There is nothing more embarrassing than stepping out onto the sandy beach with crumbled, yellowing toenails while all your girlfriends have fresh, shiny pedicured toes. Toenail fungus, however, is sometimes hereditary, something you’re born with and have to hide all of your life. You can try creams, liquids, pills, and other medications to try to make the fungus disappear, but those aren’t always permanent solutions.

A middle-aged woman from New Jersey blogged that she spent three months soaking her feet in a mixture of hot water and vinegar every night. She said she chose to do it over winter, when everyone’s toes were covered up in boots or closed-toed shoes anyways. The fungus eventually disappeared, and never came back.

How It Works

If you want to try this home remedy yourself, here is what to do: soak your feet for 20 minutes in one part vinegar and three parts water to reduce the growth of the fungus. Vinegar naturally has antifungal fighting properties in it. It kills the bacteria very quickly. Repeat the process every day until the fungus is gone for good. Make sure to dry your feet and nails completely after you remove them from the water, because moist, wet feet can lead to athlete’s foot and make the problem even worse. Fungus is known to grow in warm environments, so the drier your feet are most of the day, the better.

Another Recipe

Combine four ounces vinegar, two tablespoons Pau d’Arco extract, one-eighth teaspoon peppermint essential oil, one-fourth teaspoon tea tree oil, and one-fourth teaspoon lavender essential oil. Soak a cloth in the mixture. Apply the cloth directly to your afflicted toenail three times a day.

Watch Your Skin

Since vinegar is extremely acidic, it may cause redness or skin irritation after the soak. If that happens, minimize the frequency of your soaks to three times a week instead of every day. You can also add more water to the mixture or soak your feet for only 15 minutes, instead of 20.

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