Who doesn't hate looking down at their nails only to find nasty yellow stains? You could always hide them in your pockets. I prefer a better, more permanent solution. I've made the horrible mistake of leaving my polish on too long only to remove it and find yellow looking nails. So how do I fix the problem?
Don't worry. You don't have to resort to chemicals or expensive treatments at a nail salon. Just dig through your kitchen and bathroom and you're ready for gorgeous, whiter nails. Stop hiding your nails and try some of these amazing nail whitening hacks.
Prepare Your Nails
I know you're excited to get rid of the yellow, but be patient. You have to prep your nails first. Spending just a few minutes on prep makes all of these hacks that much more effective.
Start by removing any polish and washing your hands. I know it's scary leaving your nails bare right now, but they'll be white soon. Grab your favorite nail buffer and buff each nail for a few seconds so the treatment penetrates deeper.
Now, you're all prepped and ready to start whitening. See, it was quick and easy.
Lemon Juice to the Rescue
Lemons aren't just for flavoring water and food. They're your best friend for whiter nails. Okay, I need to throw in a quick disclaimer here. Lemons are acidic. If you have any dry, cracked skin around your nails, these treatments will sting a little.
My favorite part of using lemons is you have several lemon based treatments to choose from.
Keep it simple by putting lemon juice on a cotton ball and rubbing it on your nails. You could also just rub a lemon wedge on them instead. This is as simple as it gets. Plus, who doesn't like a fresh lemony scent?
Leave the juice on 10 minutes or let it dry and stay on overnight. It's completely up to you.
Need a deeper clean? Yeah, I've been there too. Just make a lemon paste from lemon juice and baking soda. Use a toothbrush to scrub onto your nails and wait for 10 minutes. Rinse and enjoy the thrill of whiter nails.
Brush Your Nails
Brushing your nails sound a little strange? Don't brush off this idea just yet. I keep a travel sized tube of whitening toothpaste on hand just for cleaning my nails.
Get an old toothbrush and any whitening toothpaste. Brush your nails gently for a few minutes and let them sit for 5-10 minutes. Just like that, you have minty fresh nails that are white and shiny.
Buff Away Stains
If you're really lucky, you might get to stop with the pre-treat stage. I usually wait too long, but if your nails are just starting to get a yellow tinge, it's buffing time! Spend approximately 20-30 seconds per nail.
Don't give in to the temptation to paint them all over again just yet. Give your nails some time to breathe. Not literally of course, but air helps prevent yellowing.
You might not have denture tablets on hand, but they're useful for more than just cleaning false teeth. Don't be embarrassed to buy them. I'm always happy to tell cashiers about my DIY nail whitening treatment.
Prep the tablets based on the package. Try to buy whitening tablets. They'll work much better.
Dip your nails in the denture soak and relax for 10-15 minutes. You might need to do this once a day for several days for full whitening.
White Vinegar for Whiter Nails
I know it smells, but it works so well. Besides, what's worse? Smelling vinegar for a few minutes or hiding your nails all day? Vinegar it is.
Only do this with white vinegar or you'll worsen the stain. Apply undiluted vinegar to a cotton ball and rub over your nails. Let your nails dry. If the smell bothers you, rinse after 10 minutes.
I prefer to soak my nails in a small bowl, but the smell is rather strong. Try it both ways to see which works best for you.
Hydrogen Peroxide Soak
No first aid kit is complete without hydrogen peroxide to clean the wound. The wonder disinfectant also whitens nails. I know, I was surprised at first too.
Mix three parts water with one part hydrogen peroxide and soak your nails for at least 10 minutes. Don't worry if the water bubbles a little. This just means the solution is doing its job.
Deep Clean With Baking Soda
Your favorite odor eater is a natural nail whitener. Steal a little from your fridge to rid yourself of those icky yellow stains.
Mix water and baking soda until you get a thick paste. I always make mine extra thick so it stays on better. Rub it onto your nails and get ready for some quality TV time. This treatment has to stay on for 30 minutes. Plenty of time for your favorite sitcom.
Beautiful Nails With Strawberries
It's so hard not to eat all the strawberries before they reach my nails. Go ahead and set a bowl to the side to snack on. All you need is three or four to treat your nails.
Strawberries don't just whiten your teeth. They also whiten nails. I like the simple method best. Cut a strawberry in half and rub the inside against your nails.
If this doesn't work for you, add in a power boost with baking soda. Smash three or four strawberries in a bow and mix with one teaspoon of baking soda. Apply to your nails and leave on for up to 10 minutes.
I love doing this as part of my mani-pedi. It smells wonderful and keeps my nails looking beautiful.
Essential Oil Saves the Day
We've made it back to lemons for this one. Skip the fruit this time and pick up some lemon essential oil. It's a little less harsh, so I recommend trying this one if the other lemon treatments sting too much.
Add three drops to a small bowl of water and soak your nails for 10 minutes. Rinse when you're done.
I know no one wants to think about fungal infections, but they do wreak havoc on nails. If the yellowing is from an infection, don't fear. Use tea tree oil instead of lemon oil. You get a natural treatment for both the yellowing and the infection. It's a win-win!
You've finally got the yellow stains gone. A week later and the stains are back. I've been there and it makes you feel helpless. It's okay. I just changed up my nail care routine a bit and now yellowing is rare.
Find your favorite whitening treatment and use every time you remove your polish or after doing anything that tends to stain your nails.
I know you love your nail polish, but take a break now and again. Try not to leave any polish on for more than 10 days. Let your nails have a 24 hour vacation before you cover them up again.
Don't forget to give yourself a regular manicure. The buffing portion removes build up so your nails stay cleaner and stains stay far away. Do all this and I promise you'll notice less yellowing over time.
I challenge you to take your hands out of your pockets. Show off your nails with pride. A few quick whitening treatments and you'll have white nails that'll make all your friends jealous. What are you waiting for? Whiten those nails!