Fountain pen users sometimes incur the issue of ink-stained hands or skin. If you’ve ever been in this position, you may have wondered how to get fountain pen ink off your skin and the best ways to do so.
You can use hand sanitizers, baking soda-vinegar-toothpaste solution, borax solutions, baby oil, castile soap, tea tree oil, and even dish soap. And for natural methods that take longer to remove the ink, you can stick with soapy water or a milk-lemon juice solution.
Luckily, the ink in fountain pens is usually made of primarily water and dyes, so it’s not impossible to remove. In this how-to article, we’re breaking down instructions on using each of the above methods. We’ll also explain the precautions to take when using these topical treatments on your skin.
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How to Get Fountain Pen Ink Off Skin – Sanitizer
One of the most recommended ways to remove fountain pen ink from your skin is to use hand sanitizer. If you have a sanitizer that contains isopropyl alcohol, it will work even better. And it’s more effective than simple soap and water, so it works faster overall.
You can either rub out the ink stains from your skin with your bare hands, or you can use a cloth to apply the sanitizer. Make sure to rub in a circular motion.
Baking Soda Solution
Another highly effective ink removal method is a baking soda solution. You just need a few common household items to use this method:
- Baking soda
Mix up a solution of about equal parts toothpaste, baking soda, and vinegar. You want to stir it into a paste-like consistency that isn’t too liquid-ey.
You can either apply this solution to your ink-stained skin with your hands or use a toothbrush. A toothbrush will help you gently scrub your skin and break down the ink faster. However, you should be careful not to irritate your skin by scrubbing too hard.
You should also make sure to thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water afterward so that the solution doesn’t irritate your skin more.
Another method using household items is a solution of borax with soap or water. You can make a paste-like mixture to gently rub on the ink-stained areas of your skin. Since borax is granulated, it has a slightly abrasive factor that helps break down the ink.
Borax itself is not particularly harmful to humans, as it’s even used in toiletry products like lotions, mouthwash, and more. But it can be harmful to your body if you ingest it, breathe it in, or become overexposed to it. Symptoms include nausea, lightheadedness, rashes, and in severe cases – kidney failure.
But since you’ll only be using borax in a small amount as a topical solution, it’s a safe and effective way to remove ink. Make sure you wash the skin thoroughly after using this mixture. And if you have sensitive skin, you may want to try a gentler method on this list.
Certain fountain pen inks are oil-based to make them write smoothly. When this is the case, you might have more luck using a gentle oil like baby oil to rub the ink out of your skin.
The reason it works so well for oil-based inks is that baby oil can break down the oils in the ink. Simply rub in gentle circles with your fingers or a cloth, and rinse thoroughly afterward.
Castile soap is a mild soap that will gently help to remove ink stains from your skin. Use a bar of soap, such as Dr. Bronner’s castile soap, to break down oil-based fountain pen ink. It won’t irritate your skin, but it will effectively get rid of stains. Make sure to rinse the skin thoroughly once you’re done.
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Tea Tree Oil
If you want a more natural oil to break down oil-based ink stains, you could try tea tree oil. It’s not as likely to irritate sensitive skin as other methods would. It’s actually an all-natural essential oil, and you can use it to gently scrub fountain pen ink stains out of your skin.
If your fingers or a cloth alone won’t do the trick, you could use a toothbrush or nail brush to rub. Make sure to clean your skin thoroughly with soap and water afterward.
If you’re lacking suitable products like sanitizer, baby oil, or borax in your home, a cheap option is to use dish soap. Products like Dawn or Palmolive will work just fine to gently wash fountain pen ink stains off your skin.
Put a few drops of the liquid soap on the ink-stained area of your skin, and rub it in. Let this sit for 10-15 minutes at least before washing it off your skin. It will lift the ink – especially if your fountain pen uses some kind of lubricated or oil-based ink.
Handwashing/Antibacterial Soap and Water
Liquid hand soap or antibacterial hand soap is another valid option to remove ink from skin. And since this type of soap is designed for use on skin, you can rest assured that there will be little irritation.
Note that this method may take longer to fully remove the ink from your skin. You might have to try multiple washes and gently scrub the ink stains before you see results.
Milk and Lemon Juice
Finally, one other natural method that works wonders is a mixture of milk and lemon juice. These are two items you probably already have in your fridge, so it’s a budget-friendly option, too.
You can either use milk by itself or lemon juice by itself by rubbing the substance directly into the ink stain. Don’t dilute either with water. And make sure to wash your skin with soap and water when you’re done to minimize acidic irritation.
If you write frequently with your fountain pen and deal with stains, you’ve probably wondered how to get fountain pen ink off skin areas.
Luckily, there are several easy ways to do so with common household products, such as hand sanitizer, dish soap, lemon juice, and more. Try out our above suggestions to get those pesky ink stains off of your skin.