Introduction: DIY Wart Removal

Picture of DIY Wart Removal

Want to get rid of a wart, but don't want to use harsh salicylic acid or pay for an expensive wart-freezing kit? This instructable will show you how to freeze off your own warts for 1/3 the price.

Step 1: Get the Supplies

Picture of Get the Supplies

You're going to need a can of computer duster from your local office supply store. The ingredients in the one I've used is simply tetrafluorethane gas (non-carcinogenic, and non-flammable for the record) compared to the retail wart remover which is dimethyl ether, propane and isobutane.

Also pick up a pack of plastic Qtips.

Duster: USD$7 for a giant can (12oz)
Qtips: $2.50 for 375


USD$25 for a wart freeze off kit (12 uses total)

Step 2: Prepare the Supplies

Picture of Prepare the Supplies

Snip one of the Qtips in half and plug it into the can of duster. It should fit very snuggly.

Step 3: Freezing Part

Invert the can and give a couple of short bursts of freezing liquid until the Qtip is saturated with it (you'll see it splash off). Avoid getting the liquid on you anywhere else than the wart because it can cause frost bite.

Wait about 10 seconds and apply to the wart you wish to remove. It's going to sting, but it's just like getting something liquid nitrogened at the doctor's office

I'm not responsible if you maim yourself somehow doing this. Use common sense.


KiwiGran (author)2011-12-09

My doctor has had two attempts at freezing off a large wart I've had on my hand for about 18 years. Both these treatments were pure torture and failed.

Two weeks ago I decided to try something new. I purchased a glass (crystal) nail file which I use each morning to file a little more off the wart. It is now level with the skin surface and will soon be gone.

Very easy and painless.

B1ackRose2002 (author)KiwiGran2015-09-05

Do u think any other nail file would work?

dshort6 (author)B1ackRose20022017-01-23

I got rid of three warts on my hands that I had for years with the metal file on a Swiss army knife.

dshort6 (author)dshort62017-01-23

My metal file I mean the file that's designed to file metal, it's also made of steel.

taetakacs (author)2016-10-01

I just went to the doctor. He took a can of liquid nitrogen that came with a straw. The kit had translucent white mini funnels in it with different sized holes for different sized warts. You can buy liquid nitrogen in a can online. Same with a set of plastic mini funnels. Stick the funnel on the wart. Apply pressure. This isolates the area. Spray on liquid nitrogen for a few seconds. Let it bubble and evaporate for a few secs. Apply again. Then at most a third time. Lift off the funnel. You just freeze dried your wart. Your body thinks the small area got frostbite. If the wart has a raised surface use flat toenail clippers to clip it flat. The skin will turn grayish white in a day (this was on Caucasian completion skin). It is dead skin. It will possibly blister and redden. It may peel or flake off or come off in a clump. Underneath it will be pink and ooze. Once the raw skin is exposed underneath, keep it out in the open and dry. Don't cover it with sweaty plastic bandages. Let it scab up and reheal. Before the dead skin falls off, you can facilitate exfoliation with over the counter wart removal kits. I love the ones with the little skin shaped discs that go right on top of the wart, and you cover it with a round disc shaped band aid. The discs contain salycilic acid which dries out the skin and makes the dead stuff fall off quicker. At night I take off the disc, let it air out and dry. Reapply in am and wear all day long. If you work with your hands, cook food, wash dishes, etc just wear disposable powdered latex gloves to keep it dry. My doc said to use the little discs then after it heals for a while to promote regeneration of that area. If it doesn't work then do the freeze drying again after it heals. Maybe apply liquid nitrogen four or five times if it's deep and aggressive. Doc said warts are caused by a virus that tricks the immune system and hides from it. Freeze drying is man made frostbite he said, and it stimulates the immune system to regenerate tissue and repair the area down at a deep level. For bad deep warts surgery may be needed. This was for a wart on my hand and not a nasty plantar wart like you guys have talked about here.

Commerce99 (author)2015-11-22

This stuff works sometimes, but you still have to kill the root deep underneath the's how

nandar5 (author)2015-10-28

remove our moles, warts and skin tags safely and naturally within only three days.

CowenL (author)2015-09-20

For DIY wart removal at home, there are certainly safer and more effective alternatives than dust remover.

Check out the detailed guide below for home wart remedies with demo videos, which also covers the pro and con analysis vs the medical treatment (eg. cryotherapy / laser / TCA) and over the counter solutions, for you to make an educated decision.

