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How to Remove Warts at Home: Painless, Easy and Cheap Remedies

Updated on May 13, 2016
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"SmartAndFun" strives to provide helpful information, including smart and fun methods for solving everyday problems. Be smart -- have fun!

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There's no need to go to the dermatologist to get warts removed from your skin. Although that's the fastest way, it can be painful and traumatic, especially for children or phobics who are scared of even the smallest medical procedures.

If you'd rather not have the dermatologist remove your warts—whether it's because you don't have insurance, don't have transportation, are fearful of the freezing or laser process, can't find a free moment to get to an appointment, or would just like to save a few dollars—you can remove your warts yourself, at home. It's cheap, easy and painless. It does takes some time and patience while you wait for the wart to die and fall off, but these methods require only a few moments a day from you.

It seems that everyone has heard of the duct tape method for removing warts. Apparently it works, but it's not the only method. In this article I'll cover several others. Read on to learn how to remove warts with:

  • Iodine
  • Nail Polish
  • Garlic
  • Castor Oil
  • Duct Tape
  • and More

Although these methods are cheap, easy and painless, they are not instant or quick. They take time, usually several weeks. They are carried out in basically the same manner: put the removal substance directly on the wart, every day or several times a day, and wait for the wart to fall off.

How Do They Work?

The duct tape method is aid to work simply by alerting your immune system to the fact that there is a wart on your skin. Once the reminder is there, your immune system will kick in and kill it.

I'm listing the iodine method first, simply because I have used it many times, and it has always worked for me. So, I have never needed to try the other methods in this article. Nevertheless, they have been recommended by friends and family, whose advice I am passing on to you.

Removal With Iodine

I have used this method many times on myself, and a couple of times on my kids. I learned it many years ago from a coworker who grew up in a small, country Texas town.

When a wart first popped up on my hand, I got some Compound W from the drugstore, and applied it as directed. My wart turned into an ugly, peeling mess, and eventually came off, but it grew right back.

Then my coworker told me her family always used iodine to get rid of warts. I went back to the drugstore and purchased a small, inexpensive bottle of "Iodine Tincture." (Although no prescription is needed to purchase iodine tincture, most pharmacies keep it behind the prescription counter, so you'll have to ask for it.)

What to Do:

  • Small bottles of iodine tincture usually have a self-storing plastic dabber inside, attached to the inside of the lid. Several times a day, use the dabber to place a drop of iodine on your wart and let it sink in.
  • Warts are porous, so the iodine will sink in quickly. It does not burn or hurt in any way, but iodine has that brownish-red color, and it will stain warts, which makes them more noticeable. If you're going somewhere special, cover it with a BandAid. Otherwise, keep it uncovered because that makes it easier to dab the iodine on. Also, seeing your little brownish-red bump serves as a reminder to put iodine on it now and then throughout the day.
  • Eventually, the wart will fall off and never grow back. At least that's how it has always gone for me—every time. Sometimes it takes ten days, and sometimes it takes a couple of months. I am no doctor, but I think that iodine gets rid of warts permanently because it actually kills the human papilloma virus, whereas some other methods do not. I would love for someone knowledgeable on the virus to chime in on this theory in the comments section.

Using Nail Polish

To use this method, you may not even have to buy anything. All it requires is nail polish—preferably clear—and BandAids or medical tape.

Here's How:

  • Thoroughly but gently wash and dry your wart.
  • Cover it with clear nail polish. Allow the polish to dry.
  • Cover the wart with a BandAid or medical tape.
  • The next night, remove the BandAid and reapply another coat of nail polish right over the previous night's polish. Let it dry and apply a new BandAid.
  • Repeat this every night until the wart begins to separate from your skin. It may separate in pieces or layers, or it may fall off all at once. Be patient, as this process can take several weeks.


Castor Oil

For this home remedy, you can use straight castor oil, or mix it with a fragrant essential oil such as lavender oil or lemongrass oil. You can also make a paste of castor oil and baking soda.

