materials). As mentioned elsewhere, use the yellow Listerine, not the blue one, otherwise you may run into same problems others have run into with blue skin.

My doctor told me just this morning about the Listerine and vinegar soak but he said 5 minutes soaking time was adequate and to do it every night. He said it would take approximately 6-9 months for them to grow out and that I should continue the treatment even after that to keep from re-infecting them, especially if I don’t buy all new shoes. Hoping it will work. I’ve been using a Black&Decker sander to sand them down, polish them, and wear my sandals! :-) Hopefully next summer I won’t need to do that!

I soaked my toes in 70% rubbing alcohol for fifteen minutes per day. It actually kills mold and fungal spores better than bleach and is used by mycologists. Also, minute amounts get absorbed around the nail, which is another reason why it works. Also for this reason, although it is approved for massage (“rubbing” alcohol), large areas of the body should not be soaked as it can start to enter the bloodstream (don’t add to bath). But soaking just the end of the foot is okay. And it is the primary active ingredient in the Listerine. It’s just that in Listerine, you’ll get a lower concentration. The optimal concentration is 70%. I just use a regular cereal bowl and elevate my heel on some books and let just my toes soak.

Uh, question: Equal parts of vinegar, Listerine, and what but how much?? Is it a a cup of each, which means 8 ounces each? Do you gradually start with only water and vinegar or can you start off with all 3 ingredients, H2O ; Apple cider vinegar ; and Listerine ?

Cut a 5″ X 5″ piece of bicycle inner tube and make a small, round hole in the center. Take an empty 32 oz. Gatorade bottle and secure the inner tube square to the opening of the bottle with a hose clamp. A zip tie works but you’re going to have some leaks.

Fill the bottle about 1/4 full with equal parts Listerine and vinegar (white, rice, apple cider, doesn’t matter).

Use any lubricant to slide the affected big toe into the mouth of the bottle. Soak as long and often as you can.

Apply Vicks or tea tree oil to the nail and cover with a bandaid when wearing shoes or while in bed.

Shoes will reinfect the nail but who can afford to replace all their shoes and at what point during treatment do you replace them? I spray my shoes each night with my nail soak solution. If it kills fungus in my nail bed I suppose it’ll kill fungus in my shoes!

I’ve had toenail fungus for approximately 2 years that I acquired from a nail salon pedicure. I have tried two rounds of oral Laminal tablets, and they don’t do much if your doctor doesn’t prescribe them over the course of several months while the toenail is growing out. I tried over-the-counter treatments and had zero success with expensive sprays and creams from Walgreens. I’ve also tried topical Julia. It is expensive if your insurance doesn’t cover it. Check their research. Jublia doesn’t have a very high success rate but it’s better than nothing.

Finally, I began searching online and noticed the Apple Cider Vinger and Listerine soak. I tried 1 part ACV (Kroger Brand) to 1 part Original Listerine and 1 part tap water and soaked my feet in a bucket. My feet felt great, my toenails looked clearer, and I really wanted to keep up with this treatment.

But does anyone have time to sit still and soak their feet for 40-60 minutes a few times a week??? I don’t and never will. So I had an idea: I took my hardly-used pair of rubber rain boots and cut them down to mid-calf height. When I want to soak my feet I pour the Apple Cider Vinger, Listerine, and water (premixed) directly into the boots, and it doesn’t take much (approx 1/3 cup per foot). Then I take a wash cloth or rag and put that just inside the top of the boot around my leg. Haha!!! Now I can soak my feet completely, walk around my house while getting ready for work in the morning, use a lot less of the solution which saves money. The wash cloth barrier ensures that nothing splashes out while I’m walking around my house. When I’m done I rinse my feet, I turn the boots upside down in the shower or bathtub to dry out, and they are ready to go again when I need them.

I suggest if you are going to get a pair of rain boots for this purpose that you get a size or 1/2 size larger than usual. Liquid creates a lot of suction, and you don’t want to have to pull very hard to get your feet out of the boots. Make sure they are decent quality and don’t leak, obviously. This is definitely helping my feet feel softer, and my toenails are growing out clear.

