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How Do I Use Bleach for Toenail Fungus?

L.R. Ferguson
L.R. Ferguson

The use of bleach for toenail fungus is a remedy that is supposed to rid the toe of the infection. It is a common treatment among those looking for a home remedy for the problem. A bleach solution treatment can be time-consuming and monotonous, but is useful if done in the most effective way to allow the bleach to penetrate and kill the infection. To use bleach to treat toenail fungus, be sure to trim and file the nail before beginning treatment, prepare the bleach solution properly and treat the affected nail for the proper length of time each day.

Toenail fungus, less often referred to as onychomycosis, is a condition that affects the nail bed of one or more of the toes. It occurs when the skin on the toes and around the nail bed are infected with fungi, most often dermatophytes; or yeast, such as Candida. Typically, when the toenail is infected, a small white spot first appears under the nail and eventually spreads to the entire nail bed. The fungus generally causes the nail to turn a dull yellowish shade and to thicken. Eventually, the infected nail becomes rough and can crumble and break off, leaving an unpleasant appearance.

Creams can be used to counter toe fungus.
Creams can be used to counter toe fungus.

Bleach for toenail fungus is intended to kill the infection. Before using the bleach solution, clip short the infected nail and file down the nail plate. Trimming and filing the nail makes it more porous and allows for the bleach solution to effectively penetrate the nail bed to reach the fungus. After clipping the nail and making it pliable, the bleach solution can be used.

Bleach is commonly used to treat toenail fungus.
Bleach is commonly used to treat toenail fungus.

It is important to first dilute the solution that will be used for soaking, because bleach can be damaging when in direct contact with skin. Combining one spoonful of bleach and 1 gallon (3.8 liters) of warm water make for an effective solution. After the solution has been properly mixed, it can be used to soak the foot with the infected toenail. You can soak the infected nail for 20-30 minutes once a day or for 15-20 minutes in the morning and at night for a twice-daily treatment.

When using bleach to clear up toenail fungus, use one spoonful of bleach with one gallon of warm water.
When using bleach to clear up toenail fungus, use one spoonful of bleach with one gallon of warm water.

Ultimately, getting rid of the fungus can take several weeks to a few months, depending on the severity of the infection. Still, it is important to be diligent in using the bleach solution every day. Stopping treatment or irregular use of bleach for toenail fungus can allow for the infection to come back even stronger.

Though bleach for toenail fungus can be useful, it is possible to reduce the risk for a fungal infection altogether. Toenail fungus thrives in warm and moist environments and finds it easy to live on toenails because they can become damp and warm from wearing shoes. Keeping toes dry by wearing socks or regularly drying them off when they become too damp are methods that can be used to ward off fungus.

How Long Does it Take Bleach To Kill Toenail Fungus?

Depending on the severity of the infection, getting rid of the funagl infection can take several weeks to a few months.
Depending on the severity of the infection, getting rid of the funagl infection can take several weeks to a few months.

The time it takes for bleach to rid the toenails of fungus varies greatly. Generally, it can require anywhere from a week to several months. Some people find that treating multiple times a day helps speed the treatment along and others say just once a day is better. Ultimately, the amount of time it takes to heal toenail fungus using bleach depends on several factors.

One, it depends on how severe the infection is. More severe infections usually take longer and more applications than minor infections do. Many mild infections will take only one or two weeks to disappear while more serious infections may require closer to five or six months of consistent treatment.

Two, it depends on how widespread the infection is. Toenail infections that spread to other parts of the foot or that appear on multiple toes often take more time to eradicate. Infection that goes deeper into the foot than just the nail may also be much harder and take longer to kill.

Three, it depends on the potency of the bleach solution. Some people are more sensitive to bleach than others, so they can safely use and tolerate slightly higher concentrations of bleach which might kill off the infection faster. It is always better to start low and raise the concentration levels a little at a time to learn one's tolerance.

Four, it depends on whether or not the bleach treatment is combined with other forms of treatment. Using bleach treatments in tandem with oral or topical antifungal medications may help hasten the process. Keeping the infected toenails clipped short and clean between treatments can also help decrease the time it takes to destroy the infection.

How Much Bleach To Soak Feet?

One should use very small amounts of bleach in this treatment. It is also very important to sufficiently dilute the bleach with water beforehand to avoid harming one's feet. Generally speaking, one should use a full gallon of warm water and add just a single, small spoonful of bleach for effective treatment.

If necessary, one can increase the concentration little by little each time for especially difficult fungal infections, but one should never add more than three tablespoons of bleach per gallon. Usually, if the fungus is not disappearing with a spoonful of bleach per gallon, it is better to seek professional medical treatments instead of using this home remedy. Also, if the bleach treatment ever causes any discomfort or unusual appearance, one should stop treatment immediately and speak with a doctor.

