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Very very few people talk about the dark side of Easter. It’s all chocolate eggs, white fluffy bunnies and pretty Easter outfits.

But this holiday has a dark underbelly.

It all starts with the fun family activity of dying Easter eggs. And ends like this…

Those are my 5-year-old daughter’s hands.

So like any good mom, I send her to the bathroom to wash them and she returns with them looking like this…

She starts to get very weepy and I want to console her but she looks like she is turning into the Incredible Hulk and it’s not the most awesome look for a young girl.

I immediately google, “How To Get Easter Egg Dye Off Your Hands” and I find this gem…

“Put cooking oil and sugar and use it as a scrubber and then take a bath and it works like magic.”

I immediately mix canola oil and brown sugar in a bowl and make my girls wash their hands in it. On the plus side, my 7-year-old Dylan (whose hands are not nearly as bad as Summer’s) seems to have a real passion for exfoliating scrubs. She says, “My hands feel SO soft and smooth. I love it. I want to do this again tomorrow.”

On the down side, absolutely no dye comes off. I immediately disregard the “take a bath” part of the advice because somehow I doubt the “magic” will suddenly kick in.

Now Summer is sobbing uncontrollably. Green hands really bum a kid out.

I feel a little more panicked. Mostly because my soothing words, “I’m guessing this dye will not still be on your hands by next Easter” hasn’t helped at all. I google again and this time find another idea… lemon juice.

Which does not work either. But Summer’s green hands now have a nice citrus smell.

Next I try dishwashing soap. Summer intensely scrubs and scrubs her hands as if she is about to enter the operating room to perform cardiovascular surgery.

And after about 5 to 10 minutes, it happens. The dye starts to fade.

At least enough that she is willing to go to sleep and keep working on it tomorrow.

Here’s the cheat sheet for getting Easter egg dye off your hands:

A lot of tears, dishwashing soap and patience. Good luck.

27 Responses to how to get easter egg dye off your hands

  • Honest Mum says:

    Good to know-our Greek Easter falls a week after yours and red egg dye usually takes ages to come off. Bring on the dishwasher soap and tears. We’re Greek, there’s always tears and drama!

  • Student Mom says:

    We always used food colouring to paint our chocolate eggs, and acrylic paint for the blown out shell ones we painted – don’t recall much staining, but then… we were on a farm… on holiday… stains were part of the parcel.

  • Sam says:

    Lava Soap is your answer, I promise! We had this same disaster the day before Easter when my daughter was two, and all I could picture was my girl in her frilly little Easter dress and dark blue hands. My husband’s a mechanic so we had some under the sink, and it worked like magic!

      • Sam says:

        I’m guessing you can get it at an auto parts store? It’s on Amazon, but you probably can’t wait for that. Get the bar in the red package and prepare to be amazed. You can send me some Reese’s Eggs as a thank you. :)

  • N and Em's mom says:

    Try a paste of vinegar and Baking soda? Lava is wonderful if you can find it. Fingernail polish remover should help a bit but probably won’t get rid of all the color.

  • DawnGes says:

    This post almost made me dye laughing…:) Just the fact that you’re dying Easter eggs with your chicks means you’re willing to take on the incredible hulk or any other challenge that comes your way!

  • Maggie says:

    Try spritzing some hair spray (if it has alcohol on the ingredient list) or else use rubbing alcohol. The alcohol seems to break down inks. Spray/pour a bit on & let it sit for a few minutes and then wash hands. (This is also great for getting dye/ink off of other surfaces).

  • laterg8r says:

    that’s why my girls wear gloves now. i had the same experience and both my girls cried buckets of tears. LOL

  • My son would have been horrified if I even tried to wash them. off. He would have made me promise to keep them green until at least Easter. One time he wore a Spiderman suit for 16 days in a row. That’s my boy:)

  • Janie says:

    So glad I found this post before taking the unproductive sugar scrub and citrus routes. My son’s hands are the exact same color as your daughter’s. Down side is his Easter shirt for tomorrow is lime green (can we say “clash”?). Up side … His egg looks fantastic!

  • Michael says:

    After years of purple hands that don’t match the pink Easter dress, my girls now wear disposable vinyl exam gloves while they color eggs. Personally, I think Summer’s colorful hands are beautiful.

  • Nathan says:

    LOVED this article. However, with a 2 year old, most of the advice is impractical…’specially since we were looking for “how to take Bingo dauber ink off skin”. We did find, however, that Pampers baby wipes will take it (kinda) off.

  • Shannon says:

    When my son was 3 he took a sharpie to the leather interior of my minivan. I too used the Google gods for a solution. Spray sunscreen. It worked like magic (but be careful because too much time on the leather will strip the color). Fash forward 2 years and the same child takes a sharpie to his hands and cheeks(

  • Shannon says:

    So it published before I was done…so sorry! As I was saying, he took a sharpie to his hands and cheeks (yes, sharpies were placed out of his reach but obviously not high enough). Again, I turned to the spray sunscreen which worked on his skin as well as it worked on the leather seats of my minivan. Now we are getting ready to dye eggs and in addition to plastic gloves, I have a big bottle of spray sunscreen.

  • Sue Zittrouer says:

    Bright light for the Dark Side!!!! Had a great time dying eggs with my grandchildren tonite. We didn’t even notice our hands until we were all done and I knew their mother was going to kill me. One granddaughter had already told me about her beautiful WHITE Easter dress.We ran to the computer and were hopefully read your Dark Side story, and all the things that had been tried,when I had a light bulb moment.
    There is a yellow liquid that comes in a spray bottle, it’s called Totally Awesome. It is a type of stain remover. I have used it for years, it costs about $2.00 and I but it at any dollar store and I think they may have it at Walmart. It gets oil out of carpet and magic marker and blood out of fabric without being caustic. I don’t know what the heck it actually is but it took all the dye off our hands and didn’t burn at all or make our hands red. I just sprayed it on and in less than a minute all the dye was gone. It is that simple.
    My grandkids acted like I had performed a magic act and said I just had to go on here to tell everyone. Hope everyone can find this product.

kelcey kintner


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