Here's What to Do:

  • Apply a drop of castor oil, or castor oil mixed with essential oil, directly to your wart several times a day.
  • Allow the oil to soak into the wart for as long as possible, then clean up the excess oil with a tissue or Q-Tip.
  • If using castor oil/baking soda paste, apply the paste directly to the wart, covering it completely with paste. Cover it with medical tape or a BandAid to hold the paste in place. Repeat several times throughout the day.
  • Repeat every day for several days or weeks until the wart falls off.


Some say online to take garlic pills to get rid of warts, but the method that people recommended to me is to apply garlic directly to your warts. Garlic is said to have virus-killing properties which will get rid of the warts and prevent them from returning.

What to Do:

  • Using a knife or the back of a fork, crush a garlic clove, working it until it forms a paste.
  • At night before you go to bed, place a little glob of garlic paste directly on your wart, and cover it with a BandAid to hold it on. Sleep with the paste covering the wart.
  • If you're worried about the garlic leaking onto your sheets or pajamas, cover it; for example, place a sock over garlic-covered warts on your foot, or a loose glove over warts on your hand, or use a stretchy fabric bandage to cover warts on other places.
  • Repeat this procedure every night for several weeks, or until the wart falls off.

Duct Tape

This method has gotten lots of press over the last several years, I think mainly because it is rather funny and unusual that duct tape (of all things!) can get rid of warts. Although doctors are not sure exactly why it works, it has been proven effective again and again.

Some say a duct-tape-covered wart becomes starved for oxygen and dies, while others believe the duct tape simply alerts the body's immune system to the wart, so that the body can kill it off.

What to Do:

  • Thoroughly wash and dry the body area with the wart.
  • Cover it securely with a piece of duct tape. Leave the tape in place for 6 days.
  • Remove the tape and soak the area in warm water for about 5 minutes.
  • Use a clean file or pumice to abrade the wart, gently scraping its surface. Dedicate this file or pumice to one person and use it only for this purpose, so that you do not spread the virus to other people or other areas of your body.
  • On the day that you remove the duct tape and soak the wart, leave the wart uncovered overnight.
  • Apply a clean piece of duct tape the next morning, and repeat the process until the wart is completely gone. The number of repetitions it takes to get rid of the wart varies from individual to individual and wart to wart.

Other Home Remedies to Remove Warts

There are quite a few home remedies for removing warts, and all involve putting some sort of substance on the wart until it falls off. My friends, family and myself can't vouch for these methods, but they are said to work:

  • Apple cider vinegar: Apply several drops a day directly to the wart.
  • Vinegar and baking powder: Make a paste with white vinegar and baking powder. Apply it to your wart several times throughout the day.
  • Tea tree oil: Apply several drops a day directly to the wart.
  • Flax seed oil: Apply several drops a day directly to the wart.
  • Onions: Use medical tape or a BandAid to hold a small slice of onion on your wart.
  • Potatoes: Use medical tape or a BandAid to hold a small slice of potato on your wart.
  • Fresh pineapple: Use medical tape or a BandAid to hold a small slice of pineapple on your wart.
  • Dandelion "milk": Apply the milky juice from a dandelion stem directly to the wart several times a day.
  • Lemon juice: Soak one side of a cotton ball in lemon juice, then attach it over your wart with a BandAid or medical tape. Change several times a day.
  • Banana peel: Use medical tape or a BandAid to hold a small slice of banana peel on your wart, with the inside of the peel touching it.


Tips for Staying Wart-Free

As mentioned before, warts are caused by a virus. This means they are contagious, and not just to other people but also to other parts of your body. Hygiene is important to stop warts from spreading. Take these steps to help avoid catching or spreading the human papilloma virus.

