Old wart treatments that DON’T work!

When it comes to searching for health advice about warts, many people come across folk remedies. Some of these remedies have included: 

  • “Rub a dusty, dry toad on warts, and they will disappear”
  • The advice of Tom Sawyer to “…back up against the stump and jam your hand in and say, ‘Barley-corn, barley-corn, Injun-meal shorts, spunk water, spunk water, swaller these warts.’”

Before they are scoffed at, these folk remedies serve as a reminder that many warts resolve spontaneously regardless of the treatment or lack of treatment.

There also a variety of alternative treatments that often use household items that have no medical evidence to be effective. 

Home Remedies that Don’t Work


  • Rubbing the wart with your choice of meat. Burying the meat in the backyard. Then digging the meat up in a couple of weeks. If the meat is gone, so is the wart.

This is not an effective method, and it is more likely your dog or a wild animal have dug it up and eaten the meat. 

  • Cutting a potato in half and rubbing the wart firmly with one potato half. Make sure that the skin becomes completely saturated with raw potato juice. Repeating this process morning and night for two weeks before you “start” to see results

While we would all love to believe Better Homes and Gardens and KidSpot, the keyword here is start to see results, this could still just be the start of your immune response, and the potato has no effect. 

  • Soak a cotton wool ball in apple cider vinegar and apply directly to the wart. Use a bandaid to fix the cotton ball to the wart. Remove after three to four hours. Repeat every day for three days. 

While apple cider vinegar does have antimicrobial properties removing and treating warts is not one of them. 

  • Rub the wart with the peel of an orange. The wart will turn orange and then darken and finally drop off. Continue for two weeks. 
  • For plantar warts, apply the inside of a banana peel to the wart. The peel must remain in contact with the wart at all times. Continue for 3-4 days.

Peels have often been recommended as wart treatments because they have antioxidants like lutein. However, there is still no medical evidence to suggest peels are an effective wart removal treatment. 

  • Paint the wart with a layer of clear nail polish. Repeat every second day. Continue for two weeks.

It is believed that nail varnish will suffocate the wart and cause it to naturally fall off, however, there are many disputes about this “remedy”, and there is no medical evidence to back this up. 

  • Rub raw garlic over the wart every day for two weeks.

It is believed garlic will make the wart blister and activate an immune response helping the wart fall off. Currently, there is no medical research on the effectiveness of rubbing garlic on your wart, and it is ineffective with most people who try it.  


Other home remedies that are often promoted but have no medical evidence include:

  • Soak a cotton ball in fresh aloe vera and apply directly to the wart. Repeat each day for two weeks.
  • Apply the milk of a dandelion directly to the wart. Repeat every day for two weeks.
  • Rub castor oil onto the wart twice a day for two weeks.

What Can I Do To Remove A Wart? 

Ultimately, for the wart to disappear, the body’s immune system must be activated to attack the viral tissue. Swift Microwave Treatment at the Geelong Wart Clinic has been proven to activate the quickest and best immune response without any tissue damage. In fact, Swift Microwave Treatment has a greater than 85% resolution rate.

 If you need to remove a wart don’t try home remedies, get in contact with the Geelong Wart Clinic by calling 1300 283 063.