How to Get Wood Stain off Skin & Hands?

There is no doubt that staining can be so enjoyable and creatively beautiful. It is a work of art that is therapeutic. To learn about the necessary techniques for staining, you should read up on previous posts. Oh, you have read it, you found it so helpful right? But, you got stain on yourself, and you are thinking of how to get the wood stain off skin & hands? Stay calm as you learn the different ways to do that.

Let’s take a look at my findings:

How to Get Wood Stain off Skin?

Dip the rag into a solvent containing alcohol or acetone, then use it to wipe the water-based wood stain from the skin, and finally rinse it off repeatedly with soapy water. If it is oil-based stain, you can use mineral spirits to remove it.

In this article, a lot of your questions about removing stains from skin and hands will be answered. Questions like:

  • Can brushes be used to remove oil and water-based stains?
  • What are home remedies to remove stains from the skin?
  • How can I prevent the wood stain from getting on my skin?
  • Can I use makeup wipes to remove wood stains from my hands?

All of these and more will be explained below.

Let’s keep reading!

Wood Stain Formulas

Now, you are lost, right? Because you are thinking, what does wood stain formula has to do with how to get wood stain off skin? But, here is the thing, if you do not know the composition of what you want to remove, you might end up choosing the wrong method to remove it. Generally, stains are known to comprise three substances which are pigmentssolvents or suspenders, and binders.

Therefore apart from the primary pigment and or resin that gives the stain its characteristics color, all wood stain contains a solvent. This solvent ranges from water, a universal solvent to varnish, a wood finishing substance. Hence, removing a wood stain is dependent on its solvent composition or formula. And, different formulas have different removal methods. This is the first thing to know in getting wood stains off your skin & hands.

Types of Wood Stains

There are varieties of wood stains. Examples of wood stains based on their solvent are oil-based stains and water-based wood stains which are quite common due to their natural solvent formula. However, there are others like polyurethane stain, lacquer stain, and varnish stain. Based on consistency, we have gel stains, water-soluble dye stains, metallic complex dye stains, etc.

In trying to get a wood stain off the skin, you must know the type of stain used. Also, you should know if your stain contains a paint thinner or a paint primer, or if you use one. Because removing stains containing primer or paint thinner could be difficult compared to the ones without it. Having understood this background knowledge, let’s quickly discuss further how to get a wood stain off skin & hands

Can Brushes Be Used to Remove Oil and Water-based Stains?

Apart from using a brush to gently scratch excess dried wood stains, you can use it as the start of the cleaning process when getting stains off your skin and hands. That is, just like preparing your body’s skin to absorb a body lotion, you prepare your stained hands and skin by washing them with soap and water.

This helps to prepare the stained skin to absorb any form of remedy you want to use on it. You can use a laundry detergent or normal soap with the brush.

How Do You Know The Kind of Stain on Skin?

Having known all these, you looked at the stain on your skin, trying to figure out what type of stain it is. It is quite easy. Why? because there are pores on our skin just like there are wood pores.

Therefore the effect of a little wood stain on the skin is quite similar to when you are lightly testing your stain on the wood. However, below are ways to check for the effect of three types of wood stains on your skin.

Water-based Wood Stain

The first thing to do to know the type of stain on your hand is to check the container the manufacturer packaged the stain with. Most wood stains have their properties labeled on their container.

However, if you still do not get the label, you can do this. Dab some cotton wool in water, and use it to clean the skin surface affected, if the cotton wool gets stained, you got water-based wood stain on you.

Oil-based Wood Stain

Once again, check the stain container, if you can’t determine the type, do this. Put some water on your affected skin, if the water seeps in, it is a water-based stain, but if the water form beads or small droplets on your skin, it is an oil-based wood stain.

Polyurethane Thinner Wood Stain

This could either be oil-based polyurethane or water-based polyurethane. Either way, the polyurethane in this type of wood stain makes it have an irritating effect on the skin.

Therefore, if your skin feels irritated or you experience minor inflammations, you should understand the staining substance contains polyurethane. The best ways to get rid of these quickly will be discussed as we proceed.

What Are Home Remedies to Remove Stains from Skin?

There are various home remedies you can use to get rid of that coat of stain on your skin. You can get these remedies from your kitchen to your make-up remover kits. Examples of such home remedies you can apply are makeup remover wipes and acetone nail polish remover (containing acetone, a type of solvent).

These stain remover can be applied using a clean cloth and a brush. You can also apply peanut butter as a home remedy. However, the degree and type of wood stain you want to remove on the skin their effectiveness.

What Can Safely Remove Stains from Skin?

As I mentioned earlier, there are different solvents that can remove wood stains, Apart from the natural oil and water solvents, there are organic solvents. The organic solvent can help remove stains on the skin or excess stains. They have a quick effect than rubbing or using a brush. However certain precautions have to be put in place. More of this will be talked about under methods of removing wood stains from the skin.

