6 Simple Ways to Get Rid of Foot and Toenail Fungus

Want to know how to get rid of toenail and foot fungus fast? Treat toe fungus with tea tree oil, listerine, and everything in between. 
Bruce and Jeanne Lubin
Read time: 3-min

DIY Peppermint Powder

Keep your feet fresh and dry with this peppermint-scented foot powder. Place a quarter cup of unscented body powder, five drops of peppermint essential oil, and five drops of tea tree oil in a Ziploc bag and seal carefully. You’ll need to massage the outside of the bag to get the oils to blend together evenly with the powder. To use, dust a little onto clean feet. The peppermint has a refreshing quality, and tea tree oil is a natural anti-fungal.

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Blow Dryer

For optimal protection, wash your feet every day and dry them thoroughly afterward. Fungus loves moist environments, so drying is especially crucial. After bathing, blow a hair dryer on your feet—and between your toes!—to make sure they’re completely free of moisture. Remove sweaty shoes and socks as soon as possible so the hot sweat doesn’t linger on your skin and nails.

Tea Tree Oil

Pick up some pure tea tree oil at your local health-food store and use it to treat your infected nail. A favorite of naturopaths, this oil has antiseptic and antifungal properties, and it’s been shown to be an effective weapon against toenail infections. Rub the oil over your nail a few times a day for as long as necessary. As with other treatments, it may take months or even longer to completely eliminate the fungus, so be patient!


Garlic is an antimicrobial and antifungal, and it makes one funky fungus-fighting treatment. Spread mashed garlic onto a gauze bandage, wrap it around the affected toe and nail, and tape to secure. Reapply this wrap using fresh garlic every few hours.


Although marketed for its antibacterial powers in the mouth, it’s also used to treat fungus thanks to its combination of alcohol and essential oils, which include menthol, thymol, and eucalyptus. Soak your fungus-plagued toes in mouthwash for up to 30 minutes twice a day until the fungus is gone and the nail has grown out.


This drugstore staple is not just for chest congestion. VapoRubs’s combination of eucalyptus oil, camphor, menthol, and thymol makes it an effective treatment for fungus. Apply VapoRub all over your yucky nail, including down into the sides and beneath the nail plate (if possible) to coat the fungus completely. Wrap securely in a bandage for protection, and replace if it comes loose. Repeat every day until the toe improves, which can take two to six weeks.

See also: How to Treat Athlete's Foot

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About the Author

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin

Bruce Lubin and Jeanne Bossolina-Lubin are the proud parents of three boys and more than a dozen books. After saving thousands per year using everyday tips and simple lifehacks, they started their own business in the hopes of sharing their knowledge with others. They have been known to go into their friends' refrigerators to turn their eggs upside down so that they last longer.