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How to Soften Toenails for Cutting

Updated April 17, 2017

Whether you are giving yourself an at-home pedicure or just keeping up with your personal hygiene, cutting your toenails can be difficult if they are not softened enough and can result in broken, chipped and uneven nails. Softening your nails before cutting is a good way to prevent problems and make sure your nails remain as healthy and aesthetically pleasing as possible. Softening your nails is simple and will only take a few minutes.

Fill a bathtub or large bowl with hot water. Test the temperature by immersing your finger and then your hand into the water, making sure it won't burn your feet.

Pour 1/8 cup of bath salts into the bowl, and mix them thoroughly to help them evenly disperse and dissolve.

Place a towel on the floor outside of the bathtub or beside the large bowl. This will allow you to dry your feet in one simple step once you are ready to remove your feet from the water.

Set a timer for 10 minutes.

Immerse your feet into the saltwater bath. There should be enough water in the bathtub or large bowl that at least the tops of your feet are completely covered with water.

Remove your feet from the saltwater bath after 10 minutes. Step onto the towel, and completely dry off your feet. Your nails should now be much softer and more pliable than 10 minutes earlier.

Cut your toenails straight across, not rounded to match the shape of your toe. File your nails, if preferred.

Things You'll Need

  • Bathtub or large bowl
  • Bath salts
  • Towel
  • Timer
  • Nail clippers
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About the Author

Aletha Reil has a bachelor's degree in English with a concentration in creative writing from Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y. She has been writing for more than three years and is currently working as a women's fitness columnist for a prominent website.