I’m also using a drop of Tea Tree Oil applied directly to each toenail at night, and I wear socks to bed. I figure I want to hit this stuff with everything possible and finally be done with it!

Good luck with this annoying and frustrating problem.

For athlete foot problems just get a few bottles of uncolored Listerine ( the generic version) and a bottle of cheap vinegar. Poor it in a plastic container that fits your foot. Soak your foot while UR on the computer doing your stuff. After the soak, smear your foot with dollar store Vicks rub. In a few months all your foot problems are gone.

My endocrinologist suggested using a toothbrush to swab my big toenails with whitening Listerine nightly and to follow that with Vicks. I did that last night, I still feel the tingling in my toes. I’m looking forward to seeing how this works out, I thought she was going to suggest vinegar instead of the Listerine.

I’ve had a fingernail fungus and successfully used an antifungal OTC lotion for that purpose. However, I’m not sure if my big toe issue is fungal or bacterial, and what I need to do about it. I’ve had a nail issue of some sort since 1998, when the nails stop growing for several months. There is some tenderness around the cuticle area(except there is no cuticle – maybe a symptom? Does the absence allow more bacteria in?) They then grow under the old nail, but VERY slowly. The result is a very thick, yellow nail with ridges where each old nail stopped growing. I have been getting pedicures for a long time to hide the ugliness, but now am going to go bare and the heck with appearances.
Do any of you have symptoms like this? When my fingernail had a problem, it did separate from the bed, but that isn’t happening with my toes. I soak in full-strength Listerine and I do apply the OTC antifungal – I hadn’t heard of the other suggested treatments until I read this blog.

Hi there; My daughter (age 11) caught a nasty fungus under her big toe. I tried the listerine and vinegar method and she soaked her foot everyday for 3 weeks. Little by little it fell off and has gone away and has not come back.

I did take to to the doctor who really did tell me anything other than soaking in vinegar alone. She told me my daughter would definitely lose her toe nail and that another one would grow in behind it.

Thank you so much for the advice on soaking; it worked and the nail turned pink again and is fine….

Thanks a million times over!

I just read here that an OTC product was successfully used to eliminate fingernail fungus. Can someone tell me which OTC anti-fungal treatments have worked for fingernails? I’ve been trying everything (Listerine/vinegar soaks, oral meds, prescription drops, Vicks and tea tree/eucalyptus balm) for the last couple of months. These methods have stopped the spread of the fungus from thumbs to the other fingers, but it looks like the fungus may still be getting worse on the thumbs.

I contracted my toe nail fungus from a nail salon. Period!!! I I have tried medications, sprays, OTC ointments, solutions and lately was thrilled to hear about a toe nail fungus prescription (Jublia) that is actually supposed to work. I got a prescription from my Dr.

When I tried to get the prescription filled (I have no prescription coverage), I just about fell down. $1,140.00 for a 8ml bottle, which covers about 2 months of the treatment.


I am so glad I found this site and will certainly give the apple cider vinegar, organic and undistilled, and the Listerine a really good try.
I have been seeing a new manicurist that told me that they now make a polish that contains tea tree oil. She ordered some for me and I will start using this with the organic vinegar and Listerine/Vicks treatment. We’ll see how it works. I’ll do my best to give updates.

This comment is about fungus on the skin of the foot, not just nails or around the toes. Also, thanks to everyone for their thoughtful comments on this board! I got a fungus on my left big toe at a nail salon about 8 years ago. I was pregnant at the time, so I did nothing for a while. Wanting to avoid medication, I mixed a small bottle of bleach and water and applied the mixture to the infected toe every night with a q-tip. It seemed to kill the nail fungus; my toe nail was dessimated and basically fell off, but grew in looking mostly normal. But not totally normal. Over the years, that infected-but-seemingly-okay foot has intense, painful cracking/bleeding and weird flaking all over the sole. Several toe nails on the bad foot are crumbly and slightly thickened, but not noticeable to others. However, the contrast between my feet is noticeable to me, and painful, and therefore I think I have a fungus. So I am doing the vinegar/Listerine soak. I am curious if anyone else has had this sort of experience – I haven’t seen anyone talk about it on blogs, etc.