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with hot water and soap several times throughout the day.
  • Do not touch other people's warts. Wash your hands after interacting with someone who has warts, after visiting their home or office, and after touching your own warts.
  • Be aware of any cuts or other skin openings you may have, as they allow the virus to enter your body more easily.
  • If you clip, shave or cut your warts, clean the implement thoroughly with hot water and alcohol. Better yet, use a wart removal remedy and allow your warts to fall off, rather than infecting your grooming tools by using them on warts.
  • Keep your skin clean and dry as much as possible, as the human papilloma virus flourishes in a warm, moist environment.
  • Do not put your fingers in your mouth if you have warts on your fingers.
  • Wear shower sandals in school, fitness center or community shower rooms, public pools and locker rooms. Wear them in hotel bathrooms as well.
  • Always use a clean, unused Q-Tip to dip into your solution. If you apply any of the home remedies to your warts using a Q-Tip, do not dip the Q-tip back into the wart-removal solution once it has touched a wart.


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    • northlandws profile image

      northlandws 4 years ago from Fargo, North Dakota

      I have heard about using duct tape but this is the first time I have read about nail polish.

    • SmartAndFun profile image

      SmartAndFun 4 years ago from Texas

      The nail polish method was recommended to me by a friend. The iodine method is the one I have personally used and recommend. I have used it many times and the wart has never grown back. Thanks for commenting!

    • phlyguy 4 years ago

      I've tried iodine tincture, 10% salicylic acid and tea tree oil. All 3 works but iodine seems to be quick n cheap.

    • SmartAndFun profile image

      SmartAndFun 4 years ago from Texas

      phlyguy, thanks for chiming in with your experience. Yes, iodine is cheap! I love that my warts have never grown back with iodine. For me, salicylic acid worked, but they grew back. Thanks for commenting!

    • paxwill profile image

      paxwill 4 years ago from France

      You gotta love a medical condition that can be treated with duct tape, lol! Cool article, voted up.

    • SmartAndFun profile image

      SmartAndFun 4 years ago from Texas

      LOL Paxwill, I think I love duct tape more than warts. I guess duct tape really does fix everything! Thanks for voting up! I didn't think anyone would vote up a hub about warts! :) Thanks for stopping by!

    • jaydee 4 years ago

      the iodine method seems to work better when the majority of the wart tissue was remove by physical means example: surgery,laser,liquid nitrogen or simply using salicylic acid. cos i once tried using iodine to treat my warts and the effect was not immediate (maybe I'm not patient enough lol). So i went to the clinic and got it removed by freezing using liquid nitrogen. When the water bubble poped i noticed a small root on the skin left by the wart and continued to apply iodine tincture for about a week. it fell off and never grow back. btw i think bee propolis worked as well, a friend of mine read somewhere that propolis and royal jelly have strong anti viral properties so he mixed the two and applied it n the wart for a while and its gone, not even a scar.

    • SmartAndFun profile image

      SmartAndFun 4 years ago from Texas

      Thanks for sharing your experience, jaydee. I have mostly used iodine without treating the warts first, but yes, it does take time. That is a smart idea to have it frozen or otherwise treated first, in order to clear it up faster. However, for those who don't have time or money to get to a clinic, iodine will work on its own, but it does take several weeks if not a month or so. I really like how iodone seems to kill the root and keeps the wart from coming back! Thanks again for sharing your tips!

    • SmartAndFun profile image

      SmartAndFun 4 years ago from Texas

      Well duct tape really works, as does nail polish. I think at least clear nail polish would not be seen so easily. I can't imagine going on a job interview or being in a friend's wedding with a hunk of duct tape around my finger, LOL. If you use any of these methods let me know how they work for you. Thanks for stopping by!

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      I just bought compound W today. Wish I had read your hub first. I think I'll try the nail polish never heard of it before.

      Good information, voted up.

    • SmartAndFun profile image

      SmartAndFun 4 years ago from Texas

      Good luck with the Compound W! It has worked for me in the past, but the wart grew back eventually. Iodine is my favorite because it seems to make each wart go away forever. Thanks for reading this article on such a glamorous subject, lol!

    • Gypsy 3 years ago

      Would this - the iodine method, work for my older dog?

