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How to Get Printer Ink Off Your Hands

how to get printer ink off your hands

If you’ve ever had to change an ink cartridge on your printer, you probably understand the frustration that comes with even the slightest spill. Ink is nasty business. It stains quickly and it’s hard to remove, so spilling ink on your hands can be seriously annoying. For these reasons, it helps to know how to get printer ink off your hands using readily available ingredients.

Luckily for you, we know 5 effective and easily accessible ingredients for removing printer ink from your hands after a spill. These ingredients are, of course, safe on your skin, and you can keep them in your office (near your printer) in case of future spills. Furthermore, we know some easy methods for avoiding ink stains all together, which we’ll share later in the article.

5 Common Ingredients for Removing Printer Ink Stains

 Before using any of the following ingredients, it’s important to recognize that they contain chemicals that are not necessarily intended for the uses we recommend. That said, we wouldn’t recommend the following uses if we thought they’d be harmful to you. We only ask that you use these ingredients carefully. Now, onto the list...

  1. Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree oil is an essential oil that is known to promote skin, hair, and nail health. It’s similar to hand sanitizer in the way it’s applied - gently rubbed into your skin to cleanse it of germs and bacteria. However, tea tree oil also happens to be great for removing ink stains. Simply pour a few drops of tea tree oil onto a piece of dry cloth, then use the cloth to scrub away the ink stain from your skin. You may need to repeat this process to scrub away the ink entirely. For a more thorough cleaning, we recommend using a brush (in addition to a cloth) to clean between your fingers and beneath your nails. Afterwards, clean your hands with soap and rinse with water.

  2. Rubbing Alcohol: You might already have rubbing alcohol in your bathroom, but you probably haven’t considered leaving a bottle in your office. Rubbing alcohol is highly effective at removing ink stains from your skin. All you need to do is pour a little in your hands and rub your hands together until the ink stain washes away to the alcohol. Then, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and rinse clean. We also recommend applying lotion afterwards to moisturize your newly cleansed, ink-free skin.

  3. Hairspray: When considering how to get printer ink off your hands, you wouldn’t think that a hair product would be of any use. And yet, hairspray is surprisingly good at removing ink stains. So, grab your hairspray and spray some into your hands. Start with just a little and be careful not to spray directly onto the ink-stained area. Once applied, rub away the ink and wash your hands with soap and water. Finally, apply lotion and that’s it!

  4. Nail Polish Remover: Like hairspray, nail polish remover can be used on more than just your nails. It can also be used to easily remove ink stains from your skin. That’s because nail polish remover contains acetone, which is made to remove another chemical solvent (nail polish). It will quickly and gently remove any ink stain from your skin. Just try not to spill any nail polish remover onto your wooden floors or furniture, or it might quickly and gently remove the finish. After removing the ink, be sure to wash your hands and apply lotion.

  5. Bleach: The fifth and final ingredient we recommend using to remove ink stains on skin is bleach. Only use bleach if you don’t have any of the above-mentioned ingredients, as bleach can damage your skin if not washed away afterwards. Plus, bleach smells. If you do decide to use bleach, first dilute it with water (the ratio of bleach to water should be about 1:10). Next, rub the diluted bleach onto your hands until the ink is removed. And of course, wash your hands with plenty of soap. If the smell of bleach remains, try rubbing fresh orange or lemon juice onto your hands.

How to Avoid Getting Ink on Your Hands

It’s good to know how to get printer ink off your hands, but it’s even better to avoid getting ink on yourself in the first place. You can easily prevent ink spills and stains by taking some simple precautions.

The first step you can take to avoid spilling ink is to read the instructions on your ink cartridge for how to replace it (or find instructions online). Every type of cartridge is a little unique, so while the process of replacing an ink cartridge is generally straightforward, reading the instructions on your cartridge may reveal nuances in its design. In some cases, understanding the unique nuances of your ink cartridge can help you to avoid a nasty spill.

An obvious way to avoid ink stains on your hands is to wear latex gloves. You won’t need to worry about how to get printer ink off your hands if you wear gloves while changing cartridges. In the case of a spill, the gloves will prevent the ink from reaching your skin, allowing you to simply slip the gloves off and throw them away. Wearing gloves is the most reliable way to prevent ink stains while changing ink cartridges.

You can also use refill kits! Refill kits allow you avoid changing cartridges all together by refilling the cartridges with ink rather than swapping them out. However, using refill kits can significantly increase your chance of spilling ink if you don’t know what you’re doing. We highly recommend researching this option before giving it a try.

In Conclusion

It’s easy to spill ink on your hands while changing cartridges, and it should be just as easy to clean up. Knowing how to get printer ink off your hands and knowing how to avoid ink spills in the future will minimize the frustrations you (and many others) experience while using a printer. On another note… 

Did you know you can sell your unused ink and toner cartridges for cash?