Has the white region of your eye gone pink? Are your eyes very itchy? If that is so, then you may have pinkeye.

It is also called Conjunctivitis, and it is an eye condition that needs quick treatment!

Usually, an eye infection can clear up on its own in ten days or so. In the meantime, it does not affect your vision.

But it still needs attention as sometimes you may experience irritation, itchiness, or even burning sensation in your eyes.

It is best advised that you get rid of a pinkeye infection using these effective home remedies.

By reading the following article, you will find:

  • Pink eye: A quick guide
  • Easy and hassle-free home remedies for pinkeye
  • Some questions and answers

What Is a Pink Eye?

Pinkeye, also known as conjunctivitis, is a one of those very common eye infection that occurs.

It causes redness and inflammation of the mucous membrane lining the eyelid and the white part of the eyeball called conjunctiva [1, 2].

pinkeye home remedies

Pink eye happens when small blood vessels in the conjunctiva become inflamed, causing the whites of your eyes to appear reddish or pink [2].

Symptoms of a Pink Eye

The following symptoms are the most common pink eye symptoms which include:

  • Redness in one or both eyes
  • Tearing
  • A type of discharge in the eyes, forming a crust usually at night that prevents the eye from opening in the morning
  • Itchiness
  • A gritty feeling in one or both eyes

Causes of a Pink Eye

Viral and bacterial conjunctivitis – Viral and bacterial conjunctivitis mainly occurs with a respiratory infection such as a sore throat or along with colds [2].

Viruses like the Adenovirus, bacteria like the Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae mainly causes conjunctivitis [3].

Even wearing uncleaned contact lenses or someone else’s contact lenses can lead to bacterial conjunctivitis [2, 3].

However, both types are very contagious.

Both bacterial and viral conjunctivitis spread through direct or indirect contact, especially when the liquid from an infected person’s eyes comes in contact with your eye.

As a result, either one of the eyes or both the eyes may be affected.

Allergic conjunctivitis – Allergic conjunctivitis is a response to an allergy causing substance such as pollens, dust mites, pet dander, and irritants [3].

When an allergy-causing substance to enter the eyes, the body releases histamine causing a red or pink eye.

Along with a red or pink eye, you may experience intense itching, tearing, sneezing, and watery nasal discharge all due to allergic conjunctivitis.

A chemical splash in the eye, a foreign object in the eye, and a blocked tear duct in the newborn may also lead to conjunctivitis.

19 Effective Home Remedies to Get Rid of Pinkeye

Since pink eye can be contagious, early treatment can help limit its spread and also home remedies can help ease the discomfort of pink eye.

So below are some effective home remedies to get rid of pink eye:

1. Holy Basil

Holy basil has a lot of practical uses for health and wellness.

It protects the organs from pollutants, stabilizes blood sugar levels, relaxes the mind and body, fights bacterial infection, and lowers blood pressure [5].

Another feather in its hat is that it’s a strong anti-inflammatory that can help tone down blood vessel swelling in cases of pinkeye [5].

home remedies for pinkeye

This mechanism of action works for both acute and chronic inflammation [5].

The active compounds responsible for this are linoleic acid and eugenol, which inhibit the pathways in charge of the metabolism of arachidonic acid [6, 7].

The way these herb works is similar to that of anti-inflammatory medications such as naproxen, ibuprofen, and aspirin that doctors commonly prescribe [8].

What You Will Need:

  • One tablespoon of holy basil leaves
  • 1 cup of water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Put water in a pot.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Add holy basil leaves.
  4. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat.
  6. Let it cool a little.
  7. Use the solution as an eyewash.
  8. Repeat remedy twice a day until condition improves.

2. Aloe Vera

Large quantities of aloe vera are being cultivated all over the world to meet the demand for this highly versatile medicinal plant [9].

Its anti-inflammatory properties have been the subject of many scientific investigations, shedding light on its ability to cure a wide range of ailments [10, 11, 12, 13, 14].

One of these is pinkeye or conjunctivitis.

