How To Clean Printer Ink Off Your Hands and Skin

Ink on Hands

Replacing ink cartridges is usually a pretty simple and clean process, but once in a great while, disaster happens! You remove the old cartridge and printer ink leaks onto your hands, your skin, and possibly everything else in the room. Cleaning printer ink off your hands and skin can be particularly tough, so we've gathered a number of different methods you can try. Start with the simple methods, then move onto the advanced methods if the stain is particularly stubborn.

Simple Methods

Glass Cleaner (Windex, Glass Plus)

The ammonia in glass cleaners is often particularly good at dissolving printer ink on skin. Spray the glass cleaner on the ink stain and let it sit for a few seconds to dissolve the ink. Rub your hands together to remove the ink, then rinse your hands thoroughly. You may want to finish by washing your hands with regular hand soap to remove the glass cleaner.


Certain ingredients in hairspray are known to help dissolve printer ink. As with glass cleaner, spray the hairspray onto the ink stain, let it sit for a few seconds to loosen the ink. Rub the area a bit before you rinse your hands with water. Follow it up with a regular hand soap if you wish.

Heavy-Duty Hand Cleaners (Lava soap, Gojo, Fast Orange)

Lava Soap

Many of these cleaners contain a mild abrasive, which means they can help scrub ink stains from your skin. Rinse your hands with water and wash them with the heavy-duty soap. Rub the stained area gently for several seconds, then rinse thoroughly with water.

Baby Oil

Baby oil can often break up ink stains on skin, and it has the benefit of leaving your skin soft and smooth afterward. Spread a little baby oil on the stain, and rub it in. Then, wash your hands with soap and water to wash away the ink and the oil.

Advanced Methods


Use CAUTION with this method, as bleach can be fairly harsh on bare skin. Start by applying a very small amount of bleach on the ink stain, then add a little more as needed. Rub the bleach on the stain to loosen it. Thoroughly wash your hands with hand soap and rinse with water.

Pumice Stone

If all else fails, try a pumice stone. These are often used to remove rough skin from feet, but they an be very useful for ink stains on skin. First, rinse or soak the skin in warm water for a few minutes, then rub the area with the pumice stone in a circular motion. The stone will help to remove the top layer of dead skin, and should take the stain with it.

With any luck, at least one of the methods above should have removed the printer ink from your hands or skin. If the printer ink also got on any carpet or fabrics, see our Tips For Removing Ink and Toner Stains From Carpet as well.

Want to see some of these methods in action? Check out our YouTube video on the subject: