How to Take Nicotine Stains Off Skin

Updated February 21, 2017

Every smoker knows the problem: You have unsightly yellowish stains on the skin of your fingers. Nicotine stains can be an embarrassment if you're a heavy smoker, and if you've recently quit you have an extra incentive for getting rid of them in a hurry. Removing nicotine stains from skin isn't too difficult--with a couple of common items and a few minutes of your time, you can have those stains gone for good and your hands will look as though you've never held a cigarette.

Cut and peel a lemon, saving the rind. Refrigerate the remaining part of the lemon for later use.

Rub the white part of the lemon rind onto your fingers and any other skin that has nicotine stains; if the stains are heavy, put on a pair of gloves and let the lemon residue soak in for 15 minutes.

Scrub your lemon-peel-soaked skin gently under warm running water, using a pumice stone. Rub in a circular motion and take care not to damage the skin by rubbing too hard. This will remove the stain as well as exfoliate the dead skin cells, so don't be surprised by the whitish residue that comes off.

Rinse your skin thoroughly with warm water, then wash with a mild soap and rinse again. Repeat the process once if any nicotine stains remain.


Apply a gentle moisturiser to your hands, adding extra to the areas that you just treated. This will condition your skin and make it less susceptible to staining. Clean your skin in this manner once weekly to maintain your stain-free skin. You can freeze the rest of the lemon for cooking, or run it through your garbage disposal for a quick deodorisation.


Using more than once a week or rubbing to hard may cause your skin to dry and crack. Do not use this process if your skin is cracked or cut.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 fresh lemon
  • Latex gloves
  • Pumice stone
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About the Author

Robin Hewitt began her writing career in 2008. She is the coauthor of several books, including "The Joyous Gift of Grandparenting," which covers the nutritional and fitness needs of both grandchildren and grandparents.