Will try this on my husband, he has had a thick yellow toenail for years, he keeps trying to cut it out but it always grows back thick and yellow.

Yes, my nails would crack and chip like breaking a soda cracker. I used blue Listerine (store did not have the gold one) and apple cider vinegar (equal parts). Used a q-tip to apply to each nail all over nail, sides and under let dry. Followed that for about 6 weeks. Had another medical issue and forgot about my nails for months. Then one day, when I was trimming my nails, low and behold no chipping or cracking! Fungus was dead, nails are growing out beautifully! I did go back to my treatments just in case, but I am very happy with results. I call it gunk that like dead skin that builds up under the nail when you have the “fungus”, that was all gone as well.

everyone White seems to mention the colors black or yellow… Mine seem to be white…..definitely white Is that perhaps a different type of fungus. I would say Iv’e only been dealing with for approx.3 yrs It’s not terribly painful or that ugly looking

I had this terrible toe nail fungus for 22 years ready. Yeah it really sucks! Can’t wear pretty sandals, can’t walk bare feet at the beach or the pool. On March, 26 , I started googling how to get rid of this fungus, so I found a lot of websites saying that listerine, vinegar and vicks works pretty amazing. Well unfortunately not for me, I’ve been soaking my toenail since that date until last week , with no improvement at all, the nail was still the same, no changing color, nothing… So then O started searching again and I found that hydroperoxide and vinegar work pretty good. I started putting some drops of both on my toe nail and for my surprise it is working!!!!
I just feel thrilled because for the first time in 22 years my toe nail is white and not black or grey anymore!!! I’ll keep doing this until my nail grows back normal.
Hope it can help!! Good luck guys!!

How much hydrogen peroxide and how much vinegar, please. Is white vinegar OK? I hope you see this since you wrote your advice a year ago. Has anyone else tried this and, if so, same question.

In February, I went to get a pedicure and my big toe nail was pretty yellow and very thick. The nail technician shaved it down a bit. I got dark red nail polish on it. In May when I went back for a second pedicure, the woman removed the nail polish and my entire toenail was black. It scared the living day lights out of her and it scared me too.

I have been to my primary doctor who said he really couldn’t do anything for it but referred me to a specialist. The appointment isn’t until July 30th 2015. I have done my own research and found that the fungal medicines given do work for the most part but there are side effects (such as liver damage) that if you ask me, is so much worse than a disgusting black toenail.

So, since my appointment is not until another seven weeks, I decided a week ago to try some home remedies. First, I started off my cutting the nail as far down as I possibly could, which my research as shown you should do. Secondly and for only about the past week, I have been soaking my feet for at least 30 minutes mostly every evening in a Listerine, vinegar and water solution.

I cannot believe how much better my toenail looks already. Of course, it’s still black on the part that I did not cut (because it’s too close to the nail bed) but the new nail growth has no black. It’s still discolored but nowhere near as dark as it was. This past Friday, I started applying tea tree oil on the nail several times throughout the day. I think it’s still too soon to say that this all actually works, but I can definitely see a difference in just a week. I believe the most important thing here is to be consistent. Things are looking promising, so I definitely suggest trying this. It’s promising!

did this work,how long did it take

I have been battling toe nail fungus for 30 years. For the past year or so I started applying Tea Tree Oil but never consistent enough to make a difference. After reading an article titled ‘5 Home Remedies to Treat Toe Nail Fungus’, I’ve learned that the fat from Coconut Oil attaches itself to the membrane of the toe nail fungus until the fungus literally kills itself. I used the following mix and schedule.

(This has been consistent for the past 22 days)

– Organic Coconut Oil
2 tbsp
– Tea Tree Oil
1 tbsp

(Inside of a 4 oz. Plastic Container)

– Apply mix with a Q-tip twice a day to the infected toe nail.
– After every application *let air dry for 10 mins. before brushing each toe nail with a nail brush for 3 mins.

