Can You Use Bleach to Treat Toenail Fungus?

Yes, you can use bleach. Of course, severe toenail fungus should be treated by a doctor. But for a lesser infection, using bleach to treat toenail fungus has been reported to be very helpful. But though fungus is slow-growing, it’s also slow-curing. So let’s see what we can do.


It’s important to prepare your toenails for treatment. You want the bleach to be able to get at the fungus. And that involves cutting your toenails so the bleach water can get under them.

It also means “planing” or thinning, your infected nails. Because the toenail is made up of layers, you’ll want to remove some of those layers to let the bleach soak in more deeply. But be careful – filing the nail too far can be very painful. The Mayo Clinic recommends using an over-the-counter cream containing urea before thinning your toenails.

Warning: Bleach can do real damage. It always needs to be diluted. And it always needs to be handled carefully. Even the fumes can be dangerous to the membranes of your nose, throat, and lungs. And, of course, never let it get anywhere near ammonia. The combination can be deadly.

Bleach Pen

One alternate way of using bleach to treat toenail fungus is to use a bleach pen. No muss, no fuss, but it may not be as effective as a foot soak.

Diluted Bleach Foot Soak

Strong solution: The ratio of bleach to water for this would be around 1 part to 100 parts. Soak your feet in the solution for about 30 minutes a week.

Gentler solution: Use 1 tablespoon to a gallon (which is a ratio of 1 part to 256 parts). Soak your feet in the solution for about 30 minutes a day, all at once or in two or three segments.

With both solutions, it’s important to rinse off the bleach water thoroughly.


Using bleach to treat toenail fungus may get the job done if the fungus isn’t too severe and if you keep at it. Toenail fungus is stubborn. Show it who’s boss.

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