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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:

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..

SHantell on August 18, 2011:

I got a splinter in my feet last night, and i thought i took out the piece of glass, but it seems as though somethings still in there cause it hurts and i can see blood when pressured. Will try this method and let you know how it turns out.

Diana Trimble on August 04, 2011:

I will try it and let you know. My main problem is that although it seemed as though all the wooden splinter was removed, I have been in agony every since. I have had recurring corns grow over the exact spot the splinter entered, and then the 5 doctors and 2 podiatrists ONLY treated the corn and dismissed my story of the massive splinter. I KNOW the two things are connected and I'm going insane. It hurts all the time, even when there's no pressure on it and sometimes I feel like I'm being stabbed with hot needles. I've gained weight because I can no longer run. Very sad bunny.


Sophie on May 03, 2011:

I too have a meeting in London day after tomorrow and a deeply imbedded wooden splinter in ball of my heel that has started hurting 24 hours after first getting lodged!

I've got Vick and plasters so will give this a go tonight. Fingers crossed because as it is, can't envisage getting on tubes/ walking etc.

Jo on February 12, 2011:

I've had tiny glass splinters deeply embedded in my foot for two months. A hard, painful bump has grown over them, so there's no way to get to them even if I wanted to. Very painful to walk and have been cushioning it with corn pads, gauze, two pairs of socks, even makeup sponges taped over it. I've tried everything to draw them out, and am now going to try the Vicks. I pray it works. I live in America and have lousy health insurance so I can't afford the doctor. Thank you.

todd on January 04, 2011:

after 11 hrs the glass is gone , ty for the info ........:)

Todd on January 03, 2011:

im going to try this right away ,i have a glass splinter in the heal of my foot and it hurts bad . I will definatley let you know my results .....TY

FoyFoy on December 22, 2010:

Trying this tom

Robyn on November 15, 2010:

Thank you. Broke glass Sunday morning. Glass shard was so small couldn't locate it in my foot, but there was 'bloody' evidence, as well as pain when touched at a specific angle and when I walked it was most painful. Last night (Mon) chose this poultice method as success rate seemed high. This morning (Tues) the pain is gone, but there was no evidence of the glass on the plaster. I add my thanks and encourage others to try this method.

Michele on October 28, 2010:

Thank you so much, it worked well.

Jean on October 09, 2010:

I have a very tiny splinter in my ring finger (just above the center, near the top). It has been in the finger for about 3 weeks~!

I got it from rubbing my hand over a sanded piece of pine furniture and all attempts to dig, squeese and pull it out have failed!

I WILL try you Vicks and pray it works. I have the inside skin of a raw egg on it now! I'm desperate! I will let you know! Thanks.

char on October 05, 2010:

Just tried it now,for my 2 year old son!will see how we get on in the morning!!

Vanessa on September 22, 2010:

A plaster is a Band-Aid. Band-Aid is the brand, but in Australia we know them as band aids.

Robin on September 16, 2010:

I did this for 2 nights when I had a wooden splinter stuck in the ball of my foot. I had nothing to lose and I had the stuff. It worked.

Dusty on August 20, 2010:

I have to admit I was skeptical but it really does work. I stepped on a sliver of glass about a week ago. It wasn't healing, just to deep to dig it out but not deep enough to heal over. Went to sleep with the bandaid (plaster on) with some Vicks on. Woke up this morning and it was gone. Stepping on it no longer hurts and I can stop walking like s windowlicker.

Tim on July 12, 2010:

This worked!! I had a piece if glass in my foot for 3 days that was killing me, I could barely walk. I left the vicks on over night, with bandage, when I woke up the next morning the pain was gone. I couldn't find the glass, but the pain is gone so it must have fallen out. It feels great to be able to walk again. Thank you!

Wilma Proops (author) from London, Liverpool, Paris, New York and Tenerife on June 17, 2010:

The sort of splinter you had Phillipa was exactly that which I had when someone told me about this method. It would be great if you could update on how it helped remove your difficult splinter...

Thanks for pointing out that Band-Aid or Elastoplast is how a plaster is better known in North America Geoff

Philippa on June 12, 2010:

I'm praying that the horrid little glass splinter in the ball of my foot comes out doing this! Is driving me crazy (as am I driving the boy friend crazy squealing when i forget and stand on it!)

Geoff on April 30, 2010:

To all those struggling to understand the word 'plaster' - it's the English word for what you might know as a Band-Aid or Elastoplast - I've had some strange looks around the world asking for 'plasters' too - seems like the brand names are a more common name in other countries :)

Wilma Proops (author) from London, Liverpool, Paris, New York and Tenerife on February 05, 2010:

Sorry I didn't see your comment sooner - I hope your son is doing well. I removed a very difficult splinter from the ball of my foot with this method. It was agony, I cpudn't put my foot on the floor - so walking was out of the question and I was going to London the next day for important business. The method worked well for me then. It can't do any harm - especially in your situation.

What can they do at A & E - your experience there sounds ridiculous. Have you called NHS Direct?

Ali Lees on February 04, 2010:

Do you think this will work on a splinter that has been in the foot for 5 days? We've even been to A&E to have it removed and they said they don't do that!My poor son is desperate now.

Wilma Proops (author) from London, Liverpool, Paris, New York and Tenerife on December 14, 2009:

A plaster is an English word. You buy plasters in all sizes to put over cuts and other minor injuries. Peel off the strip to reveal the adhesive (sticky) portion and you'll see some medical gauze in the centre - that's the bit you put the Vick Vapour Rub on - and place it on the splinter's area and press to stick. I hope this answers the question sufficiently.

As to the question re the quantity of splinters Wilma Proops picks up. Thank you for your concern but she hasn't had one for a year or so. She still walks around in bare feet though which could account for her getting some real nasty little blighters in her feet in the past...

Curioes on December 01, 2009:

Why do you get so many splinters? And I still am not sure what a plaster is...

Wilma Proops (author) from London, Liverpool, Paris, New York and Tenerife on June 20, 2009:

This really works! I had to use this again - another wooden splinter in the ball of my foot yesterday. Went to bed with the treatment applied and this morning it had neen removed. Spread the knowledge!

Wilma Proops (author) from London, Liverpool, Paris, New York and Tenerife on May 11, 2009:

A plaster is a self-adhesive patch used to dress wounds - like those used on cuts on fingers or on children's bloodied knees after a fall

help on May 07, 2009:

What is a plaster?

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