How to Remove Ringworm Fungus


Karen asked: How do I remove ringworm fungus from carpet and other fabrics? Thank you!

When ringworm fungus enters your home, classroom or daycare center, every precaution and cleaning measure needs to be taken to stop it from spreading. Ringworm is a fungus that requires a warm, moist environment to grow. Spores can be difficult to remove once they have been spread. The good news is that without a “host,” the ringworm will not live for long. So cleaning these areas is a good precaution, but is not required to stop the spread. It is more likely that people will catch it from coming in contact with a pet or another person who has ringworm.

Removing Ringworm Fungus from Clothing 

You Will Need:

  • Laundry detergent
  • Antifungal spray
  • Washing machine

Steps to Remove the Fungus:

  1. Another precautionary step, though not completely necessary is to spray the affected piece with anti-fungal spray. Sprays that are used to kill other fungi, such as athlete’s foot would work.
  2. Allow it to set on the clothing for a few hours to penetrate the spores and kill them.
  3. Then launder as usual. Even washing without anti-fungal spray should still kill the spores. If the garment can tolerate hot water that is best.
  4. Fill the washing machine as normal with laundry detergent, water and clothing.
  5. Allow the cycle to run for a few minutes to disperse the soap throughout the water and clothing.
  6. Stop the washing machine and allow the items to soak. The detergent will break down the spores.
  7. Continue the cycle and dry as normal.

Removing Ringworm Fungus from Carpet

You Will Need:

  • Anti-fungal spray (All Stop makes a carpet cleaner)
  • Carpet cleaner/steamer

Steps to Remove the Fungus:

  1. Although it seems that soft carpeting would make a great host for ring worm fungus, remember that ring worm also requires moisture. It is not likely that the spores will thrive on the carpet because there is no moisture to support them.
  2. If you wish to clean your carpet, begin by spraying it with an anti-fungal spray.
  3. Next, fill the carpet cleaner/steamer with hot water and clean the entire area. Both the spray and the hot water will help to kill and remove the spores. Carpet shampoo can also be added for additional cleaning power.
  4. Clean the carpet as normal and allow it to dry completely.
  5. It is also possible to have the fungus removed by having a professional clean the carpets. Be sure to tell them that you are trying to remove the fungus, so they can use the appropriate products.

Removing Ringworm Fungus from Hard Surfaces

You Will Need:

  • Anti-fungal spray (Ex: Lysol or All Stop)
  • Paper towels
  • Rubber gloves

Steps to Remove the Fungus:

  1. Spores have even less chance of surviving on a hard surface, so focus on the areas that are used and touched most often.
  2. Protect your hands with rubber gloves.
  3. Spray the surface with an anti-bacterial/anti-fungal spray.
  4. Wipe the area clean with a paper towel.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • To stop ringworm from spreading, keep it covered completely with the topical ointment and a band aid until it is gone. Treat any new areas immediately and watch for other signs of exposure.
  • Pets can also carry ringworm and their areas will need to be treated as well. Avoid over-handling pets that have been effected.
  • All Stop is a line of non-toxic products that are designed to remove the ring worm fungus. There are products designed for all areas of the home. The products can be purchased online and area available separately or as a complete kit.



  1. After searching the internet for days looking for some common sense approaches for cleaning to remove ringworm, this has been the most helpful. All the other sites I visited were gloom and doom, OMG you are going to have ringworm in your house forever unless you bleach EVERYTHING. I finally had the idea of spraying fabrics with the anti-fungal spray myself (I bought some cheap stuff at Walmart). It’s a bummer to get it, but it’s not the end of the world.

  2. I agree with Jackie. Everything I read and one vet I’ve talked to, you’d think we had Agent Orange in the house. Maybe I’m just finding what I want to find, but it’s nice to read something that’s not all gloom and doom. I’ll start testing this today!

  3. Ringworm has bugged me for a long time. I used to get it mostly on my legs and there was one cream called Tadheen, which I used. It was really effective. It is found in Hyderabad, India. There are other things which can also be used, but that was most effective for me.

  4. Yes, this article is a welcome relief in its common sense approach.

    My cat seems to have ringworm and my vet charged me about $65 to get it cultured – and it takes up to 30 days to get the results! Meanwhile, I’m trying to adopt a kitten and can’t take the new cat since I’ll just expose it to the ringworm. The rescuer who has the kitten says that she’s experienced this before and it’s not the end of the world that the veterinarians try to make it out to be. In fact, you just treat the kitten and it will be cured before that culture comes back. She made a few phone calls and told me to get a new product called Vetericyn. It’s as safe as water, but kills most bacteria, fungi and viruses (including MRSA, e. coli, salmonella, strep, staph, etc.). You can use it on the pet and it won’t hurt if it gets in their eyes or mouth. You can sanitize litter boxes, etc. as well. The product is not cheap, but online Petco seems to have the best price.

  5. Where can I find some anti-fungal laundry soap? Can I just wash clothes and sheets with Lysol?

  6. Denise, I’m not sure where your vet sends samples, but general ringworm diagnosis is 30 days at the worst! I work in a lab that deals with ringworm from animals almost daily and, generally speaking, a KOH should show it if the vet has taken a good sample. The KOH is usually read within two days, with the culture taking longer. KOH should be sufficient to tell if it is ringworm or not.

