How To Get Gentian Violet Off Skin | 5 Simple DIY Tricks

To get rid of gentian violet off your skin easily, use baby wipes and olive oil to clean off the purple stains from your skin immediately after use. However, wash the affected area with alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or vinegar and detergent solution to remove dried-up stains.

My dermatologist once recommended using gentian violet for my baby’s yeast infection, which I did and ended up making my baby and I look like we came from a chemistry experiment gone wrong.

There were purple spots all over my hands and her skin, it was all a mess, and I definitely lost my chances to be mum of the year after that.

Initially, a wipe assisted in removing a small amount of the stain. But it wasn’t enough. My kid kept looking funny, and I felt like a terrible mum.

So yes! I’ve had my share of skin nightmares from using gentian violet. It’s nearly impossible to remove from the skin, and most people simply give up the search and opt for a cover-up.

If you are wondering how I got out of the mess I created, it’s because I finally found six simple ways to get gentian violet off the skin, which I’m going to share with you, and none of them involve hiring your dermatologist.

how to get gentian violet off skin

5 DIY Methods To Get Gentian Violet Stains Off Your Skin

If you find yourself dealing with gentian violet stains as I did, you shouldn’t panic. Although it may take a few days, most times, as long as you keep washing, the purple colors will eventually disappear.

However, not all of us have such luxury of time to wait for the stains to disappear; it can really be embarrassing. Below are methods that I now use to remove gentian violet from my skin almost immediately.

Before we get started, here are some items required;

  • Cleaning Solution (Read on to decide your best options).
  • Cotton swab.
  • Water.
  • Bowl.
  • Towel.
  • Baby wipes.

Clean With Baby Wipes

Baby wipes contain a little amount of alcohol, making them effective in removing gentian violet stains. However, you should use the wipes immediately after a spill, especially on a baby’s skin. 

I never forget to keep a pack of baby wipes on the table every time I have to use gentian violet on my baby’s skin, and I would recommend you do the same.

To effectively clean the gentian violet stains on your baby; 

  • Rub the affected area with baby wipes in a circular motion to lift it off the stain.
  • After, soak a cotton swab in warm water and wipe the affected area to remove the little residue left behind.

Clean With Olive Oil

Olive oil is a natural cleanser that can help remove those purple stains from your skin. It’s a great option, especially if you have sensitive skin. However, ensure you only use it when the stains are still fresh and not completely dried up.

Removing stains with olive oil is as simple as it sounds. 

  • Start by applying olive oil to the stain using a cotton ball
  • Gently massage the oil into your skin to dissolve the gentian violet
  • Allow it to stay for 10 to 15 minutes
  • Remove olive oil and stain residues with dish soap and water
  • Then, wipe clean with a paper towel 

Clean With Detergent and Vinegar Solutions

Vinegar is my go-to solution for everything cleaning in the house. It also works well as a stain remover. By combining vinegar and detergent, you can reduce the harshness of the vinegar on your skin while retaining its cleaning power.

  • Make a cleaning solution by combining vinegar and detergent.
  • Soak a clean, soft towel in the cleaning solution.
  • Lightly scrub the stained area with a damp towel to remove dye stains.
  • If the vinegar starts to sting, you should stop using that solution and dilute the vinegar with water in equal proportions. 
  • Continue to rotate the cloth on the stain as it transfers to the fabric. Keep doing that until the stain is completely removed.
  • Always use a clean part of the washcloth to avoid pushing the stain deeper into the skin.

It can be a bit more challenging to remove stains on your hands and require a slight change in the process.

To remove the gentian violet stain from your hand with vinegar solution;

  • Soak your stained hands in a vinegar and detergent solution and agitate it occasionally.
  • After about 30 minutes, rinse your hand with water and dry it.
  • After cleaning, apply a moisturizing lotion or cream to soothe and repair the skin. 

