20 Strange Home Remedies That Work!

Celery for bad breath? Vodka for smelly feet? Check out these simple—yet sometimes wacky—home remedies that use products found right in your pantry!

There are many home remedies for all types of ailments that have been passed down over the years. While some are bunk, many actually work and are often better than their traditional medical counterparts (without the unpleasant side effects). Check out this list of simple, sometimes wacky, home remedies that use products found right in your pantry:

20 Bizarre Home Remedies That Work

1. Cure cuticle infections with white vinegar

Close up on a female hands with dry skin and hangnails. Long fingernails and cuticles in bad condition. Chapped and neglected hands. Hands care concept. Lack of manicure in a lady fingers.

Whether you have had a recent visit to an overzealous manicurist or have a bad habit of chewing your fingers, you can treat your torn-up and infected cuticles naturally. Simply submerge your fingers in a glass of equal parts distilled white vinegar and warm water for 15 minutes. Repeat once a day until the infection heals. White vinegar has antibacterial properties and will help to reduce the infection in the nails.

2. Get rid of hiccups with a spoonful of sugar

Ingesting a teaspoon or two of sugar is enough to help stimulate the vagus nerve, which resets it and stops the spasms that cause hiccups. Try these other hiccup remedies!

3. Remove warts with duct tape

Instead of getting your undesirable warts frozen off, simply apply a strip of duct tape to the affected area. Keep the tape on for three days, remove, rub the wart area with a pumice stone, and then reapply with new tape. Repeat until they are completely gone. Duct tape is an inexpensive way to suffocate the skin virus and remove those unsightly warts. It’s been a Farmers’ Almanac tip for years!

4. “Beet” constipation

The natural soluble fiber in beetroot is your colon’s best friend. Eat some fresh-steamed beets, then drink the water they were steamed in. Be warned, the natural dye of the beets may cause your stools and urine to be bright red, but it’s perfectly harmless.

5. Potatoes for bug bites

Raw potatoes are claimed to have anti-itch and anti-inflammatory properties, perfect for relief from a bug bite. Create a potato poultice by grating a peeled potato and putting the shreds into a thin piece of cloth. Secure the contents with a rubber band and apply the poultice to your cleaned bite until the potato is dry. Clean the area with warm water and reapply with fresh poultice until the symptoms have subsided. See all the things potatoes can do!

6. “Drunken” raisins for joint pain relief

Your grandparents may have sworn by this trick to relieve joint pain. The vitamins from golden raisins mixed with the anti-inflammatory effects of the juniper berries used to make gin has been shown to help reduce swelling and ease arthritis pain. Soak golden raisins in gin overnight and eat ten daily.

7. Banana peels for poison ivy relief

Banana peel - Banana

Rubbing the inside of a banana peel against the poison ivy rash may provide some itch relief. They can also shine your shoes!

8. Celery for bad breath

Young woman holding a celery isolated on blue background with happy expression.

Chewing on a celery stick or apple can help to dissipate bad breath. The rich fiber content helps to increase saliva production which helps to wash away bacteria-causing food particles and plaque that cause bad breath.

9. Yams for hot flashes

natural remedies for hot flashes

Yams are not only yummy, but they are a great source of antioxidants and nutrients that can decrease hot flashes and night sweats. Yams are thought to be a source of natural progesterone, relieving some menopausal symptoms. Note: yams and sweet potatoes are often confused, so be sure you’re eating true yams. Here’s how to tell the difference.

10. Nettles for hair loss

Nettle tea in glass, fresh and dry nettle.

Serving up a cup of stinging nettle tea is a long-standing remedy for hair loss. Capsule form also works well. The vitamins and minerals found in nettle leaves and roots are great for hair growth and hair maintenance. Simply pour boiling water over 4-6 nettle leaves in a mug and enjoy!

11. Remove splinters with baking soda

Rather than digging around with tweezers to remove pesky splinters, apply a baking soda paste to help swell the skin and draw the splinter to the surface. Mix a small amount of baking soda and water to form a paste, apply to the area, and cover with a bandage. After about 24 hours, the splinter should protrude enough to be able to pull it out easily with tweezers. If no luck, repeat.

12. Alleviate headaches with a foot soak

Footbath With Orchid

Soaking your feet in hot water is an age-old trick for helping your head feel better. A hot-water foot bath helps to draw blood to your feet, easing the pressure on the blood vessels in your head.

13. Aspirin for dandruff relief

aspirin tablets

Skip the dandruff shampoo and keep your flaking in check with aspirin. Aspirin contains the same active ingredients (salicylic acid) as many medicated dandruff shampoos. To make your own dandruff shampoo: Add 1 tablespoon of crushed aspirin to your regular shampoo, suds up, and leave in for up to 5-10 minutes before rinsing.

14. Vodka for smelly feet 

woman holding nose for smelly feet.

Vodka is effective at “taking the edge off” of those pungent foot odors. Its high alcohol content helps to kill bacteria while also drying up moisture. Add some vodka to a spray bottle and spritz your shoes between uses. If you would rather mix up a drink with your vodka, rubbing alcohol can be used instead.

15. Strawberries for whiter teeth

Home remedies: eat strawberries for whiter teeth

Strawberries contain malic acid, a tooth-whitening agent. Crush a fresh strawberry to a pulp, then mix with 1 teaspoon baking soda until blended. Spread the mixture onto your teeth, leave on for 5 minutes, then rinse. Strawberries also contain natural sugar, so be sure to brush afterward.