In a 2012 study, found in the Pharmaceutical Biology Journal, stated that aloe vera extract could safely be used on human eyes [15].

According to the researchers, it can be used in the form of an eye drop to cure inflammation and other issues involving the eye [15].

Moreover, it has been found to possess active substances that can improve the functioning of the cells in the eyes [15].

What You Will Need:

  • One aloe vera leaf
  • Warm compress

Recommended Directions:

  1. Put a warm compress on top of the eyelid.
  2. After a few minutes, remove the compress.
  3. Apply aloe vera leaf along the eyelid using a cotton tip.
  4. Wash off aloe vera using warm water.
  5. Do this twice a day for up to one week to get rid of pink eye at home.

3. Green Tea

Most people drink green tea to enjoy its multitude of benefits for the health, which include weight loss and anti-aging, among others.

Did you know that green tea can also be applied topically to support skin health and ward off infections?

For cases of pinkeye, green tea can help with its load of bioflavonoids that can effectively ameliorate irritation and inflammation [16].

It also has significant bactericidal effects that can inhibit the activities of Staphylococcus aureus, as reported in several studies [17, 18, 19].

As stated earlier, this particular bacterial strain is one of the major causes of pinkeye infection.

Amazingly, green tea works even on drug-resistant microbes that antibiotics can no longer control [19].

What You Will Need:

  • One green tea bag
  • Warm water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Soak a green tea bag in warm water.
  2. Close your eyes.
  3. Gently lay it on top of the eyelid.
  4. Leave it on for 10 minutes.
  5. Repeat several times a day until the inflammation subsides.
  6. You can also soak a cloth in the tea infused water if you don’t like to apply the tea bag directly on the eyelid.

4. Cucumber

Cucumber provides many benefits for the skin such as, it helps to reduce puffy eyes, freshen up your eyes, and make you look younger.

Apart from that, it can also be used to relieve something that’s a little bit more serious, which is pinkeye.


A study published in the Archival of Ophthalmology shows that freshly frozen cucumber has beneficial effects on conjunctivitis [42].

It’s a simple yet highly effective remedy to curb this problem. Make it a habit to keep cucumbers in your refrigerator.

What You Will Need:

  • Two slices of cucumber
  • 1 cup of water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Soak a towel in water.
  2. Wring out excess water.
  3. Place a towel in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  4. Take it out, and apply on the eyelid for a few minutes.
  5. Remove and replace with cucumber slices.
  6. Wait for 30 minutes.
  7. Repeat the process three times a day until the pink eye is resolved.

5. Neem

For thousands of years, neem has been used for various medicinal and agricultural purposes in India.

Folk healers have relied on neem extract for the treatment of metabolic disorders, infectious diseases, and several forms of cancer [20].

With its soothing and anti-irritant properties, it can also be useful in the treatment of pinkeye.

Several studies have been conducted to investigate its anti-inflammatory properties, which are also beneficial for this condition [21, 22, 23].

Indian researchers also note that neem is capable of resisting the activities of Staphylococcus aureus and other strains of bacteria [24].

These facts are enough to convince people that the use of neem is helpful for those who have redness and inflammation in the eyes.

What You Will Need:

  • 1 cup of water
  • Three drops of neem oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Boil water in a pot.
  2. Let it cool a little before using.
  3. Soak a washcloth into the mixture.
  4. Wring out excess water.
  5. Pour neem oil onto the towel.
  6. Apply warm cloth on top of the eye.
  7. Let it sit for a few minutes before removing.
  8. Re-apply every one or two hours.
  9. Do this for four to five days, or until condition gets better.

6. Colloidal Silver

Colloidal silver may not be the first remedy on your mind for pinkeye or for any other condition for that matter.

However, some say that it’s a helpful natural treatment that can act quickly against pinkeye infection.

When you apply it topically on the infection, its silver colloids are said to attract the infected cells electromagnetically [25].

Then it sends them into the bloodstream to be flushed out [25].

Proponents of this home remedy believe that it doesn’t work on certain bacterial species only. It has a broad spectrum of bactericidal effects that can combat many different types of infections [25].