Our skin is very important, hence it should not be exposed to hazardous substances. Not all agent used to remove a stain is skin safe. Some are harmful, but because it is used for a short period, the harm that comes with long use is avoided and protection is still ensured. However, suppose you cannot afford to expose your sensitive skin to a toxic agent like rubbing alcohol when removing stains. In that case, you can decide to go for natural substances: Mineral Spirits, Turpentine. Home remedies like makeup remover wipes can also be used.

Here is a list of what can safely remove stains from the skin:

  • White vinegar
  • Natural Oils
  • Mineral Spirits
  • Turpentine
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Soda Powder
  • Citric Acid
  • Peanut Butter

How to Remove Water-based & Oil-based Stains?

We’ve covered how to remove stains from your skin safely, so let’s look at how to remove water- and oil-based stains:

Water-based StainOil-based Stain
Natural OilsMineral Spirits
Makeup WipesTurpentine
Laundry DetergentPaint Thinner
White Vinegar 
Rubbing Alcohol 
Baking Soda Ash 
Citric Acid 
Peanut Butter 

9 Ways to Remove Wood Stains From Skin & Hand

Using White Vinegar

In case you do not have washing ash within reach, you can opt-in for other alternatives called wood stain products. Examples of such products are white vinegar and baking soda.

Plain white vinegar contains acetic acid in small proportion. While baking soda contains sodium bicarbonate. Hence, these two substances are effective cleaning agents. Follow this procedure to use them in removing wood stains.

Steps to get a wood stain from the skin by using white vinegar:

1. To use baking soda, add a little bit of it to warm water to form a somewhat thick paste.

2. On the stained skin, dab some clean cloth on water and use it to wipe it.

3. Apply the solution to the area and scrub lightly. Then gently wash it off with soap and water.

4. For the plain white vinegar, soak a clean cloth with some and use it to clean the affected skin. Then wash off with soap and water

Using White Vinegar to get off Wood Stains from skin

Using Acetone and Rubbing Alcohol

Do you know you can get off wood stains easily from your hands using certain chemicals also known as solvents? Examples of these chemicals are acetone and rubbing alcohol. Rubbing alcohol is denatured alcohol.

They are highly flammable be it rubbing alcohol or acetone. Hence, you handle it with care. Use the following steps to apply them.

How to use acetone or alcohol to remove wood stains from the skin:

1. Get a small container and pour a little alcohol or acetone on it. You can use acetone nail polish remover.

2. Get a cotton ball, and dip it inside the alcohol or acetone.

3. Use it to rub the stained hand until the stain is removed gently.

4. Rinse off with warm water (and/or soap) and moisturize the hands.

Using acetone to remove the water-based wood stain:

How to use acetone has been described above under stain removing chemicals. The precaution has also been stated. However, it is mandatory to have additional information that acetone can be used to remove water-based stains.

Hence, if you know you are working with a water-based stain, acetone is a good stain-removing agent to sought for. The easiest and cheapest way to get acetone is through a nail polish remover.

Using Natural Oils

Can Natural Oil Remove Stains from The Skin?

Some oil such as olive oil act as a cleansing agent. Hence, they can help remove wood stain from the skin. This method of skin stain removal can be used by people whose skin is easily prone to irritation.

Why? Because as the name implies, vegetable oil usage such as olive oil is not harmful compared to paint thinner and mineral spirits which are flammable. Other food grade oils that can be used to remove stains on the skin are linseed oil, coconut oil, mineral oil, vegetable oil, walnut oil, etc

As mentioned earlier natural oils such as food-grade oil and vegetable oil can be used to remove wood stains slowly. They are natural products that skin prevention from irritation and toxic chemicals. After using oil to remove a wood stain, the skin naturally exfoliates to get rid of the stain. Follow the process below if you want to make use of oil to remove that wood stain.

Steps to Get Wood Stain off Skin by Using Natural Oils?

1. Pour any food-grade oil of your choice inside a bowl

2. Dip your hands inside the bowl of oil, remove it and scrub gently with a cloth.

3. If the wood stain is on your skin, you can get the oil on such an area by soaking a towel inside the oil and using it to scrub the stained area.

4. Wash it off with mild soap like dish soap and rinse with warm water.

Using Makeup Wipes

Make-up remover wipes contain certain chemicals which allow them to remove a wood stain. They contain surfactants and emulsifiers. Some are even formulated with alcohol, which is a popular solvent in wood staining. Make-up wipes are better suited to remove the wood stain on the facial skin.

Steps to Remove Wood Stains by Using Makeup Wipes

1. Remove multiple wipes from the container.

2. Pick two of the wipes to wipe the affected skin gently. You might have to use 6 to 8 wipes before completely removing the entire stain.

3. After removing the entire stain, use lukewarm water and regular soap to gently wash the face to prevent wipes’ preservatives from affecting the skin.

