You can treat fungal infections with a product you probably already have in your kitchen cupboard. Treating toenail fungus is one of the many uses for baking soda. Not only can it help treat the damaged toenail, baking soda may also keep the damaging fungus from returning. However, consult a doctor before trying this treatment at home.
Read more: Signs and Symptoms of Bacterial Infection
Make a Baking Soda Paste
Getting rid of your toenail problems can be as easy as making a paste of baking soda mixed with warm water and applying it to your affected toenail. Application of baking soda can prevent or reduce fungal growth, according to a 2012 study published in Mycopathologia. Do this for a few minutes each day and you will soon see results.
Rinse the baking soda mixture away and then dry your feet before putting on your shoes and socks. Your damaged toenail may become loose and ultimately come off, but don't worry: A new, healthy toenail will grow in its place.
- Getting rid of your toenail problems can be as easy as making a paste of baking soda mixed with warm water and applying it to your affected toenail.
Treat Your Shoes
Homemade Remedy for Nail Keratin Debris Removal
After exercise or long walks, your sneakers remain damp long after you take them off. As fungi thrive in moist, dark environments, your footwear is a breeding ground for microbes, according to the Mayo Clinic 3. This, in turn, leaves you susceptible to fungal infections every time you place your foot back in your shoe.
Baking soda can help fight these microbes and freshen up your shoes at the same time. Sprinkling a little baking soda in your shoes, or even socks, will help keep your feet dry, preventing fungus from attacking your toenails.
- After exercise or long walks, your sneakers.
- This, in turn, leaves you susceptible to fungal infections every time you place your foot back in your shoe.
Mix Oil and Powder
Baking soda mixed with tea tree oil, basil oil, sage oil and arrowroot was found to be effective against toenail fungus growth in a 2007 study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.
Apply the mixture to your feet and toes before putting your shoes and socks on. Any fungal growth on your toenails will be effectively treated as the oils allow for better penetration of the baking soda mixture. The treatment should discourage new fungal growth as well.
- Baking soda mixed with tea tree oil, basil oil, sage oil and arrowroot was found to be effective against toenail fungus growth in a 2007 study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.
- Apply the mixture to your feet and toes before putting your shoes and socks on.
- Any fungal growth on your toenails will be effectively treated as the oils allow for better penetration of the baking soda mixture.
Homemade Remedy for Nail Keratin Debris Removal
How to Treat Fingernail Fungus
How to Regrow Toenails
What Is Keratin Debris?
How to Treat Toenail Infection With Apple Cider Vinegar
How to Restore a Damaged Toenail Bed
How to Get Toenail Fungus to Grow Out
How to Heal a Damaged Cuticle
How to Lose Toenail Toe Fungus
How to Improve Brittle Toenails
- HealthGuidance: What Causes Thick Toenails
- Mycopathologia: "Antifungal Activity of Sodium Bicarbonate Against Fungal Agents Causing Superficial Infections"
- Mayo Clinic: "Nail Fungus"
- National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem. Compound Summary for CID 516892, Sodium bicarbonate.
- Hadzic M, Eckstein ML, Schugardt M. The impact of sodium bicarbonate on performance in response to exercise duration in athletes: A systematic review. J Sports Sci Med. 2019;18(2):271-281
- Ciancio SG. Baking soda dentifrices and oral health. J Am Dent Assoc. 2017;148(11S):S1-S3. doi:10.1016/j.adaj.2017.09.009
- Birt D, From L, Main J. Diagnosis and management of long-standing benign oral ulceration. Laryngoscope. 1980 May;90(5 Pt 1):758-68. PMID: 6990140.
- American College of Gastroenterology. Acid reflux.
- Hughes A, Brown A, Valento M. Hemorrhagic encephalopathy from acute baking soda ingestion. West J Emerg Med. 2016;17(5):619-22. doi:10.5811/westjem2016.6.30713
- Al-Abri SA, Olson KR. Baking soda can settle the stomach but upset the heart: Case files of the Medical Toxicology Fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco. J Med Toxicol. 2013;9(3):255-8. doi:10.1007/s13181-013-0300-4
- Krustrup P, Ermidis G, Mohr M. Sodium bicarbonate intake improves high-intensity intermittent exercise performance in trained young men. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015;12:25. doi:10.1186/s12970-015-0087-6
- McNaughton LR, Siegler J, Midgley A. Ergogenic effects of sodium bicarbonate. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2008;7(4):230-6. doi:10.1249/JSR.0b013e31817ef530
- de Brito-Ashurst I, Varagunam M, Raftery MJ, Yaqoob MM. Bicarbonate supplementation slows progression of CKD and improves nutritional status. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2009;20(9):2075-84. doi:10.1681/ASN.2008111205
- Yang M, Zhong X, Yuan Y. Does baking soda function as a magic bullet for patients with cancer? A mini review. Integr Cancer Ther. 2020;19:1534735420922579. doi:10.1177/153473542092257
- Yang T, Doherty J, Zhao B, Kinchla AJ, Clark JM, He L. Effectiveness of commercial and homemade washing agents in removing pesticide residues on and in apples. J Agric Food Chem. 2017;65(44):9744-9752. doi:10.1021/acs.jafc.7b03118
- Qamaruz-Zaman N, Kun Y, Rosli RN. Preliminary observation on the effect of baking soda volume on controlling odour from discarded organic waste. Waste Manag. 2015;35:187-90. doi:10.1016/j.wasman.2014.09.017
- Al-Abri SA, Kearney T. Baking soda misuse as a home remedy: case experience of the California Poison Control System. J Clin Pharm Ther. 2014;39(1):73-7. doi:10.1111/jcpt.12113
- Di Iorio BR, Bellasi A, Raphael KL, Santoro D, Aucella F, Garofano L, Ceccarelli M, Di Lullo L, Capolongo G, Di Iorio M, Guastaferro P, Capasso G; UBI Study Group. Treatment of metabolic acidosis with sodium bicarbonate delays progression of chronic kidney disease: the UBI Study. J Nephrol. 2019;32(6):989-1001. doi:10.1007/s40620-019-00656-5
Patricia Sweetser has been writing about health and fitness since 2000. Her articles appear on various websites. Sweetser is a former intensive-care-unit registered nurse, health instructor and personal trainer. She holds a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Colby Sawyer College.