I’ve been doing 3 times a day for the past 7 days and I’m seeing great results! My nails don’t break anymore, it’s actually pink and the yellow is going away fast! I highly recommend this to everyone!

Like most posters, I’ve been struggling with this issue for years. It appears that Coconut Oil has finally brought this pesky condition to an end for me. No fancy regime… just applied at least morning and night. Wherever the nail was separated from the nail bed I made sure to get oil behind nail. Nail was totally detached within 3 weeks and new nail is pink and growing in fine so far. Mother nature is a wonder!

Hi. I’m very happy I found you guys! I’ve had this terrible, ugly and disgusting fungus in my toenail for 23 years. I can never wear sandals during the summer, it’s so embarrassing :(.
But since I started the searching of how to get rid of my fungus and I look here, my life gave a 360 degrees turn! I feel so happy and positive that I will use sandals again!! I know it won’t be easy ..
I started 3 days ago with the following steps:
In the AM soak for 30 mins my toenail in vinegar and listerine.
Dry my toe with paper towel and then put some vicks in the nail and put my shoes to go to work.
At noon when I’m on break I put more vicks.
When I get home I wash my feet and then I soak a cotton ball with listerine and vinegar and wrap it around the toe, while I’m doing things around the house for a half hour, then finally when I go to sleep I rub more vicks in my toe.
I’m pretty sure I’ll have a new and healthy nail, not by the summer, but will get it !!!

Is it working? Sounds like a good routine….

My mrs. is also having fungal infection of toenails and finger nails. She has consulted many specialists but has got no improvement. Applying of listerine and vineger may be fruitful which too i shall try and see the results.

Now you’ve been doing for a few months, is it working? Just wondering…I have the same problem.

I’ve just noticed a thicken at the ends of my toenail it’s just one toe of each foot. It still look like the other nails just thicker. Is this how everyone else started out. Should I just do VVR or the full treatment. Several years ago while going through a midlife crisis, I learned to ride a motorcycle. A motorcycle means wearing boots, heavy boots. I’ve always worked outside and during winter or bad weather I wore boots but I spared no expense and bought lightweight waterproof boots. I walked up to eighteen miles a day and my feet are important. But, after the motorcycle boots I started having problems. I went to forward controls which is more comfortable to me for long rides. Since I’m only 5’3″ my toes did the shifting. Later that fall my group put on a charity for terminally ill children. Time for mani and pedi. I always trim my nails before I go because the never get them short enough for me. I can’t help it, because I think long toenails are gross. My large toenail fell off as soon as I put the clipper in place. The new one had started growing in. I’m not sure if the heavy boots damaged my nails or what is causing this. Being a woman I love sandals and I don’t want ugly feet. My grandma had nfected large toenails and had to have the toenails surgically removed and at the time my seven year old cousin did the same. It didn’t work. The only thing that cured my cousin was salt water. After a couple of weeks walking the surf my cousins fungus was gone.

I have had toenail fungus since I was a teenager. I am now in my 50’s and have been using prescription cream for over 2 years with no results. I started this vinegar and Listerine mix about 3 weeks ago and am amazed at how nice my toenails are. Now I just use a cotton ball with the mix on it and apply it to my nails. This really does work and it’s cheap :-). My nails are no longer cracking and the yellow tinge is all gone. Thank you for this recipe…

What is your receipe for the mixtures

What about fingernails? Mine look like several have a fungus. I tried to find something on the internet, and one like a thumbnail was referred to as “yellow nail syndrome!” Have you ever heard of that? If so, what to do?

I also had toenail and fingernail fungus. I prayed for Jesus to heal me. Also, I used Listerine, baking soda and Applecider vinegar. I pour the Listerine over the infected toe and nail. I let it stay on there until I took a shower the next day. I did the same for baking soda and Applecider vinegar. I kept the toenail and fingernail dry because fungus live in moist areas. They have healed almost totally.

