I’ve been milling components for the coffee table this weekend, entirely with oak. My hands turn almost black from the tannins and I can’t get the stains off much at all. The only thing I haven’t tried is Swarfega.
It doesn’t bother me much but people do give funny looks!
Does anyone else have this problem? Anyone got any tips for removing the stains?
I’ve tried both lemon juice and fairy without much success, along with a lot of other things. Lemon juice was probably the most effective but still didn’t get all the stains off and depletes the fruit bowl quite quickly! The only thing I’ve found that works every time, is friction (or time) – standing at the sink furiously scrubbing my hands with soapy water. I can scrub them for ten minutes and come away with still slightly stained but now very dry and sore hands!
I think I’ll pick up some Swarfega next time I’m in town and give that a try.
George, I have used Citrus Swarfega in the past. Little and often works best. I was recently working with some sweet chestnut and it was turning my fingers purple, but washing my hands with Citrus Swarfega every 30mins or so kept it reasonably under control. Didn’t get it all off and a bit of a hassle but it worked well enough.
Thanks for the tip! I think the idea of washing often is a good one. I just washed my hands with a bit of lemon juice, fairy (it’s a brand name of washing up liquid, for the non-UK readers) and soap after only planing one board and the majority of the stains came off. If I work for a few hours and then wash up there’s no hope of getting remotely clean!