16. Ease tinnitus with nature sounds

Digitally produced sounds mimicking nature and water have been shown to provide some relief from tinnitus. Numerous white-noise machines offer nature sound settings or nature sounds apps can be downloaded on your phone that will do the trick.

17. Apricots for good digestion

Bowl with dried apricots on wooden table

Dried apricots are a good source of soluble fiber, which feeds your healthy gut bacteria and may boost digestive health. Try popping a few of these tasty treats following dinner to keep things moving in the right direction.

18. Listerine® for blisters

Listerine was originally developed in 1879 as a surgical antiseptic, designed to kill germs. More commonly used to treat bad breath, Listerine is also great for battling blisters. To treat, simply moisten a cotton ball with Listerine and dab it onto the blister three times a day until it dries up.

19. Garlic for athlete’s foot fungus

The health benefits of garlic are nothing new, but did you know it can even be used to treat the fungus of athlete’s foot? Mince some garlic cloves, mix with some olive oil, and dab the mixture onto the affected areas, being sure to get in between your toes. Rinse.

20. Treat acne with coconut oil

Young black woman applying moisturising cream to her skin while standing in front of the mirror in the bathroom. African american girl applying face cream while smiling. Beauty hydrating moisturizer and skincare routine concept.

Coconut oil’s versatile health benefits are certainly nothing new, being around since the 1800s, but it might also be helpful for those with acne. Coconut oil contains lauric acid which has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties. Apply it to your skin, rub it in with your fingertips, rinse with warm water, and wipe your face with a hot steamy cloth.

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Natalie LaVolpe

Natalie LaVolpe is a freelance writer and former special education teacher. She is dedicated to healthy living through body and mind. She currently resides on Long Island, New York, with her husband, children, and dog.

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The banana in the photo was peeled from the wrong end.


Teaspoon of mustard on a saltine cracker for hiccups.

Priscilla Gentry

Onion to ward off virus causing colds, flu,

richard tebaldi

Aloe Vera directly applied from the plant will take sunburn away as well as any burns by fire or heat. Proven. It’s excellent for wounds as well. Apply cover and change bandages until you can see it’s ready for air drying.

JoAnn Davis

Vicks vaporub is excellent for toenail fungus. Rub it on and under the toenail. I tried prescription & over the counter meds for years and nothing. Vicks took care of it in a relatively short time, even reattached the toenail.

Mrs Wolf

I tried the coconut oil, and it made me break out like a teenager. My husband has trouble with athlete’s foot, and something that really helps (though doesn’t totally cure) is a mixture of olive oil with jojoba oil and tea tree oil. He applies it before he dries off. I use a mixture of olive oil with jojoba oil and lavender oil prior to drying off as a general moisturizer, no more dry skin or scaly feet!


Does anyone have a good, natural remedy for toenail fungus?


I used equal parts vinegar and listerine. Mixed about an inch deep in a 2 gallon zip lock, kept it in a tray and soaked my feet nightly for 15 – 30 minutes. Keep toenails trimmed back. In 2 weeks all thick or flaky skin on feet was gone. Toenails were months but could see progress. Can warm in microwave for cold days. Change solution after 3 or 4 days. Use yellow listerine (or store brand) so you won’t dye your feet. Good excuse to sit down and take it easy too.


Tea tree oil

Sally Baker

Dear Natalie, do you have any remedies for filigry warts on the eyelids? I’ve read about apple cider vinegar but was told this might damage the cornea, and that surgery near the eye will always change the shape of the eye… Thank you!


You can try grated potato. I ready this in an old remedies book. I tried it and it worked for me. It worked for my cousin as well.
Grate the potato small, apply it to the eyelid like a paste and let it sit for about 15 or 20 minutes. Then wipe off and rinse eyelid. It may have to be repeated.


this is for Judy about a home remedy for psoriasis. Many years ago (40), after trying tar shampoos, etc, I got the idea to apply Listerine (regular) with a cotton ball, and it would resolve the issue around my hairline and in my part. I did not use it as a rinse, just on the troublesome parts. Hopefully, this will still work~


I took my grandson to the doctor for a wart and she said studies have found that duct tape works best!!

Judy Baumann

Looking for home remedy for scalp psoriasis, Went to dermatologist every 3 to 6 mos for 2 years, tried several of her prescriptions, and nothing worked. Just bought avocado oil and trying that with tea tree oil. Just started about a month ago, but does not seem to be doing much. Also using T-Gel and T-sal shampoo.


The drunken raisins need to be soaked for 7-10 days, sitting on the counter with a cloth towel over the bowl and stirred once daily until the alcohol is soaked in or evaporated. You can add honey to them for taste if needed. The juniper berry and the raisins do work but you have to remember to eat the 10 a day.


Why couldn’t you eat the raisins and have a shot of gin?

Kimberly Fuselier

Love reading all the home remedies, tips & tricks! Is there a home remedy for exema for children? Not sure if I spelled that correctly but hopefully you can understand what I mean.

Susan Higgins

Hi Kimberly, have you tried coconut oil?

Don Karger

Do you have any remedy for treating pusular psoriasis on heels of the foot?

Susan Higgins

Hi Don, pustular psoriasis is a tricky condition that needs to be treated by a medical doctor, along with diet changes, and many foods can exacerbate the condition. But if you’re looking for natural remedies, ask your doctor about using coconut oil topically as treatment. It has many properties to treat regular psoriasis and other skin conditions. Might be worth checking into. Let us know how you make out, and good luck!


Try a gluten-free diet.

wayne dawson



Interesting article. I use lots of home remedies and was delighted to read about a few I didn’t know about in this article.

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