Although it seems contrary to the core, style can sometimes be messy business. Whether the color of you new shoes has rubbed off on your feet or you've made a mess working with hair or clothing dye, you can treat stained skin with safe and common household items -- you may even work in a bit of pedi-like pampering in the process.

Saturate a cotton ball in your choice of do-it-yourself skin stain remover -- household items such as rubbing alcohol, vinegar, toothpaste and hair spray all do the trick. These items slough away dead, top-layer skin cells, allowing fresh, unstained skin to shine through.

Rub the cotton ball over the stained area of your foot in a circular motion, applying a moderate amount of pressure. You may have to refresh the cotton ball and the stain-removing agent if the cotton ball picks up too much of the stain.

Apply a light coat of baby oil to the stained area on your feet before heading to bed if any of the stain still remains. Pull on a pair of old socks or place a towel under your feet as you sleep to keep the oil from staining your bedsheets. Rinse your feet clean in the morning. The oil helps break down dye-based stains overnight.


  • Treat stains on your skin as promptly as you can -- as a rule of thumb, it's easier to remove fresh stains than those that have had a chance to set in.

  • A cotton ball saturated in milk may remove less intense stains, such as ink.

  • Exfoliate your feet with a scrub before you rub them with a cotton ball to pamper your feet and remove dead -- and stained -- cells from the skin's surface. Soak your feet in warm water and milk for 10 minutes, massage in the scrub with a pumice stone and rinse your feet clean.