How to Wash Inky Fingers Clean

Anyone who uses fountain pens has likely experienced a bit of ink your hands at some point – it kind of just goes with the territory, especially if you’re using ink from a bottle, rather than cartridges.

Fingers Stained from Fountain Pen Ink - How to Remove


The best thing you can do is act quickly! The faster you get water and soap on your hands, the better.

If you know you are going to be doing inky work, and want to avoid inky hands, it’s best to wear gloves. After that, you can consider keeping a damp towel nearby to wipe your fingers as you go to limit the damage.

If you do end up with ink, here are some strategies you can try to getting ink off:

1. Hot soap and water! Usually gets most inks off with some pretty good success.

2. Toothpaste and a brush. Put a little bit on a nail brush, or even your fingers and rub. A nail brush will be better because it will act as a bit of an abrasive to rubbing off the ink.

3. Windex – the ammonia in the Windex is also the same ingredient in pen flushes that helps dissolve the dyes to get them flowing. Spray, rub, rinse well.

4. Pumice stone, available at most Shoppers or pharmacies. Pumice stones are also used in manicures and pedicures to wear down and soften calluses on your skin, so by rubbing the stone on the stained skin, you’re taking off the top layer. You can also try emory boards. Be gentle!

5. If you don’t have a pumice stone, you can try mixing a bit of sugar with some dish or hand soap, and that will rub away at the ink on your skin.

6. Rubbing alcohol on a cotton pad. The alcohol can be quite drying, so be sure to moisturize after.

7. Usually the length of a shower, with the hot water and soap and shampoo gets most stains off. Even though I get ink on my hands almost every day, just by helping people with their pens or playing around with inks, every day is a different mix because it washes off in the shower.

Try one or try all, and let me know how it goes!

Otherwise, you can just embrace the ink on your hands and pretend you’re an artist.

2 thoughts on “How to Wash Inky Fingers Clean

  1. Rick McDonald

    You can tell it’s been a good day at our London Pen Club meetings when your fingers are good and inky! What you want for cleaning inky fingers is ReDuRan Hand Cleaner; I was gifted a 4 ounce tube years ago, it works great and a little goes a long way, my tube is still pretty full. ReDuRan can be purchased on for about $15.

    1. wonderpens Post author

      I’ve never heard of this, but I will definitely need to invest in some – it’s like I have a pen meeting everyday 🙂 Thanks for the tip, Rick!

      And I hope you make it back to our neck of the woods for another Jays’ game soon!


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