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How to Remove a Difficult Wood or Glass Splinter from Your Foot

How to Remove Difficult Splinters

I discovered this method of removing splinters a few years ago.

A glass had been smashed a few weeks earlier and although I'd been very careful to vacuum up the shards obviously I'd been remiss. I found I had a splinter of glass in the ball of my foot. My initial attempts to remove it had failed and now I found it almost impossible to put any weight on my foot and walk.

The next day I had planned to travel to London to a very important meeting. It looked like I'd have to cancel - I'd have to get medical assistance instead. Fortunately (extremely fortunately as it turned out) a friend called. Despite my anguish and pain I politely enquired how she was. "Fine" came the predictable answer. She politely enquired about me only to get the very unpredictable answer - boo hoo - "I've a splinter in my foot, I can't walk and I'll have to cancel my meeting tomorrow!"

But the meeting went ahead. My friend told me how to remove the splinter. What is more, she told me how to remove it painlessly - I'd imagined a local aesthetic and a scalpel and was incredulous when the method she shared involved neither. To tell the truth, I gave it a go only because I had the necessary ingredients to hand - it was one of those situations in which there was nothing to lose. Here is the method my friend imparted, it worked on the very difficult splinter of glass in the ball of my foot and has since worked with a less difficult wooden splinter.

A Miraculous Way to Remove a Splinter

You will need:

  • about a teaspoon of Vicks' Vapour Rub
  • 1 large plaster


  • clean the dry the area of skin around the splinter
  • apply the Vicks' Vapour Rub to the splinter's area
  • stick the plaster over the area - you may need to bandage the plaster on - it is very important that the plaster does not come off
  • leave for a few hours or overnight
  • remove the plaster carefully - the splinter will have worked its way out and be on the plaster
  • dispose of the plaster carefully

Also see my Cheap Natural Cure for a Tickly Cough on hubpages:

Stop a Cough with an Oninion...


Michelle on October 01, 2018:

My gf dug a hole in her foot with the tweezers. Finally got her to soak in hot water for about 15 to 20. Then remebered the vicks sab technique. Now the waiting game.

Jan on July 21, 2017:

For those wondering what a plaster is, in the States we call them Bandaids. Thanks for the tip I'm going to try this on my husband's foot.

Carla on December 15, 2013:

I stepped on some glass on Saturday and

miffi on December 07, 2013:

so put the vicks on the sticky part or the middle gauze like part? Im keep doing a foot soak with ebsons salt.

teri on September 11, 2013:

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Ooooooh! Well I guess I can find some use for the pkg. Of plaster of Paris I just bought! Lol! Hope this works.

Jason on March 29, 2013:

A piece of oak wen t deep into my finger (about the size of a toothpick). I pulled it it out but it made a bloody mess of my fingertip. I was constantly using that finger (index) so it hurt a lot. I have had numerous splinters in the past. If I left them in they would just come out on there own, but this one, that I thought I removed, must have broke off inside my finger. It's been a month and it has completely heeled weeks ago and it still hurts when I apply any pressure to my fingertip. I guess I have to operate because this one is stuck so deep. I cut my finger with a sterilized razor blade, have blood but no splinter. This sucks intentionally cutting yourself is not easy. Any advise?

My Kfoot Hurts on September 26, 2012:

Hi, I will try vicks and plaster, will report in 7 to 9 months on how it worked out. I was drunk walking almost naked in the woods. My foot pain is all I have to show for it. Thank you.

lynne on September 05, 2012:

Oh, my God.. My splinter is killing me... It's been 3 days now and from what it seems it is way too deep.. Nothing would help. The worst thing is I can't even locate it, as the skin on my foot is too hard. have no idea if it is going to work, but am definitely trying this tonight. (soaking in hot salty water didn't seem to help :(((( ) Will update you, guys, in the morning! Hope it works!!!!

Laura Maddox on September 04, 2012:

i have brass splinters in the bottoms of both feet. many splinters. How do i know? i walked thru my basement barefooted and in dim lighting til i felt a crunching under my feet then i flipped on light and saw some one had used drill press on something made of brass. There were tons of teeny tiny shavings and turns all other the place. now a week later my feet ankles itch like mad and lil pieces that must b working their way of balls of my feet keep catching on carpet and oh man that hurts!! HELP ME!! im soaking them right now and thot about drawing salve. what do u suggest?

