Removing Linseed Oil from Hands


October 31, 2007, 07:49 PM
Can anyone give a good way to remove linseed oil from your hands?

Soap? Nothing.

Fingernail Polish Remover? Nope.

I'm really not going down the paint stripper road again, am I? :what:


(yep... projects are addictive.)

-- John

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Danus ex
October 31, 2007, 08:15 PM
I use a three step approach. Step one, wipe as much off your hands as possible using paper towels. Step two, wash your hands with a good dirty-work cleaner soap. Fast Orange might be ideal to help cover the smell. I have some high-powered stuff that was apparently made in West Germany (got it from a German friend who has a crate of it). Step three, rub a little lotion into your hands so they're not irritatingly dry after the heavy soaping and you're back in business.

October 31, 2007, 08:45 PM
Dish soap works good enough for me but the odor doesn't bother me, in fact I kinda like it. Always reminds me of quality wood products, like gun stocks. Maybe I am a nut but I like the smell of gun oil and Hoppe's #9 too.

October 31, 2007, 08:52 PM
The best approach I have found is to wear gloves when handling Linseed oil, BLO, Tongue oil, or any of the other items we might use on our stocks. Other than that, I have no idea how to get the stuff off!

October 31, 2007, 09:53 PM
I may be crazy, but I just wipe the excess off and leave the rest when dealing with BLO. I have extremely sensitive skin when it comes to chemical compounds but BLO just goes on like a vegetable oil. I know it can catch on fire, but is it actually toxic or carcinogenic?? Maybe I need to start wearing gloves. Mind, I'm talking about real organic BLO, not linspeed or somesuch.

Pine Cone
October 31, 2007, 09:57 PM
Try some hand creme. Great for getting pitch off and lots of other tree-related resins.

October 31, 2007, 09:58 PM
I use laundry detergent and steel wool.


Bob R
October 31, 2007, 10:35 PM
Dremel, we know you have one! :scrutiny: :) :what:


Shell Shucker
October 31, 2007, 10:43 PM
Mineral spirits and Fast Orange!

Max Velocity
October 31, 2007, 11:26 PM
De-Solv-It (

October 31, 2007, 11:40 PM
Dremel, we know you have one!

Actually no... not anymore. Well, I had one until about 6 hours ago.

I actually KILLED my dremel on this project.

But it died in the line of duty.

Thanks for the tips guys!


By the way-- Pics will be incoming as soon as the new trigger group comes in.

I am building a target/hunting combo Ruger 10/22 for this project. It's a great story. A few weeks ago, I went into a pawn shop and there was a poor Ruger 10/22 that some guy decided to make into a stainless steel model with what looks like a steel wool.

I got it for $50.

Well, I've already received the new GM Fluted Bull Barrel w/ Fire Iron Sights, Millet See-through scope mounts, and the Teflon Moly Coat. Afterwards, I decided that it needed a target trigger group-- so it is on the way. It has a 2.5 pound pull, reshaped trigger plunger, better magazine release, and an adjustable over-travel stop.

I want to keep the rifle looking somewhat stock, so today I reshaped the birch stock to remove the barrel band section. I opened up the barrel channel for the bull barrel, and stripped the finish.

So far, she's got 4 coats of Linseed Oil and it is starting to look really nice.

I already have a 4X fixed scope to put on it, but I'll likely upgrade it eventually.

The competition that this will be used in does not allow bipods, so this will likely be the end of the modifications.

As I said, pics will be incoming.

-- John

October 31, 2007, 11:54 PM
Might want to try coca cola or pepsi.

November 1, 2007, 11:14 AM
Here is an MSD on Linseed oil, raw

Here is another, with an explaination of the combustion problem.

I really doubt you will burst into fire after using the stuff.

Though, if you do, please post pictures. We could compare to some Richard Pryor videos.

I used Go-Jo and a hand brush to clean up. Or lava soap and a hand brush.

Adam Selene
November 1, 2007, 11:22 AM
Mineral spirits followed with Lava soap.

November 1, 2007, 11:25 AM
Gasoline is my master solvent, yes, I know it's bad for me. ;)

November 1, 2007, 11:25 AM
Boraxo hand cleaner. Cuts through varnish too.

November 1, 2007, 11:34 AM
with oily stuff, using soap without getting your hands wet first makes a big difference.

I have never played with Linseed Oil, but IME Dawn dishsoap, no water works extremely well for things like gun-drill oil, AR-15 soup, etc.

November 1, 2007, 11:39 AM
Donít wet your hands use Go-Jo rub it in real well and wipe it off with a towel. Then use dawn dish soap and wash them as usual.

November 1, 2007, 12:50 PM
Dremel, we know you have one!

Actually, I have used the drum to sand superglue off my hand... :what:, I don't recommend it.

November 1, 2007, 04:36 PM
I know it can catch on fire, but is it actually toxic or carcinogenic??