    My son has ringworm from kindergarten (which isn’t uncommon apparently), so while I know how I work to keep it away from me at work, it’s a different kettle of fish when they’re out in the big world with kids! I was planning on taking some hospital-grade disinfectant from work to clean everything so my pets aren’t exposed to it. Since all of my animals are completely indoors, it’s highly unlikely that they’ve passed it on. They’re all over six years old and nobody has ever had an issue.

  7. Great info, glad to finally come across a non-gloomy site about getting rid of ringworm. This is my first issue with it; my kitten came home from the vet with it and now my adult cat has it. No one else has it yet, and I am hoping it stays that way.

  8. I took my adopted kitten to the vet and he said he didn’t have ringworm. Brought him home and YEP me my grand-kids and everyone else have ringworm. Frustrating! Well after three months of fighting it we decided we were all going to get the pill and get this over with. Took my first one today. Left the dog and kitten easier than it is us. Glad to know I don’t really have to worry too much about surfaces. Got to remember to use this internet for answers more often! I am old and don’t remember it as a resource of information.

  9. Chuzzy, what pill are you taking?

  10. My dog was diagnosed with ringworm, so they think – they weren’t 100% positive. They gave me a shampoo to use, so of course I used it once I got it. My question is: I’ve shampooed the carpets and cleaned all blankets, and he’s just a puppy so he lays everywhere – do I need to wash all blankets everyday? He’s had this for a couple weeks and infected the whole apartment. Any suggestions will be helpful!

  11. I tried all of this and still have the ring worm fungi. It seems that when one area on one of the family is cured, it pops up somewhere else. I can’t burn the house down and kill all the humans and animals living there. I am beginning to think that ringworm is a plague that I am never going to get rid of.

  12. Like Chuzzy, I adopted a kitten and took it to the vet where they did not catch it. A few days later, my boyfriend and I went out of town. While we were gone, I noticed a few itchy places on my skin and didn’t think much of it until I got home and saw that not only was the new kitten infected, but my older cat was as well. Assuming this new kitten was the culprit, I took them both to the vet to find out both cats, my boyfriend and I all have ringworm. After talking to the vet, I literally came home and washed everything that wasn’t nailed down in a 1:10 solution of bleach and water (most of my stuff now has bleach spots) and wiped down every surface, including my leather couches with the same solution. Had I done some research first and found this article it would have saved me a lot of time and defiantly my now bleach-stained stuff. At least now I know that I don’t have to continue to over clean for the next six months to a year like I was originally led to believe.

  13. Just thought people would want to know. Lysol does not kill ringworm. I’m citing lysol, not a personal opinion on this one. Here’s the link:

  14. Krystal,
    Your ringworm problem is likely gone by now, but to answer your question: Yes, the blankets that your dog lays on should be washed daily for as long as your dog is infected. Depending on where the ringworm is located, you could have your dog wear a (clean) post-surgery shirt everyday so that you would only have to wash the shirt, rather than the blankets, furniture and carpet. Make the shirt to fit loosely on your dog to keep from rubbing the ringworm.

    Source: – DIY Fabric Post-Surgical Jacket
    Source: Disabled World – Interesting Facts About Ringworm

  15. Thank you for the link regarding Lysol. Many doctors don’t even know that Lysol does not kill ringworm. I am battling this with my 8-year-old daughter and I feel like we are living in hell right now. What a pain this is, and it’s so stressful to wash everything every day.

  16. Cat ringworm is caused by Microsporum canis (M. Canis).
    So check the products you choose to make sure they will kill that particular fungus!
    Athlete’s Foot is caused by Trichophyton mentagrophytes, a totally different fungus.
    I bought a product called “trifectant” and it does kill the ringworm fungus.

  17. Have tried tea tree oil; it works.

  18. I run a daycare and our kitten brought this in from the pet store. I found applying vinegar then the anti-fungal cream works and clears it up fast, within a week. I have the cat confined and doing treatment. How do you know it’s safe? That you will no longer be infected. My daughter got it on her head. Do you have to wash bedding everyday even with the treatment on the ringworm?

  19. Michelle,
    According to WebMD, “Ringworm has a long incubation period. The red rash can actually take a few days to appear on your skin. If you have ringworm of the scalp, you may not see any signs for a full two weeks after you were exposed.” Also, according to, “Once treatment has begun and the circular rash begins to shrink, the rash won’t be contagious.” So, about two weeks after the rash begins clearing up, you’re in the clear in terms of being contagious.
    MedlinePlus recommends washing bedding daily in addition to the anti-fungal treatment.
    Source: WebMD – Myths & Facts About Ringworm
    Source: – How Contagious Is Ringworm?
    Source: MedlinePlus – Ringworm

  20. We had a ringworm problem; my six-month-old actually suffered for six months with topical treatment each day. I finally was put onto GENTIAN VIOLET and in a weeks time, it was all subsiding!!

