Almost all of us have dealt with a leaky pen at some point in our lives. While fountain pens have the reputation of being the messiest, other types of pens like ballpoint pens, rollerball pens, markers, and sketch pens may also end up staining your hands, clothes, and carpets. 

Removing ink stains from clothes, sheets, and carpets can be extremely hard.  Thankfully, cleaning up ink-stained hands is much easier. All you need are the right tools!

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remove ink stains from hands
Learn 10 simple ways to remove ink stains from hands

Non-water-based and water-based inks are the two types of ink you may have to deal with. Water-based inks are temporary and water soluble. In most cases, just washing your hands with soap and water is enough to get rid of the stains caused by a water-based ink.

On the other hand, non-water-based inks are insoluble in water and are generally considered to be permanent. To remove stains caused by non-water-based inks, you need something stronger, such as solvent-based agents (acetone, rubbing alcohol, etc.).

There are a number of household remedies that can be used for clearing up ink stains caused by leaky pens, printer cartridge, etc., from the skin.

Here are ten simple ways to remove ink stains from hands.

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Method 1: Shampoo

before after ink stain removal
Clean ink stains on your hands with shampoo

If soap and detergent fail to clean up your ink-stained hands, turn to your hair shampoo! Heavy-duty shampoos are one of the most effective ways to get rid of water-based ink stains from carpets or other surfaces. Shampoo can also be used to get rid of pen ink from hands and nails. It helps to dissolve the stains and remove the ink from your skin.

Things you’ll need: 

things need
Items you'll need to clean the ink stains
  • Shampoo
  • Clean cloth/paper towel

Single-Step Method: Use shampoo to remove ink stains from hands

shampoo to remove ink stain
Use a clean cloth to scrub off the stain after applying shampoo
  • Generously apply shampoo over the stained area.
  • Let it sit for a few minutes.
  • Use a cloth or paper towel to wipe away the ink stain from your hand.
  • Continue wiping until the stain comes off completely.

Method 2: Magic eraser

magic eraser for ink stain
One-step ink stain removal with magic eraser

Magic eraser is just the miracle you need to get rid of stubborn ink stains from your hands and even permanent marker stains from wood. It will help in removing the ink without the need to vigorously rub the stained area. The nonabrasive sponge of this product will make sure your skin is not damaged in the process. Also, this inexpensive method yields quick results. 

Single-Step Method: Use magic easer and water to remove ink stains from hands

magic eraser for ink stain from hands
Wipe off the stain with a magic eraser
  • Dip a corner of the magic eraser into the water.
  • Use it to gently rub the ink stain off your hand.
  • Continue rubbing until the stain comes off. 

Method 3: Toothpaste

toothpaste for ink stains
Toothpaste gives great results on ink stains

If you are a fan of DIYs and household remedies, you must be aware that this common household commodity serves several purposes beyond cleaning and protecting your teeth. Toothpaste is one of the simplest ways to remove ink stains from hands. It contains fine abrasive agents and detergents and can be used as a cleaning agent. 

Toothpaste can be effective in removing crayon from walls, getting rid of stains from clothes, cleaning headlights, removing watermarks from wood, polishing jewelry, and whitening shoes, among other things. 

To remove ink stains from your hands, you will need non-gel toothpaste which helps to lift off the ink stain from your skin. 

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Things you’ll need:

things need
Things you'll require
  • Toothpaste
  • Clean cloth/paper towel

Single-Step Method: Apply the toothpaste over ink stain and rub

wipe off toothpaste
Apply toothpaste and gently wipe it off using a clean cloth
  • Apply an adequate amount of toothpaste over the ink stain on your hand.
  • Use your finger to rub the toothpaste onto the stain.
  • Continue rubbing for a few seconds.
  • Leave the toothpaste on for a minute or two.
  • Use a cloth or paper towel to wipe off the ink stain from your skin. 
  • Wash your hands using soap and water. 
  • Finish it off by applying a moisturizing hand lotion.

Method 4: Baking soda and sugar scrub

baking soda on ink stains
Before-after for baking soda to clean ink stains

Rub off the ink stain using this mild yet effective baking soda and sugar scrub! The mild abrasive property of baking soda and sugar will help remove the ink from the affected area in no time. All the ingredients used in this remedy are absolutely safe and work for all skin types. 

Things you’ll need:

things need
Items needed
  • Sugar 
  • Baking soda
  • Olive oil

Step 1: Combine the ingredients to form a mixture

mix ingredients
Add the ingredients to a mixing bowl

In a bowl, combine equal parts of sugar, baking soda, and olive oil.

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  • Mix the ingredients well to form a mixture.

Step 2: Use the mixture to remove ink stains from hands

scrub the ink stain
Use the scrub to gently remove the ink stain from hands
  • Take a sufficient amount of the sugar and baking soda paste and rub it over the stain.
  • Continue rubbing until you see the stain coming off.
  • Make sure you do not put too much pressure on your skin while rubbing away the stain. 

Method 5: Lemon juice

before after lemon for ink stains
Lemon is another great ingredient to clean the ink stains

Lemon is commonly used for various household cleaning purposes. It cuts through grime with ease and also deodorizes the surface it is used on. 

Owing to its citric acid content, lemon juice acts as a natural bleaching agent and can help in clearing up skin stained with ink. 

