How to Remove India Ink Tattoos

Written by christina sloane
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How to Remove India Ink Tattoos
Dense India ink is sometimes used for temporary tattoos. (bottle of ink image by Alfonso d'Agostino from

India ink is a dense, carbon-based permanent ink often used in pen drawings. Amateurs sometimes use India ink as a replacement for henna when drawing temporary tattoos on themselves or their friends. Because of the density of India ink, these tattoos can be tricky to remove. With a few household products and a bit of scrubbing, however, you should be able to remove your temporary tattoo.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Abrasive soap
  • Shortening
  • Nail Polish Remover

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  1. 1

    Scrub the tattooed area with warm water and a rough abrasive soap made with volcanic pumice. Mechanics use this kind of soap to remove grease and oil.

  2. 2

    Rub vegetable shortening on any ink that remains on your body and use a paper towel or rag to wipe it off.

  3. 3

    Wet a cotton ball with nail polish remover and use it to dab at and wipe away any remaining ink. Wash your hands with regular soap and water afterward.

Tips and warnings

  • Permanent India ink tattoos, made by injecting ink below the skin with a needle, can't be removed except through laser tattoo removal.

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