Whiten Toenails with Toothpaste

1 Posted by - August 6, 2012 - Hair & Beauty

You know those online magazine slide shows with stock photography and little blurbs on the sidebar from beauty experts? I love those things. Somehow I think that a 2-sentence piece of advice from a Hollywood hairdresser or a make-up tip from the make-up artist of the stars is really going to impact my life. This one is on how to whiten your toenails.

Image from Shape

And the advice blurb is from none other than Roxanna Sarmiento, beauty and style writer, and blogger at everydaytreats.comSee? She knows what’s going on, guys. She says, “If you get yellow nails after months of wearing dark polish, try scrubbing your toenails with a nail brush and whitening toothpaste. It gets rid of the yellow color. Try it—it works pretty well, and you end up with minty fresh toes!”

How could I not try it, I ask you.

Months of wearing dark polish? Check.

This is my 4th of July pedicure. I had wanted the pedicure dude to put fireworks on my big toe, but he was brusque and there was a language barrier and before I could ask, he was already carefully, carefully sliding my 5-year-old nasty Rainbows back on my feet and shuffling me over to the toe-drying bench. So, just plain blue.

My first pass of acetone yielded scary results.

Scary, and also not particularly yellow. More frostbite blue. Another round of acetone left things slightly better-looking. I mean, at least looking less like I have massive circulatory problems.

Now, maybe I’m just blind to my own flaws. (This is a distinct possibility. I’ve always been led to believe it’s just good, healthy self-esteem, but I may in fact be a disgusting fuck without knowing it.) But my toenails don’t really look that yellow to me, even before whitening toothpaste.

Still, whiter is better, according to Hollywood. (Did I just make a snide jab at Hollywood without even meaning to? Oopsie.)

I could not find a nail brush, even in my massive collection of nail polish accouterments, but I did find a freebie-from-the-dentist toothbrush, which seemed only appropriate since we’re using toothpaste.

I’m really disappointed that my toothpaste didn’t get all sudsy like the stock photography. Boo and hiss.

But did it whiten?

Despite my poor photography skills, you can sort of see that there’s really not a lot of difference here. But, I will give it the fact that it made my toenails have less of a blue tinge, so that means whiter, right? Yes. We’re gonna go with yes.

Because then I can be all like, “See? I am not wasting my time when I read beauty magazines. I am learning valuable information about how to look less like I dropped a pile of textbooks on both feet, thankyouverymuch.”




  • PattyFitchHicks August 6, 2012 - 1:31 pm Reply

    Yes yes…I can see the difference!  I wonder if it will do the same with getting dirt off them…I garden in flip flops and the results are always soil packed nails. Oh and you should try it after wearing a dark red which will turn your nails yellow especially if you don’t use an undercoat on them. 

  • LaurenOrsini August 6, 2012 - 2:36 pm Reply

    Now I have another thing to be self conscious about that I wasn’t even aware of before—what if my toenails aren’t white enough?

  • Elizabeth August 6, 2012 - 4:06 pm Reply

    I think I’m going to try this. I do end up with yellowish toenails after wearing any kind of nail polish for a long time. And yes, I can see a difference with yours too. Even looking past the blue 🙂

  • TexasBobbi August 6, 2012 - 5:31 pm Reply

    I hate feet. So I can’t even think of doing this.

  • Cheryl August 6, 2012 - 5:31 pm Reply

    I saw the same picture with the nice white toenails above but it said to make a baking soda and hydrogen peroxide paste and smear it all over your toes and toenails…let it sit for 5 minutes, then rinse.  What the hell,  I tried it.  Did it work?  Hell yes it worked!  Also a tip:  Put on a clear coat of polish and let dry before using any dark polish and it won’t stain your nails.  🙂

  • MissyQBee August 6, 2012 - 7:21 pm Reply

    Lauren, I was thinking the same thing.  The list of things I didn’t know I could be doing wrong, or that could be “wrong” with my appearance just keeps getting longer and longer and longer, thank you Pinterest.   Anyway…just had to chime in.  Pintester, I love your blog, you crack me the hell up.

  • LauraMauraRose August 6, 2012 - 8:31 pm Reply

    Nailed it. Literally.

  • ThePintester August 6, 2012 - 11:41 pm Reply

    @diannaseda Thanks! Glad you enjoyed. 🙂

    • DiannaSeda August 6, 2012 - 11:41 pm Reply

      @ThePintester Always! Love reading your posts!

  • Truffles8761 August 7, 2012 - 12:51 am Reply

    Oh, I am with TexasBobbi…I find feet disturbing.  I understand their importance but I just don’t want to look at them.. ever.  I can deal with my own in a most rudimentary way, but the thought of “dolling” them up implies that you want people to look at them.  I can barely stand to look at them.  I may need therapy.

