How to remove yellow stains from nails

The march towards winter means heavy tights, warm coats, and dark nail polish (and hats…lots of hats). Unfortunately, dark nail polish is the main culprit in unsightly yellow stains on nails – those deeper colors often have more pigment, and more pigment means it is more likely to stain (yellow nails can also be a sign of a fungal infection or pulmonary disease, so if you’re not sure, see a doctor!)

The number one way to fight stained nails is base coat. We have discussed why you need to use base coat before, but if you have been lazy or your nails are still stained, here are some quick and easy ways to beat yellowing.

How to remove yellow stains from nails lemon juice


Forget making lemonade! Slice up a lemon and squeeze the juice into a shallow bowl. Soak your nails for several minutes to give the fruit acids a chance to really work – you can help it along by giving your nails a gentle brush with a nail brush or old toothbrush. Make sure you moisturize after you wash the lemon juice off – this can be quite drying on the cuticles. Word of advice – don’t try this if you have cuts or hangnails – OUCH!

How to remove yellow stains from nails toothpaste


Your teeth aren’t the only thing your toothpaste can whiten! First check that your toothpaste contains hydrogen peroxide (the whitening agent) and then gently brush over your nails just like you are brushing your teeth (although maybe don’t use your toothbrush, that could be gross).

How to remove yellow stains from nails hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen Peroxide

If your nails are really stained, and lemon juice and toothpaste aren’t cutting it, it might be time to break out the big guns. Mix four parts water to one part hydrogen peroxide and let your nails soak for ten minutes. Again, be sure to heavily moisturize when you are done.

How to remove yellow stains from nails denture tablets

Denture Tablets

Next time you visit Nana, steal one of her denture tablets to get your nails sparkling. Follow the instructions on the package for dissolving the tablet in water, and soak your nails for several minutes.

How to remove yellow stains from nails bleach


Not for the faint-hearted, this should only be used if you have some serious stain action on your nails. Mix a tablespoon of bleach into a cup of water, and gently scrub your stains with a nail brush or toothbrush. Follow up with some cuticle oil and moisturizer, and next time make sure you use a base coat!!.

Elise Wright

Elise is a social media strategist from Sydney, now living in NYC, who has a long standing love affair with the beauty industry- especially the nail industry!

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