How to Remove Stains From the Hands

Skin on the hands can get stained similarly to other porous surfaces.

Pumice, then Alcohol

Unlike other surfaces, however, stains will eventually wear off of skin as skin cells are shed. Unfortunately, this shedding process takes quite a while and there is no need to wait until a stain wears off---there are plenty of products that will remove stains from hands. Most require a bit of scrubbing, buskin is flexible and can handle quite a bit of scrubbing without permanent damage.

Wet hands immediately in water (cool or warm---not hot). Apply pumice soap to palms. Many kinds of pumice soaps are sold in dispensers but others (Lava, for example) are also sold as bar soap.

Rub hands together vigorously. The abrasive action of the pumice will rub the older, dry (and discolored) skin cells off the hands. It will also get much of the stain out of the pores.

Scrub under your fingernails with a nail brush. You may have to do this for several minutes. You can also use this brush, along with the pumice soap, to scrub away any stains that remain.

Rinse the pumice soap from your hands. Use a paper towel to wipe any remaining stains with rubbing alcohol---this works particularly well if stains are from ink or paint.

Remove alcohol from your hands by rinsing under cool water. Dry your hands well. Apply hand lotion to prevent your hands from becoming sore or chapped (from the scrubbing).

Things You Will Need

  • Water
  • Pumice soap (Examples include Lava soap and GoJo)
  • Fingernail brush
  • Paper towel
  • Rubbing alcohol


  • Hardware stores and automotive supply stores sell industrial-strength pumice soaps. If hands are very stubbornly stained, you may need to wash this way several times to completely remove the stains. Just make sure to give your skin a break in between washing or it may become very raw and sore.


  • Do not use pumice soap if you have open sores on your hands. Some of the grit may become embedded in the sores and cause pain or infection.