Things you’ll need:

things need
Things needed
  • Lemon – 1/2 
  • Paper towel

Single-Step Method: Rub half of a lemon over the ink stain on your hands

lemon juice on ink stain
Apply the lemon juice and wipe off the stain
  • Rub half of a lemon over the stained area.
  • Make sure you gently squeeze the lemon while rubbing to get the juice flowing.
  • Keep rubbing till you see the stain coming off.
  • Finish it off by wiping your hand with a paper towel.

Method 6: Windex

windex for ink stain
Use Windex to get the ink stain off hands

This traditional glass cleaning solution can be found in almost every household. Windex can be used for removing stains such as coffee, drinks, food, ink, oil, and grease from various surfaces. It can also be used for clearing ink stains from skin. 

Windex and other glass cleaners are useful in getting rid of ink stains due to the presence of ammonia. However, you need to be really careful while using these products over your skin. In case you experience skin irritation or burning sensation, wash your hands immediately and refrain from using this method. Windex works best for fresh ink stains. 

Things you’ll need:

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things need
Items required to use Windex for ink stains
  • Cotton balls
  • Windex

Single-Step Method: Put some Windex on a cotton ball and use it to wipe off the ink stains from your hands

apply windex on ink stain
Gently rub away the ink stain from skin using Windex
  • Spray some Windex on a cotton ball.
  • Rub the cotton ball on the stained area of your hand.
  • Continue rubbing until the ink comes off.

Method 7: Makeup remover

before after
Use your makeup remover to get the stubborn ink stains off hands

You do not require hand cleaners or other special products for doing away with those unpleasant ink stains on your hands. Another simple way to remove ink stains from hands is a makeup remover. All you need to do is look into your makeup kit for the right solution! Your eye and face makeup removers can be effective in removing ink from your skin.  Both liquid- and cream-based removers can be used for this remedy. Because these products are made to be used on the skin, you don’t have to worry about any irritation and other side effects. 

Single-Step Method: Use makeup remover to remove ink stains on your hands

makeup remover for ink stains
Spray the makeup remover onto your skin and wipe off the stain
  • Apply makeup remover on the stained area of the skin.
  • Use a cotton ball to rub the ink stain off.
  • Continue rubbing until the stain comes off.
  • Finish it off by washing your hands with warm water and soap. 

Method 8: Rubbing alcohol

before after for rubbing alcohol
Rubbing alcohol and its results for cleaning the ink stains off hands

This ingredient is commonly used as a solvent in several cleaning agents. Rubbing alcohol is one of the most effective remedies for getting rid of ink stains from skin. It works especially well for cleaning up oil-based ink. Rubbing alcohol works by dissolving the ink, making it easier for you to wipe it off your skin. 

Things you’ll need:

things need
Grab a bottle of rubbing alcohol and some cotton balls
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton ball

Single-Step Method: Take some rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball and use it to wipe off ink stains

clean ink stain with rubbing alcohol
Apply rubbing alcohol on the stain using a cotton ball to clean the ink stain
  • Moisten the cotton ball with rubbing alcohol.
  • Use the cotton ball to rub the ink stains off.
  • Continue until the stain is gone. 

Method 9: Nail polish remover (acetone)

before after
Cleaning the ink stain with a nail polish remover

Nail polish remover can be used to get rid of ink stains from your skin. Acetone, the solvent present in nail paint removers, works by causing the ink to break down and dissolve so that it can be wiped off effortlessly. This ingredient can be harsh on your skin. It is best to use it in small amounts and wash your hands immediately after removing the ink stain. 

Things you’ll need:

things need
Things you'll require
  • Nail polish remover
  • Cotton ball

Single-Step Method: Use nail polish remover to get rid of ink stains from your hands

nail polish remover for ink stain
Wipe off the ink stain with a nail polish remover soaked cotton ball
  • Put a little amount of nail polish remover on a cotton ball.
  • Rub the stained skin using the cotton ball.
  • Rub until the stain comes off.
  • Wash your hands using soap and water.
  • Finish it off by applying a moisturizing hand lotion.

Method 10: Tea bags

Before after for tea bags
Tea bags to clear off the ink stains from hands

Another standard household item that you can use to remove ink stains from hands is tea bags.  The oils present in the tea and the semi-abrasive material of the tea bag will help clean up the ink on your skin in no time. 

Let the freshly used tea bag come down to room temperature before using it on your skin.

Single-Step Method: Use freshly used tea bag for removing ink from hands

tea bags for ink stains
Scrub the stain with used tea bags
  • Rub the stained area with a freshly used tea bag.
  • Keep rubbing until the stain comes off. 

Tips

  • The faster you deal with the ink stains, the better. They tend to get harder to remove on drying up.
  • Nail paint remover and rubbing alcohol must be used in well-ventilated areas as the vapors from these products can be harmful.
  • Nail paint remover is a strong solution that is capable of removing the finish of your furniture. Be careful while using it. 
  • Alcohol and nail paint remover are highly flammable. Do not use these liquids near a heat source or open flames.
  • Don’t exert too much pressure while rubbing the tea bag over the stained skin as this may cause the bag to break and create a mess.
  • Tea tree oil, hair spray, baby oil, hand sanitizer (alcohol based), and white vinegar are few other things you may use for removing ink stains from skin. 
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