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Thread: How do you remove tannin stains from skin?

  1. #1

    How do you remove tannin stains from skin?

    Well, I didn't take pics of my hands, but after turning a lot of cherry yesterday and the day before, my hands are a shade of dark purple-black, and it won't come off with anything I've tried so far. I really don't want to use mineral spirits on my hands unless absolutely necessary. I've tried.....dishwashing detergent, lava soap, dial, and had marginal success with an old brillo pad just scrubbing the top few layers of skin off. I used a bit of wax furniture restore/polish to get off varnish--works great, but I can't get off the black, which seems to have an affinity towards the cuticle, undersides of fingernails, and callouses. I work in a hospital, and don't really like having to explain, "its just wood tannins, my hands are clean"....

    I've heard that oxalic acid works, but after looking it up, the manufacturers all say, avoid contact with skin. So, what I need are suggestions. I can't work very well in leather gloves, and the black fabric ones I have for wintertime use also leach black dye when my hands sweat in the heat (no a/c in shed).

  2. #2
    A liberal application of time is the only thing that I have ever found to make any real difference. I work a lot of Oak and get the same thing all the time. Baby lotion type moisturiser may reduce the hue a little bit but nothing I have yet found gets rid of it. DO NOT use oxalic acid. Mineral spirits will not make any difference. This is not a colour ON the skin of your hands. It is IN the skin of your hands. Basically it will go away when that layer of skin has sloughed off. Oh and if that news makes you unhappy I can give you my wifes phone number and you can commiserate with each other!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Inside the Beltway
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    2,666
    Nathan,

    Not sure there's any solution once it's on there. Shakespeare treats the issue well:

    HAMLET
    How long will a man lie i' th' earth ere he rot?

    GRAVEDIGGER
    Faith, if 'a be not rotten before 'a die (as we have many
    pocky corses now-a-days that will scarce hold the laying in, I
    will last you some eight year or nine year. A tanner will last
    you nine year.

    HAMLET
    Why he more than another?

    GRAVEDIGGER
    Why, sir, his hide is so tann'd with his trade that 'a will
    keep out water a great while;




    Sorry, a little english major humor...

    I have seen something where you plunge your hands into a bucket and it coats your hands, but it seems like way too much trouble...

    Thanks,

    Bill

  4. #4
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    Nathan, I use one of those orange smelling "goop" hand cleaners and a green "brillo" pad type scrubber. It ususally works pretty well for me...better the sooner you start to scrub. I also carefully use a glove on my left hand with oak to try and avoid some the stain as well.
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -Henry David Thoreau
    My Website


  5. #5
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    Or just stain the rest of yourself so you match.
    paulh

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Hubbman View Post
    Or just stain the rest of yourself so you match.
    paulh
    We have a winner!

    Nathan, as has been said, time is the only thing I've seen that will do the trick. The mineral spirits won't faze it, in my experience.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Remlik, Virginia
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    88
    Sometimes scrubbing your skin with a lemon will help. I have never had cherry, oak or walnut stain my skin. It must be a body chemistry thing. Lemon has removed other stains though.

    Oxyclean might also work. A 10 part water to 1 part Chlorox will also get stains out. Don't use if you have tender skin.
    Barbara

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Posts
    24
    second vote for lemon, rub a half a lemon on the area then wash with soap. presto walnut stains gone.

    Xmas tree sap...rub hands with mayo then wash. No more sticky fingers.

    /grandfather told me both, thought he was nuts...till I tried it.

  9. #9
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    I just tell people I need to start using more toilet paper. Usually ends the conversation on why my hands are dirty looking.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dale Johnson View Post
    I just tell people I need to start using more toilet paper. Usually ends the conversation on why my hands are dirty looking.
    I would imagine that would end the conversation!
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -Henry David Thoreau
    My Website


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