Brynne on June 19, 2012:

I somehow got glass in my toe. I have no idea how, i just know that it hurt at night when i woke up. At first i thought it was a slinter. Ive tried almost everything to get it out. I tried twizzers that cant get a good grip and slip, and a needle. It didn't go in at an angel so i cant squeese it out. I also tried soaking my foot and the vapour rub but nothing has worked. I also tried duct tape. Im so desperate, im tempted to dry hot wax. Plz help

Gia on June 13, 2012:


LMAO ME TOO!!! Yeah, in America, plaster is what you put on walls and i was like does putting this white chalk on your feet really work??? Haha, luckily I found out it meant Band-aid.

Red on June 03, 2012:

I am trying the vicks and band-aid right now on my small, 2 day old, small sliver of glass in the ball of my foot. I too almost put wall plaster on my foot. Husband thought I was crazy...LOL. I will report back ASAP. I did soak it in hot water before also. Thank you for letting us all in on your little secret!

Eve on June 01, 2012:

It didn't work, someone has recommended soaking foot in epsom salts and sqeazing so will report back if that works!Nice idea though, I just think mine may be pushed too far in...

Lizz on May 31, 2012:

Two weeks ago while hiking I got a wood splinter in my thumb. All I had was my BFF finger nails. She removed it and on we went. I cleaned the wound the second we returned to our campsite. 2 days later I noticed a brown dot where the splinter was, so I dug and dug and dug and couldn't get to it. The thumb is sore to touch, like the pain you when something brushes over a piece of glass thatsis ticking out of your skin. The brown dot is still there but larger in size. I worried that it was infected so I have been putting polysporin and a band-aid on it but nothing has changed. I will try the vicks under a band aid and duct tape. Fingers crossed this helps me. I will post an update tomorrow.

Eve on May 31, 2012:

Trying this tonight will report back!x

Steve on May 29, 2012:

Testing this out, recommend the duck tape suggested over the bandaid/plaster.

Nikki on May 24, 2012:

I was very skeptical, but this worked for me! Just like the posts above, I suspected a glass splinter near the ball of my foot that sent shooting pain through my foot if I stepped on it just right. I put Vicks on it, covered it with a Band-Aid & duct tape (to make sure it didn't come off). The next day, the area was still sore, but GREATLY improved & no shooting pain. (Thankfully, because I had to carry heavy equipment and walk a lot for work that day!)

3 days later & still no pain. Not sure if this was coincidence or not, but I will definitely try this remedy again. Thanks!

Stephanie on May 20, 2012:

It did not work for me, but please let me explain. I am not sure what is wrong with my foot. It either has a large splinter lodged up in it (that you can't see or feel) or I got stung by a bee. It has been 8 days and I still cannot walk without limping. It is very swollen, sore to touch, and painful to walk. I went to the doctor on day 3. She gave me an antibotic and a tetnus shot. I plan on going back to the doctor tomorrow.

The Vicks and bandage (not drywall mud) probably does work for smaller splinters. I was hoping that the Vicks would draw out the venom or splinter. Another doctor bill...

To Angie-People can be inconsiderate. Just try to consider the source. The author of that post has all kinds of grammar and spelling mistakes. It is very frustrating having something wrong with your foot that causes you to limp. She should have chosen her words more carefully.

ANGIE MONKMAN on May 20, 2012:

I am dissapointed that you allow people to use a term such as window licker it is disgusting and degrading to people with disabilities, you should be ashamed, also illegal I beleive.

Stephanie on May 19, 2012:

So funny! I, too, almost put drywall mud on my splinter! I am desperate at this point. Trying Vicks now...

Erin on May 17, 2012:

It Does! It works! I'm so happy right now ^.^

Erin on May 17, 2012:

I was just going down the stairwell in my dorm when I stepped on a glass splinter. It has been in my foot for nearly two days and I have to go home tomorrow. I'm desparate, so I'm gonna try this and hopefully it'll work.

