How to Get Ink Off Fingers

Updated February 21, 2017

Getting ink on your fingers can be a real mess and isn‘t always easy to remove. Skin has so many crevices and grooves which trap the ink and, when ink is on the fingertips, it often finds its way around and beneath the fingernails. This can be frustrating and you may be tempted to use solvents to remove the ink. Many solvents—such as acetone—will remove ink on skin, but these also dry out skin and many solvents simply aren’t safe to use this way. Fortunately, you can use other effective, safer agents to remove ink from your fingers.

Stand next to a sink and pour vegetable oil in the palm of your hand. Rub this liberally over your ink-stained hands.

Use a toothbrush or nail brush to scrub the ink-stained areas. Rinse your hands in warm water. Reapply more oil if a lot of ink remains and scrub again. If you have ink beneath your fingernails, be sure the oil gets under there as well.

Scrub your hands again with the brush. Now apply pumice soap to your hands (no need to rinse the oil off first unless it bothers you). Pumice soap is a gritty soap mechanics use to remove grease from their hands.

Rub your hands together briskly, scrubbing your hands with the gritty soap. If stains remain on or under your fingernails, cover them with the soap and scrub with the brush again.

Rinse your hands in very warm water. Dry with a soft towel.


This method should work on any kind of ink, including printer ink. If any ink remains on your fingernails (sometimes ink is more difficult to remove from the nails) dip a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol or fingernail polish and rub it over the nail—the ink should come right off. Instead of pumice soap, you can also try using a whitening toothpaste to remove ink from your fingers. Like with any stain, the quicker you treat ink stains on your fingers, the easier it is to remove.

Things You'll Need

  • Vegetable oil
  • Tooth brush or nail brush
  • Pumice soap
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