I’ve had success using oregano oil. I’ve had toenail fungus for more than 10 years. When I first got it, my doctor offered to remove my toenail, but I declined – the toenail had come off twice already after I stubbed my toe – awful! My doctor advised against my taking Lamisil because of potential for liver damage. He said he wouldn’t take it himself. My sister took Lamisil, and it didn’t work. So I found the recipe for using oregano oil online, and it has helped. Don’t paint your toenails and keep them trimmed. Mix 1 teaspoon of olive oil with 3 drops of oregano oil; you’re supposed to use a carrier oil like olive oil because oregano oil is quite strong and can burn your skin. Rub this on your toenail fungus every night for not more than three weeks until your toe fungus dies. Since using this, my toenail has started growing in normally. I gave it a break for a couple of months and then did another 2-3 rounds. I’ve been doing this for more than nine months, and my toenail is not 100% normal yet but is getting better. I also started doing a candida cleanse because around this time I came down with a bad itch on the arch of my foot, where I’ve never gotten athlete’s foot. Nothing topical worked, and a year later it is still a problem, on and off. I suspect part of the problem is that I wear slippers every day when I get home from work. So I started washing these once a week and drying them to kill any possible fungus. I also decided to tackle the fungus/yeast problem from the inside out, too. When I faithfully take caprylic acid (to kill candida yeast); probiotics (at last 50 billion with at least 3 different types of lactobacillus including bidifos); and cut down on my sugar intake, the foot fungus subsides. When I ease up, it comes back. So you need to be very diligent when pursuing an anti-candida strategy. I suspect this may be key to getting rid of this toenail fungus for good, plus it has many other health benefits, e.g. cleared up my skin, ended PMS and migraines, reduced the joint aches that bothered me for years, and ended a cycle of flu and bronchitis that plagued me for years. Didn’t get sick once in three years after doing the candida cleanse, and everyone who knew me commented on how good I looked.

Back to the oregano oil, my sister was visiting me when I started using it. She also had a bad toenail fungus to the point that she got a really bad ingrown toenail that got infected and she had to go to the ER. The doctor removed half of her toenail, and advised her to come back for a checkup to possibly remove the entire toenail. So she started using the oregano oil, and when she went back for a checkup a month or two later, they told her they didn’t need to remove her toenail because it was growing back in normally.

This kind of toenail fungus is vicious; when your doctors don’t even know what to do, you know it is bad. So I think a multi-pronged approach is best, and would use oregano oil, do a candida cleanse, and soak every day. Last summer, I got a pedicure and was told that the fungus was spreading to the other toes on my other foot. I looked and could hardly tell, because the change to my toenails was very subtle. But I’m glad she warned me, because I started putting oregano oil on all my toenails just to be safe. . I have also started using an herbal pack every day fromKathi Keville in her book “Herbs for Health & Healing.” She recommends combining 4 oz. vinegar, 2 T pau d’arco tincture, 1/8 tsp. peppermint essential oil, 1/4 tsp. tea tree oil and 1/4 tsp. lavender essential oil. Soak a cloth in the mixture, and apply it to your afflicted toenail three times a day. I just started that this week. It is a lot of work, but this fungus has plagued me for 10-15 years and I want it GONE! My goal is to have a completely normal toenail by the summer so I can get a french manicure on my toenails and wear open-toed shoes!

Is there a way of disinfecting your shoes? Mine were not cheap & very comfy.

Someone asked about shoes, yes, there’s various antifungal foot sprays which I just used to spray into my shoes from time to time. Recently, Just as an experiment and to save money, Ive diluted some teatree oil , put it into a plastic spray bottle and used that instead. This is as well as using listerine/vinegar soaks and teatree oil on my toes every day plus soaking the toes of old socks in a mixture and leaving them on all night. These are just my own ideas, as yet, I have no idea whether they work. For years Ive covered the problem with nail varnish but am leaving it off for now to give stuff a better chance of working and omg the nails dont look good in sandals etc. Its summer, so I wear open toes anyway (at least air gets to the feet) and just hope not too many people look down!