    We bathed the kitten and washed all our bedding (as we all caught it 😮 ) with CANESTEN laundry wash, which is anti-bacterial and anti-FUNGAL. I now use that stuff for every wash. I love it.

    But, yes, the only thing that got rid of it from my son (he had it on his scalp) was the GENTIAN VIOLET. You can only get it from a compounding pharmacist.

  21. My cat got ringworm and I washed everything. He is still undergoing treatment, but he gets baths every other week. I wasn’t being careful and found a spot on myself. The best thing I have found to prevent it when I know it’s there is to bathe yourself everyday in the shower with Selsun blue. The active ingredient actually helps kill ringworm, so I use that from head to toe and haven’t seen anymore spots. I will be continuing to do so until a few weeks after his last treatment.

  22. Elizabeth says:

    I got ringworm like two weeks ago! I have been using anti-fungal cream. Noticed more spots yesterday. Grrrrr… I do have two indoor cats that have no symptoms. Is their a pill that can be taken?

  23. Elizabeth,
    There are ringworm pills available, but they require a prescription. There are anti-fungal supplements that are sold over the counter though. You could also try eating anti-fungal foods, such as coconut oil, garlic or onions.

    Source: Candida Diet – 10 Foods That Will Fight Your Candida

  24. I don’t remember who it was that said they use vinegar and antifungal cream, but I’m curious how to use the vinegar and then antifungal cream. My cousin’s wife told me that when she was little, she got ringworm and she would soak a penny in the vinegar and put that on the ringworm and it made it dry up and go away quickly. I’m just concerned to put vinegar on my cat’s ear if that would hurt my cat and be too strong without being diluted on some level. I have white vinegar and I have a cream for athlete’s foot. I’d love to try this if it would work!
    Okay, I looked back; it was Michelle who said this, so how do you do the vinegar Michelle? My cat’s ringworm is on his ear and I think that I probably got it too on the back of my hand, so I’m ready for any advice from anybody that’s cheap! This page is really good because all the others are gloom and doom!

  25. Melanie G says:

    I have ringworm on my underarm and it cleared up a little bit, but now I have three on my leg and one that’s on my pantie line. I’m freaking out. I just want it to go away. I have two different creams; Ketoconzole and Trosone. Which one is better to use and how do I stop it from spreading on my body?

  26. I’m fighting the battle right now. We got a new kitten who infected my older cat. My family has had some spots as well. I treat the humans with miconazole (a vaginal cream that I use topically). That seems to work well. Then I dip the cats in lime sulfur dip every five days for 5-6 times. I vacuum every day and mop with vinegar and water. I use Clorox wipes to clean hard surfaces. I’m exhausted.

  27. Kitten adopted from shelter. Three weeks later, got the red circles. Took kitten and a pea-size sample of feces to the vet. Tested feces ($20) and looked at kitten under what appeared to be like a black light and saw spots on ears, tummy and all paws. $45 for office visit. Liquid medicine to be mailed to me from Phoenix, Az. Recheck kitten in four weeks after starting medicine. As for myself, Dr. wrote script for three Diflucan pills to take; one a day. Cost $10. Instructions to wash any spots with anti-fungal soap, and dry thoroughly. Fungus LOVES moisture! I’m afraid of using creams for that reason! Vacuum carpet often and shampoo further into kitten’s medicine process.
    Just sharing what I learned today! Tomorrow will be healing day #1. Wish me luck! Best of luck to all of you too! None of us are alone, obviously! =)

  28. Forget all the fancy pills, drugs, sprays… use bleach.
    It’s called bleach baths; SAFE for dogs, cats and humans. 1/2 cup full strength bleach in a warm water filled tub AT LEAST 1/4 way full, sit animals or yourself in the tub 10 to 20 minutes. Continue to pour the water over the pet as they sit in it to thoroughly saturate them; put the bathroom fan on and leave the bathroom door open. RINSE with clean WATER. Buy a conditioner for the dog, so it doesn’t dry their skin out, and rinse out after conditioning. Same for you. BLEACH trumps all the other crap out there and is cheap. I bought Sebozole shampoo at $20.00 a pop and it would seem like it was working, until it didn’t. Bleach made a huge difference the first week. House smells wonderful too. I have white carpet, so I made a 30% bleach and 70% water mix and spritzed the carpet and vacuumed a few minutes later. Put pets elsewhere of course. I’m very pleased so far; of course the vet never mentioned bleach. You can also put organic coconut oil on the dogs paw pads after a bath.

    **Bleach is a hazardous chemical. It is always best to contact a doctor or veterinarian for advice prior to trying a home remedy on yourself or on a pet.

  29. We are fostering kittens. After having them for well over a month, we found ringworm. Had them isolated from our other animals and family. Treated them with sulfur lime dip baths on several occasions. Tried bleaching, using vinegar, washing fabrics, shampooing carpets, etc. Thought we had it licked and we were done. Kittens healed. Now, we found some new spots on the kittens. And just yesterday, a spot on my son and my husband. And today a spot on me. I am feeling very discouraged. Not sure how in the world we can keep our own pets free from it, clear the foster kittens and ourselves and get our house free of the spores. Aargh. Here we go, again. I think we may try the oral medication route this time.