It’s important to know, however, that its safety and efficacy as a medical treatment have not yet been proven in scientific research. [26].

What You Will Need:

  • Colloidal silver
  • Warm compress

Recommended Directions:

  1. Close your eyes and apply warm compress.
  2. Leave it on for five to 10 minutes.
  3. Then, apply a small amount of colloidal silver on the eyelid.
  4. Be careful not to get any inside the eye.
  5. Wipe it off after three minutes.
  6. Re-apply warm compress afterward.
  7. Do this technique three to four times a week for two weeks.

7. Turmeric

Turmeric has become known all over the world as a great healer, and we don’t have to wonder why.

It has numerous healing compounds that exhibit tremendous pharmacological effects.

Most of the turmeric’s medicinal properties have been widely recognized and utilized for the last 4,000 years, according to a 2011 report [26].

Its active compound known as curcumin is responsible for its anti-inflammatory actions, which pinkeye sufferers can take advantage of [27, 28].

In addition to this, it can also fight the source of pinkeye infection, which is Staphylococcus aureus [29].

A study performed by a team of scientists from South Korea reports that turmeric can block the invasion of the bacteria, and thus prevent it from spreading [29].

What You Will Need:

  • Two tablespoons of turmeric powder
  • 1 cup of water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Boil water in a pot.
  2. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir in turmeric powder.
  4. Mix until powder dissolves in water.
  5. Dip a cloth into the solution.
  6. Wring to remove excess water.
  7. Apply on the eyelids as a warm compress.
  8. Make sure that you can tolerate the heat of the compress before applying it to the skin.

8. Eyebright

Euphrasia Officinalis, more popularly known as eyebright, is another herb that you can use for pinkeye.

In a 2000 study, Eyebright was used as the main ingredient for an eye drop designed to treat this particular type of eye problem [43].

home remedies for pinkeye

Eyebright drop was tested in the clinics of 12 eye doctors in Germany and Switzerland [43].

The eye doctors prescribed a single-dose eye drop one to five times a day for patients with pinkeye [43].

Within one to two weeks, most of the 65 patients who used this eye treatment reported complete recovery [43].

The use of this eye drop resulted in the alleviation of common pinkeye symptoms such as redness, swelling and irritation [43].

What You Will Need:

  • 1 cup of water
  • One teaspoon of eyebright herb

Recommended Directions:

  1. In a pot, boil water and eyebright for 10 minutes.
  2. Let it cool.
  3. Strain the mixture.
  4. Wash the eye with this solution.
  5. Repeat procedure every four hours every day until pinkeye is cured.

9. Cinnamon

Apart from sending your sweet tooth to heaven, cinnamon also has wonderful benefits for the health.

One is that it helps fight off bacterial infections that cause pinkeye.

Some studies serve as proof that it can kill pinkeye-causing microbes such as Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae [30, 31, 32].

Chinese researchers confirm that cinnamon has broad-spectrum antibiotic qualities that can be attributed to its primary component cinnamaldehyde [32].

What You Will Need:

  • One drop of cinnamon oil
  • One teaspoon of cinnamon powder
  • 1 cup of water

Recommended Directions:

  1. In a pot, put the water and boil.
  2. Remove from heat.
  3. Add cinnamon powder and oil.
  4. Be sure to mix well.
  5. Use the solution as an eyewash.
  6. Wash the eyes using a small amount of this mixture twice daily.
  7. Do this for one week to quickly get rid of pink eye.

10. Cold Compress

One of the safest and simplest remedies for pinkeye is cold compress.

Cold therapy is used in various types of inflammatory conditions involving the eye, including conjunctivitis [33, 34].

While most of the other remedies listed here target pinkeye infections caused by bacterial infection, this one can relieve those that are triggered by allergens [34].

Although it doesn’t necessarily kill off the source of infection as with the other methods, it can alleviate the symptoms and along the way, get rid of the discomfort caused by this condition [35].