Well yes, there’s various antifungal foot sprays which I just used to spray into my shoes from time to time. Recently, Just as an experiment and to save money, Ive diluted some teatree oil , put it into a plastic spray bottle and used that instead. This is as well as using listerine/vinegar soaks and teatree oil on my toes every day plus soaking the toes of old socks in a mixture and leaving them on all night. These are just my own ideas, as yet, I have no idea whether they work. For years Ive covered the problem with nail varnish but am leaving it off for now to give stuff a better chance of working and omg the nails dont look good in sandals etc. Its summer, so I wear open toes anyway (at least air gets to the feet) and just hope not too many people look down!
Linda B

I have used the Listerine method twice now. The first time was working great, but I got slack because I just didn’t have time to sit down and soak my feet for 20-30 min everyday. I’m sure a common issue… this time I cut the nail back as far as possible, and every night I soak a cotton ball in my listerine. Shape to my toenail, and use that 3M plastic medical tape (like they use to hold a IV needle in place), it doesn’t take much. Then I’m still free to walk around, cook dinner, do laundry or whatever needs doing… pop it off before bed so that my bare toenail completely dries out overnight.
System is working better than expected. Cheers!

Greetings Graedons,
My podiatrist, at Kaiser, informed me this morning after a toe fungus check that there is nothing that she is aware of that actually kills toe fungus. There are medications that control it, but not cure or kill it. She prescribed liquid Clotrimazole 1% to help with control. How about it, Graedons? Do you folks have any new information regarding medications that can KILL the fungus?

Thanks for all you do. Stay healthy, happy, and horny…Patric F.

I use one of those dispenser bottles made for hair color which has a pointed tip. I put Listerine in it and keep this in the shower. Before I get out of the shower I squirt the Listerine over my toenails the get out of the shower and dry off.
Sometimes I soak the feet but not often! No professional pedicures for me so I don’t get the fungus or worse!

So, you can’t completely eradicate the fungus because it is part of the normal flora of the body. Infections occur when the normal balance shifts for some reason, and the fungus begins to grow more rapidly and cause infections. This can happen because of trauma, other illness, stress, or compromised immune function for whatever reason. Drugs can kill the fungus, but unfortunately they have a tendency to recur. I took sporanox for 12 weeks, and my nails were completely healed and healthy. Sadly, the infection returned. I didn’t want to take the medicine again, so I am trying the listening and vinegar soak. I also have some nystatin cream that I have been applying for about 5 weeks, with zero effect. Hoping the soaks make a difference. Will let you know I’m 3 months.

For how long did you had the fungus? I have it for 23 years, I hope this will work.

I too started the nail fungus treatment, but I used a mixture of 50/50 Listerine and vinegar. Instead of soaking my feet I use a toothbrush to apply the mixture into the affected nails. I do it morning and night and after a few months the fungus is gone, but the nail bed still needs some time to return to its normal shape.

A girl told me 3 days ago that I had toe nail fungus. Dummy me, but in 3 days I recognize that I no longer itch. Didn’t know that either until it went away. She told me to get a bottle of Listerine, which I did, mainly to please her. She’s great! She told me I had a problem which I didn’t know I had. The minute I started brushing Listerine on I knew 1., I had a problem and 2. It was going away. All problems should be like this; don’t you think?

Is it OK to use the foot bath after someone who has toe nail fungus? Should I wash it out with something more than just hot water?

I have had bad feet for about a year, read somewhere online that athlete’s foot would cure itself over this time period (wrong). I have been using the listerene for about a week. The nails are still discoloured, but the intense itching and flaking skin are almost gone. It would be great to be free of, but I will be happy with the itching gone. Thanks for a very helpful web site.

Sounds like this is good – I’m not qualified but I think you must get rid of the crumbly parts of the nail, which is the fungal part, before new nail growth can happen. I’m doing the same for my husband, whose nails are atrocious, as well as doing the listerine/vinegar soak myself. Too early to tell. I will do an update soon. I also rub Vicks on at night. It’s war against fungus on all fronts!
Good luck

I have been doing the apple cider vinegar Listerine soak and using vicks on my boyfriend’s feet for 2 days for the fungus that is on his big toe nail and I noticed the nail is starting to crumble is that normal or is that a sign that the soak is working??? Can you comment back and let me know? Thanks!

