A hair dye stain may look good when it’s on your hair, but it’s definitely not something you want to see on your clothing. Dying your hair is messy work that often leaves your shirts splattered with hair color even when you didn’t intend for it to happen. However, learning how to get hair dye out of clothes isn’t as complicated as it may seem.
Though dye is tricky to remove, a handful of solutions are excellent at eliminating color stains. Trying to get hair dye out of clothing by simply throwing it in the washing machine with a bit of laundry detergent is a waste of time.
Hair dye creates some pretty tough stains, and you have to fight against it with even tougher ingredients. Even professional hairstylists make mistakes and sometimes leave behind a stubborn stain after a few hours in the chair at the salon. If you have ever come home to this upsetting surprise, allow us to show you some of the best ways to remove hair dye from clothes.
- What are Hair Dyes?
- How to Get Hair Dye Out of Clothes
- How to Remove Hair Dye from Clothes
- Another Method to Get Hair Dye Out of Clothing
- Soaking Clothes in a Vinegar Solution
- A Simple Cleaning Solution for Removing Hair Dye
- Removing Small Hair Color Stains
- Using Hairspray to Remove Hair Dye
- Oils and Hair Dye Stains
- The Power of Vitamin C
- How Nail Polish Remover can Get Hair Dye Out of Clothing
- Blotting with Hydrogen Peroxide
What are Hair Dyes?
To put it simply, hair dyes are chemicals that we apply to our hair strands to change their color. These dyes are not always permanent on our heads, yet they often last a lifetime on some of our favorite pieces of clothes. Learning how to get hair dye out of clothes is the only way to fix the problem.
There are four categories of hair dyes. Temporary colors are applied in the form of mousses, sprays, gels, and rinses. These sit on the surface of our hair and wash out with our next shampoo.
Semi-permanent dyes penetrate the hair shaft and don’t rinse off with water. They usually come in liquid, gel, and aerosol forms.
Permanent dyes are more work to apply. However, the color lasts until the roots start to grow out. Permanent hair dye contains hydrogen peroxide mixed with another liquid. It sits on the hair for about a half-hour before rinsing it out with water.
These dyes penetrate deeply into the hair shaft and get locked in because of the chemical reaction that happens when it is applied. In general, they cannot be washed out with shampoos, although repeatedly washing them does sometimes reduce the color over time.
The final type of dye is a gradual or progressive dye. These dyes come in a rinse that slightly darkens hair after binding to the compounds on the hair’s surface. They are applied daily until the right shade is achieved. These colors do not wash off readily or run when the hair is wet.
Other than the type of dye you used, the color also plays a role in how easy it is to get hair dye out of clothing. If one of your favorite shirts has some hair dye on it, follow one of these helpful methods to remove hair dye from clothes.
How to Get Hair Dye Out of Clothes
Generally, we want hair color to last for a long time. It acts as a stain for hair strands until they eventually grow out or fade. Trying to clean hair dye from clothes doesn’t work the same way.
While some of the stain fades over time, they are more likely to be permanent the longer they sit without a stain removal technique.
How to Remove Hair Dye from Clothes
Trying to remove black, brown, or blue hair color stain is a little trickier than removing other hair colors. When you notice the stain, work quickly and spot-treat the area with a liquid laundry detergent that contains stain-lifting enzymes.
Rub the stain with a soft-bristle brush and rinse it with cool water. Soak the clothing in some oxygen bleach and do not use chlorine bleach. Allow the stained clothing to soak for at least eight hours. If the stain is gone, launder it as you normally would.
If there are still small traces of the stain, mix a solution of one gallon of water and a quarter-cup of chlorine bleach. Soak the stain for 15 minutes, and rinse it with a lot of clean water.
Oxygen bleach may also work to remove hair dye from a sink, depending on the material.
Another Method to Get Hair Dye Out of Clothing
Treat red hair dye as soon as you spill it, if possible. Red dye has a different composition than other dyes and requires a different kind of remedy.
