How to Remove Hair Dye Stains

Updated June 19, 2018
Girl with dyed hair and stained neck

Applying hair dye can be a difficult process, and hair dye stain removal can be even worse. Hair dye stains almost anything it encounters including your skin, countertops, flooring, and furniture. Thankfully, there are cleaning tips for anything hair dye can stain.

How to Get Hair Dye Off of Skin

When you are dyeing your hair, it is impossible not to get hair dye on skin. However, cosmetologist, Jamie Kozma McCarty has found some great solutions over her 18 years in the business. According to Jamie, there are several methods.

  • If the dye is still wet, apply a little shampoo and scrub it thoroughly.
  • For darker colors, try mixing baking soda and water to make a paste and apply it to skin. Use a cloth to rub the color off the skin.
  • Put acetone (fingernail polish remover) on a white washcloth, towel, or cotton ball. Rub gently.
  • Apply a bit of toothpaste right to the area and wipe it off.
  • Put rubbing alcohol on a white cloth. Carefully blot the skin.
  • If home remedies fail, try a hair color stain remover like Clean Touch. Dab a bit on to a cotton ball and rub.

Keep in mind catching the stain immediately is key to removing it easily. No matter what method you use, there still might be a shadow.

How to Remove Hair Dye From Your Scalp

Getting dye on your scalp is unavoidable, but most of the time your hair covers it. However, a stray drip can stain your skin. Jammie Hutton-Caudill from Allure Salon notes rubbing the wet color with a soft rag is enough to remove it. However, if it truly stains the scalp, use a little shampoo and scrub it. Just be careful not to wash too diligently and strip your newly established color. Another trick Caudill offers is using applying hairspray to the stain and blotting with a cloth. The alcohol in the hairspray may lift the stain.

How to Remove Hair Dye From Furniture

Removing hair dye from furniture depends on the surface. However, you can try a few different things according to Jamie Kozma McCarty.

  • Mix a tablespoon of dawn dish soap and a tablespoon of white vinegar with 2 to 2 1/2 cups of water. Using a sponge, thoroughly soak the stain, letting it sit for about 30 minutes and blotting occasionally with a white rag. Make sure to dab. Rinse with water when stain is gone.
  • Saturate the stain with rubbing alcohol or hairspray to stop it from setting and blot with a clean white towel.
  • Use stain remover like Remove It and follow manufacturer's instructions.
  • If the fabric is bleach safe, try saturating the area with a half and half bleach/water mixture. Dab the stain with a clean, white cloth for 10 to 15 minutes and rinse with water. If you accidentally use bleach on fabric that isn't bleach safe, you'll need to know how to remove bleach stains quickly to save it.

How to Get Hair Dye Out of Clothes

Drips and spills happen, even at a salon. Making sure the dye is cleaned up immediately and the clothes are pre-treated is pivotal.

  1. Wipe up the dye immediately.
  2. Use a pre-treatment such as Oxi Magic or Shout. If a pre-treater isn't available, Jammie recommends spraying the stain with hairspray to stop it from setting.
  3. Launder the clothing immediately using a heavy-duty liquid detergent.
  4. If the material is white, soak it in powdered bleach and water before washing.
Blue Hair Dye On Towel

How to Get Hair Dye Out of Carpet

Getting stains on your carpet can be irritating, but rest assured there are ways to get it out. Try the same methods you use upholstery putting the dish soap and vinegar mix or alcohol on the area. If alcohol is not available, either hairspray or fingernail polish might work, but their concentration of alcohol isn't as high. Commercial carpet cleaners are also a viable option along with two additional treatments.

Laundry Soap and Ammonia Mix

  1. Mix one tablespoon each of ammonia and laundry soap/dish soap with 2 cups of water. Saturate the stain.
  2. Using a clean white cloth, blot the area for about 30 minutes.
  3. Rinse with cold water. Warning: ammonia may be harmful to wool.

Hydrogen Peroxide

  1. If you have a carpet that is bleach cleanable carpet, try dabbing the area with hydrogen peroxide.
  2. Do this several times then rinse with cold water.

Note: Never mix bleach and ammonia.

How to Get Hair Dye Out of Wood

Because wood is a porous material, getting the stain out might take multiple tries. However, several tricks are available.

Baking Soda Paste

  1. Mix baking soda with water to make a paste.
  2. Dab a cloth in the concoction and gently scrub the area. Don't to scrub too hard, or you may damage the wood.

Vinegar and Baking Soda

  1. Mix equal parts white vinegar and baking soda.
  2. Dab a clean cloth in the paste.
  3. Gently rub the area.
  4. Rinse with warm water.

Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide

Since peroxide can stain wood, use caution with this solution. Test it first in a hidden area.

  1. Mix equal parts baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.
  2. Gather the mixture on a clean, white rag.
  3. Gently dab and scrub the area.
  4. Rinse with warm water.

How to Remove Hair Dye From Your Bathtub

Countertops and bathtubs are typically made of porcelain enameled material or fiberglass. Therefore, you have a few options to remove hair dye.

  • Use equal parts bleach and water to soak the stain. Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes and wipe away.
  • Apply acetone to a clean, white rag. Gently dab the area and let it sit, then wipe away.
  • Make a baking soda and water paste. Scrub the stain until it is gone.
  • Powdered cleansers, like Comet with Bleach, work well on dye stains in a tub.

Getting It Clean

When you are dying your hair at home or at a salon, hair dye can get in multiple places if you aren't careful. However, commercial and DIY remedies can help to remove those stubborn stains.

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How to Remove Hair Dye Stains