    • SmartAndFun profile image

      SmartAndFun 3 years ago from Texas

      That is a great question, and I'm not sure of the answer. It seems like it might... I must admit I'm not sure. There are some really great "dog" writers here on HubPages, one is DrMark1961 and the other is Alexadry. I'm sure if you looked them up and asked them, they could give you a much better answer. Sorry I'm not much help, but thanks for reading and asking your question.

    • Eric Calderwood profile image

      Eric Calderwood 3 years ago from USA

      Along the lines of the duct tape method, is surgical stockings. When I had knee surgery, the surgeon made me wear an anti-embolism, surgical stocking for a month after surgery (I couldn't wash it that often either!). I had a small wart on the back of my leg before surgery. By the time the month was up, the wart had turned dark. About a week or so after discontinuing the use of the surgical stocking the wart fell off.

    • Dusana1234 profile image

      Dusana1234 3 years ago

      Great post, very informative and easy tips.

      Have a great day.

      Dusana :-)

    • SmartAndFun profile image

      SmartAndFun 3 years ago from Texas

      Thanks Dusana! Hope these ideas help if you ever need to use them!

    • SmartAndFun profile image

      SmartAndFun 3 years ago from Texas

      @ Eric Claderwood, thanks for the tip! As much as no one wants to have warts, it really is interesting to learn all the crazy methods for getting rid of them. I'm glad yours is gone! Thanks for reading and for sharing your experience.

    • rumanasaiyed profile image

      Rumana 3 years ago from Sharjah, UAE

      H SmartandFun

      You have given a big list of things to remove wart. And this is amazing. My mother did had a wart, and she was using white lime to remove it. I don't know if its safe or not, but it was working actually.

      But now we can try various simple ways to remove warts.

      Voted up Useful and Shared!!

    • SmartAndFun profile image

      SmartAndFun 3 years ago from Texas

      Hi rumanasaiyed, thanks for reading and commenting! White lime - now we have something else to add to the list! So many things are effective at getting rid of warts, It really is interesting and amazing. Thanks again!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Very interesting. I've had a couple of visits to the doc to remove a wart; nothing traumatic but it would be good to do it oneself; thanks for the advice. Voted up, useful & interesting.

    • MichaelUS profile image

      Michael U. Santiago 3 years ago from Philippines

      In my experience, I just take a lot of food supplements and eventually they are gone.

    • SmartAndFun profile image

      SmartAndFun 3 years ago from Texas

      Thanks, annart for reading and commenting! If you end up trying one of these remedies some day, let me know how it works for you!

      And thanks MichaelUS, I will keep supplements in mind and perhaps other readers will try that.

    • Hezekiah profile image

      Hezekiah 3 years ago from Japan

      Interesting, the duct tape sounds very painful.

    • SmartAndFun profile image

      SmartAndFun 3 years ago from Texas

      Hi Hezekia, thanks for stopping by. While duct tape might sound like a painful method for removing warts, it really isn't bad at all. You simply tape over your wart and wait for it to fall off, or disappear. Lots of people have used this method successfully. Try it if you have a wart and see if it works for you! Thanks for your comment.

    • FullOfLoveSites profile image

      FullOfLoveSites 3 years ago from United States

      Duct tape is quite an unusual tool for removing warts, but I'll try that. I have many warts especially on my neck. I will try ALL those methods possible. thanks for posting! Up and useful.

    • Insane Mundane profile image

      Insane Mundane 3 years ago from Earth

      Oh, great, now we are going to have all these weird people walking around with duct tape stuck all over their neck, fingers, and body... Things will really get interesting when people with genital warts take heed to this advice and apply duct tape to their beloved unmentionables... LOL!