  • CherishHerbert August 7, 2012 - 2:21 am Reply

    feet are gross. No offense since it was your own mostly photographed. But I usually skip pinterest pins about feet as I find feet completely repulsive. yes Even my own >.<

  • Roxanna everyday treats August 7, 2012 - 10:31 am Reply

    You are hilarious! I didn’t even know that tip was on Pinterest since it was from Shape. Did you feet feel minty fresh at the end?

  • caseyinto August 7, 2012 - 10:46 am Reply

    Yellow toes comes more from red or orange nail polish. I get it on my toes sometimes! But an easier fix is just more nail polish- who wants to see my naked toenails anyway? yuck

  • annieannieannie August 7, 2012 - 3:16 pm Reply

    yellow toenails also comes from ANY color that uses formaldehyde. I found that the best solutions are to choose nail polishes w/o formaldehyde, and always use a base coat. But if your dark color polishes still stain anyway, then getting one of those nail buffing kits works really well. however, buffing deep enough to get the stain off basically takes off a layer of nail, so be careful, it can make them weak.  

  • Alderica August 7, 2012 - 3:21 pm Reply

    OK, I have to confess I never even considered whitening my toenails as part of what I laughingly call my beauty routine. Next thing, someone will be posting a guide to do-it-yourself anal bleaching….

  • Kim August 7, 2012 - 6:56 pm Reply

    I bet your feet smell great now!  Here’s one I’d love to see you try that I found today… http://pinterest.com/pin/175147872979029419/

  • scottanne August 8, 2012 - 12:26 am Reply

    Can you please test the pin where you microwave a bar of ivory soap, morphing it into some kind of play dough. Apparently you can “tear it up, color it, and mold it into shapes! It’s not wet and
    messy, either!” I think this one has the potential for a lot of laughs and also I want to know if it works before making my microwave smell of soap! Love the blog – please keep it up!

    • CrystalKYuhhyzaguirre August 8, 2012 - 7:26 am Reply

      scottanne  it works, but its hot enough to burn and it kind of deflates as soon as the microwave stops. Its pretty cool to watch it puff up but not much fun beyond that.

    • Amanda August 10, 2012 - 11:35 pm Reply

      Saw that one tested somewhere else. It apparently turns to dust and the smell engulfs your house in a headache-inducing soap potpourri mess.

      • Zoquara September 8, 2012 - 1:51 pm Reply

        @Amanda Indeed it does… It poofs up really awesome, and cools off super quick, but then just crumbles when you touch it, so it’s a pain in the rear to get out of the microwave. And yes, your house smells REALLY strongly of Ivory soap, it will give you a headache, and the smell refuses to go away… I microwaved vinegar water afterwards to try killing the smell, and it helped some. On the plus side, though…. My kids were super entertained.

  • RachelRichardson August 9, 2012 - 11:55 pm Reply

    The yellow is just the top of the nails. You can use a nail file to get it off in no time or you could use base coat to prevent the yellow in the first place.

  • BethStokley August 11, 2012 - 10:55 pm Reply

    I LOVE that you have ‘the blob’ for pinky toes, just like me. You even have one that is more blobby and turned sideways than the other-just like me. Only problem with mine is, the nails are so nonexistent that when I paint my toenails, I have to paint one on. Love your blog.

  • Spiker August 12, 2012 - 8:35 pm Reply

    It looks like the red lipstick effect…. teeth look whiter when you use red lipstick. Your nails don’t look THAT much whiter, but all the brushing brought the blood to your toes…so by proxy, your nails look whiter because your feet are redder. 

  • Bahama Mama | Sonja Foust August 24, 2012 - 9:14 pm Reply

    […] can whiten your toenails with toothpaste. You know, if you […]

  • AutumnVallette October 1, 2012 - 11:12 am Reply

    tried this on my fingernails when my pretty blueish green matte nail polish turned my nails bright green. it didn’t work. and a month later, my nails are still tinged a slight greenish color. i just keep painting over them until it goes away. 

  • vulcangeek May 7, 2013 - 11:46 am Reply

    Maybe if you used it every time you showered it would slowly get them whiter? I know you use toothpaste every day, so maybe it takes a few times to get the “hollywood” effect…IDK

  • Sheri Capehart July 18, 2013 - 12:53 pm Reply

    Hello, I just want all you to know that I too have blog on how to whiten toenails and fingernails with toothpaste….also have many other unusual beauty tips you can do at home on that blog, so please go check it out at http://one-stopbeauty.com…also if you will, please leave a comment because I do like to get other people’s feedback/opinions

    Thank you

  • zazu August 3, 2013 - 8:14 am Reply

    the best thing ever is using one of the new tooth whitening pens (CVS) apply daily and have white toenails in a few days

  • Anon December 17, 2013 - 1:14 pm Reply

    her toenails are painted white (not sonya’s but the magazines nails)

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