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Wartless: Get rid of warts the spotless way

My sister-in-law recently had a few large plantar warts surgically removed from her foot. The treatment seemed pretty barbaric and she was in a lot of pain following the operation, which had left her with two craters on her foot. The worst of it all was that the surgeon had not managed to remove all the wart. Years before, my mother had a plantar wart burned off with liquid nitrogen, which was another very painful, scarring experience.

I hope to spare my readers the pain of procedures like these. So, below are some ways to remove warts, including plantar warts, using gentle, natural and mostly painless methods. I have tried them all either on myself or on others and they have all proved effective, pretty painless, and left no trace.

Warts are benign tumours caused by various strains of the human papilloma virus, and will usually disappear on their own over time. But they are unsightly, can sometimes become painful (especially plantar warts) and can spread or remain for long periods. Being viral, they are contagious and can spread to others or to other parts of your body. Interestingly, plantar warts are very rare among people who do not wear shoes, so going barefoot whenever possible is a good way to help avoid them. After acne, warts are the most common skin ailment.

Method One: Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is an old home remedy for all types of wart.

If possible, begin by soaking the affected area in a 50:50 solution of warm water and apple cider vinegar to soften the skin and slough off the top layer of dead skin cells so as to allow better penetration of the vinegar. Soak for as long as possible, then dry the area.

Next, soak a small cotton ball or pad in neat apple cider vinegar. Apply it directly over the wart. Secure it in place with a plaster or duct tape. Leave it in place overnight or, if possible, for 24 hours.

Repeat this procedure using a fresh vinegar-soaked pad each day for a week or more. At some point, the entire wart will come away. It may take a few days or up to two weeks, occasionally longer. It may blacken first, or shrink to a small scab. Continue with the treatment for a few days after the wart has gone to ensure it does not regrow.

Method Two: Vinegar-soaked lemon peel

This method was sent to me by a reader and works brilliantly as well as being truly spotless.

Soak lemon peels in vinegar for a few days (if you already make citrus vinegar, you will be doing this anyway). You can use plain white spirit vinegar for this.

Prepare the area as above by soaking the skin in a warm water and vinegar solution. Use white spirit or any vinegar if you don’t have apple cider vinegar. This step is not essential but does help the treatment.

Cut off a piece of your vinegar-soaked lemon peel big enough to cover the wart. Cover the wart with the white pith side against the wart and the yellow rind on the outside. Attach it with plaster or duct tape. Leave it on overnight or, if possible, for 24 hours.

Repeat this procedure using a new piece of vinegar-soaked lemon peel each day until the wart falls away, and then continue for a few days to ensure it does not regrow.

The reader who shared this remedy used it on her son who had “a huge wart on his finger for about a year”. She applied the peel at night only and on the third morning the whole wart fell off. I used it on a plantar wart on my foot that was quite painful, and this took longer – about ten days – but worked.

Method Three: Lavender oil

Some people report that using vinegar to cure warts causes pain. This can be a mild stinging pain initially as the vinegar attacks the wart, or an ongoing pain that lasts a few days and that in some cases is relatively strong. If you have this reaction, or fear it, try this method instead.

Lavender oil is another old home remedy for warts. It is especially good for very painful warts as the Lavender soothes the pain as it heals and fights the virus. Simply dab a drop of Lavender essential oil directly onto the wart, carefully, every morning and evening. Or, put a drop or two on the pad of a plaster and cover the wart. Reapply every morning and at bedtime.

Repeat until the wart is removed and for another few days to prevent regrowth.

Method Four: Lavender-infused vinegar

Combine the power of vinegar and Lavender. Use Lavender-infused vinegar in place of apple cider vinegar. Follow the instructions as for method one above.

Method Five: Bicarb (baking soda) solution

Rub the wart three times a day with a solution of bicarb and enough water to form a paste. Leave on for a minute or two if possible before rinsing off. Again, continue with the treatment for a few days after the wart has gone, to ensure it does not regrow.


be aware that, depending on the size and type of wart, it can take weeks to get rid of. However, my experience with these methods has been that they work within days. With persistence, I hope that you will be able to avoid any painful surgical interventions and nasty scars using one of these natural methods.