Tuesday, July 7, 2009

WFMW—Alcohol Removes Ink on Skin

I don’t know about your family, but my kids from time to time like to tattoo themselves with ballpoint ink. Short of scrubbing them raw with a rough washcloth, I found it nearly impossible to remove it, and it would take days and several baths for it to finally fade away.

One day I happened to observe Firstborn using some hand-sanitizer, and was surprised to see his current skin art disappear like magic. Aha! Hand sanitizer is mostly alcohol! I had heard of using rubbing alcohol to remove ballpoint ink on clothing, but never had much success with it (I use hairspray). I guess that’s why it never occurred to me to use it on skin.

I tested it out on one of the kids, and it worked like a charm. Just soak a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and wipe the ink right off.

A few days later, coincidentally, I had an encounter with a broken ballpoint pen, and had Craig snap a picture in anticipation of this post.IMG_2730

This, admittedly, was tougher than a simple doodle. I washed off what I could; a lot of blue water went down the drain, but it didn't seem to have much effect on how much ink was left on my skin. Then I sat down in front of the TV with a paper towel soaked in rubbing alcohol. CSI kept me occupied while I worked at the ink. IMG_2734Not bad. You can still see some ink under my fingernails (and it just occurred to me that this may not be very convincing since it’s not the same view of my yikes! old lady hand). But I know that soap and water would not have done this well.

Earth shattering? No. But I hope it helps someone next time little Buford decides to decorate himself, on purpose or not.

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Gina said...

This is really helpful! Now I wonder if it will help with non-washable markers, too (my twins just discovered those). And your hands looks great. :)

Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect said...

We've also found that baby wipes work well for ink. And for a lot of things! ;)

Pam said...

Great, great tip! I'll definitely remember this one. Thanks.

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Good tip! Committing it to memory. ;)

Annette said...

I used to work in a Dr's. office and would always would end up with pen marks on my scrubs. The little alcohol pads work great on clothing!

Love your blog! :)


TRICIA @boutellefamilyzoo said...

Great tip! I am QUITE sure I will need this in the future.

The DIY Show Off said...

Just this week my husband wrote on the dry erase board with a sharpie (even though the dry erase marker was RIGHT there under his nose - he claims he couldn't find it and grabbed a sharpie from across the room). Ugh...kids. I mean, men. lol Alcohol removed it easily!

Finding that out and with your tip...looks like I'll stock the cleaning cupboard with a bottle!