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How to Whiten Nails: Best DIY Tips for Healthy Nails

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by Lydia

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Did you know that your nails can tell how healthy you are? The surface and color of your nails are vital to your overall health, hence why you need to take good care of them. So, have you discovered you have discolored nails and would like to restore their natural color? We show you how to whiten nails gently and prevent future discoloration.

Why Are My Nails Discolored?

There are two main causes of nail discoloration; either you have an underlying condition or stained them with favorite dark nail polishes. In addition, your nails can discolor if you are having a serious allergic reaction to medications or foods. Your nails can also get darker when you are injured, specifically when you hit them with something blunt.

Luckily, all causes of discoloration do not spell doom. If you have an underlying condition, you will need to talk to your doctor, and they can also tell you when your medications cause nail discoloration. In addition, if your nails are discolored from injury, the discoloration usually clears when your nails heal.

But, if you have stained your nails with nail polish, gel, henna, and other beauty products, you will need to whiten them. Luckily, you can whiten nails at home with products you use daily. Let us help you discover how to whiten your nails at home so you can continue using your best nail polish brands.

How to Whiten Nails At Home

Struggling with stubborn yellow stains that have made your nails unsightly? Stained nails can make you feel uncomfortable and lower your self-esteem. But, if you have some time on your hands, we want to share easy whitening methods you can use at home. Here are the different supplies to get you started on any method;

  1. Lemon juice
  2. Hydrogen peroxide
  3. Baking soda
  4. Whitening toothpaste
  5. Denture cleaner
  6. White vinegar
  7. Whitening pencil
  8. Warm water
  9. Plastic bowl

Here are some viral tips to whiten nail polish-stained fingernails.

1. Using Lemon Juice

Depending on how stubborn the nail stains are, you can use acidic lemon juice to whiten your nails in different ways. The juice is effective yet gentle on your nails and skin, so you won't have to worry about bad allergic reactions afterward. Here are a few ways to use lemon juice to whiten your nails at home.

a) Use lemon juice alone for mild stains

If you are dealing with mild stains, you can use lemon juice alone to whiten your nails.

  1. Clean a fresh lemon, then cut it in half.
  2. Rub the lemons over your nails and nail tips to whiten stained nails.
  3. After a few minutes, rinse your nails with warm water and moisturize as needed.

If you'd like to get even faster results with the lemon juice;

  1. Harvest some juice into a plastic bowl.
  2. Dip cotton balls in the juice and use them to cover your fingernails and tips. (You can get someone to help you cover both hands)
  3. Rinse your hands after 10 minutes and moisturize.

b) Use lemon juice with soapy water for stronger stains

Did your natural nails turn yellow the more you used your best nail products? You can whiten your nails easily with lemon juice and warm, soapy water at home. Then, when you get your nails in tip-top shape, you'd want to avoid applying polish and gel for a while. In the meantime, we recommend using the best press-on nails.

  1. Add one cup of warm water into a bowl.
  2. Add a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice and a splash of liquid soap and mix slightly.
  3. Soak your stained nails in the mixture for up to 10 minutes before rinsing with clean water.

c) Use lemon juice and salt for yellow nails

When you have seriously stained nails, you need the acidic properties of lemon juice to soften the stains, while the salt will act as a gentle buffer to brush off the stains.

  1. Add equal parts of salt and lemon juice into a bowl.
  2. Apply the mixture to your nails, then use a soft brush to gently scrub your nails.
  3. Let the nail scrub sit for a few minutes, then rinse off with lukewarm water.
  4. Remember to moisturize your hands and nails for the best health.

d) Use lemon juice and baking soda paste for darker stains

If you have badly stained nails, you can use this powerful mixture that targets the whole nail bed and underneath the nail. Here is how you prepare and use it to whiten nails.

  1. In a plastic bowl, add one tablespoon of lemon juice and three tablespoons of baking soda.
  2. Gently stir the mixture to get a thick paste-like texture.
  3. Use a cotton swab to apply the paste on each nail and fingertip.
  4. Leave the lemon juice and baking soda paste to rest on your nails for about 15 minutes.
  5. Clean it off with warm water, dry your hands with a clean towel, then moisturize.