Should One Use Vinegar or Bleach for Toenail Fungus?

One of the most common concerns related to bleach toenail fungus treatment is whether or not it is safe to use. Bleach is not good for the skin in high concentrations so it is only safe when used in the very low potency quantities as indicated above. People who have concerns about using bleach, exhibit allergies to bleach, or desire more natural home remedies might want to consider apple cider vinegar treatment instead. Vinegar has natural antifungal properties and warm water vinegar soaking solutions can be just as effective at treating toenail fungus.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is bleach a safe treatment for toenail fungus?

Bleach can be a safe treatment for toenail fungus, but extreme caution is necessary. Bleach is a powerful chemical that can cause skin irritation or burns if not used properly. Diluting the bleach with water is essential to reduce its strength, and wearing protective gear like gloves, goggles, and a face mask is also necessary. It is also vital to keep the bleach away from the eyes and mouth and rinse off with warm water and soap after use.

How much bleach should I use in the mixture?

When using bleach to treat toenail fungus, it is recommended to dilute the bleach with water in a ratio of one part bleach to 10 parts water. For example, if one cup of bleach is used, it should be mixed with 10 cups of water.

How often should I apply the bleach mixture?

It is advisable to apply the diluted bleach mixture twice a day. Apply the mixture to the affected toenail and leave it on for five to 10 minutes. Then, you should rinse the area with warm water and soap.

How long will it take for the toenail fungus to go away?

The length of time it takes for the toenail fungus to go away after using the bleach mixture may vary depending on the severity of the infection. It may take weeks or even months for the infection to resolve.

Are there any adverse effects associated with treating toenail fungus with bleach?

Incorrect use of bleach as a treatment for toenail fungus can result in skin irritation or burns. Prolonged exposure to bleach can also lead to respiratory problems such as coughing and difficulty breathing. Because of this, it is essential to use the bleach mixture as directed and to wear protective equipment when applying it.

Discussion Comments


I have been soaking a cotton ball with bleach and taping it on the toenail with the fungus for the last five days for 8 hours a day and then wash my feet and dry them real good. It is really working! No skin irritation of note. I'm going to continue for the next five days and hopefully it will finally be gone!


The chlorine in bleach should do a job of killing fungus, that is if your toes and toenails survive as well. Bleach’s potency will also damage your skin and nails. Again, damaged nails and skin will be more easily re-infected.


I used to have it on all toes. I got a prescription for lamisil and it cleared up all but two of them. Big toe and the one next to it. I've been soaking my toes for a month now once a day for 30 minutes. I trimmed the nails back as far as I could, used a dremel to thin the nails out and can already see healthy nail growing in. I just fill up pan and pour some bleach in. I keep the solution pretty strong and my feet seem to be able to handle it for the most part. The hair on my toes has burned off and the cuticle on my big toe burns sometimes, but it's worth it now that I'm seeing results. A couple more months and I'll be good to go!


@turquoise-- Bleach is a good cure for toenail fungus, but it is harsh. It is not something that was made to go on skin, so you need to be careful. After you soak your feet in it, make sure to wash off the bleach with water.


@turquoise-- I'm using the bleach remedy for toenail fungus. I had used to some years back as well, and it worked for me then. So I'm sure it will work again.

The proportion I use for the bleach and water is 1:3. So for every 1 part bleach, I add three parts water. I think that this is a good solution. It's not strong enough to cause irritation and it's effective. I soak my toes in it for ten minutes twice a day.

Some people take a cotton swab and apply only bleach directly on the toenail. You can do that too if you want.


I tried using bleach for toenail fungus yesterday. I think I used too much bleach though because it irritated the skin on my feet. I didn't measure it. I just put water in a basin and poured some bleach in. I know that if the bleach solution isn't strong enough, it doesn't work and if it's too strong, it clearly causes irritation.

Is anyone else using bleach as toenail fungus treatment? In what proportions are you combining the bleach and water?

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    • Creams can be used to counter toe fungus.
      By: picsfive
      Creams can be used to counter toe fungus.
    • Bleach is commonly used to treat toenail fungus.
      By: Melinda Nagy
      Bleach is commonly used to treat toenail fungus.
    • When using bleach to clear up toenail fungus, use one spoonful of bleach with one gallon of warm water.
      By: design56
      When using bleach to clear up toenail fungus, use one spoonful of bleach with one gallon of warm water.
    • Depending on the severity of the infection, getting rid of the funagl infection can take several weeks to a few months.
      By: adam88xx
      Depending on the severity of the infection, getting rid of the funagl infection can take several weeks to a few months.