What You Will Need:

  • Five drops of lavender oil
  • 1 cup of water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Chill water in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Take it out and pour lavender oil.
  3. Soak a towel in the mixture.
  4. Apply on the eyelid.
  5. Leave it on for a few hours.
  6. Repeat procedure twice a day for up to one week.

11. Calendula

Calendula has been cultivated in the gardens of ancient Greeks, Arabs, Hindus, and Egyptians since the 12th century [36].

Even during the early years, it has already served many medicinal purposes, treating fevers, wounds, and damaged skin, among others [36].

It contains many biologic compounds such as flavonoids, terpenoids, and carotenoids, which explain its pharmacological properties [37].

If you want to relieve pinkeye once and for all, try using calendula tea, which can be used as an antiseptic eyewash to reduce inflammation [38].

home remedies for pinkeye

According to research, calendula works by blocking inflammatory compounds and limiting white blood cell infiltration in the tissues [39].

White blood cells are very active when there’s an infection in the body, as they try to fight it off using the body’s inflammatory response.

Moreover, this herbal remedy has also potent antibacterial effects that are effective against Staphylococcus aureus [40, 41].

What You Will Need:

  • Two teaspoons of dried calendula flowers
  • 1 cup of water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Boil water in a pot.
  2. Remove pot from the stove.
  3. Put calendula flowers in a cup.
  4. Pour water into the cup.
  5. Cover and steep for 15 minutes.
  6. Strain the solution using a coffee filter or cheesecloth.
  7. Use as an eyewash several times a day for a week.
  8. You can also dip a clean cloth into the mixture and use it as a warm compress.
  9. This remedy can also be used many times during the day for up to one week.

12. Indian Gooseberry

Botanicals such as Indian Gooseberry are used worldwide to treat an array of health problems [44].

In Ayurvedic medicine, this herb is recognized for its strong biological properties that can treat heart disease, oxidative stress and even certain forms of cancer [44].

People who complain of pinkeye can also make use of Indian gooseberry to alleviate their symptoms.

Researchers from India test the efficacy and safety of an herbal formulation designed to relieve various eye problems including pinkeye [44].

Indian gooseberry was one of the key ingredients of this herbal product, which proved to be effective in curbing pinkeye [44].

It was also well-tolerated by the patients and did not cause any unpleasant side effects even after long-term use [44].

What You Will Need:

  • One teaspoon of Indian gooseberry juice
  • 1 cup of water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Boil water in a pot.
  2. Remove from heat.
  3. Add Indian gooseberry.
  4. Mix well.
  5. Soak a towel in solution.
  6. Apply towel to the affected eye.
  7. Do this remedy once a day for one week.

13. Raw Honey

Raw honey is exceptional in antibacterial properties. The positive effects of honey in killing bacteria and healing wounds are documented in the oldest medical journals of the world. The first reference to honey as a remedy for various illnesses comes from a 2100-year-old Sumerian tablet. [45]

Even Aristotle mentions about honey to be a good ointment for treating wounds and sore eyes. It is evident that people in ancient Egypt made use of honey to treat various eye diseases such as conjunctivitis and for wound healing treatments. [45]

Apart from the antimicrobial effects honey also has a high viscosity and sugar level, and a low pH. That’s why honey can create a protective barrier to the infection and prevent the growth of bacteria. The best quality honey can inhibit more than 60 species of bacteria including Staphylococcus aureus, Helicobacter pylori, and so forth. [45]

You can either mix honey with sea salt and water or with milk to treat pink eye. Unpasteurized milk is a good source of probiotics that can soothe inflammations and fight infection. The best thing about this home remedy is that you need not worry about the dosage of honey. Honey doesn’t pose any risk to your eyes. Let’s get to know some of the methods of using honey for a pink eye. [45]

What You’ll Need:

  • ½ teaspoon of honey
  • Two tablespoons of water or raw milk
  • A pinch of salt
  • Eyedropper

Recommended Directions:

  1. Dilute honey in milk or water.
  2. Stir well so that the solution is smooth.
  3. Now add a pinch of salt to the solution and mix well.
  4. Allow 5 minutes for the solution to cool down.
  5. Pour it into an eye dropper.
  6. Apply 2-3 drops of the solution on your affected eyes.
  7. Repeat the treatment several times a day to heal pinkeye.

