How to Whiten Nails in 4 Easy Steps

If you are part of the group of us that like giving your nails a break from acrylics, gel, and dip powder, or prefer natural nails altogether, you may run into an issue with discolored or yellow nails. You aren’t alone. This is actually a pretty common issue. This can be a huge pain and become an insecurity while letting your natural nails grow.  Lucky enough, however, there is a pretty easy solution.

Today, I am going to show you how to whiten nails with a few different methods! This process is simple and harmless and only takes a few steps, so let’s get started! There are multiple ways to whiten your nails, so we have a few options in case you don’t have access to materials or don’t have success with one method. 

Baking Soda

Whitening nails with baking soda is an easy and effective method that can be done in one of two ways. All you need is baking soda, lemon juice or hydrogen peroxide. Both options are simple and only a few steps. 

1. Lemon Juice Method: For lemon juice and baking soda removal, grab both ingredients from your house, mix them together until paste forms, and scrub your nails. This works best with small bristles such as an old toothbrush. Repeat this process by rinsing your nails with warm water until you reach your desired white nails. 

The mixture of acidity in lemon juice and baking soda should break down any leftover residue causing your nails to turn yellow. However, lemon juice is acidic and will burn, so be wary of this method if you have cuts or hangnails as it will burn quite a bit! 

2. Hydrogen Peroxide Method: The second method of whitening nails with baking soda only takes baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. This method does not involve scrubbing, so if you don’t have an extra toothbrush to spare or prefer a hands-off method, this may be the better options for you. 

When searching for hydrogen peroxide, make sure it is 3%. Mix it with the baking soda to create a paste and fully cover your nails with your mixture. Let this sit on your nails for about 3 minutes,  then rinse it off with warm water. Voila! Your nails should be white and fresh! This method is quick and the most effective from my experience. 


If you don’t have other supplies or aren’t a fan of baking soda methods, try the toothpaste method. Putting toothpaste on fingernails might seem a bit outlandish, but this method is crazy simple and anyone has the supplies. I sure hope we all have toothpaste in our house. 

Grab some whitening toothpaste and simply rub it all over your nails. This works best with a bristle-like applicator also, so pretend like you are brushing your teeth and get to work on those nails with a toothbrush and whitening toothpaste! Repeat the process as many times as you need to, and certain whiteners work better than others just like with our teeth. Do your research and try a few out if you don’t have success the first time! 

Nail Whitening Pencil

If you aren’t a fan of home remedies, there are products on the market specifically for whitening fingernails! You can find them online or in supermarkets typically. Look for anything labeled nails whitening pencil or pen. This can be applied to your entire nails or just the tips to prevent discoloration for longer nails. Once again, certain brands will work better than others, but this is a great item to have on hand if you tend to rock natural nails often! 

Preventative Care

Discoloration is inevitable for all of us. We have to use our hands and fingers every day for tasks that, whether we realize it or not, bring in dirt and loads of factors that lead to discoloration. However, we can beat it to the punch by using preventative methods for discoloration rather than combating this after the fact. How do we do this? I’m so glad you asked. 

Have you ever dragged your boyfriend, husband, or dad into the nail salon with you? Or maybe they go on their own will? It can be fun, boys! Regardless of how they got there, typically, the nail tech will put a clear coat onto their nails even though they don’t have a color. Why is this? Clear coats help prevent discoloration! 

When you take off your polish, or remove acrylics or dip powder, apply a clear coat onto your nails. This will act as a barrier between your clean nails and the outside world that brings those loads of dirt and grime. While this isn’t a perfect solution, you would be surprised by the difference a simple clear coat will make! And don’t worry. If you aren’t the best at polish, clear coats don’t have to look pretty since they are, in fact, clear! A win-win. 

In Conclusion

I hope this helped your yellow nail crisis or gave you some tips if you run into this issue down the line. The biggest takeaway is to let your nails breathe and rock your natural nails! You don’t need a nails salon for pretty, white nails!

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