Clean With Alcohol

Alcohol may be one of your best options for removing tough, dried-on gentian violet stains. However, It’s always my last resort because it could be too harsh on a child’s skin and should not be used if you have sensitive skin.

To safely use alcohol as your cleaning agent;

  • Soak a cotton swab entirely in a small amount of isopropyl alcohol or vodka.
  • Gently rub the gentian violet-stained area to remove it.
  • As the cotton swab picks up the stain, replace it.
  • Once the stain is completely removed, wash your skin with soap and water.
  • Rinse thoroughly and allow your skin to dry.
  • Apply a lotion or cream to moisturize and repair your skin.

Clean With Hydrogen Peroxide

A simple mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda is a better alternative to bleach. It will effectively remove those tough purple stains from your skin.

To get started; 

  • Add 1 teaspoon of Hydrogen Peroxide and a pinch of baking soda to a bowl. 
  • Take a small amount of the Hydrogen Peroxide solution with a cotton swab.
  • In a circular motion, rub the solution on the affected area.
  • Allow it to run for 5 minutes.
  • Rinse it thoroughly and dry your skin with a soft towel.
  • Apply a moisturizing lotion or cream to the cleaned area to avoid skin irritation. 

Safety Measures: Ensure your hydrogen peroxide is an over the counter product because they are usually in lower concentrations and would not hurt your skin

Those are all great methods to get rid of gentian violet stains from your skin. However, I think we would all just prefer to use the gentian violet without dealing with stains at all. Follow the steps below to prevent gentian violet from staining your skin

How To Prevent Gentian Violet Stains From Skin

You can avoid gentian violet stains on your skin entirely by taking the simple precautions below before applying the dye.

Here are the supplies you will need to get started;

  • Old Clothes
  • Syringe
  • Disposable cups
  • Baby Wipes
  • Tissue Papers
  • Disposable gloves
  • Q-tips
  • Vaseline, Lanolin, Coconut oil, or Olive oil.


  • Before applying gentian violet, put on old or dark clothes (I’ll use a dress that won’t break my heart if it gets stained). You can also use a bib on your baby. You can never be too careful when it comes to avoiding spills.
  • Gather all of your supplies and place them on a table or stool.
  • Before applying the dye, cover your chair, bed, floor, or table. You don’t just want to keep your skin safe from the mess but also your home.
  • Apply Vaseline, lanolin, coconut oil, or olive oil around your skin or baby’s mouth before applying gentian violet. It keeps the dye from penetrating the skin.
  • Put on your gloves before attempting to dilute and apply the dye.
  • Dilute the gentian violet in a disposable cup with a small syringe.
  • Use a Q-tip to apply the gentian violet. Allow the Q-tip to absorb the diluted gentian violet. Then rub it all over your baby’s mouth or affected areas.
  • When you’re finished, use baby wipes or tissue paper to remove the gentian violet and vaseline from the application areas.
  • If you get a drop of gentian violet on your skin or your baby’s skin while applying it. Make sure to clean it right away with baby wipes or tissue.
  • To avoid staining your clothes, tiles, and other areas of your home, remove and dispose of the materials gently and properly.
  • Wash your hands immediately after treatment.

FAQs on How To Get Gentian Violet Off Skin

How Can I Remove Gentian Violet from My Baby’s Lips?

Purple stains around your baby’s mouth can be removed with baby wipes. The inner lips may have to cling to the stains for a short time. It will go eventually. Avoid rubbing alcohol in your baby’s mouth because a high percentage of alcohol can cause severe gum damage.

Does Gentian Violet Sting?

Yes, Gentian Violet does sting, but it’s temporary. The only time I’ve ever had any reaction was when I used too much. And even then, it wasn’t really bad. I would recommend trying out a small amount first to see if your skin would react.

How Long Does It Take For The Gentian Violet Stain To Go Away?

The stain should be gone after 2-3 washes, depending on the recommended cleaning products you use and how long the stain has spent on your skin.

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