The removal methods are the same regardless of the type of ink, whether it’s ballpoint pen, permanent marker, or printer ink. However, a pen or marker with stronger inks takes longer and requires more cleaning solution to remove. If you want to remove the ink right away, it will be easier since the ink is still fresh. On the plus side, the ink will certainly wear away from the skin gradually. If you need the tips on how to get pen ink off skin, check the methods below.
Tips for removing pen ink from your skin
You can take comfort in knowing that according to the Northern New England Poison Center, the ink in a permanent pen or marker naturally fades over time in two to three days. Even if you do nothing, your skin will soon return to its original state. Sometimes, if the marker is in an unnoticeable area of the body, doing nothing could be preferable to other techniques, as certain products or repeated rubbing may be more irritating to the skin.
Remove ink with natural methods
It is best to clean the skin as soon as possible after you remove the ink. The easiest way to clean the ink is by using household products you already have in your house.
Milk has natural properties which can separate the oils from the pen ink. If you want to use the milk, just pour it into a container and soaking your hands for a few minutes can remove the stain from your skin. If not, you can gently rub the area that is stained with ink using a cloth soaked in milk until the ink has liquefied.
Sea salt scrub
Sea salt contains natural properties for exfoliating. If you mix it with warm water, you can make a gentle scrub to exfoliate the top layer of skin. Mix salt water and warm water equally to create a paste. Gently massage the scrub into the skin twice a day, but do not rub.
Butter or shortening are great substitutes for milk. Just like milk, butter separates the oils in the ink to slowly remove the stain.
Slowly rub the butter or vegetable fat into the skin with a cloth. Once the ink is clarified, all that remains, along with the excess fat, is washed with soap and water.
Using a warm, used tea bag will break down the ink and remove it from your skin. After immersing the sachet in boiling water, you can remove it and let it cool before applying it to your skin to avoid burning your hands.
The tea bag is abrasive enough to be used directly on the skin to help remove ink from your hand. Be careful not to apply too much pressure to the tea bag while rubbing, as this can cause the bag to break.
White vinegar or lemon juice
The acid from the vinegar and lemon juice is used to liquefy the ink and can be rubbed into the skin with a cloth. Lemon peels also work and can be used directly on the skin. The rough underside of the crust creates a semi-abrasive surface that helps rub against your skin and makes you smell good.
Once the stain is gone, you can wipe off any excess liquid with the dry edge of a cloth or paper towel.
Olive oil or coconut oil
You can use olive or coconut oil by applying a small amount on to your skin, then rub in gently before rinsing. These oils can help adhere to the epidermis. In theory, the oil can adhere to permanent marker stains on your skin and help gently remove them.
Another great choice is tea tree oil, although you should be careful when using essential oil on your skin. Some essential oils are sold in higher concentrations that, when applied directly to the skin, can cause side effects or sensitivity. It is suggested that you dilute essential oils first in a carrier oil like coconut or olive oil.
Just drop some of it on a cloth to rub the ink off your skin. If you try to use it on a child’s skin, mix the tea tree oil with a much milder oil. You can make a base using coconut oil or baby oil, then mix them. It is to avoid any sensitivity or skin reaction.
Baking soda is the best way to remove ink from skin. To create an effective ink removal product, simply mix a teaspoon of club soda with enough water to make a slurry or paste.
Soda granules create a peeling effect and help dissolve ink faster. You can massage the paste into your skin with a cloth or your fingers.
Once the ink is gone, wash off the excess paste with hand soap and warm water.
Some non-gel toothpastes also contain baking soda and can be used as a substitute for mixing baking soda and water.
Remove ink with alcohol-based products
One of the fastest and most effective ways to remove ink from your skin is using an alcohol-based fluid. The alcohol separates the ingredients in the ink and usually won’t leave clear spots or ink marks like other methods. Be sure to clean your hands after you use alcohol-based products.
Rubbing alcohol is Isopropanol or products that have concentrations of rubbing alcohol, such as rubbing alcohol or rubbing alcohol, can work wonders for removing ink from skin.
It’s important to note that these alcohols will separate the natural oils from your skin and also the oils in the ink. Therefore, be sure to moisten the area after dissolving the ink.
Alcoholic products should also be used in well-ventilated areas and away from open flames.
Hand sanitizer can be a quick way to remove ink in the office or on the go. This might be the easiest solution for you. You can also simply wipe off excess sanitizer with a paper towel or napkin.
Hairspray is low in alcohol. However can work just as well as other alcohol-based products in a pinch. Although you probably need to apply the spray more than once, with patience, the hairspray will dissolve the stain completely.
If necessary, you can also use acetone, better known as nail polish remover. Although acetone is not technically an alcoholic product, it is a solvent with properties similar to isopropyl alcohol that can work just as well for cleaning. Acetone is perfect for degreasing and breaking down the oils in the ink, making them easier to remove.
Another solution to remove ink from your skin is using makeup remover. This is also a less aggressive option compared to chemical-based household cleaners. Apply with a cotton pad and massage with circular movements for several seconds. Rinse well with warm water.
Recommended by Crayola for the toughest stains with washable markers, baby wipes can also work with ballpoint ink or permanent markers. And since they’re formulated for babies, they’re likely to be gentler on your child’s skin than other home remedies you might find online.
Is it unhealthy to have ink on the skin?
The traditional permanent markers you find in office supply stores are not for your skin. In fact, traditional permanent markers contain ingredients that are considered toxic, such as rosin, xylene, and toluene.
If these markers come into contact with your skin, you may experience mild irritation. Symptoms are redness, swelling, and also itching. Furthermore, fumes from permanent markers can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat.
Permanent ink will eventually fade with regular washing and the use of natural oils in your pores. However, if you want to get pen ink off skin a little faster, consider the home remedies above.
However, be careful not to use substances that you know you are allergic or sensitive to. See a doctor if you have a rash or swelling from permanent marker stains on your skin.