Doctor using iodine on patient in the hospital

Iodine helps eliminate bacteria and therefore is commonly used as a skin sterilizer prior to surgery. Iodine is also used to clear up minor bacterial skin infections. While iodine has wonderful uses, a major drawback is that it stains your skin and clothing. The upside is that inexpensive remedies are available to remove iodine stains from your skin, even if you need to remove these stains on a regular basis.

Use standard hand soap and warm water to remove any iodine stains from your skin.

Repeat the process of using soap and warm water until the stain is gone. It can sometimes take days for an iodine stain on the skin to be completely removed.

Soak a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol. Apply the rubbing alcohol on the area of your skin that is stained. The iodine stain should disappear immediately. If you use alcohol to remove an iodine stain from a cut or incision site, avoid getting the alcohol directly on the incision or cut; doing so can cause irritation, stinging and even a burning sensation.


  • If you notice iodine stains on your clothing, simply wash and rinse them in ammonia diluted with water.