14. Apple Cider Vinegar

Vinegar is another time-tested home ingredient that has powerful medicinal values. Apple Cider Vinegar or ACV is a pale amber colored vinegar made out of apple must. The fermentation of apple juice with bacteria and yeast can create alcohol. [46] This alcohol is combined with acetic acid to produce apple cider vinegar.

Like all other vinegar, ACV has a strong smell and sour taste.

For centuries ACV has been used for various purposes. It is a potent cure for flu, sores, diabetes, even cardiac problems. No wonder why people consider ACV as a panacea in the home remedy.

Apple cider vinegar is a potent source of antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. That’s why ACV is a very effective home remedy for conjunctivitis or pink eye caused by any micro-organisms. [46]

It is evident that ACV can inhibit the re-occurrences of pink eye problem. You can use ACV as an eye rinse to kill the pathogens and prevent infection.

What You’ll Need:

  • One teaspoon of ACV
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • Eyedropper
  • Cotton ball

Recommended Directions:

  1. Dilute apple cider vinegar with water.
  2. Let the solution to cool down a bit.
  3. In the meantime, clean your eyes and the surrounding area using a clean cotton ball.
  4. Now, apply two drops of the ACV solution on the eyes using a dropper.
  5. Don’t worry if it stings a little.
  6. Repeat the process several times a day.

15. Probiotics

Probiotics are the traditional or folk remedy for treating a pink eye. Surprisingly this home remedy has worked a miracle every time you try. Probiotics are full of good bacteria. [47]

So these can crowd out and fight off the harmful pathogens of conjunctivitis or pink eye infection. Moreover, probiotics can replace the bad microbes with beneficial ones.

One of the most amazing and natural sources of probiotics is breast milk. Breast milk is a non-acidic, antimicrobial, and full of helpful bacteria. You are lucky if you have a breastfeeding mum at home. You can easily treat your eyes with a few drops of breast milk to heal pinkeye fast. [47]

In case you can’t manage human breast milk, you need to resort to goat or cow milk for the probiotics.

These are full of immune-boosting enzymes and probiotics. However, cow and goat milk are slower in treating the condition than human milk.

Fermented milk product such as yogurt is also a good remedy for conjunctivitis. It helps to prevent re-occurrences of pink eye in children and adults.

Let’s get to know how to use yogurt for treating pink eye.

What You’ll Need:

  • One teaspoon of the liquid part of unsweetened yogurt
  • Eyedropper

Recommended Directions:

  1. Apply a few drops of the liquid part of yogurt to your affected eyes.
  2. Repeat the process every hour to heal pinkeye fast.

16. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is a natural source of vitamin C and important nutrients. Lemon is full of antibacterial and antiviral properties as well.

Thus lemon or lime juice can prove to be very effective against pinkeye infection or conjunctivitis. [48]

home remedies for pinkeye

However, many people don’t prefer this home remedy as lemon juice stings a lot and makes the treatment an unbearable experience. However, indeed this painful home remedy is very effective in treating the eye condition. [48]

If you are desperate to beat the infection and dare to up the pain, then go for this natural remedy.

What You’ll Need:

  • One teaspoon of lemon juice
  • One teaspoon of water
  • Eyedropper

Recommended Directions:

  1. Dilute lemon juice with water.
  2. Apply two drops of the solution on the affected eyes.
  3. Repeat the process several times a day to treat conjunctivitis amazingly fast.

17. Salt Water Wash

Saltwater wash is the simplest solution to get rid of a pink eye fast at home. Salt or saline water can relieve the inflammations and redness of the eye. There are over the counter eye drops for a pink eye. However, those medications contain lubricants and other components that may cause side effects.

You can buy saline water from the medical store to irrigate you affected eyes regularly. Here is a simple homemade recipe for saltwater that you can use to treat pink eye fast.