2. Using hydrogen peroxide

Do you have badly stained fingernails? Hydrogen peroxide is a bleach that can transform your yellow stains to look good again. To use the effective stain remover, you'll need a bowl, water, and baking soda. Here are two methods to whiten your nails.

a) Use hydrogen peroxide with water

If you are after a fast nail whitening recipe for mild stains;

  1. Add 1/4 cup of your hydrogen peroxide to 1/2 cup of warm water.
  2. Soak your nails in this mixture for five minutes.
  3. Rinse with clean water, then moisturize with a good cream as hydrogen peroxide can dry your skin and nails.

b) Use hydrogen peroxide with baking soda for tougher stains

If you have dark yellow nails, you need a baking soda paste made with hydrogen peroxide to leave your nails white.

  1. Add 125ml warm water into a bowl.
  2. Then, add 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide and 1 tablespoon of baking soda.
  3. Stir until the powder dissolves and you get a smooth paste.
  4. Scoop the paste and apply it to your nails.
  5. Wash your hands with gentle soap, then moisturize with oily hand cream.

3. Whiten nails with a baking soda paste

While most people prefer using lemon or lime juice or hydrogen peroxide with baking soda, you can also use water or white vinegar to make a good paste, especially if you have sensitive skin.

  1. Add 1/4 cup each of baking soda and water in a bowl.
  2. Add a splash of white vinegar (optional).
  3. Apply the baking soda paste to your nail beds and let it rest for at least 10 minutes.
  4. Rinse off, then moisturize your hands and nails.

4. Use denture cleaner tablets to whiten nails

If you have denture cleaners around, they will also work great to whiten your nails at home. The tablets are made with dilute sodium hypochlorite, a mild bleach to clean stains on dentures and other surfaces. To use a denture cleaner tablet;

  1. Add some water into a plastic bowl.
  2. Drop one or two denture cleaner tablets ad let them dissolve.
  3. Dip your nails into the mixture for up to 10 minutes.
  4. Rinse with warm water, then moisturize your nails.
  5. You will need to repeat this whitening process several times to eliminate all yellow stains.

5. Use whitening toothpaste to whiten your nails

If you have whitening toothpaste in your cabinet, it can help you recover white nails so you can continue using your nail polish again. If you have nail polish on, you can use a nail polish remover to remove all polish before proceeding.

  1. Add some whitening toothpaste to an old toothbrush or nail brush and gently scrub it all over the nail beds.
  2. Avoid hurting cuticles and skin around your nails. Rinse your hands with warm water when done scrubbing, then observe your progress.
  3. If you have very yellow nails, you might need to repeat the process several times a week until your nails are white again.

6. Need a quick fix? Use a nail whitening pencil before heading out

Use a nail whitening pen to whiten your nails

image source: wikihow.com

If you notice your nails are badly stained and don't want to cover up with the staining nail polish, you can use a nail whitening pencil for a quick fix if you have to step out.

  1. Wipe off your polish with nail polish remover before proceeding.
  2. Apply a base coat to your nails. You can use clear polish or a slightly pink shade.
  3. Wet the pencil tip and apply it around the edges of your nail.
  4. Apply on all nail tips until you get the desired French manicure.
  5. Finish the look by applying a clear nail polish coat.

How to Avoid Staining Your Nail in the Future

Even as you understand how to whiten nails at home, you might benefit more if you can protect your natural nails in the future. Therefore, observe the following recommendations to keep your nails white and healthy since you also want to continue using the best nail products for your DIY nail care routine.

  1. Use a base coat before any manicure. Whether you are using light or dark nail polish, you need a base coat that prevents the pigments from staining your nails.
  2. Let your nails recover. While nail polish can transform your whole look, your nails need a break from the constant covering. So, give your nails a few weeks to recover before applying the next color. It would be best to avoid applying gel or polish back-to-back as that could either stain or discolor your nails.
  3. Have the best nail care routine. After washing hands, it is best to moisturize them to keep the nails and skin around the nails remain healthy. In addition, you can wear gloves when carrying out certain tasks that could end up staining or discoloring your nails.
  4. Visit your doctor if you notice strange nail discoloration. As mentioned earlier, your nails can indicate deeper health problems. So, if you notice your nails suddenly looking pale, too white, bluish, or yellow (when you've not been using nail polish or yellow colors like paint or Tumeric), visit your doctor so they can rule out any underlying problems.


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