Hope this helps.

brandon borick (author)2008-12-17

wart freeser fom the store has difuorethane

JohnnieW (author)brandon borick2015-01-11

I bet you are correct, but it is an expensive process because it seems the process is endless....

ukumar7 (author)2013-04-12

I used wart off over the counter wart remover. It works but it takes forever. You have to apply the stuff daily for us to 15 days and eventualy the skin and wart should peel off. Unfortunately it did not really work because it didn't peel off the whole wart and it grew back. If you really want it to work you have to keep dedicated to daily applications and possibly having to do it again if it doesnt remove all of the wart. Wart Control from ForcesOfNature, anyone tried this?

chemistprof (author)2010-06-07

Wow, it's amazing how people will simply make stuff up and post it online. Difluorethane is used as a propellant in the above mentioned dustoff because, like all other hydrofluorocarbons, it's chemically inert. Other fluorinated hydrocarbons are also used as refrigerants simply because they are inert, and are liquid over the appropriate temperature and pressure ranges experienced in a refrigeration system. The same goes for teflon, a hydrofluorocarbon made by Dupont and prized for it's resistance to extreme chemical conditions, such as extreme acidity, or exposure to strong oxidizers, let alone it's tendency to not stick to anything (frying pans, etc.). Difluoroethane does not form hydrofluoric acid upon contact with moisture, no matter how extreme the conditions. If it did, it certainly wouldn't make for a very safe consumer product intended for dusting off electronics! If you experience tissue necrosis with the above cryogenic treatment in a location other than your wart, it is because you got the very cold liquid on part of you skin that was not the wart. This is more a cautionary tale for those with poor eye hand coordination. If you can't get the cold liquid to go where it's supposed to, then no cyrogenic home treatment will work for you. You should instead face the music, and go to a dermatologist.

KirkH420 (author)chemistprof2011-12-17

@chemistprof You sound very knowledgeable however this I've done this to myself and other people and it does work. Difluorethane is the agent which basically acts as though it were liquid nitro. Sometimes several applications will be needed over a few weeks. Turn can upside down while wearing eye protection and spray onto a q tip. Apply to wart with q tip and hold till it turns white and you'll feel a minor sting. Leave it alone for 3 to 5 days and it will become a scab. You will begin to notice it itches a lot.... you will end up scratching off the scab and the wart is either gone or noticeably smaller. Knowledge is power and can take you anywhere, but I recommend not letting your knowledge close your mind to ideas which don't make sense because of what you know.

jbean3 (author)2011-08-13

This could be a possible solution to get rid of a wart but there are several other easier more productive ways. Not only are there many over the counter products available at your local drug store but several common house hold items can also be used as home remedies and work just as well! Check out this website ive found several helpful things its worth the look!

kasaDD (author)2010-08-22

My dad is a doctor and he uses this and says it works better because the dust spray gets colder.

misslarue (author)2009-05-16

I haven't tried it yet, but I've read that tea tree oil, or Melaleuca alternifolia oil, is an effective natural remedy. Tea tree oil is a really lovely product from Australia--it tingles and smells kind of like eucalyptus, and I've used as a treatment for cuts and blisters, because it acts as an antimicrobial. Its also the main ingredient in the Derma Remedies product. I'm going to make an experimental paste of garlic and tea tree oil and let you guys know what happens to the annoying wart on my right heel (the place where I always get blisters from sandals).

rob123 (author)2009-05-03

Never use dust remover for wart removal, its crazy!!

Derma Remedies have an awesome product for wart removal. Their stuff is natural and really works!

You just apply to the warts and they flake away by themselves and never grow back. Plus no scarring! Great stuff!

Check out their website to order (they have a buy 2 get 1 free special too)

anthony41 (author)rob1232009-05-07

Yes! I agree I tried the product from Derma Remedies too. It worked way better than anything else I tried. Mine just kept growing back with cutting them off/freezing. After a short period of time they changed color and fell off. No burning or scarring. Can't even tell where they ever were on my skin. I was skeptical at first, but not a skeptical as trying Dust Off......LOL! Check them out! You won't be sorry you did!

Yerboogieman (author)2008-06-25

will this work on a mole?

pickford78 (author)Yerboogieman2008-10-06

probably not. it will also hurt like hell.

canida (author)2006-11-17

Have you tried duct tape? Studies show that it's more effective than freezing for wart removal.

spinach_dip (author)canida2006-11-17

yea, but the duct tape takes weeks, and it's a pain in the @#$ when the tape must be kept applied to an area that you are always washing, such as your hands

merseyless (author)spinach_dip2008-08-02

Duct tape... what cant you do

Andrew546 (author)canida2006-11-17

Yay, i want to struggle to keep duct tape on my hand for 2 months while my wart slowly dies of old age!!! Haven't you heard? Random pieces of duct tape on you hand for 2 months is the newest, most awesomest fashion statement out there! 2 months, or maybe a week or so, hmm, which should i choose?

