Toenail fungus is an unsightly condition caused by yeast and other types of fungi. When a fungus infects the toenail, the result is yellowing and thickening of the nail. Eventually, the nail may begin to crumble, and the area beneath it may emit a foul smell. Doctors often prescribe oral medications for treating toenail fungus, but some people prefer home remedies, such as those that use bleach to kill the fungi.
Kill Fungus on Surfaces
Mix 1 tbsp. of bleach with 1 qt. of water.
Pour the solution of bleach and water into a quart-sized spray bottle.
Spray the bleach solution onto the surface that may have been touched by the fungi that cause toenail fungus.
Allow the bleach solution to stay on the sprayed surface for about 15 minutes.
Rinse the sprayed surfaces with water and wipe them dry with a paper towel.
Kill Fungus Within Toenails
Cut and file your toenails to make them as short and thin as possible. This may help the bleach to penetrate the nail and kill the fungus.
Pour warm water into a bucket or basin that is large enough to accommodate the affected foot.
Add 1 tbsp. of bleach to the bucket or basin of warm water.
Soak the affected foot in the bleach solution daily. You may have to wait several weeks to see signs of improvement.
Wash your foot with a gentle, moisturizing soap and water that does not contain bleach. This may help to get rid of any bleach residue that could dry and irritate your foot.
Dry your foot thoroughly, including the area between your toes. Damp areas encourage fungal growth.
Your doctor may be able to offer medical treatment that will provide improvement faster or more reliably than home remedies. Consider seeing your doctor for help. Discontinue bleach-solution foot soaks if your skin becomes irritated. Alternatively, you might restrict your soaks to one a day or every other week to see whether that helps. Some people also use a solution of bleach and water to kill the fungus that causes athlete's foot.
Never mix bleach with ammonia or vinegar. Doing so will produce a dangerous chlorine gas. Do not apply undiluted bleach to your toenails. It may irritate the skin on your foot.