    • Jennifer Suchey profile image

      Jennifer Suchey 3 years ago from Northern California

      Okay, so if I ever need to know how to get rid of warts I'll come find your article again. I just had to tell you that your feature photo cracked me up . . . as did your lead in line about duct tape. ;)

    • SmartAndFun profile image

      SmartAndFun 3 years ago from Texas

      LOL, Insane! I'm so glad I've never had to deal with that delicate problem, I'm laughing at the thought of duct tape "down there." Thanks for your funny comment! You can leave Insane Mundane comments on my articles any day!

    • SmartAndFun profile image

      SmartAndFun 3 years ago from Texas

      Hi Jennifer, I'm glad you found this article entertaining! If someone is having to deal with warts, they might as well have a little fun with it, right? Come on back for the tips if you are unlucky enough to find yourself with a wart or two. But be sure to read Insane's advice about genital warts, LOL. Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • SmartAndFun profile image

      SmartAndFun 3 years ago from Texas

      Hi FullOLoveSites, thanks for stopping by! If the warts are on your neck, you might not want to put duct tape on your neck. If I were you I would try the clear, colorless idodine for that area. I hope you can find a workable solution. Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • Joyee 2 years ago

      After reading your article I have started the garlic method on my genital mole.It seems working but it is a really painful method.The skin around the mole has become dark or it can be said it is burned by garlic juice.The moles are bleeding and becoming small each day but I think there will be a horrible scar.Does castor oil and baking soda method also have burning sensation like garlic?I need to know it.Your article is very helpful but I think you must also add information about the pain of using each and every method.

    • erorantes profile image

      Ana Maria Orantes 2 years ago from Miami Florida

      I like your article on how to remove warts with out pain. It is amazing how you figured out a good thing for every body that read this hub. Congratulations, I honor your hub for an excellent discovery. I like the pictures. You are creative just like people's body. Thank you for sharing your information.

    • Nancy 2 years ago

      Has anyone noticed new tiny warts popping up around others they are treating with iodine? Why is this? I'm treating my son, 12, ASD . Thanks!

    • Ratheesh 2 years ago

      That onion medicine is a quick medicine to warts??

    • Laura335 profile image

      Laura Smith 2 years ago from Pittsburgh, PA

      I've done the duct tape trick. It takes months, but it works!

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Kay Badder 23 months ago from USA

      I used the duct tape one on a plantar wart on my foot and it worked after about 3 weeks. Duct tape doesn't work well on most areas though. I would imagine that it does starve the wart from oxygen though, since the nail polish works and that would do the same thing.

      I've heard that the sap from milkweed will remove one. I tried that one, but not long enough to say if it worked or not. Thanks for some other good ideas.

    • cricket 22 months ago

      I remember my mom said something about nail polish so i tried it and it does work.Thanks for the other methods.

    • Mick1966 18 months ago

      I have what look like flat skin tags on one eyelid, dont know what it is, any idea?

    • Rao 18 months ago

      What to do for multiple small to bean shaped warts on my scalp face chin .it is multiplying day by day iam really feeling very bad doctor told me there are so many surgical methods by laser is not possible pl help

    • skperdon profile image

      skperdon 16 months ago from Canada

      I ever knew there were so many cheaper methods to get rid of warts. I'm going to try the iodine method to get rid of skin tags. I do hope it works on those. Thank you for the tips that you shared SmartAndFun.

    • mandydolan profile image

      mandy dolan 15 months ago from california

      Very interesting article. Who knew? I have never had a wart but will keep this in mind if I get one or hear about someone getting one. Great info to share. Thanks :)

    • Landon 14 months ago

      Run a lighter across your hand where the warts are. Warts hate heat and fire does the trick. Dont sit there and burn yourself. Just lightly run the flame over your wart a couple of times a day for a week ot two. I tried every thing and this works for the nasty ones. Mine was under my nail and on the side of it but its back to normal now

    • SmartAndFun profile image

      SmartAndFun 12 months ago from Texas

      Joyee, I'm sorry t hear about the pain you're experiencing. I can only attest to the iodine method, which I used on my hands and fingers. It was not painful at all. The other methods, such as garlic, I have not personally tried. But I have used the iodine method many times on my hands and fingers, and it was never painful in those areas. Best wishes to you in getting your problem solved!