  30. My mom found a kitten on the side of the road, brought it home and I ended up with about four ringworms at first so my mom took it to the vet. I have carpet in my room and a futon. I now have about 25 ringworms and my other three-legged cat also has ringworms. I need help. I want to cry. I don’t want to have to put them down. My three-legged cat has knots from them. My sister has three and my mom’s is gone. I’m now suffering in my room. What do I clean my room with? Do I need to wash my curtains and move everything to vacuum under it; the kitten is in a pen outside and my three-legged cat is still in my room. My sister has three cats in her room next to mine, but my cats never see hers. I also have a ferret. Will she get it if I let her in my room? Please help. It’s so hard dealing with this.

  31. Jessica (Nov 18, 2013),

    First, it is “ringworm” not “ringworms” as it is a fungus and not an actual worm. Second, there is zero reason on the face of the entire earth that you would need to put your cats down because of ringworm.

    Ringworm, like all fungus, thrives in moisture. As this article you posted in states, ringworm doesn’t thrive in carpet. Clean your bedding daily even though it is a pain. It’s worth it in the end. Also, try using apple cider vinegar with a cotton pad on the ringworm spots, followed by an anti-fungal cream. Do this twice each day.

    Apple cider vinegar is very cheap and can be purchased at any grocery store. You can get anti-fungal cream inexpensively at Wal-mart – just look for the “foot treatment” aisle near other first aid items, and buy a cream used to treat “jock itch” or “athlete’s foot” if you can’t find one that actually says it’s for “ringworm,” since all of these ailments are caused by fungus.

  32. My daughter has had ringworm on her legs for about 2 months now. At first she “thought it was ringworm” and did nothing until it became the pronounced circular rash. It started as one spot, and became three, all nearby. She bought OTC anti-fungal cream (Lotromine I think) and it didn’t work. She got a script for Ketoconizole, which seemed to work after two weeks, but three weeks later stalled, so she started using peroxide to clean it, then added the ointment. She went to the doctor again and he gave her a different cream, which I cannot remember the name of, but in two days it is pretty much cleared up. Wonderful. We are of course worried about the spores, but since they thrive in moist environments, the best we can do is vacuum the house, wipe down the surfaces with Clorox wipes, clean the bathroom as usual, and wash all worn laundry daily. We toss her bedding into the dryer to kill it with heat. Hopefully, everything we’re doing is working. Surprisingly, the doctor asked her if we have a dog – well, the dog doesn’t have it, nor do me or my husband. She works with children – it is possible she got it there.

    When one thing doesn’t work, you have to try something else. It makes sense that vinegar, diluted bleach, peroxide or rubbing alcohol would have some cleansing/killing properties for the fungi. Even some other home remedies, when you rotate them, have got to kill this bugger.

  33. I recently moved into an apartment with my two dogs. My dogs have never had issues with fleas and neither them nor I have ever had problems with ringworm. In the three weeks we have lived in this apartment, they have gotten a very minor case of fleas and one of my dogs and I have both gotten ringworm. Is it possible that the ringworm was in the apartment before I moved there and that is where we got it from? I obviously don’t know very much about the previous tenants, however I do know they had cats that did not always use the litter box.

  34. Got a new kitten from a rescue 6 days ago. Had a Christmas party at my house 3 days ago. Noticed spots on the kitten 2 days ago and brought him to the vet yesterday. Vet says there’s an 80% chance the spots are ringworm and gave me sulfur bath. I bathed him last night to one of the worst experiences ever. The smell is awful and then I had to isolate him as the poor little guy shook and cried from being cold (wash says not to towel dry off). Although the kitten was never really cuddling with my other cat and dog, they both would lay on the same surfaces and my boyfriend and I would cuddle the kitten and then our other pets. No word yet on who else is getting this as it is so soon but I have been cleaning all our laundry with bleach (color safe), bleached hard surfaces the kitten was on, and sprayed tea tree oil and water mixture spray EVERYWHERE. Never had to deal with this before and it’s freaking me out and I really really hope none of my other pets or holiday guests (who all wanted to play with the new kitten) get this. The room the kitten is confined to is carpeted and I haven’t cleaned it yet because I don’t know where to put him in the meantime. I don’t have a steam cleaner; is that really necessary? Can I just vacuum and spray with tea tree? This poor little kitten and poor me for how ridiculously hard this is turning out to be! Good to read others comments and not feel so alone.

  35. Trifectant does NOT kill ringworm. The label states that it does, but it doesn’t. I work in a shelter and we use a 10% bleach solution to clean any surfaces exposed to ringworm. It has to sit for 10 minutes before you rinse it off. I have it now and am using anti-fungal cream on it. I was also told to press an ice cube on it for a while to freeze it (which does kill it). Also, vacuum a lot! Please don’t bathe yourself or pets in a bleach solution, which someone mentioned. 10% is the only concentration that will kill it and that is incredibly strong.

  36. Just took in a long-haired cat from the shelter. Now I have ringworm. Have two other cats and can assume they are infected as well. Having read much of the posted comments. I now know a cat can be a carrier, but not be infected. So the question is: how to manage a cat that is a carrier – would this mean bathing daily?

