How to Get Easter Egg Dye Off Skin Without Harsh Chemicals

How-To Guides
by How-To Guides

By Erin Lindholm

As mercurial as early spring weather can be, the fun-for-all-ages tradition of dyeing and decorating Easter eggs is always a wildly colorful affair, involving various cups or bowls of food-safe dips, glitter, stickers, wax crayons, and even neon puffy paint! But such fun comes with its fair share of messes and cleanup—including, of course, fingers and hands splattered and splotched with residual food coloring or natural Easter egg dyes.

There’s a chance that vigorous hand washing with warm water and dish soap will at least lift some of the remnant color. Or else, try washing with an exfoliating bar soap made with a skin-safe scrubbing ingredient, such as oatmeal or pumice. Easter egg dye stains on your skin will fade on their own over a couple of days, but there are a few home remedies to remove the color faster. Follow these the methods in this guide to remove Easter egg dye from fingers before those gorgeous colored eggs have had a chance to fully chill in the fridge.

Safety Warning

A quick note: These DIY hacks about how to get Easter egg dye off skin are all quite straightforward, requiring only items from the pantry or medicine cabinet. With that being said, only use rubbing alcohol as a last resort option, especially for children's hands or anyone in the household with sensitive skin. While rubbing alcohol is safe for topical application, it’s also a very strong astringent.

hand using cloth to wipe other hand with white vinegar solution

How to Get Easter Egg Dye Off Skin with White Vinegar

This white vinegar method is another ultra easy option to remove Easter egg dye from skin. Keep in mind that it doesn’t smell very pleasant, which may be a turn-off factor for kiddos.

Pour a cup or two of basic distilled white vinegar in a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl (a glass Pyrex mixing bowl would do the trick). Heat in the microwave for about 30 seconds. After vigorously washing hands with soap and warm water, wipe them down with a washcloth that’s been submerged in the warm vinegar (always test the temperature first to make sure the vinegar isn’t too hot). The vinegar in the washcloth should lift and soak up the dye. Rinse and repeat a few times if needed, or move onto one of the next methods for persistent Easter egg dye that refuses to go away.

How to Get Easter Egg Dye Off Skin with Toothpaste

Yes, regular ol’ toothpaste works to get egg dye off hands, kind of like how it lifts stains off teeth! Apply a generous portion of toothpaste over the discolored areas on the hands. Rub toothpaste-covered parts of fingers and hands together firmly in a back-and-forth motion, and you’ll see the dye colors begin to lift. Once you’re satisfied with the results, simply wash off all residual toothpaste with warm water and dry your hands well.

How to Get Easter Egg Dye Off Skin with Baking Soda

This baking soda method uses a little science class chemistry to safely and gently get egg dye off hands.

Run dyed hands under water so they’re thoroughly damp. Sprinkle open palms generously with baking soda, paying special attention to the dye-stained spots. Add just a splash of white vinegar to each hand, just enough so that the baking soda starts to foam. Rub hands and fingers together. The fizzy baking soda acts like a mild abrasive agent to get that Easter egg dye off fingers and palms. Rinse with warm water and repeat a second time if necessary.

How to Get Easter Egg Dye Off Skin with Rubbing Alcohol

As mentioned above, rubbing alcohol is safe to use on skin, but be aware that it’s a stronger cleaning agent that can irritate sensitive skin. To clean hands with rubbing alcohol, simply dampen a flat cotton makeup remover pad or cotton ball thoroughly with rubbing alcohol. Wipe the wet pad over dyed areas, and rinse hands clean.

No Rubbing Alcohol?

No rubbing alcohol in the house? No problem. Non-acetone nail polish removers and hand sanitizer gels are also made with isopropyl alcohol (the technical name for rubbing alcohol) and can be used as a substitution.

basket of dyed easter eggs and greenery

Photo via Candy Walsh

Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs that Won’t Stain Skin 

Want to ditch the dye altogether when decorating Easter eggs? Each of these techniques results in vibrantly colorful eggs—with nary a bowl full of dye in sight.

Marbled Easter Eggs

Ever wondered how to make those striking, richly colored, marbled Easter eggs? Gently roll hard-boiled eggs through a whipped cream bath that’s been dotted with food-safe food coloring. While gloves are required to still keep dye off skin until the eggs dry, the dye strength is way less than a bowl full of dye. 

Decal (or Temporary Tattoo) Easter Eggs 

To DIY your own Easter egg decals, all you'll need is a colored printer and a pack of inkjet temporary tattoo paper. Print out a few graphics, designs, or images onto the paper, cut loosely around edges, and apply the damp egg surface to the patterned paper, pressing and peeling the backing off (kind of like applying a temporary tattoo).

Silk Fabric Patterned Easter Eggs 

Who knew that silk fabric patterns transfer brilliantly onto Easter eggs? The process is quite simple: Each egg is bundled inside a 5-inch square of 100-percent silk fabric, followed by a 5-inch square of white cotton. The wrapped eggs are then gently simmered in a water and white vinegar solution. Once cooled, unwrapping them reveals tiny, one-of-a-kind masterpieces. 

Do you have any tips for getting Easter egg dye off skin? Let us know in the comments below!

Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
Join the conversation