Had a very thick little toe nail that hurt to the touch of a nail clipper.
I had good results using Equate mouth wash (walmart) for infection etc and decided to try it. I put an amount in to the cup that comes with it enough to cover toe.
Let soak for 15 – 20 min. Next day I could cut down the nail, no pain, and literally cleaned out the dark area. Nail turned normal color with no problem since.
I had a source tell me that Mennen skin Bracer would kill Acne, but I did not have reason to try it.

i bought the blue listerine, do you think it makes a difference?
i figure I will use it anyway…
People’s Pharmacy response: Blue Listerine will turn your feet or fingers (whichever you are soaking) blue. Otherwise, no difference :)

If I had only read this before getting smurf toes :)

I will try this remedy.. Listerine, apple cider vinegar, and vick’s rub.. hope it works

I keep reading all these ‘complicated’ remedies that people use, when they could simply rub Vicks Vaporub onto the fungus toenail at bedtime every night until it is gone. No socks worn. Mine took 10 months. Never returned.

have you use listerine + vinegar+ tree tea oil? first wash your feet in listening + vinegar, then coconut oil + a few drops of tree tea oil (both are anti-fungal, and you should not use tree tea oil alone) … or even vicks vapor rub? rub the toes and wrap the toes in plastic and socks at night time? just an idea.

For months I have been using cider vinegar/hot water soaks for 20 minutes a.m. and p.m., then I apply an over-the-counter fungicide and don clean socks. I have been doing this for months. The fungus is not getting worse, but it is not leaving. My big toenails are still a disaster — half grown, yellow, thick and NOT growing out. Help. I have had this problem for YEARS.

You must change your shoes, they should be leather, do not use the same shoes when your feet were infected, wash well all bedding etc.. just to be sure you are not getting again from infected places. (disinfect the tub etc) eat and drink more alkaline food and water. stop eating any sugars and limit your carbs, try not to go to swimming pools (gyms) where many people go or use water=shoes. etc

I paid quite a lot of money for laser treatment for toenail fungus on my big toes. All my toe nails were treated and I had three treatments over a 4 month period. After the third treatment I could definitely see the difference and when the nails grew out, they were normal healthy nails. This same doctor sold me a special UV light that I placed in my shoes to disinfect them. I used it on each pair of shoes. I continued to disinfect my shoes the whole time I was being treated.
After all this, the nail fungus returned about a year later. Another podiatrist told me that as we age our immunity to this type of fungus changes. I don’t know if that’s true but I do know that this showed up after having nail polish on continually.
I don’t plan to have expensive laser treatments again. I bought a couple bottles of brown Listerine and I’ll also use the Vick’s Vapor Rub. I bought the generic brown Listerine that has the same ingredients as the brand name. Hopefully, that doesn’t matter, and hopefully this regiment takes care of the fungus.

Did you just sleep with the soaked cotton ball (treatment only during sleeping time)?

I use straight listerine on a cotton ball soaked til near dripping and left it on big my toe for maybe thirty minutes most evenings while watching tv. It took a week or so before real results began. I didn’t, need to soak the whole foot. It took maybe 2 months to be gone. The toe nail took some time to grow to a normal toe, maybe a couple more months. Only sweet flesh remains. I had had the fungus for a few years, I didn’t think that was long.
I am a qualified herbalist and tried a LOT of different herbal treatments. Nothing helped.
Be cautious. I wore a pair of shoes I hadn’t worn for a long time and reinfected the toe nail. So I had to go through the process again, but it took only a couple of weeks.

Yes listerine works !! I bought the brown original listerine and put droppers on my infected toenails which were horrible and within a week the fungus is dying and my toenails are looking great… I’m going to keep putting drops on the nails 3-4 times a day everyday for a few months and hopefully it will kill it for good.

Is the Aloe Vera heated?

Susan, did you wear the ‘dressing’ of the cotton ball all day or just at night? If all day, how did you manage that when needing to wear shoes? Thanks.

