How to Get Wood Stain off Skin – 3 Easy Methods

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Frequent wood stainers will tell you getting stains on your skin is inevitable. It seems as though any protection against wood stain won’t completely prevent some from falling onto your hands, forearms, or even legs.

Of course, it will fade off your body in time, but you probably don’t want to be walking around town with blotches of color randomly arranged on you, or you might have an important function you want to look presentable for. You need to know how to get wood stain off skin.

Fortunately, you are in the right article. Let’s take a look at a few ways to get wood stain off skin.

how to get wood stain off skin

How to Get Wood Stain Off Skin

Method 1: Using Olive Oil and a Cloth to Remove Wood Stain Off Skin

There’s no getting around it: you will need to scrub any surface you want to get the wood stain off. If that particular surface is skin, you’ll want to find a way to not hurt yourself when removing the stain.

Oil is a great way of lubricating the spot of skin before scrubbing, so you’re making sure you don’t damage anything.

Step 1: Pour some oil into a bowl. It can be any kind of oil you want – make sure it’s a natural kind.

You might want to pick something inexpensive because you’ll be using quite a bit of it. Olive is a good way to go, it has a nice fragrant smell and is sufficiently hydrating.

Step 2: Soak your hands in the bowl for two to five minutes. If you’ve got stain on somewhere other than your hands, grab a cotton ball and soak it in the oil bowl for enough time before it’s completely drenched, and apply to the area.

Leave it for two to five minutes. Repeat with as many cotton balls as you need to cover every single stain.

Why add oil?

Because the oil molecules will help loosen up the stain from your skin. In some cases, it acts the same way as a paint-thinner, of course as a non-toxic and natural version of one. It can strip surfaces of paint or product. Some use oil as a makeup remover!

Step 3: Grab a piece of fabric you don’t care about, like an old cloth or bath towel. You won’t be able to use this for anything else, so choose wisely (you want the stain to transfer from your skin to the fabric).

Choose more or less any fabric you prefer, but keep in mind that the rougher the fabric, the more abrasive its action will be on the stain. Keep scrubbing until as much wood stain as possible has been removed from your skin.

Stop if you feel any pain – it should feel tight and slightly uncomfortable, but you need to stop scrubbing if you are hurting yourself by trying to remove the stain.

Step 4: To remove the last remnants of wood stain, and to rid your hands of the sticky and slimy oil, move the operation to the sink and pour three or four pumps of dish soap onto your hands. This also works on any other affected area.

Wash your skin until no oil is left. Warm water works better. Rinse with clean water.

Method 2: Using Washing Soda (or Soda Ash) to Get Rid of Wood Stain from Your Skin

You may be wondering, what do woodworkers use to remove wood stains from their skin on such a regular basis? The answer to that would be soda ash.

Soda ash, or washing soda, or even washing ash, is commonly used amongst people who are in frequent contact with wood stain, to remove it from the skin. It is also used by arts and crafts hobbyists to remove ink stains from the skin.

Jacquard Products Soda Ash Dye Fixer, 1 Pound Bag

Step 1: Mix three parts of water to one part of soda ash. Stir cautiously so that you avoid lumps, and end up with a homogenous and smooth mixture.

Step 2: Take a piece of fabric you are not going to use for anything else, or if you are going to be frequently using wood stain, take something you’ll want to use over and over again. It can be an old cloth or a bath towel.

Step 3: Saturate the cloth in the soda ash solution. It should be soaked in it, so be patient.

Step 4: Scrub away the stain with the saturated cloth and watch as it disappears magically. The soda ash solution will also work on any surface you wish to remove wood stain from, so don’t hesitate to use it.

Tip: If you haven’t been able to pick up any washing ash, you can achieve similar results by creating a paste out of baking soda and water. You are not looking for the same consistency as the soda ash solution, simply a paste that you can apply to stained surfaces to scrub out the pigment.

how to get wood stain off skin

Method 3: Using White Vinegar to Remove Wood Stain from Skin

Vinegar seems to always come up as a greatly efficient alternative to cleaning products. It is very useful to have around the house, so you probably have some laying around in a cupboard somewhere.

This method uses white vinegar to try and gently strip wood stain from the skin. You can also use it to remove stains from other surfaces, like flooring, tiles, or fabric.

Its advantage is that it is a food-safe option. It could be great for removing stains off childrens’ skin if they were involved in the process.

Step 1: Pour a few tablespoons of white vinegar into a bowl. Make sure it isn’t a bowl you use every day for food because you might accidentally get bits of stain onto it.

Wood stain isn’t something you want to be adding to your food! Dilute with water if using on sensitive skin.

For normal skin types or non-skin surfaces, straight vinegar will be fine. Vinegar remains a relatively mild solution.

Step 2: Submerge a washcloth into the vinegar solution and let it soak for a bit, to make sure the fabric is completely saturated in vinegar.

Step 3: Wring it out slightly so it isn’t dripping wet, then use the fabric to scrub the affected area. Scrub until the stain has disappeared.

You may need to dip it into the bowl a few times more until you’ve finished, that’s fine. Repeat as much as you need to to get the stain out. Vinegar won’t damage or dry your skin.

Step 4: Wash with dish soap to get the vinegar stench off your skin. Rinse with clean warm water.

Is wood stain on skin dangerous?

You may know that when using wood stain, you will need to take proper precautions. When wood stain dries and evaporates, it releases volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can cause health problems if exposed to them for a prolonged period. This may worry you if you’ve accidentally got wood stain on your skin. Don’t worry though, wood stain is only dangerous if you’re exposed to it time and time again. A few bits of stain here and there won’t hurt you. Make sure you do remove the stain as early as you can though, so it doesn’t have the time to penetrate deeply into your skin.


That was how to get wood stain off skin. We have talked about different ways to remove stain from the skin, and even from other surfaces, you may have mistakenly applied wood stain. There are quite a few ways of removing the stain without adding more toxic substances to your body.

Other methods include rubbing alcohol or acetone, which will probably do a good job of removing stain from your skin but could seriously damage it if applied for too long or in too big amounts. Try and stay away from these products – it’s always better to use food-grade, non-toxic products when applying them to the skin.

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