    • SmartAndFun profile image

      SmartAndFun 12 months ago from Texas

      Hi Nancy, sorry for the late reply. I have not experienced new, smaller warts popping up around the original wart -- I can only imagine that perhaps the virus is trying to grow and spread? Were you able to knock them all out? My advice would be to continue to use the iodine several times throughout the day on all the warts, and see what happens over several weeks or a month. If you think it might be something serious, by all means see a doctor!

    • SmartAndFun profile image

      SmartAndFun 12 months ago from Texas

      Ratheesh, I have personally not tried the onion method. I'm assuming it could take awhile. It seems most of these home remedies take some time as opposed to having them cut or frozen off by a doctor. The iodine method is the only one I have personally used. I prefer it because not only is it painless and very inexpensive, but it seems to effectively get rid of the virus as well as the wart, which means the wart does not grow back.

    • SmartAndFun profile image

      SmartAndFun 12 months ago from Texas

      I have a few skin tags that I basically ignore -- I have never tried to remove them. I'm curious if the iodine method will work. Let me know how your experiment turns out! Thanks!

    • SmartAndFun profile image

      SmartAndFun 12 months ago from Texas

      Landon, yikes! That sounds dangerous! I don't think I can endorse that one! But thanks for reading and commenting. Maybe someone else will feel brave enough to try it!

    • seema 12 months ago

      can u tell me if i use garlic then my wart come or not

      i.e. it's permanent soln or not

    • SmartAndFun profile image

      SmartAndFun 12 months ago from Texas

      Hi seemu, I have not personally tried the garlic method. Some people have written here that it works, but one person who used it in the genital area said it was painful. I'm afraid I can't vouch for that! If the anti-viral properties of the garlic are strong enough, I guess it might be permanent. Best wishes!

    • Jahanzaib 5 months ago

      Can you please tell me which method for wart removing is not painful and quick. I have a little wart on my neck. So please help.

    • Bev 5 months ago

      Nice article, what about warts on the eyelids, what remedy do you have?

    • Hiraa 4 months ago

      I have removed my mole through natural things but it get a white scar.....' how can it removed??? Waiting for replies

    • Sydney 3 months ago

      I am using the duct tape and I may try the banana peel trick

    • miles 2 months ago

      Hi guys iam happy to see all these ideas,I hv a wart on my neck and its making me uncomfortable,iam going to try the nail polish idea,and some1 told me about super glue iam going to try that 2

    • Tiffany 2 months ago

      I used dark blue nail polish for three straight weeks on the bottom of my foot and the wart has never returned.

    • surya 8 weeks ago

      i have wart in my middle finger . The top surface became flat. But the root hasn't gone .How can i get rid from the root?

    • RandAll craig Pritchett 3 weeks ago

      i have successfully used Castor oil and baking soda for tags. and any skin growths. tea tree for plantar warts. my dad said they used to rub a potato slice around the wart for removal. my 5 yro got a wart on the thumb and growing quite rapidly. we did not have any potatoes so i told her to take a penny and rub it in a circle around the wart for as long as it takes to say the lords prayer. it was gone in a week or two. my ex had a dark tag on her neck after childbirth. i tied a thread tightly around and knotted it trimining any excess. gone in two days, no scar no return. do it Friday night if you wish. my father in law uses vitamin e oil rubbing it in well on scars or any skin conditions. he did consider the oil necessesary and said it can be done with rubbing alone. cantharidin (spanish fly or any blister beetle) is a natural substance and works well. your physician can call it in. uncle buck will give you a subway token to go down and let a rat gnaw it off. be sure to vaccinate the rat and sterilize it's teeth with a solution ov polychlorinated biphenyls and methyl ethyl ketone with two parts napalm, one part agent orange mixed with zyklon B (not kosher for passover).

    • Jess 6 days ago

      What is the best way to kill a wart

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