  37. Berny,
    When a pet is a carrier for the fungus, it means that they came in contact with the spores and are carrying some around. So essentially, all you have to do for a carrier cat is to kill the spores, not an infection. One way to do that would be with the antifungal bath that cats sometimes receive as treatment for the infection, however, if your cat comes into contact with the spores again, (which could be minutes after they get out of the bath), they again become a carrier; there just isn’t any absolute way to know. Since the medicated shampoo is so severe (and to many cats, so is the activity of getting a bath in general), it is usually only recommended that you use it if your cat is actually infected – not as a precaution.
    The best thing you can do is to thoroughly clean the areas where your cats lay the most often. Here are some other ideas as well:
    *Use a blacklight to check all your cats for ringworm. (Wash your hands thoroughly afterward.)
    *Use a lint roller on your cats to remove loose fur and hopefully any spores as well.
    *You may want to check with your vet first, but another idea is to spray your cats with a weak vinegar solution (1 tsp. in 1 cup water), which hopefully will come in contact with any spores and kill them. If your cats won’t let you spray them, spray the solution on a brush or comb and then brush/comb your cat. (Clean the brush/comb very thoroughly if you use it on the infected cat though.)
    Source: VCA Animal Hospitals – Ringworm in Cats
    Source: Maine Coon Cat Nation – Vinegar Kills Fleas – 3 Ways To Use This Effective Homemade Flea Killer!
    Source: Natural Standard – Ringworm in Cats


  39. I have been dealing with ringworm on my 17 year old son for over a year now! None of our pets have contracted it but he has had it for over a year on and off. He refused to wrestle this year because he was afraid to contract it again, but low and behold, he got it any way!! He has tried the Selsun Blue and anti-fungal OTC treatments, as well as the RX ointments. Now we have gone so far as to start the Rx pill and more ointment. What more should I do? I’m washing all of his clothes, buying him new pillows, scrubbing EVERYTHING with bleach (not 1-10). I’m going all out! I’m sad for my son! PLEASE HELP!!

  40. The antifungal laundry booster is called 20 Mule Team Borax. You can purchase it any grocery store. I just picked up a box at Fred Meyer for 4.99. It’s also used to kill fungus on plants. You can mix it with water and use as a spray for furniture. A nurse friend of mine turned me on to it. Google that!

  41. I’ve been fostering cats for years so ringworm is normal for me to have around. Some people and animals are just more susceptible to it than others. A few years ago, for the first time I got a rip roaring case of it. Didn’t catch on to what it was til it really spread (it was August and over 100 degrees and humid). I washed the infected areas with bleach water twice a day and air dried. In five days, it was gone.

  42. Someone said Lysol spray didn’t work to kill the fungus. Read the label. It has it listed as one of the things it does kill.

  43. Don’t use antifungal spray, like athletes foot spray, on your soft surfaces if you have pets! It made my cats extremely sick, and they ended up at the vets, it was a three week and $3000 ordeal. The best thing is to just vacuum, mop, and wipe down surfaces. Wash anything you can in the laundry, and get rid of things that you can’t clean properly. Ringworm is self-limiting, as long as you keep the environment clean, the infection on any person or animal will be gone within three to four months.

  44. Tori G. says:

    I’ve had ringworm twice now and so has my mother. We can’t figure out where it’s coming from except our outdoor barn cats and we can’t afford to take all of them in to the vet to get checked and treated if they do have it. It’s even worse for us because we have a cat that is an indoor cat that likes to go outside and then come back in. We need help and advice. I’m gettin tired of constantly having to carry the cream and Band-aids with me. What can we do?