4. To avoid skin irritation and dryness, you should moisturize your skin.

Using Baking Soda Ash

Stain absorbents are used in combination with other wood stain removers like mineral spirits, alcohol, acetone, etc. to make them more effective. The most common absorbent powder is baking soda. Here is what to do:

Steps to remove wood stains from skin using stain absorbers:

1. Make a paste with baking soda and water.

2. Apply it like a mask on your hands and leave for 8 to 10 minutes.

3. Rinse with warm water, then use alcohol, acetone, or mineral spirits to wipe the hands afterward. Then use soap and water.

Using Citric Acid

Furthermore, another method to remove wood stain from skin is using citric acid, especially if the stain is water-formulated. Citric acid is a natural cleaning solution and can be used to clean stains off hands. Follow this simple procedure to do that.

Steps to remove the water-based wood stain:

1. Citric acid is available primarily in powder form. Therefore, you make a paste with it using water. The acid should be twice the water.

2. Put some on your hands, leave for some minutes, and wash off with a mild soap-like dish liquid.

3. To avoid dryness, moisture your hands.

Using Laundry Detergent

Washing soda also known as washing ash or soda ash is a non-toxic remedy used to remove the wood stain on the skin. The major ingredient in washing ash that makes it a stain removal is sodium carbonate.

Sodium carbonate enables the soda ash to mix with water and deeply penetrate the pores of the skin to remove the stain. Follow this procedure in using washing soda.

Steps to remove stains with laundry detergent:

1. Mix the ash and water in a ratio of 1:3 respectively to make a cleaning solution

2. Using soap and a clean rag, wash the affected skin with the solution.

3. Rinse off with soap and water. It is one of the safe ways to remove wood stains.

Using Mineral Spirits

Having examined ways to get water-based stains off the skin, let’s also take a look at how to get oil-based wood stains off your skin. Using mineral spirits as a wood stain remover has been discussed a little above.

Nonetheless, it is important to note that wood stain which combines pigment and resin might get on the skin to form tough stains like ink stains. If this forms on sensitive skin, it could become a problem. Therefore, the best way to remove stubborn stains like the tannic acid wood stain is by using suspenders or thinners like mineral spirits through the following steps.

Mineral Spirits

Steps to remove oil based stains by using Mineral Spirits:

1. Get a covered colored container and pour the mineral spirits inside. you can get one from hardware stores.

2. On a white clean cloth or cotton ball, pour some of the white spirits and use your first three fingers to gently wipe it over the skin. It is highly flammable. Hence, be careful.

3. To prevent chemical burns and toxic fumes inhalation, constantly pass running lukewarm water over the skin surface being wiped.

4. After the whole stain is gone, use unscented dish soap to wash and clean the area

Using Turpentine

In addition, another way to remove a stain from your skin is through the use of turpentine. Turpentine is quite similar to the mineral spirit and is effective in getting rid of wood stains from the skin, especially oil-based ones.

To use it, follow the procedure for mineral spirit above. However, you need to be careful in handling it because it is harmful, toxic, and unsafe for the skin. It is not advisable to use it as a regular skin wood stain remover. This then leads us to the question of how to get a wood stain off skin safely.

Can Wood Stain Permanently Stain The Skin?

Have you been trying to remove the wood stain to no avail and you are scared that it could permanently stain your skin? Removing wood stain can be a little bit tasking, especially when trying to remove it using natural methods. However, a wood stain cannot permanently stain your skin even if you do not use any stain remover.

Daily use of soap and water will slowly get wood stains off your skin. The only issue is that it might take quite some time. Now, you really want to know the perfect method to get that stain off. Read about that below.

How to Choose The Method to Remove The Wood Stain?

For safe stain removal, use natural methods. Want to quickly remove the stain, use the chemical method. Have soft skin? Make use of home remedies. You don’t mind the stain on your skin getting off slowly? Then utilize just soap and water. Tired of using different ways to remove wood stains? Then read more below on the necessary and effective prevention measures to utilize.

Preventive Measures for Wood Staining

Instead of trying to get rid of stains from the skin, there are preventive measures to follow in staining wood effectively while preventing the wood stain from the skin. You need to put on protective clothing like a disposable rubber glove. More of it is explained below.

How can I prevent wood stains on skin?

Do you want to know what to do to prevent that oil-based stain from dropping on your skin when next you want to create a stained wood art? Here are things you can do

Tips to prevent wood stains on your skin:

1. Put on long clothing like long sleeves, protective clothing. It is better to stain cloth than skin.

2. In case of stain splatter, wear something to cover your face.

3. Lastly, you should use hand gloves for hand protection such as nitrile gloves.


Really, I would not say there is a perfect method of removing wood stains. This is simply because the perfect choice you are searching for is dependent on what you want. That is, do you want a chemical removing agent or natural ones? Do you want to get the stain off quickly or you are okay with it getting off slowly? Do you want a safe stain remover or you can go with anything as long as it works?

Finally, I hope this article has been of profound help on how to get wood stains off skin & hands. The different ways to remove stains from skin ranging from the products in the kitchen to the ones at paint stores have been explained. This and the measures to use to prevent the stain from your skin while staining have all been explained. Hence, with all these, getting rid of stains become easy.

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