Many smokers carry the telltale sign of yellow-brown stains on their fingers. Smoker’s fingers, almost like a tattooed designation, don’t slip by a watchful eye. In today’s employment market, many companies will flat out tell you smokers need not apply. Quitting smoking can be very difficult especially when you are experiencing high stress such as a job search so, the next best thing maybe to hide the evidence while you hopefully, quit.

Maybe you just hate the way your fingers always look stained and dirty and it has nothing to do with finding a job. As the name suggests, nicotine stains – well, stain the skin. Nicotine is an oil based substance that leaches from the cigarette onto the fingers and penetrates into the skin. Nicotine stains build up over time and typically aren’t removed in a day, but can be removed in a few days. If the nicotine stains aren’t heavy, just a twinge of discoloration, you may be able to remove them much more quickly, but count on a few days of sticking to the treatment. All of the nicotine stain removal methods are effective, some are more effective than others based on the depth and concentration of the nicotine stains and your skin type.

Permatex Fast Orange Pumice Lotion Hand Cleaner Removes Nicotine Stains

Permatex Fast Orange Pumice Lotion Hand Cleaner is marketed for mechanics and those professionals that get their hands very dirty and stained. Permatex has not only an orange scent, but contains orange oil which is a highly effective stain remover. Permatex also adds finely ground pumice to gently exfoliate the skin. Exfoliating peels away very thin layers of dead and dry skin where the stains typically lay. Permatex Orange Hand Cleaner also containers moisturizers such as lanolin, glycerin and aloe to leave hands smooth and soft.

To Use Permatex Fast Orange Pumice Lotion Hand Cleaner

Wet your hands under warm running water.

Pump out a quarter size amount of the orange hand cleaner into the palm of your hand.

Rub your hands together to cover your hands and fingers with the hand cleaner.

Rinse the orange hand cleaner off the hand that does not have nicotine-stains.

Wet a nail brush with water and a bit or the pumice based cleaner.

Gently scrub the stains of nicotine on your fingers and nails.

Rinse the soapy residue away. You may immediately see a difference.

Coat your hands thoroughly with moisturizer to shield your fingers from nicotine stains.

Permatex  Fast Orange Pumice Lotion Hand Cleaner comes in a large container with a pump top, but you can fill a small pump bottle or two and leave one next to each sink for hand cleaning.

Remove Nicotine Stains with Aspirin

Aspirin or also know as acetylsalicylic acid is best used as a strong exfoliate on calloused, rough skin works to remove layers of skin and the nicotine stains along with it. Do not use this method if you are allergic to aspirin because the aspirin is absorbed through the skin and can cause a severe reaction.

Place two to three uncoated, plain aspirin tablets in a small bowl. Use a spoon to crush the aspirin tablets into small pieces.

Fill a small cup or bowl with hot water – only use water as hot as what is comfortable without burning your skin.

Pour the aspirin pieces into the hot water and stir until the aspirin completely dissolves.

Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to the water.

Soak the nicotine stained fingers for 15 to 20 minutes. Or dip a gauze pad into the water, aspirin and lemon and lay the gauze over the nicotine stains, keeping the gauze very wet for the entire 15 to 20 minutes.

Wash your hands with soap and gently scrub the stains with pumice. Do not scrub vigorously because you will likely damage the skin or cause abrasions.

Slather your hands with a moisturizing cream.

Repeat this process one a day for one week.

There are a number of other ways to remove nicotine stains from fingers & nails specifically also.

Hydrogen Peroxide to Bleach Your Nicotine Stains Away

Hydrogen peroxide is not only known for its disinfecting properties, but also as a highly effective alternative to bleach

Pour 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide into a bowl.

Add 4 tablespoons of water and ½ teaspoon of rubbing alcohol.

Stir the ingredients to blend them thoroughly.

Soak your nicotine stained fingers for 15 to 20 minutes.

Wash your hands with soap and scrub the stains of nicotine with a nail brush.

Dry your hands and apply a thick moisturizer.

You can repeat this process up to four times per day.

Slough off Nicotine Stains with Lemon and Salt

Lemon juice is an effective cleaner and astringent which helps to lighten and remove nicotine stains from your fingers and nails.

Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to a small bowl or cup.

Mix in salt to form a watery paste.

Wet your nicotine stained fingers with lemon juice.

Scoop up the salt and lemon paste and rub it into the stains.

Let the paste remain on your skin for approximately 10 minutes.

Rinse the paste off your fingers and gently scrub the skin with a nail brush.

Apply a thick coat of moisturizer to your hands and fingers.

Note that both lemon and salt are very drying to the skin. If you have overly dry skin, you may want to void this remedy. If you have cuts, scrapes or abrasions on your hands avoid this method because it will burn and sting.

Potatoes as a Nicotine Stain Remover

Potatoes also contain an effective nicotine stain remover.

Cut a potato in half or peel away the skin.

Rub the potato flesh onto the nicotine stains and let it sit for approximately 15 minutes.

Wash your hands and scrub the stained area with a nail brush.

Apply a thick moisturizer to your hands and fingers.

You can repeat this process four to six times per day.


Pierce a Vitamin E capsule with a pin, squeeze out the liquid and apply it to the stained skin. Vitamin E penetrates deep into the skin layers and creates the ultimate stain prevention barrier.