Toenail fungus, or onychomycosis, is a common condition that causes the toenails to become brittle, thick, discolored and crumbly. Infection with nail fungus may also cause pain, especially if the infection causes the nail to separate from the nail bed. While many over-the-counter and prescription treatments are available for toenail fungus, they are often ineffective or cause significant side effects. Vinegar soaks may help clear up toenail fungus without these side effects. Because vinegar is acidic, it alters the pH of your skin and nails to make it less hospitable for fungus. Vinegar may also relieve itching and encourage healing of any skin affected by the fungus.
Fill a tub or large basin about 1/3 full with very warm water. Pour in an equal amount of apple cider or white vinegar, making sure there is enough liquid in the tub to completely cover your toes.
Lay a couple of towels on the floor to protect your carpet or flooring from spills and then center the tub on top of the towels.
Rinse your feet to remove any dirt or debris and then place them into the tub. Soak your feet for 20 to 30 minutes. If the water becomes uncomfortably cool during this time, you can replace some of the water with 1 to 2 cups of hot water.
Make a fresh vinegar solution and soak your feet once or twice more during the day. Disabled World states that soaking three times per day is generally effective at getting rid of toenail fungus. If you develop skin irritation, MayoClinic.com recommends reducing the amount of vinegar in your foot bath or soaking your feet less frequently.
Dry your feet and toes very well after soaking them in vinegar. If you cannot get your feet completely dry with a towel, use a hair dryer set to low.
Health911 states that soaking your affected nails in a baking soda and water solution may also help treat toenail fungus.
Seek professional treatment if your toenail fungus spreads to other nails, if you experience severe pain or if your mobility becomes impaired.