Perhaps you didn’t know to wear gloves while harvesting and processing black walnuts; or perhaps you simply didn’t want to wear them. Whatever the reason, your hands are now boasting lovely black or yellow stains that won’t wash off with water alone. What should you do? In this article, we’ll talk about how to remove black walnut stains from hands.
What You'll Learn Today
8 Home Remedies to Remove Walnut Stains
If your hands are already stained, you know what black walnut stains look like. If not, the following video may encourage you to wear gloves before messing with walnuts:
Black walnut stains are considered semi-permanent; in other words, they are extremely difficult to remove. Even the remedies outlined below may not be as effective against the stains as you would like; ultimately, they will simply have to wear off over time, which could take weeks.
Not only can black walnut husks cause stains, but blisters as well. Juglone, the same chemical responsible for killing plants that grow near walnut trees, can also irritate the skin if it is not washed off quickly enough.
So, even though the following remedies may not completely remove the stains from your hands, they will at least allow you to remove the husk fragments and secretions that could cause blistering if left on the skin.
For best results, you may want to use several of these home remedies, one after the other. The combined effects of several different stain removal methods may produce the best results.
Soap and Water
Soap and water alone cannot fully remove walnut stains, but they can help you wash away the irritants that caused the stains. Soap your hand thoroughly, scrubbing with a brush if desired, then wash away with warm water.
Next, fill a bowl or sink with warm, soapy water. Place your hands in the water, making sure the stains are fully submerged, and allow them to soak for several minutes.
Soaking may loosen the stains. Remove your hands from the water and rinse them.
Pour a little vinegar into your hands and rub it over the stains. It doesn’t matter what kind of vinegar you use–any kind will do.
Again, if desired, gently scrub the vinegar into your hands using a toothbrush or other type of brush. Allow the vinegar to sit on your hands for a few minutes, then rinse it off.
Note: If your hands are blistered, don’t try this method. The vinegar may further irritate already damaged skin.
Make a paste from a little bit of baking soda mixed with water. Rub the paste over the stains, scrubbing it in with a brush if desired.
Allow the baking soda to sit on your skin for several minutes, then rinse it off.
Baking soda has drawing properties and is highly alkaline. Both of these properties may make it effective against walnut stains on your hands.
Fill a bowl or sink with water as hot as you can stand. Place your hands in the water and allow them to soak for several minutes.
The heat may cause the stain to loosen a bit, which can make it easier to remove. After soaking, wash your hands with soap under running water.
Rubbing alcohol is an excellent makeshift stain remover and may be effective at removing or lessening walnut stains on your hands.
Pour a bit of alcohol into your hands and rub them together, or pour it onto a clean cloth and apply the cloth to the stained areas. Alcohol will begin to evaporate quickly; before your hands have dried completely, rinse them with soap and water.
You may want to repeat the process a time or two.
Lemon juice, like vinegar, is highly acidic; the acid in the juice quickly loosens the stains from your skin, allowing you to wash them away easily.
While it may not completely remove the stains, it is one of the most quick-acting and effective remedies on this list.
Squeeze or pour lemon juice into your hands and rub them together, scrubbing the juice into the stains with a brush if desired. Allow the juice to remain on your hands for a minute or two, then wash with soap and water.
As with the vinegar method, you should not use lemon juice if your hands are already blistered. It may cause further pain and irritation.
Vegetable oil of any kind may also help to remove walnut stains, especially if applied following lemon juice.
Pour a bit of oil into your hands and rub them together, scrubbing it into the stains with a brush. Wash with soap and water.
You will probably need to repeat this process several times to remove as much of the stain as possible.
Finally, using a pumice stone may help to scrub away some of the stains on your hands. Be careful to use one that is not too abrasive, especially if your hands already feel raw or irritated.
Under running water, rub the pumice stone in a circular motion over the stains. You may need to work on each stain for several minutes to remove as much of it as possible.
When you are finished, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
Do not use a pumice stone if your hands are blistered, as it may further tear your skin and increase the risk of infection.
Black walnut husks can cause ugly stains on your hands; and if you don’t wash up after touching these husks, your hands may develop blisters as well. Using the various home remedies discussed above will help remove much of the staining, as well as the irritants that could damage your hands.
If you’re wondering what other uses these beautiful trees have, check out this guide to making black walnut tea.