AB on May 04, 2012:

Broke a glass 6 weeks ago and some must have gotten in my foot. Will try this however it is pretty well established and looks like a blood blister.

Therese on April 20, 2012:

My son got a splinter a few days ago in the ball of his foot. I had him soak it & tried to get to it w/ tweezers... It looked like it was about three layers deep.

Told him to get some rest & well check it in the am. The next morning it looked the same. Had him go to school, but excused him from all physical activity.

Now three days later it is round & dark purple. Looking like a blood blister. Now I'm very concerned looking for some good old fashioned remedies to help my son! My mom had heard of putting glue & then after it dries it pulls off. I'm worried because it's a deep splinter. My son screams when I touch the area around the splinter. Thank u so much for all ur postings I will try the Vicks & bandage tonight. Fingers crossed it works!!!

auburn on April 19, 2012:

my cut is rather deep but i want to try this.. is it ok to put the vicks on an open wound? i know there is glass but i dont want to go to the doctor

Kiki on April 14, 2012:

Two days later and still no pain! It worked!

rob on April 13, 2012:

PLaster in America is what you put on walls/ I almost put wall spackle on my wound.

Kiki on April 12, 2012:

I woke up last night with terrible pain in the ball of my left foot- 3 weeks ago I had stepped on a thorny weed and my foot has been bothering me since. Finding this, I decided to give it a try immediately. It's now morning and I have no more pain. Didn't see a thorn pr whatever come out, and there is still a raised bump on my foot, but it's 100% better now. Will update if this changes...

Nia on April 05, 2012:

About to try this tonight

Mark on March 31, 2012:

Got a sliver of metal (brass) in finger today while doing some plumbing. Too small to grab with tweezers will try this tonight. Hurts like hell and went in deep.

emma williams on March 25, 2012:

Never have heard of Vicks to do this, but when a kid, same thing happened and we were poor nnd in the country.Mom put a very small piece of bacon and wrapped it and the next day the big piece of wood was laying in the wrap. The salt drew it out, I guess and also a small pece of potato will do the same thing..Good luck..Always worked for me and my children...

Michelle on March 12, 2012:

I've been freaking out because I have a glass splinter in my foot for 7 days now & I've been on every website to get it out & I seen if it's not treated it could get infected and do that mean it could get amputated, someone please tell me I'm wrong

Allison on March 12, 2012:

I have a glass splinter in the heel of my foot for 2 days. I put my foot in warm-hot water and even put neosporin on it overnight, and it's still isn't coming out I'm going to try the knowledge. I hope it works!!

Nikki on March 04, 2012:

It's 2.30am can't sleep I have a splinter deep in my heel. Have just applied the vicks the band aid - fingers crossed!

Pieter on February 22, 2012:

Well done. It worked... The thorn was about 3mm long and went in strait down.. no wonder it hurt so much... thanks!

Jules on February 10, 2012:

Have a painful thumb and can't see anything but a teensy tiny bump. Will try this tonight and let everyone know whether it worked for me or not. Here's hoping!

Heather on January 15, 2012:

Did not work for me either, splinter is still painfully in my foot.

Joanne on January 14, 2012:

Did not work for me

Sue on January 02, 2012:

Trying this on my 3 yr old daughter who has a deep one in the heel of her foot. Fingers crossed. Will let you know how I go

Joanne on December 30, 2011:

This is an old fashioned remedy and we have been doing it for over fifty years in my family. My grandmother said that before Vicks was available goanna salve was used (in early 1900's). Works every time.

hey e on October 06, 2011:

Im trying this now. let you all know tomorrow! Got a piece of glass in the foot from a light bulb....very thin and fragile piece I would assume. If this works it most def is a miracle!

Dorkhany on September 17, 2011:

My daughter has a splinter on her heel. It was from a thorny weed called goat head. She stepped on one. We tried to take it out and it is too deep. I will try the bandage and vicks. I will let you know how it turns out.

Anon on August 25, 2011:

how did it work people??? come back and let us know! im going to try this for a tiny piece of glass stuck in my foot (was surprised at how common this is!) also trying magnesium sulphate paste..