"Boiled" linseed oil can sometimes contain drying agents that are quite toxic. Ask the manufacturer of your specific brand to provide the Material Safety Data Sheet. Personally, I won't touch the stuff. There are much better alternatives.

November 1, 2007, 05:59 PM
The MSDS on the Barr BLO I use says nothing about carcinogenics other than "not relevant." Hmmm

I may switch to straight LO and add my own drier if needed.

November 1, 2007, 06:57 PM
Sand may help or hand cleaner with pumice. Years ago I finished a gun stock with that stuff and it had to wear off.

November 1, 2007, 08:00 PM
One reason I like pure tung oil ( is it's completely non-toxic. I rub it in with my bare hands and it actually seems to soften my skin. It even smells nice. Pure tung oil is also more water resistant than BLO. You can apply tung over BLO, but it doesn't work as well the other way around.

From working on cars, I found the best way to prevent your hands from getting grungy with projects is to rub a good amount of hand lotion in before you start the project. This will moisturize your skin and it won't absorb as much oil, paint, mud, whatever. If your skin is dry it will suck that stuff up like a sponge. After the project take a good hot bath, a long shower, or whatever to soak your hands good with hot water and soap. After you get cleaned up, rub in some more hand lotion. By the time you finish your next bath or shower the next day, whatever is on your skin should be cleaned up.

The worst I ever had was some Gorilla glue and mud mixed together (definately should have worn gloves that day!). It took two days and about four long showers to get that mess out of my skin.

November 1, 2007, 09:48 PM
You can't remove it, once its on your hands it will never come off! ITS A PART OF YOU NOW!!!!!!:evil:

All jokes aside I found that using dishwasher soap and brillo pad works quite well, its rough on the hands so I wouldn't do it daily.

November 1, 2007, 10:38 PM
As my brother told me once........

"If you want it to stick, use duct tape. If you want it to come off, use WD-40."

For me, it works like a charm.....

Shell Shucker
November 1, 2007, 11:30 PM
We are getting way to in touch with our feminine side on this thread........... Real men clean their hands with caustic chemicals and if that doesn't work they wear it off......... Moisturize? Only if you're a SISSY! Stained hands are a badge of honor among manly men. :)

November 2, 2007, 06:57 AM
I guess I shouldn't mention that I Teflon Molycoated my thumb last night on this project.... :)

(Fingernail Polish Remover worked well since I opted not to oven-cure my thumb.)

-- John

November 2, 2007, 07:27 AM
Shell, you know, when I was a little kid, perhaps 6 to 8 years old, I judged most men I saw as sissies. Why? My Dad was what I judged a man to be (he was pretty darn close to Robert Heinlein's definition should be, I'll mention below). He had a cleft chin, so smoothies I saw were, by immediate glance, sissies. Then came the hand-shake. My Dad always had rough hands. He liked to do things with is hands, whether at work or in relaxation. His bi-focals had safety-glass wings on the sides so he wouldn't have to put on extra goggles. He always had a project (the minister at his funeral said Dad would be given a portion of heaven that was broken, as Dad's vision of heaven would be to tinker with things for eternity - the pastor being amusing of course). So any man with whom I shook hands was immediately put to the test. If their grip was loose, their hands smooth, they were wimps.

Yeah, real men, my Dad, washed their hands with gasoline after painting or auto repair (heck, gas was the ultimate solvent, that and a paint-brush clean just about any metal part, but I digress). If your hands weren't somewhat rough, if you didn't have at least two scars on them (ha, I have five or six), if in the course of a year you didn't end up with at least one blue fingernail...well, you just weren't manly to me. It's funny how a little kid views the world like that. If harsh chemicals didn't strip it off, time and the wearing of the hands did.

The funny thing was that, while Dad was a football star (best scoring player on the Walton County High school (or Holmes County, I forget) football team), he didn't care to watch much sports. He liked fishing and hunting, but really liked restoring an old car, an old house, rebuilding mechanical clocks (built one from, literally, a box of parts, the movement completely disassembled, and it still runs today), his jacket wasn't broken in until it had at least two solder holes burned in it and a plethora of stains, built a black-powder shotgun from a box of parts he bought at an antique shop (built many of his own parts), designed and built his own cap-and-ball single-shot (including making his own barrel, from turning bar stock on a lathe to boring it and cutting the firing hole) re-wired his own home and built the interior stairs from scratch, including cutting the hole in the ceiling to reach the second floor of the old home, his shop was a wonderland of fun for a tinkering boy. But Dad also loved antiques and fine china, loved to experiment in the kitchen (not always successful), enjoyed bird watching with my mom on the back porch, and enjoyed sedate British comedies. Never read fiction, his favorite book was "The Reason Why," but when he read The Hobbit when mom finished it, he enjoyed it so much he read through the entire Lord of the Rings (long before the movies). I guess when you are as rugged as he, when there was never a question of being a "Metro Sexual," when other men seem wimpy when they stand beside you, you can like fine china and watching birds because ain't nobody going to say a thing about it!


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