Mac_Tonight (author)2008-07-10

Just don't breathe it in accidentally. This stuff can and will kill you.

garden burger (author)2008-06-28

when i saw the picture of the dust remover i just thought "what crazy person would ever try this"

avengingwatcher (author)2008-06-15

This worked like a charm for me. 3 dollars for it :) Thanks so much for the idea, almost a year later and still healthy and wart free. Saved me over 17 dollars.

drerock (author)2008-06-12

it didnt work, dammit

yoitspoe (author)2008-05-14

tetrafluorethane is actually flammable under a few certain circumstances and may cause flash fires, but most of the time you're safe

amz-fx (author)2008-03-07

Absolutely not true.Difluoroethane is a common aerosol propellant and stable in contact with water. It is widely used in hair sprays and deodorants, including those which contain water. It is also known as HFC-152a

ccrook (author)2007-07-23

Funny, I've never had any adverse reactions as you've described. Maybe if it's "gross over exposure" like they've mentioned. My guess is that the "turning yellow and blisters appear" is from frost bite not hydrofluoric acid. "Real wart remover" in the freeze off is more like 5 fold the price you mentioned. In fact: "Decomposition - Decomposition products are hazardous. This material can be decomposed by high temperatures (open flames, glowing metal surfaces, etc.) forming hydrofluoric acid and possible carbonyl fluoride. " Luckily my skin is not an open flame or glowing metal surface so I would deem this relatively safe. I still stand by my disclaimer. If it really was a hazard to get it on your skin they wouldn't sell it in stores without huge warning labels. Methinks you've watched one too many ER episodes.

bleachworthy (author)ccrook2007-07-24

No, not an alarmist. the information I provided was for Dust Off brand name. it is real, I have had it happen to me, it sucks balls.

ccrook (author)bleachworthy2007-07-24

Except you were talking about difluoroethane. I specifically used tetrafluoroethane (see above). Dustoff comes in different forms.

ccrook (author)2007-07-23

Furthermore, this is tetrafluorethane not difluroethane.

More info as to why it's safer.

Thanks for your concern but you seem to be an alarmist.

austin (author)2006-11-18

so does this work for genital warts? lol, my firends and i used to mess around with each other by sneaking up behind each other and spraying tthem with this stuff, It would hurt like hell, and as long as you didnt do it to long it would not cause permenant damage.

ccrook (author)austin2006-11-19

My one friend used an retail kit on his genitals and it worked just fine despite the warnings not to. He was going to get some LN2'd at the health center anyway, so I really don't see the difference between that and this. Again, I'm not a doctor, so if you end up maiming your unit, I'm not responsible.

CementTruck (author)ccrook2006-11-19

Hmmm. Genital warts + duct tape underwear/cup/jock strap/G-string.

2)Disposable (never needs washing)
3)Removes warts
4)Epilates - side effect (removes unwanted hair)
I'll stop here----

I don't see a down side. ;)

Duct tape works better. It's been proven.

Duct tape takes forever. I'd rather do this for the same period of time with less maintenance than changing a piece of duct tape. When my dermatologist starts prescribing duct tape, I'll let you know.

spinach_dip (author)2006-11-17

1, 1, 1, 2 Tetrafluorethane (R-134a) has a boiling point of −26.6 °C (−15.9 °F)

ccrook (author)spinach_dip2006-11-18

Compared to: propane: -42C dimethyl ether: -22C isobutane: -12C So its pretty close. It's definitely does the job.

Andrew546 (author)2006-11-17

I fixed the label on your spray can :-p

Andrew546 (author)Andrew5462006-11-17

Whoops, I guess using the right picture would be a good idea...

spinach_dip (author)2006-11-17

Computer dust-off spray: not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease

TheCheese9921 (author)2006-11-17

wo do you think this will work on a corn i have one on my foot

ccrook (author)TheCheese99212006-11-17

I can't recommend it for anything other than molluscum or warts (what I've seen it used on) but I would assume, if freezing off corns is normal practice at G.P's offices, this would work just fine.

About This Instructable




Bio: Student at the College of William and Mary in Virginia.
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