Skip to main content

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

Hi y'all! I'm a writer out of Texas, and I love passing on little tips. I've successfully used iodine several times to remove warts.

Several home remedies can be used for easy and cheap wart removal.

Several home remedies can be used for easy and cheap wart removal.

Inexpensive and Effective

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 take 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:

  • Topical 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.

Always consult a medical professional before attempting to remove a skin growth at home and have it properly identified.

How Do They Work?

The duct tape method is an 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 Topical 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 "Topical Iodine Tincture." (Although no prescription is needed to purchase topical iodine tincture, most pharmacies keep it behind the prescription counter, so you'll have to ask for it.)

What to Do:

  • Small bottles of topical 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 papillomavirus, 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.

If any signs of infection or an adverse reaction develops please see a medical professional.

Luckily for her, this is all makeup!

Luckily for her, this is all makeup!

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 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 I 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 papillomavirus.

  • 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 papillomavirus 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 centers, 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.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Comments - I'd love to hear what works for you!

Nomsa on February 26, 2019:

Is this iodine the povidine iodine that also help for wound

No name on January 07, 2019:

You do realize within the first paragraph it says ways to use these methods to avoid the doctor, but then says right after to consult a doctor before doing said things. This is a contradiction.

Gravy girl on December 26, 2018:

What is the best strategy? The Freezing at the doctor's does not work that good.

Craig on March 16, 2018:

I'm using Apple cider vinigar on small bit of cotton wool covered with a band aid over night, for 7 days, it flatterns it and it goes black then it comes off like a scab over several more days. Works great!

Dennis on March 11, 2018:

I went to a doctor who had me use iodine on ring worm on my foot. Works! Told me to use it on warts too.

Anne on May 13, 2017:

Never tried iodine. I'll have to remember that one. All the other remedies are crap, and the warts come back. There's only one thing I have found that actually works and its called Wart Paste. Warts fell off in two weeks. You can find it here if the iodine doesn't work for you.

SmartAndFun (author) from Texas on February 14, 2017:

I'm sorry, I don't know anything about genital warts. I suggest seeing a doctor for that very serious condition. Best wishes.

SmartAndFun (author) from Texas on February 14, 2017:

RandAll craig Pritchett, the rat method is the most hilarious one I've heard so far! Thanks for a very original and entertaining comment!

SmartAndFun (author) from Texas on February 14, 2017:

Surya, I have found that three to four weeks of applying iodine to the wart several times a day very effective at killing the "roots" of warts.

Jidah on February 02, 2017:


U must try this! It worked in just 2 DAYS!! I am so grateful to give a try applying this oil on my warts and it just worked!! I just cant believe to see my CLEAN and SMOOTH hands which looked awful when i had the warts! Those suffering from warts, PLEASE GIVE A TRY OF THIS OIL! U will feel GRATEFUL FOREVER!

Jess on January 16, 2017:

What is the best way to kill a wart

RandAll craig Pritchett on December 30, 2016:

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).

surya on November 24, 2016:

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?

Tiffany on November 15, 2016:

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

miles on October 26, 2016:

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

Sydney on October 19, 2016:

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

Hiraa on September 18, 2016:

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

Bev on August 19, 2016:

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

Jahanzaib on August 17, 2016:

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.

SmartAndFun (author) from Texas on January 09, 2016:

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!

seema on January 09, 2016:

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

i.e. it's permanent soln or not

SmartAndFun (author) from Texas on January 09, 2016:

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!

SmartAndFun (author) from Texas on January 09, 2016:

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 (author) from Texas on January 09, 2016:

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 (author) from Texas on January 09, 2016:

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 (author) from Texas on January 09, 2016:

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!

Landon on November 02, 2015:

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

mandy dolan from california on October 16, 2015:

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 :)

skperdon from Canada on September 21, 2015:

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.

Rao on July 26, 2015:

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

Mick1966 on July 11, 2015:

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

cricket on March 23, 2015:

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

Barbara Badder from USA on February 07, 2015:

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.

Laura Smith from Pittsburgh, PA on January 05, 2015:

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

Ratheesh on November 08, 2014:

That onion medicine is a quick medicine to warts??

Nancy on July 23, 2014:

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!

Ana Maria Orantes from Miami Florida on May 30, 2014:

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.

Joyee on May 23, 2014:

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.

Clear away on February 26, 2014:

Does clear away disks work on genital warts? It's on the outer part of the vaginal it safe to use there? It won't be used internally. Thanks.

SmartAndFun (author) from Texas on July 02, 2013:

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!

SmartAndFun (author) from Texas on July 02, 2013:

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 (author) from Texas on July 02, 2013:

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!

Jennifer Suchey on July 01, 2013:

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. ;)

Insane Mundane from Earth on June 26, 2013:

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!

FullOfLoveSites from United States on June 25, 2013:

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.

SmartAndFun (author) from Texas on June 22, 2013:

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.

Hezekiah from Japan on June 22, 2013:

Interesting, the duct tape sounds very painful.

SmartAndFun (author) from Texas on June 19, 2013:

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.

Michael U. Santiago from Philippines on June 19, 2013:

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

Ann Carr from SW England on June 18, 2013:

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.

SmartAndFun (author) from Texas on March 16, 2013:

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!

Rumana from Sharjah, UAE on March 15, 2013:

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 (author) from Texas on March 13, 2013:

@ 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.

SmartAndFun (author) from Texas on March 13, 2013:

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

Dusana1234 on March 13, 2013:

Great post, very informative and easy tips.

Have a great day.

Dusana :-)

Eric Calderwood from USA on March 12, 2013:

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.

SmartAndFun (author) from Texas on February 24, 2013:

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.

Gypsy on February 19, 2013:

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

SmartAndFun (author) from Texas on November 28, 2012:

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!

moonlake from America on November 28, 2012:

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 (author) from Texas on September 13, 2012:

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!

SmartAndFun (author) from Texas on July 23, 2012:

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!

jaydee on July 22, 2012:

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 (author) from Texas on June 07, 2012:

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!

SmartAndFun (author) from Texas on June 04, 2012:

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!

phlyguy on June 04, 2012:

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

SmartAndFun (author) from Texas on May 27, 2012:

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!

northlandws from Fargo, North Dakota on May 27, 2012:

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