How To Remove Yellow Stains On Nails, Without Any Nasty Bleaching Chemicals

If anyone deserves to have yellow stained nails it's me. I treat my nails like I'm a teen in love for the first time: I'm constantly smothering and picking at them as if I had a serious axe to grind, and refusing to give them any personal space. I paint my nails once a week (at least) and rarely give them more than a couple of hours in between polishes. My uneven ridges are enough headache during my weekly nail routine, I'm definitely not trying to make painting my nails a longer process than necessary. I've had run-ins in the past with yellow stained nails, which was largely due to using a crappy base coat under glow-in-the dark neon nail polish. It took at least a dozen natural and unnatural home remedies to get the yellow stains off my nails before my nails broke up with me for good.

When one of my pals made this mistake recently, I knew it was time to talk about some of the more successful home remedies to get rid of yellow nails. He treats his nails far better than I do my own by giving them time away from nail polish and putting a protective layer between his nail bed and his polish of choice.  What does any rational, nail-polish-loving person who wants presentable nails do when their nails become yellow? Duh, just paint over them. 

Nope. That is the incorrect response to yellow nails. First, rule out any serious conditions that could be effecting your yellow nails, the most common culprit being fungal infections. According to Web MD, yellow nails can be a sign of a serious problem in your kidneys, lungs, and thyroid. Not only are the aforementioned causes more vital to your health than yellow nails, but pin-pointing the cause of yellow nails is also key in the recovery method you choose and why it works.

If your nail stains are purely aesthetic, changing old habits that turned you yellow in the first place is key.  For instance, handling certain spices, like turmeric, will definitely dye your nails — luckily, much like the result of neon nail polish, it's a pretty easy fix. Here are some choice remedies that just may alleviate those yellow nail problems.

1. Lemon Hydro-Soda Paste

Make a solution of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda to form a paste, then add lemon essential oil which will also help bleach the discolored nails. This solution is great for stained nails from diet and nail polish. Since this can be a relatively harsh treatment for some, don't do it more than a couple days a week, and definitely stop if your cuticles become irritated.

2. Buffing With Lemon Tea Tree Oil

Buffing nail stains out can definitely keep that stain away, because it literally strips the top layer of the nail off. According to sources at College Fashion, this method can bring additional havoc into your life by weakening the nail beds, so tread carefully. The trick to not having this completely destroy your nails is to gently buff the stain out with lemon tea tree oil. Tea tree has strong anti-fungal properties and the lemon has bleaching properties that can loosen the stain, so you won't have to scrape away as hard. I recommend applying the essential oil directly on your nail and then using the buff carefully — if it hurts, you are buffing too hard.

3. Lavender and Extra Virgin Olive Oil Soak

This natural remedy isn't just great to get rid of yellow stains, it also moisturizes your cuticles and lavender has great healing properties. Soak your finger(s) in lavender essential oil with extra virgin olive oil and think of it as a much-needed rest for your hands. You can use this treatment as often as you like to get rid of stains, since the oils are great for your cuticles. This is a great remedy for stubborn stains from nail polish, but if you feel your stains could be related to a fungal infection, replace your EVOO with apple cider vinegar. According to sources at Complete Herbal Guide, apple cider vinegar works great for yellow stained nails from fungal infections — though you should always check with a doctor first to be sure the treatment is right for you.

Image: aranova, JolieNY, Jo Alcock, Ianqui/Flickr; Kristin Collins Jackson; Giphy

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