  45. Melanie says:

    Your ringworm could have nothing to do with your cats. All you have to do to catch it is come in contact with the spores, which could happen anywhere – touching something at the supermarket, buying a new shirt that has the spores on it, visiting someone who has had it recently, etc. According to the College of Illinois, only 3.3% of human ringworm cases are caught from a pet.
    You can check your cats with a black light if you want, but if they have it, their fur will soon fall out on that area and you will be able to see it easily. You don’t necessarily have to use an expensive medication for them if they do have it; there are natural antifungals that are thought to be safe for cats, such as vinegar. Dilute 1 tsp vinegar in 1 cup water and just moisten a cotton swab with the mix and wipe it on the ringworm. (Do not reuse the cotton swab once it has touched the infected area.) You can call your vet to ask them before using it on your cats if you want.
    (The vinegar mix does work to kill ringworm – that’s what I used when I had it last year – on me only though; my cats didn’t have it. However, I used a stronger solution of about 1 part vinegar in 4 parts water and just put it on whenever I thought about it, usually 2-3 times per day. Also, I used white vinegar rather than apple cider vinegar. I also used honey like soap to clean it a couple times randomly because honey is great for skin healing and is also an antifungal. You can use honey on a cat too, but the vinegar would be easier since most cats won’t let you wash them at all, let alone with sticky honey that can pull their hair if you don’t use enough water and would need to be washed off. I did not use any creams.)
    For your treatment, you can cover the area with loose-fitting clothing rather than a Band-aid. Also, check the label on the cream that you are using to see how often you should be applying it. Some of the creams only need to be applied twice daily, so you should be able to leave it at home and only use it in the morning and at night.
    Since both you and your mom have it, the spores are likely in the house somewhere, such as on a shirt or coat that you share, a chair where you both sit, the bathroom counter where you normally change your Band-aids, etc. If your vacuum has a filter, do as much vacuuming as you can to pick up the spores, then go outside and empty the vacuum container carefully into a trash bag. (You could even put on a baggy shirt over your clothes and take it off as soon as you empty the vacuum canister). Also, I use a diluted vinegar solution (1:4 ratio) to clean just about everything. When using it on something important like a fabric, carpet or wall, you can test it on a small, hidden area first to look for any adverse reaction. You could also clean the washing machine if you want to; here is a guide for that: How to Clean a Washing Machine.
    Another thing you can do is try to boost your immune system (which will help you fight off the ringworm). Make sure you get enough sleep, eat healthy, etc. You can eat some antifungal foods too, such as lemonade, salmon, cinnamon or honey. Also, if you could get some sun on your ringworm spots, that would help too; sunlight is a natural antifungal and also will give you some vitamin D, which will help to boost your immune system.
    Source: College of Illinois – Ringworm: A Persistent Fungus
    Source: Natural Standard – Ringworm in Cats
    Source: The Dr. Oz Show – Liquid Gold: Your Guide to Honey
    Source: The Huffington Post – Honey in Integrative Veterinary Medicine
    Source: Small Footprint Family – 10 Ways to Strengthen Your Immune System
    Source: Amy Myers MD – 10 Foods to Fight Candida

  46. Get a black light and the ring work will glow so you know where to apply whatever medication regime you decide. I was told that one week after it stops glowing, no infection. However, the treatments must continue for two more weeks. Yes, the whole house needs to be disinfected, and more than once. Get your stuff outside in the sun and keep dry.

  47. Just one comment: my doctor said not to use Band-Aids as it spreads ringworm because the moisture and heat they produce helps the fungus grow and spread. I had that happen personally.

  48. These tips are very useful. FYI, the ringworm fungus will glow under a black light. This is very useful when treating a pet or when checking for the fungus.

  49. Do NOT cover ringworm with a BANDAID… Bad, bad, bad… Cream/ointment, yes… Band-aid is bad news; it creates a tiny pocket of moisture for the fungus to grow, basically culturing it to be “stronger” or “grow.” DO NOT cover. When showering, make sure to dry off COMPLETELY, then put on cream. Some people even “burn” the ringworm with ointment, (like what you use under fingernails); then after burning it, apply cream.

  50. I had to deal with ringworm one time and was terrified of the thought of bleaching everything in my house, which was what I was told to do. I had six cats and none of them had it; I picked it up elsewhere. I read horror stories on the internet from people who had it, treated it, thought it was gone and it appeared again, sometimes for as long as a year! I couldn’t deal with that. I know me and I know I would scratch at it until it was an open wound. I needed it gone immediately.

    Here is what I did to get rid of it in less than a week with no re-infection. I found it on the internet in several places and was so desperate, I went for it. (Note: I am NOT advising anyone to do this, nor am I encouraging anyone. I am just telling you how I got rid of it.)

    I soaked a cotton ball in bleach and dabbed the spot several times. Then, I used clear fingernail polish and painted over the spot, covering it completely. I repeated this a couple of times a day and it was gone in five days. Completely gone. I alternated using bleach, then tea tree oil, but always put the polish over it.

    Sounds caustic, but like I said, I was desperate. The creams didn’t do anything for me, but I didn’t really give them a chance. I didnt want to be treating this thing for weeks on end. And I didn’t want my cats to get it!

    Good luck to those suffering. I feel your pain.

  51. How about iodine?

  52. Lil,
    Iodine can be used to kill ringworm. The stronger version of iodine (tincture of iodine) can be used on humans, but it cannot be used on pets. For dogs or cats, use the weaker version (Povidone).
    Source: wikiHow – How to Treat Ringworm with Iodine
    Source: – Athlete’s Foot, Toenail Fungus, and Similar Repugnant Topics
    Source: – Ringworm in Your Dog, Cat and Other Pet