What You’ll Need:

  • One tablespoon of salt
  • One glass of sterilized or boiled water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Mix the salt with the water thoroughly.
  2. Now gently irrigate and wash your affected pink eyes for some time.
  3. Repeat the process several times daily to get rid of pink eye quickly.

18. Cod Liver Oil

The experts have expressed their concern that a deficiency of vitamin A in the body is the primary cause of pink eye and related symptoms. Vitamin A is an essential nutrient for a lot of bodily functions, especially optimal eye health.

how to get rid of pinkeye

Adults and children who have a lack of the vitamin in their bodies suffer frequent outbreaks of pinkeye infections. Some of the other eye problems caused by a lack of vitamin A are night blindness, croup, and so forth.

What You’ll Need:

  • Raw cod liver oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Commercial cod liver oil supplements don’t contain enough vitamins A.
  2. It’s better to resort to raw cod liver oil that you can buy at the store.
  3. Consume two teaspoons of cod liver oil daily to relieve pink eye and related eye problems.

19. Potato

Inflammation or pink eyes are really dangerous and can lead to many serious problems.

Potatoes are best for treating inflammation due to the anti-inflammatory ingredients found in the potatoes.

They have soothing properties as well that makes it a great home remedy for treating pink eye!

What You’ll Need:

  • One cleaned potato

Recommended Directions:

  1. Cut potatoes into thin slices
  2. Put the sliced potatoes on the affected eye for 15-20 minutes
  3. Repeat the process few times a day for effective results

Some Q&A About Pinkeye

Is there any age limit to contracting pinkeye?

Not really. Although children get it most often, anyone of any age can be affected by pinkeye. It is because pinkeye is highly contagious.

Q.I have pinkeye, and my vision is blurred. Should I be worried?

Obviously, you should. Although blurred vision may fall in the symptoms of pinkeye, it means that you should get immediate treatment from an eye specialist.

What are some other common recommendations to treat pinkeye?

Apart from the list of home remedies given above and medical help, you can try these as well to treat pinkeye. They are:

Keep your hands clean by washing them frequently. Avoid letting yourself touch your eye area with your hands.

Even if you accidentally do, make sure your hands are clean.

You can try changing and using a clean pillowcase every night before going to bed.

If you wear contact lenses, then you should throw them away and then get your eyes treated.

Get yourself a new pair of contact lenses after you are cured of pinkeye.

How do I prevent pinkeye from reappearing?

The best way to prevent pinkeye from reappearing is to avoid using any contaminated items used by someone who has pinkeye. Such items include towels, pillowcases, eye drops and cosmetics and makeup products.

How long does it take for pink eye to go away?

Usually, a viral infection causing conjunctivitis makes the pink eye goes away within a week or two weeks. However, bacterial conjunctivitis can last for more than two to three weeks.

Do you need a prescription to get rid of pink eye?

Many people do not prefer to use any antibiotics to treat a pink eye, but if you want to get rid of pink eye caused by bacteria quickly, then you could use some antibiotics. However, antibiotics cannot treat viral conjunctivitis. However, you can relieve the symptoms through some OTC decongestant eye drops such as naphazoline ophthalmic (e.g., Clear Eyes® Redness Reliever Eye Drops). If the symptoms do not clear or worsen, you should visit an eye doctor immediately to determine the cause of the pink eye.

What’s the fastest way to get rid of pink eye naturally?

You can use any of the above home remedies to get rid of a pink eye quickly. However, you could soak a soft cloth in warm water and gently apply on the closed eye for some time, or you could directly apply green tea bags on the eye.

Bottom Line

Pink eye is usually not that serious and can go away on its own after a short while.

However, the discomfort that pinkeye can bring in addition to the fact it is contagious makes it highly likely for you to get rid of it as soon as possible.

You surely should get it under control along with its symptoms.

The above-listed home remedies for pinkeye can certainly help you get rid of the condition.

We really hope this article came to your help; if you have any questions or confusions regarding it feel free to ask us.

Also, don’t forget to share your experience with us by leaving your comments below.

Pin It