Try to remove hair dye stain by mixing a solution of one quart of water with half a teaspoon of liquid dishwashing soap or regular dish soap. Stir one tablespoon of ammonia into the liquid. Submerge the clothing in the solution and let it sit for 15 minutes.
Lift the clothing from the ammonia water. Rub the stain with your fingers to loosen the die from the fibers. Soak for another 15 minutes before rinsing it well with cool water.
Soaking Clothes in a Vinegar Solution
You’ve probably heard that the acid in vinegar is the perfect way to remove tough stains. This recipe is a great way to remove hair dye from carpet, skin, or clothing and may be the best way to remove lipstick from clothes.
For the way to get hair color out of clothes or to get baby oil out of clothes, mix the water and vinegar in a large container and soak your clothing in the vinegar water for 30 minutes. Remove the garment and launder it as usual.
If the dye is still there, do not put it in a dryer. Instead, soak it in an equal mixture of oxygen-based bleach and cold water for eight hours before rewashing it.
A Simple Cleaning Solution for Removing Hair Dye
There are times where we spill some hair dye on the carpet instead of our clothes. An easy method to remove dye from carpet is to make a paste with some vinegar and baking soda.
Spread the paste onto the carpet fibers and allow it to dry. Use a damp, clean cloth or paper towel and dab at the stained spot until all remnants lift into the cloth.
Removing Small Hair Color Stains
Minor color splatters are a lot easier to get rid of than large ones. If you have a few drips on your clothes, dip a cotton ball or cotton swab in some rubbing alcohol and blot at the tiny spots. This technique is also a great way to clean stained skin after a coloring session.
Using Hairspray to Remove Hair Dye
It sounds kind of crazy, but hairspray is the perfect solution to keep dye from further absorbing into a material. Hairspray is often an alcohol-based product that prevents the color from spreading.
Spray the dye stain with the hair spray and make sure the spot is completely covered. When you are finished spraying the clothes, soak your clothing in some cool water mixed with dish soap for about 20 minutes before putting it in the washing machine.
Oils and Hair Dye Stains
Oils like olive oil, baby oil, and coconut oil are things that most of us have in the kitchen. These can also be used on skin that has been stained from the hair color.
To get hair dye off forehead and skin, pour some oil onto a dry cloth. Gently rub the skin that has been colored from the dye until all of it lifts into the rag. You may have to move to a new section of the cloth as it becomes soiled.
The Power of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is another fantastic tool to remove hair dye from clothes and other fabrics. Either dab some fresh lemon juice or crush up some vitamin C pills with a pestle and mortar and stir it with water to make a paste.
Apply the paste to your stained clothing and rinse it with warm water after it sits on the affected area for about 30 minutes. Repeat this process until most of the dye is gone. Wash your clothing with regular laundry detergent and ensure all of the dye is gone before drying it.
How Nail Polish Remover can Get Hair Dye Out of Clothing
It makes sense that nail polish remover would be effective at removing color stains. Be careful when using this product because you don’t want it to discolor your clothing. It is best to use this on small drips or splatters rather than a larger stain.
If you don’t have any nail polish remover at home, consider following our guide to get hair dye off nails without nail polish remover. There are many other helpful things in your home that can remove hair dye.
Blotting with Hydrogen Peroxide
The last way to combat hair color stains is to use its very own ingredient against it. Dip some paper towels in a small amount of hydrogen peroxide and repeatedly dab at the color on the clothing.
This method works best with white clothing that won’t be affected or lightened by the peroxide and one of the best peroxide benefits. Wash your clothes before allowing the peroxide to dry.
While many of us rely on hair dye to cover our greys, the process is a messy one. Even when you go to the hair salon instead of coloring your hair yourself, accidents happen, and dye sometimes drips or splatters onto clothing.
While it is best to try and prevent this from happening, take comfort in the fact that there are cleaning solutions that remove these tough stains.
Though they aren’t always possible to get rid of, many of these techniques will at least lighten them to a point where they are hardly noticeable.
If learning how to get hair dye out of clothes has saved your favorite garment from being thrown in the trash, share these methods to remove hair dye from clothes on Facebook and Pinterest.