  53. Melanie, I must say, you are giving good advice to people. I have ringworm all over my arms, from wrists to above the elbows, solidly. I got it from a guinea pig I bought for my daughter for Christmas (from PetCo), who started losing hair in patches the day after I bought her. I did not have a lot of faith in her survival if I returned her, so I decided to treat her myself, unfortunately without all of the facts upfront. One thing that Melanie said that I completely agree with is the “Sleep” thing. I have found that the most effective thing I can do to fight my ringworm is go to bed on time and sleep as many hours as possible. Of course I am treating in other ways as well. When I wake up in the morning, the redness is mostly gone. As the day wears on, it gets redder, and if I stay up past the point of tiredness, it is the worst. And by the time I reach that stage, the itching/stinging keeps me awake longer.
    I am also eliminating sugars from my diet, drinking blood-purifying/blood-sugar-leveling herbal teas (burdock and liquorice root) throughout the day, and drinking hot miso with TONS of raw chopped garlic and ginger for breakfast and before bed… in addition to topical treatments. An herbalist who practices in NY that I LOVE speaks about treating ringworm as a blood purifying quest. I have had Candida and yeast infections before in my life, and can definitely attest to how quickly ingesting sugar, caffeine, or alcohol can cause a flare up when your body is out of balance with a yeast or fungus. I was just PEELING a piece of fruit (for the blasted guinea pig) the other day, and my ringworm flared up immediately, almost in waves up my arm, from just the little bit of fruit juice that was getting on my arms. Sugars are to be avoided in eliminating ringworm. On New Years, I had a glass of champagne and within 10 minutes my ringworm flared up. I am not sure if I am just more sensitive to most when it comes to dietary cause and effect, or if I notice changes so greatly due to the fact that so much of my body is covered in ringworm (like I said, SOLIDLY from wrists to my upper arms. Yes, it sucks). But either way, there it is. If you want to rid your body of fungus, change your diet and stop feeding it. AND SLEEP! In addition to the topical application of your choice. My choice is frequent apple cider vinegar swabbing throughout the day, followed directly by an application of neem oil, which is then sprinkled with goldenseal powder. The goldenseal powder soaks up the neem oil and makes a thin, even paste over your skin, and keeps you from getting oil everywhere. Before I go to bed or do something that requires my arms to possible come in contact with clothing, jackets, or bedding, I carefully blot my arms of any extra oil, trying to leave as much goldenseal powder in place as possible. I then sleep with the golden residue still on my arms. My husband tells me the neem smells like old Hamburger Helper, but who the heck cares. He clearly isn’t the one covered in a flesh-eating fungus, to worry about such things.

    Good luck everyone, ringworm can be a tenacious nemesis.

  54. Hey!! I have good news!! I killed the ringworm! Every other remedy held it back, without making that much headway. BUT, when I used this, it went away in days! The redness and itching dies away in 1 1/2 days. Okay, so this is what you do: Buy a bottle of aloe. Doesn’t have to be organic, but make sure it is without dyes or additives. Make sure it is clear, like aloe is supposed to be, and without things for sunburns, like lidocaine. Next find a small jar with a good lid; a baby food container or the like. Fill the jar 3/4 of the way with the aloe, and then the rest of the 1/4 with tea tree oil. This will be a very strong solution, and is not for areas around the eye or mouth. The aloe/tea tree mixture will turn white when stirred. Keep it in the fridge. Slather this on the infected area several times a day. It is like magic. Continue using after the ringworm is gone, for at least a week, if only once a day. Good luck!

  55. Please, please don’t use bleach on your animals, especially cats or yourself for that matter! It is extremely toxic to cats, animals, and people. It causes chemical burns at seemingly safe dilutions. It is also absorbed through the skin and lungs, and can cause chemical pneumonia as well as the chemical burns.

  56. I have a cat. She has ringworm. How do I disinfect her cat condo, the couch, and the carpet without bleaching it white? My cat’s vet is recommending bleach. I asked about Clorox 2 for colors. If that doesn’t work, what else can I use to disinfect her cat condo? That is where she eats, so the dog can’t get at her food. I would prefer it to be nontoxic. She likes to bathe herself, but just last Tuesday, she had to go to the vet for her first bath and dip. The sulfur lime dip smells like rotten eggs.

  57. Amanda,
    Use white vinegar. It is an antifungal and nontoxic. Dilute it with water; try a 1:2 ratio first and test it on a small hidden spot to look for any adverse effects. I can spray a 1:2 vinegar:water ratio mix on my carpet with no problems, but, of course, every carpet/couch is different. If the 1:2 mix isn’t safe for one of your items, dilute it further (1:3, 1:4, 1:5) and test it again.
    For the carpet, using a steamer as the article suggests can also help to kill the spores and is nontoxic.

  58. I also got a kitten from a shelter and a week later it started showing signs. I took it to the vet and got a compound med. for it and a prescription shampoo I use once a week. I also went to a close by vitamin shop and picked up some tea tree oil concentrate. I put about 15 drops in a spray bottle and filled it with water and sprayed my carpet and all my furniture. After it dried, I vacuumed and sprayed with Lysol. Then, I bleached my floors. My cat is quarantined to the bathroom. If I let it out to play, I clean the area when I am finished. I also bought tea tree shampoo for myself; don’t want to take any chances. I will be using that for probably a month. The tea tree oil will kill anything…it worked great about six years ago when my son got lice. :) Good luck!

  59. Elizabeth says:

    I have replaced cat beds, thrown out carpets, replaced all scratching posts and bleached new cat beds once a week. The cat is isolated in one room and seemed to be totally on the mend, but now looks like the ringworm is coming back. I have new oil-finished hardwood floors that I can not bleach, but have vacuumed and washed the floors. I don’t know what else to do. I also have flat paint on my walls so they’re not easy to wipe down. Is there something I am overlooking that I should be doing? I was giving him a sulfur dip once a week, he was on medicine from compounding pharmacist and topical medicine from the vet at well. This has been going on for 3 1/2 months! I also feel sad that the infected cat is kept in one room of the house and seems so sad.

