How To Get Fountain Pen Ink Off Skin

Writing with a fountain pen is often a wonderful experience. However, there are times when things can get a little bit messy. Whether you’re in the middle of inking your favorite eyedropper fountain pen or simply writing in a frenzy, you may have gotten fountain pen ink on your fingers. 


If this has ever happened to you, then you know how annoying it can be to get the stains off! They are not a particularly good look, especially at work — unless you’re a painter by profession, that is. 


But not to worry. We’ve dealt with our fair share of spilled ink, leaky fountain pens, and stains, so we have some ways for you to get it off your skin. 


Why does fountain pen ink stain?

An important part of getting ink off your skin is understanding why fountain pen inks stain in the first place.


The ingredients that make up your favorite inks may vary depending on the manufacturer. That said, most inks will use water as a base and solvent for the ink along with a dye to give it color. 


Inks also have humectants, which allow them to dry slowly by retaining more moisture. This helps keep your ink flowing while in your pen. However, skin also takes in moisture. When you spill ink onto your hands, your skin absorbs the water-based ink, making it more difficult to wash off.


Many modern pens are also built with solvents and additives like lubricants, which make ink harder to remove with just soap and water.


Removing fountain pen ink from your skin means breaking down the dye, humectants, and any oils or lubricants in the ink. 


Here are a few ways you can do just that using common items in your household: 




Milk may sound like a strange option at first, but it works because it has properties that can separate oils. Soak your hands in a bowl of milk for a few minutes or use a cloth soaked in milk to rub your stained skin until the ink is removed.


Tea Bags


If you enjoy a cup of tea, then you can take the used, cooled teabags and use it to take ink off your hands. Oils in the tea can help remove the ink stains, and the material is abrasive enough to scrub off the stain. 


Lemon Juice or White Vinegar


Using lemon juice or white vinegar is effective because of their acid content, which dissolves the ink. Take lemon rinds and use them to scrub the affected area. You can also use a cloth soaked in vinegar to do the same.




Oil is another great option to help dissolve the ink stain. Any oil in your home will work, whether it’s vegetable, coconut, or baby oil. However, exercise caution when reaching for essential oils as they may cause adverse effects when applied directly onto the skin in high concentrations.


Baking Soda


Baking soda can help dissolve ink with its exfoliating properties. To use this method, mix your baking soda with a little bit of water to create a paste. Scrub it onto your stained skin and wash thoroughly with soap and water. 




Alcohol-based products are also effective at removing stains, especially from red or brown-based inks. This is a good option if you’re on the go. Simply rub the product onto the affected area and wipe away the excess with a towel or a paper napkin.


Rubbing alcohol


Rubbing alcohol works by breaking down the natural oils found in your skin, so it is also very effective at breaking down the oils in your fountain pen ink. Simply rub it onto the stained skin.


The Bottom Line

Whether you’re careful with using ink brands like Diamine or Parker, there may still be a chance that you will encounter spills and leaks. This is a normal part of the fountain pen experience. By using the methods listed above, you should be able to get the stain out of your hands in no time.


Happy inking and happy writing!



Written by EndlessPens Blogger Ramona Kabigting

Author: RamonaTutorial


Marsha L.

Baby wipes. They work well on most ink stains, and are portable.


I spray a fingernail brush with Clorox Clean-Up, add liquid soap, rinse my hands with warm water, then brush. In less than a minute, voilà! 95-100% of ink is gone. You’re welcome.

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