How to Remove Stains From Fingernails

Written by melynda sorrels
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Both embarrassing and unsanitary-looking, stains find their way to your fingernails in a number of ways. Smokers can accumulate yellow stains from nicotine. Those who consistently wear dark nail polish may discover a stain underneath the nail polish when they remove it. No matter what the cause, these stains must be removed. Several methods should help you banish these stains and make your nails look clean once again.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Lemon
  • Table salt
  • Olive oil
  • Clean cloth
  • 3 per cent hydrogen peroxide
  • Toothbrush
  • White toothpaste
  • Emery board

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  1. 1

    Cut off a slice of lemon and squeeze the juice onto your stained nails. It may help to hold a slice of lemon on your nails or dip your fingers into a cup of undiluted lemon juice. Allow your nails to soak for one to two minutes before rinsing your hands with clean water.

  2. 2

    Mix table salt and olive oil into a thick paste and apply it to your nails with a clean cloth. Scrub your nails with the paste to remove the stains and rinse with clean water.

  3. 3

    Mix 3 per cent hydrogen peroxide with water in equal parts. Dip your stained fingernails in the solution and let them soak for a minute. Scrub your nails with an old toothbrush and rinse with clean water.

  4. 4

    Rub white toothpaste all over the stained nails to cover them. Allow the toothpaste to dry before wiping it away with a clean, damp cloth.

  5. 5

    Gently sand away the stained areas with an emery board. Be careful not to sand away too much or to do this too often as it will weaken your nails.

Tips and warnings

  • If these stains are from smoking and keep coming back, either quit smoking or wear gloves to prevent the stains.
  • For reoccurring stains that aren't from smoking, talk to your doctor about possible causes and solutions as it could be a fungal problem.

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