  60. Elizabeth,
    If the infected cat is only in one room, then you shouldn’t need to clean anywhere besides that room and what you wear in/out of that room.
    Depending on the location of the ringworm on your cat’s body, you could have him wear a surgery shirt (a t-shirt cut to fit him and tied in place) or a legwarmer (a sock with the toe cut off) to prevent the spread of the spores, which would also cut down on cleaning. Don’t cover it with a bandage or anything tight, just something that loosely covers the area; that way your cat wouldn’t need to be confined.
    Also, if your cat does need to be confined, try doing something special for him like getting him a wheat grass plant to hang out with or a cardboard box to sit in for a day (which can later be thrown out). You can usually pick up small boxes for free at a grocery store or liquor store. You could also a couple new toys from a dollar store that can be washed or thrown out. Boosting his mood can help to boost his immune system, which can help to fight the ringworm.
    Also, give him some catnip; it’s an antifungal. :)
    Source: Google Books – Winston & Kuhn’s Herbal Therapy and Supplements: A Scientific and Traditional Approach

  61. This has been so helpful everyone; thanks so much! :-)

  62. Please DO NOT use bleach baths as suggested by Patty, no matter how hard up for money you are.

    This can severely harm if not kill your pets as well as harm you. If you love them, you won’t risk it.

  63. I am so glad I stumbled upon this site. I have contracted another one of these demon ring worms and this is some great information here. The first one I had I treated with tea tree oil, salt, and vinegar. I found the tea tree oil worked best for me. One of my major concerns was how I contracted it, as I live alone and do not have any pets. I remember going in my garage (which terribly needs to be cleaned out and organized) to get something and soon after I discovered one on my forearm. I immediately looked for the natural cures and the tea tree oil did its job. I was outside the other day and it had been raining and the humidity levels were off the chart in NC, mosquitoes swarming everywhere, and I felt something had bit me on left calf. Thinking it was a mosquito bite because I felt a sting and some itching followed that day. Next day I saw that it was red, so I thought it was a spider or ant bite until I actually saw the symmetry and knew that it was clearly a ringworm. I had also been in the garage to retrieve something earlier that day. This is so frustrating and I truly believe the garage is my issue and in need of a good cleaning and disposing of excess stuff. After reading this article though, I do not recall ever reading that you needed to wash the bed linen daily. The steps given here are the best I have found in keeping the living areas free from this fungus. The information here is also valuable, with respect to taking care of the body and making sure you get proper rest, which I have not been getting and working third shift clearly is taking a toll in the rest department lately. I appreciate everyone’s input and will make sure I put to use the best of this information!

  64. Great comments here.
    A few months ago, my young son had ringworm. We don’t know where it came from. We do have cat, but the cat had nothing. I treated him with the prescription cream and tea tree. I washed his sheets and bath towel for the first three days. Fast foward to the present, we brought a kitten in the house that has ringworm. Our cat now may have it, but the people and the house do not have anything and it’s been two weeks. I cleaned everything: all the sheets and floor towels, and the only two carpets we have are outside. I cleaned all areas with a bleach/water mop, Lysol, and Clorox wipes. The cat and kitten were perscriped medication, but this can take up to 30 days. I was told by one vet to toss all scratching posts and cat toys. I have to seperate both cats to seperate areas, and read we can not have contact with the cats. Heart breaking, we got rid of the kitten. In my small house with four people there was no room to separate two cats. I’ll update if the ringworm spreads on the cat.

  65. These are all really good, but I have one question. I have it on my finger; how do I keep it from spreading to other people if I can’t put a band-aid on it? I am an optician and my hands come very close to peoples faces and touch items that touch their face.

  66. It occurred to me that if your new kitten (or cat) has ringworm and you are faced with keeping the fungus at bay, this might help with the maddening hassle and not have to keep your kitten locked in the bathroom: You could keep the infected kitten in one of those large black metal dog crates. Keep the kitten’s own bedding in there, as well as food, water and a litter box. Keep the crate covered with a sheet, except for a small area so the kitten can see out to not feel lonely. If you keep the kitten in the crate for the prescribed number of days for the fungus to clear up, this might lessen reinfection, and infection to other cats, and people. Then, you only need to wash the kitten’s bedding and the covering over the cage. (Of course, you’d need to wear gloves when giving food, petting through the door, and handling bedding.) Put some kind of fence in front of the area not covered with the sheet to keep other animals or small children from contacting the kitten.

    This may lessen the intense frustration you feel as you clean everything else. Oh, you’d need to spray the cage itself at some point, but that is not such a big deal since you can just use the 1:10 bleach spray.

  67. I don’t see any postings in regards to using Head and Shoulders… I was told when my son was in wrestling that they should use Head and Shoulders like liquid soap when showering to aid on clearing it up, and then use the antifungal cream. Has anyone tried this with luck?

    My son now has ringworm on his side (probably from basketball) and I’m afraid he might pass it on to our cats as he loves to cuddle with them after school. He didn’t tell me about it until he had it for awhile, so how would I know if one of the cats has it?

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