Natural nails get discolored from one of two reasons – a problem with the nail or staining from nail polish pigments. Assuming your nails are healthy, most staining is from prolonged exposure to nail polish, and can range from a slight discoloration to a really dark yellow, almost brown stain or even a stain of the actual pigment from your polish such as red or blue. This type of stain is harmless and isn’t a health concern.
Scrub & Soak Nail Whitening Methods
These are all simple and easy ways to whiten your nails in 15 minutes or less, depending on how long you soak. All of them work at least a little bit, but which one works best?
Baking Soda & Water
- 1 teaspoon water
- 4 teaspoons baking soda
Lemon Juice & Baking Soda
- 1 teaspoon water
- 4 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 5-10 drops lemon juice (this will make the solution bubble up)
Baking Soda & Peroxide with Lemon
- 2 1/2 tablespoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon hydrogen peroxide (this will make the solution bubble up)
- Optional: A wedge of lemon juice, or about 10 drops (1 ml) of lemon concentrate (which I did add)
Scrub & Soak Full Instructions
For each of these methods, you will need a:
- Soft toothbrush
- Small, shallow plastic or glass container
- Your yellow and/or stained nails
Combine your ingredients in the bowl to create a paste-like consistency – thick enough that it will stay in place if you move around a little bit. If your mixture is too thin add more baking soda, if it is too thick, add just a couple drops of liquid at a time until you get the right consistency.
Use the toothbrush to scrub the mixture into your nail bed on one hand for 1-2 minutes. Then glob it on top of your nails and under your free edge, or dip your fingertips in the bowl, and let them soak for 2-15 minutes even as long as 25 minutes. After your soak rinse with warm water, using the toothbrush to gently scrub your nails clean. Repeat on the other hand if you didn’t do both at the same time.
Some of these ingredients will dry out the nail and surrounding skin, so you might want to follow-up with a thick lotion and 5-20 minutes in cotton gloves.
It makes a noticeable difference; you will see your nails look much cleaner and whiter.