How to remove temporary tattoos for children

A temporary tattoo is body art that is made by a screen printing process in which FDA approved inks are printed onto transfer film, which slides off onto skin when the backing paper it's attached to gets wet. Most children love having a temporary tattoo put on, and proudly show them off to their friends. While temporary tattoos are safe and fun, after several days they start to look tattered and worn. Once you have convinced your child to let go of the tattoo, removing it from her skin can be easy and painless.

Moisten the tattoo with baby oil or olive oil. Wait 10 seconds. Using a cotton ball, gently rub the tattoo off your child. If he is still reluctant, tell him that he cannot have any new ones until the old one is removed.

Try rubbing alcohol, if any tattoo remains. Moisten a cotton ball and apply the rubbing alcohol, wiping gently but firmly.

Rinse the location with water to remove any traces of rubbing alcohol, once the tattoo is removed. This will reduce irritation and drying of your child's skin.


If the tattoo is on your child's forehead, have her lie down first and let her hold a dry face cloth over her face to prevent oil or alcohol from getting in her eyes. Use a hand towel to minimise the mess. If the tattoo is on your child's arm, place a towel on her lap and lay her arm on the towel.


Keep rubbing alcohol out of reach of children. Watch to make sure that your child does not get rubbing alcohol or baby oil in his eyes.

Things You'll Need

  • Olive oil or baby oil
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton ball
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About the Author

Nancy Lovering is a writer, photographer and teaching assistant. She took novel writing at Langara College and photography at British Columbia Institute of Technology. She obtained her teaching assistant certificate through Delta School District Continuing Education. She previously worked as an assistant controller while in the Certified General Accountants program, and has training in dog psychology through Custom Canine Teaching Ltd. in Vancouver, BC.