After being told by the podiatrist that it would cost $600 for laser treatment on my big toe that has a nail fungus or to take Lamisil which has many bad side effects, I decided to try a home remedy which I read about on this site. I mixed a half cup of apple cider vinegar and a half cup of Listerine in a small jar. I then dipped a half a cotton ball in the mixture and put the damped cotton on the toe with the fungus and used white sports tape to keep it in place. I changed the bandage each night for 3 months. My nail is now fungus free and looks very healthy. So glad I tried this remedy.

My husband had ridiculously horrible toenail fungus for years. I told him about soaking his feet in cornmeal water (1 c cornmeal to enough water in a container big enough to fit his foot, let it set for an hour, then soak for 1/2 hour) that I read about on this site. It totally cleared up the fungus in about 2 months of weekly soaks. You see improvement immediately. The listerine didn’t work for him.

You also need to get rid off infected shoes. Some people get the infection again because the shoes.

I went through all these remedies for years. (Including two different courses of Lamasil which did nothing for me.) Ultimately a $35 bottle of 1% Tolfinate I bought through a podiatrist and painted on like fingernail polish did the trick in two or three weeks.

I also tried the Vick’s, with moderate success. Soaking in aloe vera juice cleared up a fungus in two days.

Undecylenic Acid is a great ingredient for treating nail fungus and is derived from castor oil. Using that in combination with Tea Tree Oil is a really great way to get results. However, you need to spend some real time treatment wise before seeing solid results. Healthy nail regrowth is a snail paced slow process.

I had yellow fungus under my left big toenail and it was detached almost to the nailbed. The doctor wanted to put me on Lamasil. I did not like the side effects that I read about. On this web site I found out about Vicks VapoRub and rubbed in a thin layer onto the toenail each night when I went to bed. No socks or bandage. It took about 10 months – the toenail is now a healthy, natural-looking nail!

Five years ago I noticed one of my big toe nails no longer resembled the other one; discolored, rough ridges and slightly painful to pressure. I HAD FUNGUS! I immediately started with Vicks after a shower or bath and before I went to bed. I began to see the new nail beginning to grow in pink and smooth. I continued the treatment with Vicks until the last of the ugly nail was cut off. I hadn’t worn nail polish again until this summer. So far no fungus, but I’ve decided no nail polish in the winter only the three months of summer. I don’t know if wearing polish 365 days a year contributed to the fungus, but I know I was fungus-free the whole 5 years I left it off.
I got fungus this summer under an unpolished index finger. I’m a constant gardener and can only think it was picked up from the soil and the new batch of purchased compost. Am presently using Vicks on it. It is only at the top of the nail with inroads going down like tiny roots. The arthritis is so much worse in that singular knuckle. Coincidence? I don’t know. But when the fungus is gone, if the pain is also gone, I’ll know the answer.

I have been keeping up on your new ideas to combat toenail fungus. I am happy to say that since March ’13 I have been soaking my toes every day for 30 minutes with a combination of Listerine and ACV with great success. All my nails are nice and pink-colored now except for one. That one will require more soaking to complete the deal. What a sight to see (normal nails). I also treat my nails with Vicks for the remainder of the day. Thanks so much!!
I will continue to treat sparingly to stay ahead of any returning fungus.

also mixing :listerine + tea tree oil will help (since both have anti virus, bacteria and fungus.)

would appreciate getting comments on this. tx.

In April 2013 I noticed I had a toenail fungus on my 2 big toes. I went to your website and read the information for cures. I started putting Vick’s Vapo Rub on every night (with my finger) and putting socks on. I did do the cornmeal soak one time, about June 2013, but found it pretty messy. The fungus is almost gone now (7 months) as the toenails have grown out. This is the 1st time I’ve ever had a toenail fungus and hope it is the last.

I have been using generic white vinegar and generic brown Listerine for a couple years now ever since I read about it in the Peoples’ Pharmacy. I just do a maintenance soak twice a month now, mostly because it makes my feet feel so good. A nice side affect. You will never have athletes’ feet again! Thanks again Peoples’ Pharmacy!!!

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